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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Choke

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Generally repellant comedy with serious pretensions adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel about an inveterate sex addict (Sam Rockwell). When not pursuing a lucrative choking-in-a-restaurant scam, he works as a historical theme park performer to pay the mental hospital bills for his mother (Angelica Huston), whose compassionate physician (Kelly Macdonald) falls for him. Writer-director Clark Gregg has a good bit as one of the theme-park workers in a cast that also includes Brad William Henke, Jonah Bobo and Joel Grey. But the pervasive sexual encounters and various irreverent elements—the doctor informs the son that he may be the offspring of Jesus, and there are two sexual encounters in the hospital's chapel—cross the line, whatever their ostensible satiric and dramatic purpose. Strong sexual content with multiple encounters, most with upper female nudity, sacrilegious elements, some rough language and profanity, and scatological and drug references. 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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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog People are not perfect. But God does not only call upon great saints to reveal his love for the world. He also calls the broken and desperate. We are all called to act as God’s light in this darkening world.

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