Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yearning for Intelligent Celebrities

I once heard Alex Trebek of Jeopardy fame on the radio. He was speaking to the National Press Club, and what stood out to me was how smart and eloquent he was, not just "another pretty face."

But there are plenty of pretty faces out there who probably ought to keep their traps shut. They may be good actors, but they certainly can say stupid things (so can I, but I manage to stay out of the magazines).

Case in point: Jodie Foster, as interviewed in the latest(?) edition of Entertainment Weekly (thanks to Friendly Atheist for profiling this on his own blog). Check out this quote from p. 41:

Are you religious?

No, I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don’t believe in God. We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, ”Are we Jewish?” or ”Are we Catholic?” I say, ”Well, I’m not, but you can choose when you’re 18. But isn’t this fun that we do seders and the Advent calendar?”
An atheist who loves religion and practices rituals for "fun." I haven't read the article, but from this risible quote, it appears this portrayer of tough women has marshmallow convictions under that steely exterior. What good is it being an atheist if you're going to practice religious rituals and tell your kids they can choose their own beliefs when they're 18? What good would it be to call oneself a "Christian" and participate in Ramadan, or a Muslim and celebrate Easter? For that matter, what kind of parenting is it that cares so little about guiding children regarding life's most important issue?

It seems to me that whatever you're going to be, you ought to be it, and stop playing around. That naive dreamer Jesus said something along those lines: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9.23).


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  2. Read the article. It gets better, especially when she comments on Dakota Fanning.