Avatar Stirs Controversy

11:41 PM, Jan 12, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC. (WUSA) -- The blockbuster epic that's captivated audiences has also stirred up wild controversy from racism to being anti-American, and anti-military. While the movie is so popular it's proven the Vatican is hard to please.

Fans are mesmerized by the special effects and a dazzling adventure fantasy world on the distant moon of Pandora. 

A moviegoer sums it up. 
Cameron Hubley says, "Guy goes to whole new world, falls in love with girl and fights for their people."

Another fans says, "It's a wonderful movie and it's a great story --has a lot to do with humanity."

That's where the enthusiasm ends and reality kicks in for some of the Catholic faith.

The Vatican calling it simplistic and "not much behind the images."

A moviegoer emphatically says, "The Vatican talks about it being too simplistic? Give me a break!"

Father Mark Ivany of Little Flower Catholic Church in Bethesda says there are both negatives and positives to the moral plot. 

Ivany says, "They are with one mate.  Also I found it impressive that they pray together. I found that moving."

But he also says The tribe's pantheistic eco-religion may be of concern for Catholics. Worshiping nature in place of religion is a notion the Pope has warned against.

Ivany says, "It's dangerous to think of the environment as a deity."  There are people out there searching for a religion and looking for something to believe in.  We have to remember God gave us nature, to be stewards and to cultivate but not see it in and of itself as a deity."
 
The Catholic News Service based in Washington and its movie review board gave the pg 13 movie its own movie rating.

On a scale of A1 to A4 --  A1 being more acceptable...it gave the movie an A3 meaning it's okay for adults but not for teens and younger children.
 

Then there is contention over the movie's anti-military undercurrent. 

A moviegoers says, "It can be seen as anti-military and anti-Americans maybe it's only anti-certain Americans.

And there are others who simply see Avatar as Hollywood at its best.

A moviegoer says, "Of course it's a movie and it's a lot of nonsense and it's entertaining."
 
Father Ivany says he sees it as a positive when the Vatican weighs in and gets involved and engaged in culture.
There are roughly one million catholics in our viewing area.

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