Father Brown Stories: “The Hammer of God” More Modern Propaganda from the Left

Kunk Fu ZoKung Fu Zu
What is it about the Left Wing Artistsphere that impels the inhabitants to insert their Leftist life view into every corner of the entertainment business? Why is it they must take classic period pieces which by definition are about time and place, and deform them with the latest modern fetish whether it be the hatred of religion or promotion of homosexuality? Why is everything political? I am not sure I have the answers to these questions, but it is undeniable that this is too often the case.

I just watched, on PBS, the first episode of the most recent Father Brown series. Being a traditionalist, I was not pleased with the product.  In the latest version, Father Brown appears to be ensconced in a parish somewhere in the English countryside. In the original stories, Father Brown was a peripatetic fellow, who while living in London, was tied to no particular church.

Physically, the actor portraying Father Brown is also not very much like the man created by G.K. Chesterton. The actor was neither short enough, nor dumpy enough, nor physically benign enough.  But these faults are nothing in comparison to the hatchet job the new writer has done on the original story.

Chesterton’s “Hammer of God” takes place in a small English village where two brothers of an old aristocratic family reside. The older brother is a real English “rotter”; a cruel, foul-mouthed, skirt-chasing, philandering degenerate who did not care a jot for others and pursued nothing more than his own hedonistic pleasure. His brother was an overly pious vicar with aesthetic inclinations.

The story is built around the older brother’s violent death by a hammer from the local smithy. In turns out, that while standing on the church belfry, the vicar simply dropped the hammer straight down on his brother’s head. The deciding factor in the murder is that, as seen from that height and angle, the older brother who was wearing a green hat, looked like a disgusting green bug. It seems the vicar had spent too much time praying at elevated altitudes and began to believe he was God thus had the right to exterminate such vermin.

In the latest TV version there are still two aristocratic brothers, one a rotter and one a vicar. But, in this version the rotter  stands away from the belfry wall and his vicar brother throws the hammer in an arc, through the air.  The old rotter again, gives up the ghost.

However, in the new version, instead of thinking he is God, the vicar is a prig who says that given the distance his brother was from the belfry, it must have been “God’s Will” that the hammer struck and killed him. And oh, I forgot to mention, he killed his brother because he had a homosexual relationship.

Now I may be overly sensitive to these things, but words have meanings and I find these changes to be important and indicative of the propaganda campaign being waged by the Left.

One might ask, “What, is so disturbing about these small differences?” Just this, in the first version the killer is unambiguously guilty of committing the sin of murder. Additionally, he is puffed up with pride and could be accused of being blasphemous. Clearly, the killer alone is guilty of his sins and acting contrary to his religious beliefs.

In the 2013 version, God is culpable. On top of that, the crime is committed not because of the older brother is such an all round rotter, but specifically because he has a homosexual relationship. There you have a Left wing three-fer.  A religious fanatic, kills a homosexual because it is God’s will. How much better can it get for the modern propagandists of the Left?

Note the subtle way the present script writer changes the vicar’s attitude i.e. between a man thinking he is God and a man blaming God, to undermine and criticize religion. Note the ham-fisted way the writer uses violence against a homosexual to stress the intolerance of the vicar and by extension religion. Note the way religion is to blame instead of the vicar sinning against his religion.

Was the anti-religious slant of the 2013 version simply the chance outcome of a more contemporary re-write of a well know story? We all know better than that. I am sick of such propaganda. And I have decided to point out such agitprop every time I encounter it.  There is certainly no general outcry for transforming beloved classics in a way to push homosexuality and condemn religion at the same time.

