On p. B11 in today’s New York Times, there is a half-page ad promoting “Philomena,” the film by the Weinsteins that is up for an Oscar. On p. C7 there is a full-page ad on the movie. Neither is objectionable, but the two-page spread on pp. C10-11 is. On p. C11, it gives high profile to a review by the Times’ Stephen Holden, which says, in part, that the film’s “political subtext” is its “comparison of the church’s oppression and punishment of unmarried sex…with homophobia and the United States government’s reluctance to deal with the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.”
This is a straightforward pitch to anti-Catholic bigots. The Weinsteins are no strangers to Catholic bashing, having made a good living off of it. In 1995, they offered “Priest,” a film featuring nothing but miscreant priests; I succeeded in getting the movie’s opening date moved from Good Friday. In 1998, they gave us “The Butcher Boy,” which starred Sinead O’Connor as a foul-mouthed Virgin Mary. In 1999, we were treated to “Dogma,” where the audience learned of a descendant of Mary and Joseph who works in an abortion clinic. In 2002, they released “40 Days and 40 Nights,” a film that ridiculed a Catholic for giving up sex for Lent. Also opening in 2002 was “The Magdalene Sisters,” a movie that smeared nuns. In 2003, “Bad Santa” opened for the holidays; Santa was cast as a chain-smoking, drunken, foul-mouthed, suicidal, sexual predator. In 2006, “Black Christmas” made a predictably dark statement about the holiday.
In 2013, the Weinsteins released “Philomena,” a tale about an Irish teenager who abandoned her out-of-wedlock son, and who, because of the good efforts of nuns, was adopted by an American couple. Of course, the movie maligns the nuns, as well as Catholic teachings.
It is the sexual maniacs in Hollywood who nurture a debased culture, one that breeds illegitimacy and AIDS. Yet the Weinsteins, and the Times, never stop blaming the Catholic Church, which counsels restraint. Thus have they inverted the victim and the victimizer.