Michael Moore’s new film “Capitalism: A love affair” is filled with religious symbolism in its quest to draw attention to the plight of the poor while harshly criticize modern capitalism for making matters worse. Several priests are noted in the film. Many from the more left-leaning liberation theology perspective. The film features clips from a vintage Jesus film quoting Christ’s teachings “You cannot worship God and wealth” and “Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich”. The film even ends with Woody Guthrie’s song “Jesus Christ” which retells Christ’s aid to those in poverty.
One of the priests in the film, Peter Dougherty, spoke of Michael Moore’s intentions “He wanted to approach it from the morality standpoint as well, and so he asked me as a Catholic priest what I had to say about capitalism.” Many conservative critics who consider Moore’s movies in devilish terms are surprised to see a such a new spiritual side make its debut.
Michael Moore’s faith expression is being made even beyond the film and can be seen in a TV interview with Sean Hannity of FOX News. A partial transcript is below;
HANNITY: Because I think you’re an unapologetic socialist, however you want to describe yourself. Fair?
HANNITY: I’m a Christian.
MOORE: Yeah, well…
HANNITY: But we have different views on the economic system.
MOORE: Well, no, but I believe in what Jesus said that…
HANNITY: So do I.
MOORE: You — well, are you Catholic?
HANNITY: I’m Catholic.
MOORE: Really? Did you go to mass on Sunday?
HANNITY: Every Sunday. I went to…
MOORE: You went to mass this past Sunday?
HANNITY: I did.
MOORE: What was the sermon about? Do you remember the Gospel?
HANNITY: It was about Michael Moore and capitalism.
MOORE: No, no, come on. You didn’t go! You didn’t go!
HANNITY: I go every Sunday, I go every Sunday.
MOORE: Well, so, do you remember the Gospel this past Sunday?
HANNITY: I don’t remember the Gospel this past Sunday.
MOORE: It was just two days ago.
HANNITY: I don’t remember. I went Saturday…
MOORE: You’re not paying attention.
HANNITY: I went Saturday night.
MOORE: You went Saturday…
HANNITY: I hate to say it. I got there about as late as I went to your movie, so…
MOORE: Right, right.
Well, you know, Jesus was very clear about the rich man is going to have a very hard time getting…
HANNITY: The eye of the needle, that’s right.
MOORE: Yeah, and that the first will be last, and the last will be first.
HANNITY: Well, you’re rich, so you’re going to be last.
MOORE: And we will be — well, if I don’t do good with what blessings I’ve received on this earth, that’s absolutely right. So — but we’re going to be judged, you would agree with us, by how we treat the least among us.
HANNITY: I totally agree.
MOORE: Right, so…
HANNITY: I’m very generous, as my wife is, with charity. And I think anybody that’s been blessed — and this gets to the heart of, I guess, the debate we’re going to have here tonight.
*** BREAK TO LATER POINT IN INTERVIEW ***
HANNITY: Do you think Fidel Castro would allow you to produce a movie and millions of dollars trashing his system?
MOORE: Well, I don’t know, that’s a good question.
HANNITY: You’d be killed.
MOORE: Oh, I don’t think so. Oh, come on. Are you still following that line?
HANNITY: It’s not a line. I had a friend of mine whose family was killed by Castro when he came to power.
MOORE: When he came — oh, so what are we now, 40 years ago?
HANNITY: OK, 40 years ago, he’s still a murderer.
MOORE: Yes. What about the murder that’s been done in our name in the last decade?
HANNITY: You’re getting diverted here.
MOORE: What do you mean diverted? That’s what you don’t want to talk about, that’s the real issue, isn’t it?
HANNITY: Not really.
MOORE: What’s been done in our name, in our Christian name, to Iraq, in Afghanistan, these other places.
*** BREAK TO LATER POINT IN INTERVIEW ***
MOORE: … as yourself, you’re to love your enemy. Do you love your enemy?
HANNITY: I don’t hate you, by the way.
MOORE: Do you love your enemy, though?
HANNITY: Yes, I do.
MOORE: You do?
HANNITY: I do.
MOORE: So you love Al Qaeda, then.
HANNITY: No, I don’t love them. I love them in the sense that I want to destroy them.
MOORE: I don’t think that’s the love Jesus was talking about.
HANNITY: I want them to see — they want to go see Allah, I’m all in favor of giving them a first class ticket if — if they don’t respect human life and dignity.
MOORE: How do you think Jesus would handle this?
HANNITY: You know, it’s an interesting question.
MOORE: How do you think he’d handle this?
HANNITY: You know, Jesus would have the ability to change people’s hearts. I don’t have his powers. I wish I did.
MOORE: You’re on TV every night at 9 o’clock.
There is much more to the interview, watch it on video or read the entire transcript here.
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