Moore and mammon, revisited

michael-moore_0031Who says civility is dead, or that America is on the fast track to a new Idiocracy-style dark ages? I was tickled pink by the 17 comments (so far) responding to Wednesday's post on "Capitalism, Catholicism and Michael Moore."

Christina and others debated a phrase in The New York Times Moore profile stating that there was a long tradition of social justice and activism in the American Catholic church "at least until Pope John Paul II."

Jane and others explored the meaning and merits of capitalism, socialism, and free enterprise.

And Cheryl unsuccessfully tried to steer the discussion toward "life issues." (Jerry spoke for many of us when he wrote: "Personally I don't think that issue has to be part of every news story, important as it is.")

My hope and prayer was that journalists would drill a little bit deeper during their interviews with Moore during his current media blitz so we could better connect the dots between Moore's theology and his activism.

Some GetReligion regulars found insights in Moore's CNN interviews with Larry King and Wolf Blitzer. I found more of what I was seeking in Fortune's interview, which ran with this big, bold headline: "Michael Moore: Capitalism is anti-Jesus."

The article quotes Moore's conclusion in "Capitalism: A Love Story:"

"Capitalism is an evil and you can't regulate evil. You have to replace it with something that is good for everyone."

And reporter Scott Cendrowski asked a simple question that evoked an intriguing answer:

How is this film different from your previous ones?

I talk about my religion, which I have never talked about. I think religion should be a private matter. But I thought it was important to this discussion. I'm not a proselytizer, but I do have very strong beliefs and these beliefs were formed not in the school of Karl Marx, but in the Catholic Church. Priests and nuns taught me these lessons of how we're to treat each other, how we're to treat the poor, and how we're to divide up the pie.

I'm one of the few people on the left who's been fortunate to have access to a mainstream audience. I'm always thinking about ways to communicate with them and stay true to myself, because I am them, and I come from Middle America. I have very conservative values that go contrary to the fictional character that's been created of me by Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and the Fox News Channel. I've been with the same woman for 30 years, I don't invest my money in anything but a savings account.

This is getting interesting! In addition to Catholicism and capitalism, Moore is now raising questions about what's good and evil, what makes a true conservative, and so much more.

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