Friday, October 1, 2010
Eat Pray Love
Ross Douthat wrote a great review of the movie Eat Pray Love in the September 20, 2010 issue of National Review. Here is a brief summary:
Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is a memoir about her travels to Rome, India, and Bali in search of personal fulfillment. The movie version now stars Julia Roberts. Is this just another chick-flick/travelogue? Not at all. This book and film captures what is perhaps the most popular religion in America today, the religion of self. Suffering in an unhappy marriage because her husband is not as successful as he should be and won't accompany her on her journalist travel tours, Elizabeth falls on her knees and prays for deliverance.
What does God want her to do to be happy? First He wants her to divorce her husband. Then God wants her to have an affair that gets messy. Then God wants her to travel around the world eating, meditating and forgiving herself. Then God wants her to fall in love with a handsome, divorced Brazilian.
It is amazing how everything God "wants her to do" is the same thing a spoiled, self-indulgent woman with too much money would want to do. She finally arrives at this astounding theological conclusion: "God dwells within me, as me." One hundred years ago G.K. Chesterton spoke to this kind of religion: "Of all the horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within."