Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks to a sensationalized report on Nightline (I mean, what did you expect, in depth treatment, they only reported on TOB in order to shock the public?) Christopher West is answering charges that he is over the top, misinterpreting Pope John Paul, and idolizing Hugh Hefner. He gives an explanation here to misinterpretations of his comments regarding Hugh Hefner;
"I never said Hugh Hefner is a hero, never," he remarked, explaining that Hefner said he started Playboy as a personal response to the hurt and hypocrisy of Americans’ Puritan heritage."The point I was making with ABC was that we as Catholics agree with Hefner’s diagnosis of the disease of Puritanism, a fearful rejection of the body rooted in heritage of Manicheanism. Sadly, that very important point did not come out in the interview.""Let the record stand very clearly: the pornographic revolution that Hugh Hefner inaugurated, the medicine that he suggested, proves to be in many ways more dangerous than the disease itself.'"

West went on to that while ABC took time to do a good interview, it was boiled down to a 7 minute clip with sound bites which were misleading. This is a danger of being part of tabloid TV; only the juicy bits make the cut, and who knows what the agenda of the editor is. I was asked to review The Dangerous Book for Girls (see my review here) on the Today Show, but after finding suggestions to practice both Yoga and the occult in the otherwise good book, I refused, on the basis that my comments on TV would be edited, and my appearance on the show with the book might be misconstrued as approval. As a Catholic film and book critic, I value my reputation of being orthodox and forthright too highly to risk it for 3 minutes of fame.
Maybe Christopher West should be more careful in the future about to what type of program he gives interviews. I have reviewed his latest book "Heaven's Song" very positively, in fact Ascension Press used my blurb(as well as Jeff Miller's who also writes for CMR) for their advertising, so obviously I feel his interpretation of Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body is important. Too important to trust to the National Enquirer of TV: Nightline. Maybe Huckabee or Bonnie Hunt would give him adequate time to express the true meaning of Theology of the Body.

Read the entire story on Catholic News Service.

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