Mixed messages April 6, 2008Posted by Teen Atheist in family, issues, rants.
Tags: atheism, family, Horton Hears a Who, religion, tyranny
Watched Horton Hears a Who with my Mother Dearest last Thursday. The animation was downright stupefying, the characters were likable (slightly emo son Jojo was so cute, and my favorite would have to be that weird sheep-porcupine-looking thing that goes “aaaah”), and the story was really good. And Seth Rogen. That’s my future husband, right there.
At dinner with the rest of the family after the show, my father asked about the movie. “The message was very nice,” my mother answered. “He believed in the Whos, even though they were invisible.”
God fucking damn it.
Seriously, I can’t watch anything with my mother without it turning into some metaphor for the virtues of theism/Catholicism. The paranoia hampered my enjoyment of the movie, especially in scenes where the antagonist kangaroo is like “If you can’t see it, hear it, smell it, or feel it, then it isn’t there.” (Which I agree with, by the way, but I’ll get to that later.) My atheism will always be the elephant in the room — hee, get it, “elephant.”
I was seething inside, but I managed to maintain an only mildly irritated-looking facade. “But he could hear them,” I retorted, trying to restrain myself from getting too snarly.
“Yeah, well.” Typical Catholic response.
As for me, I actually like the message I got from Horton Hears a Who, which is obviously a different interpretation from my mother’s. And it goes as such:
The tyrannical kangaroo was angered upon finding out that Horton held a belief (that there were little people living in the speck) that was radically different from hers or the rest of the jungle’s. Fearing that the propagation of this new belief would encourage people to start thinking outside the box and cause her to lose her vice-grip on the kingdom (the kangaroo was the self-appointed leader), she ordered her minions to persecute Horton and force him to admit that what he said he believed in was absolute hooey. She also managed to convince everyone that Horton was a nutjob for believing in this shit.
Sound familiar yet?
Horton stuck to his principles, and luckily for him, the Whos of Whoville managed to make themselves heard in time to be saved. The animals embraced Horton and his beliefs, and blah blah happily ever after.
So, from what I can see of this story, it’s not pro-theist at all. It’s anti-narrow-mindedness. I feel like we atheists are the Hortons in this picture, persecuted and stigmatized for choosing to think outside the box and seek an answer that makes more sense.
Unfortunately, while our Whos in Whoville are loud and clear (read: logic and tangible evidence are in our favor), most choose to turn a blind ear. ‘Cause, you know, they might go to hell for even considering it. What’s important, though, is that like Horton, we shouldn’t give in to the pressure of fitting in.
I’d share this with Mother Dearest, but as I’ve mentioned before, I refuse to argue with anti-atheist theists. It’s just not worth the effort.