Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Go See Amazing Grace

Last night Mike and I saw the movie Amazing Grace. It was wonderful. Even though it only had one woman in it. I loved the issues it presented - the confluence of faith and action, the struggle against injustice, the effort to redeem past wrongs.

And I am newly in love with this man, William Wilberforce, who worked so unceasingly to outlaw the slave trade in England, created the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, reformed the prison system, and more. Early in the movie, he has to decide to become either a clergyman or a politician. His faith in God and wonder over nature lead him to the church, but his unique political abilities make him uniquely suited to ultimately win over parliament in the 20 year battle he waged against the slave trade.

At the end of the movie, I couldn't help but wonder about what horrible and terrible injustices are right in front of my face that I am unaware, or unconcerned about. That I am complicit in. In 200 years, I wonder, what common practices will be looked upon with abhorrance the way we look at slavery? Will it be raising animals to kill and eat them? Will it be the idea that humans have the right to keep out from certain lands other humans who want to migrate and move to a better life?

The song "Amazing Grace" is a refrain throughout the movie, written by an old sea captain of a slave ship who has come to bitterly regret his role in the business. And as a reviewer on NPR said, God give me the amazing grace to discover and work against the injustices that are blighting my world today.


Blogger john.white said...

The thing I worry about is our attitude towards slavery as something that we've conquered and is over and done with. I don't think it is. The diamond and garment industries both benefit and might even rely on slave labor in certain segments.

I mean, I hate slavery, but I sure don't want to spend more than $8 for a T-Shirt. :-(

3/18/2007 1:38 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Yes, good point. I've also heard of slavery still going on in India. Not to mention all the women that are trafficked into other countries to be prostitutes.

My thriftiness also conflicts with my ethics... My ultimate goal is to buy better made, non-sweatshop clothes, but just have much fewer of them.

3/18/2007 2:40 PM  
Blogger R. John said...

Say what you want about Mormons, but they may be the last people on earth wearing underwear not made by 12-year-olds sweating out 16-hour days somewhere in Asia (which is not to say that that's WHY they wear it, or that they think about it. But they should!)

3/18/2007 10:50 PM  
Blogger john.white said...

caroline: Yes, I didn't think about it, but there are sex workers who are slaves. In other countries and this country.

I wish there was a label that certified that the clothing wasn't made in a sweatshop. I can't imagine the clothing industry wants that.

3/19/2007 10:13 AM  

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