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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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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