Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Gods and Generals
Or, Ted Turner’s four-hour canonization ceremony for Stonewall Jackson

I liked it!

OK, it’s a little like those old war movies (from WWII) — a little corny with a lot of speechifying. I don’t know why Ted Turner — who once said ‘Christianity is for losers’ — decided not only to canonize Stonewall Jackson but to show his ever-present religion as something positive, but I’m glad he did. Seeing this movie is a big investment of time — nearly four hours — but worth it. I was on the edge of my seat. Can’t say this movie formed my views as much as it reaffirmed a lot of them:

1. The Confederacy had a right to exist.
2. Lee (no racist he) was a hero. (Robert Duvall — a distant relation of Lee’s, interestingly enough — does a serviceable job playing him.)
3. Lincoln’s total war was no different from the German Army invading Russia and then burning it as it retreated. To quote a former friend, I in good conscience never can sing ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’.

A clergy acquaintance, a former Episcopal priest in the Province of Christ the King, keeps a picture of Jackson along with images of Jesus and Mary. (He is an Anglo-Catholic.) If Jackson was half the man Turner paints him as, I understand why.

Who’d’ve thunk it — somebody has made a pro-Confederate (and not racist) movie today and got away with it. Whatever Turner’s problems, kudos to him for so doing.

Verdict: See it if you can spare the time.

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