Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Million Dollar Baby - Anti-Catholic Propaganda

Interesting punching bag silhouette looks like a cross on a tabernacle.
Well, when this movie first came out, I did not go to it. I protested, based on what I had heard, that the ending was basically a political statement on euthanasia in opposition to the Catholic Church. I did not want to show my support, even tacitly, in buying a ticket to see it. Well, it was on TV last night on HBO (which we got for free for signing up with cable), so I watched it.

The biggest thing that offended me was the misrepresentation of the Church on this matter. The person was a quadriplegic on a ventilator who wanted to turn off the machine. Clint Eastwood's character, a Catholic, went to his priest to discuss the matter and his priest tells him he cannot do it. Therein lies the rub!  A permanent ventilator is considered to be an "extra-ordinary" means of support, and (I speak from experience here) it is NOT against Church teaching to remove extra-ordinary life support! So the big hype over euthanasia is based in a false dilemma! There WAS NO DILEMMA! There would have been nothing wrong with getting together with the medical staff and clergy and discussing the matter and allowing her to pass on naturally, without the extra-ordinary means of a ventilator. So Eastwood either didn't research this well enough, or deliberately was trying to represent the Church as the "bad guy" in this issue.

Now, I just wish I had seen the movie earlier to help raise the issue that it wasn't a valid issue which Eastwood made the climax of this propaganda! I guess I'm also appalled that I haven't heard this side of the story from other Catholics!  Perhaps the rest of Catholicism, like me, basically boycotted the movie, and we all missed the chance to expose the falsehood being portrayed there? (Sigh)

And to think, that movie won FOUR Academy Awards last year - and IT'S A FRAUD!

I would think even our Protestant friends would support the truth in this matter and step forward and acknowledge that what Eastwood did there truly didn't accurately represent the Catholic Church's position
in a case like that.

As I recall, it came out about the time the Terry Schiavo case was big news, but that case was NOT the same. Schiavo was not on a ventilator - she breathed on her own, and no machines were used to keep her alive.  All she had was a feeding tube, and basic food and water is not "extra-ordinary" and that is why the Church opposes withholding of such from a patient who can otherwise sustain themselves.

Hindsight is 20/20 - but "what if" we could have mobilized a push for the TRUTH about the Church's position on this prior to the Academy Awards? Could we have reduced the hype over the movie AND the anti-Catholic propaganda? That's something we should ALL keep in mind for the future.



  1. Just because the church allows the ventilator turned off, doesn't mean the church allows Eastwood to do it off his own bat.

  2. What does the church say about injecting enough adrenalin to kill her 3x over? In the cut I saw Clint injects it after disconnecting the ventilator.

    Also, I've heard it said by a few people that Churches tend to have trouble dealing with 'gray areas' like abortion, euthanasia etc. That they tend to pick one extreme rather than find a middle ground. Do you think that is a fair characterization?


  3. Isn't that just what propaganda is though, a slight misrepresentation of the facts to make someone look bad.

  4. I just got back to this blog/post and see that we have some comments, so let me address them:

    1) orthodox: I didn't say Eastwood (or his character in the film) could/should do it as his own bat, did I? No, I said after meeting with the medical staff and clergy AND seeing this as the will of the patient to not continue "extra-ordinary means" then it would be permissible to allow her to die a "natural" death. As rashnail said, the Eastwood character didn't do that either - he injected her with an overdose of adrenalin as well as cutting off the ventilator. This movie was just wrong in so many ways.

    2) rashnail: I agree with your comments. The Eastwood character in this film did not allow the victim to die naturally, he murdered her.

    3) Sekans: Yes, that's exactly at least one form of propaganda.

    Thanks for the comments!

    In JMJ,


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