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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

John Carter

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

This epically expensive film cost Disney $200 million dollars to produce. It’s both a throwback to American history and futuristic sci-fi story based on a character and series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs of “Tarzan” fame.
 
John Carter is a former Confederate soldier who heads west to Arizona Territory only for men to try to force him to fight their frontier battles. But John does not believe in war or violence and he resists. Then he is mysteriously transported to Mars where strange beings capture him. Some are kindly; they only want to communicate because they wonder about his amazing ability to jump huge distances and heights. He wonders about this himself and this gift comes in very handy as his adventures increase. Others do not like him. Humans are there, too, with one group is fighting to take over the other. He is attracted to the Princess of Helium who does not want to marry the head of the other city that her father thinks will ensure peace.
 
And on and on.
 
“John Carter” initials are “J.C.”, in other words, he could be considered a kind of savior figure to the people of Helium and other creatures of Mars or Barsoom as they call the planet. The only point I got out of this long and rambling movie – that is strangely watchable – is that Carter stands for peace and non-violence.
 
Otherwise much of the film, including the melodramatic music in the first part, is like a 1950s “B” movie. In other words, it’s corny and campy.
  If you know the Tarzan stories you will notice much similarity: men among aliens, in alien environments, one swings from trees in the jungle and the other jumps canyons and cliffs to escape danger, save the princess, and avoid conflict.


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Paul Miki and Companions: Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church. 
<p>Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” </p><p>When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.</p> American Catholic Blog By way of analogy, we are taught that we all have the same sun shining on us and we all have the same rain falling on us. It is how we deal with sun and rain, how we deal with the happy and the not-so-happy things of life that causes our interior weather. Basically, we do it to ourselves.

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