Media Musings-Movies Philomena

I have had this movie on my to-watch list for some time now.  One of our patients mentioned what a great movie it was which motivated me to follow through and watch the movie.  I had no idea it was based on a true story.
The story is about an elderly woman who is searching for her son.  When she was a young woman in the 1950's in Ireland she became pregnant out of wedlock.  The church and the people of that time did not support a woman in this situation...they would condemn them. (My question is what about the guy?  Why does he get off scot-free? ) Philomena was disowned by her father and sent to work for an order of nuns in a convent and forced to labor in the Magdalene Laundries. 

Many of the young pregnant girls sent to the convent died in childbirth along with their babies.  Many lost their babies to forced adoptions.  These young girls/woman had no control, they were like slaves with no rights.  This is Philomena's attempt to find her son with the assistance of a BBC correspondent who became aware of her story.

It is sad to me when those who represent the church do not abide by the beliefs on which the church was founded things such as grace, truth, empathy, honesty, love, compassion. Abuse can be seen in church history throughout all time and is still seen today both institutionally and individually. When you think back you can easily see this abuse during the Crusades for instance. The KKK used religion as an excuse to abuse innocent people. The list, I am sure goes on and on. It is probably seen in all religions.

I have talked to many hurt by the harsh treatment they have received from people in the church.  I too have been on the receiving end of negative words by leaders in the church. Words that have brought me to tears. 

(One example would be my husband who was a pastor for nearly 20 years. He abandoned me after 37 years of marriage.  Breaking his vow, not only to me but to God,  as though it meant nothing. He did the opposite of his teachings, including dating married women plus other things that he would have heavily condemned from the pulpit. He was not who he seemed)

Many would say.  Don't you question God?  Why would God allow this to happen?  I don't know why God allows things to happen and yes I do ask him why sometimes.  My guess would be because He gave us free will. 

I need God in my life.  I need his teachings.  They have and continue to help me through difficulties in my life.  I trust God.  Do I trust the church?  Not really.  It is made up of people, some good, some not so good.  One person I know described the church as a hospital with many patients. Am I attending a church now?  No, but I know I need to and I will keep looking. 

I remember learning many years ago that we should not judge God based on those who claimed to be Christians.  My first lesson in that regard was when the Pastor, my father-in-law, was found to be cheating on his wife.  Sound familiar?  Like father like son? Came as a huge shock and disappointment to me as a young Christian.   My father who was a member of this little church actually left the church because of it.  He blamed God for this indiscretion.  He later began watching TV evangelists in his quest for God.  He donated money and then found out this pastor was cheating on his wife too.  Not a good example.  Not a legacy you want to leave behind.  My dad was able to reconnect with God, but it was not through the church.

So what does Philomena have to say about her faith even in the midsts of such abuse of power in her life?

"The story it tells has resonated with people not because it’s some mockery of ideas or institutions that they’re in disagreement with. This is not a rally cry against the church or politics. In fact, despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith."

Thanks for standing strong in your faith Philomena.
Yours is a legacy to be proud of.
I suggest if you have not watched Philomena or read the book, you should do so.


Popular Posts