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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Borat! Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

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Source: Catholic News Service

Juvenile mock documentary about a clueless journalist (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Kazakhstan who travels to the United States to report on the American way of life and embarks on a cross-country odyssey to meet actress Pamela Anderson with whom he becomes infatuated after seeing her on television. Some of the outrageous pranks -- many involving real people not in on the joke -- are, admittedly, funny, but mostly the film wallows in vulgarity, with Cohen and director Larry Charles more often going for shock laughs over wit in satirizing American culture and politics. Pervasive coarse sexual and scatological humor, crass sight gags, masturbation, nudity, some irreverent remarks, and excessive rough and crude language, as well as some ethnic stereotypes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Mark: Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. (When Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark's mother.) 
<p>Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul's refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas's insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Because Paul later asks Mark to visit him in prison, we may assume the trouble did not last long. </p><p>The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' rejection by humanity while being God's triumphant envoy. Probably written for Gentile converts in Rome—after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark's Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a "scandal": a crucified Messiah. </p><p>Evidently a friend of Mark (Peter called him "my son"), Peter is only one of the Gospel sources, others being the Church in Jerusalem (Jewish roots) and the Church at Antioch (largely Gentile). </p><p>Like one other Gospel writer, Luke, Mark was not one of the 12 apostles. We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally. Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane: "Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (Mark 14:51-52). </p><p>Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains. </p><p>A winged lion is Mark's symbol. The lion derives from Mark's description of John the Baptist as a "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures (Ezekiel, chapter one) to the evangelists.</p> American Catholic Blog Our Father’s love can be summed up in one word: Jesus! Throughout history, God has reached out to His people with unconditional love. This love reached its climax when He sent His Son to become our redeemer.


 
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