In such ways do the modern Left undermine our culture. At least, they should come up with their own “classics” and not fool me into viewing such rubbish by using the name of a great writer. • (2659 views)

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11 Responses to Father Brown Stories: “The Hammer of God” More Modern Propaganda from the Left

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I have an omnibus edition of the Father Brown stories so I’ve presumably read “The Hammer of God”, though I don’t remember it specifically. The main TV version I’m familiar with is the old series on Mystery! with Kenneth More as Father Brown. They did the stories right, reflecting the good Father’s religiosity as well as his particular brilliance. One thing I definitely recall from the stories was his emphasis on rational thought. (“You attacked reason. That’s always bad theology,” he said to Flambeau in the first story, when the latter was still a thief and disguised as a priest.) Perhaps my favorite story (as well as Ellery Queen’s) would be “The Sign of the Broken Sword”, though I first heard of him from a reference to “The Invisible Man’ in Anthony Boucher’s Rocket to the Morgue. But I certainly would agree in deprecating anyone who tries to hijack the basic meaning an author provides in a story.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I admit to the sin of inserting my politics into things, including movie reviews. But mostly it is to rebut the insertion into the arts of stupid Leftism. And I will be frank. I think Leftism is stupid. It’s the moral-political-philosophical equivalent of finger painting.

    We are in a culture war between those who espouse personal liberty (restrained and tempered by the belief in objective standards) and those who, well, believe a lot of Kindergarten stuff.

    Are there bad priests? Yes. Are there good homosexuals? Of course. But if you are of the Left, you cannot possibly treat people as individuals. You see them as political symbols in some type of class struggle: Religion. Bad. Homosexuals. Good.

    That’s the message. And most of the “useful idiots” who have long absorbed this propaganda cannot begin to tell you why this should be so. But they have been indoctrinated into this belief system, a belief system just as thick as any religion, the only real difference being that the “Progressive” adherents won’t admit to their various Kindergarten-ish articles of faith.

    We’re in this culture war, and I won’t blink. I don’t mind that others are in this war too, if on the wrong side. I can’t blame them for trying to proselytize their belief system. The difference comes in just how dishonest or mindlessly unselfaware the cult on the Left is. You’re dealing with generally cranky, dogmatic people who do no think they even have a belief system. They’ve been taught that what they believe is the most natural thing in the world and to think otherwise is to have something wrong with you.

    We should engage this cultural war. In fact, I was thinking just the other day of adding another primary department, along with politics, religion, essays, book reviews, and movie reviews, and that would be “The Culture Wars.” That, after all, is what we are in. The politics of it is to some extent both a sideshow and the means for our enemies to implement their statist religion.

    And as we see from Timothy’s fine article this morning, the Left is inherently about elitism. The world has always suffered from those who would lord themselves over us. America, in part, was founded to get away from that. And you don’t just have the lords. Along with the lords you have the various vassals of the Left, including government employees and all those Oprah-fied people out there who feel “put upon” and thus are tempted to take their wounded pride, self-esteem, or just their well-honed grievances and identify with that elite who they hope to make their patrons.

    The normal free man — the honest and decent hard-working American — is a declining group of people. We fight for this side. We fight against the libtards, the know-nothing “Progressive” vassal wannabes, and various other contemptible people, including many of the insufferable lords in the Republican Party.

    This is America. We are not supposed to emulate Old Europe.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Properly speaking, liberalism is individualistic and leftism is collectivist. What you point out — that modern liberalism treats people as interchangeable group members — is a reminder that what we call liberalism has actually been entirely subsumed by the collectivist Left.
      This collectivism has several consequences. One (which we can see in the current shutdown crisis) is that individual people are of no more importance to the Left than are the individual cells of a body. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs” is a standard leftist trope. (Incidentally, in the novel Don Quixote USA, at one point Los Descalzos’ organizer, Eduardo, notes that Arthur Peabody Goodpasture is the sort of guy who joins a revolution talking about omelets — and really means “eggs”. Later, Arthur points out that there’s a difference between breaking eggs and breaking people.) Leftists are so busy caring about The People in the abstract that they have no time to care for people as individuals.
      The other is that collectivism, by placing the group over the individual, has no room for individual thought, lest the individual dissent from the group. Groupthink is a danger to any group, but it’s pretty much inherent on the Left. Hence not only the totally closed mind which is an ironic hallmark of modern liberalism, but also their virulent hostility to dissent.
      Of course, leftist collectivism also makes it easier to rely on group identity politics, since everyone is looked at solely as members of groups.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, there is that collectivist nature to the Left. Let’s remember the great hardships that millions of immigrants willingly sought in order to have a better shot at life in America. I’ve read books about the Pilgrims and other early settlers. I’m a pansy compared to them. I couldn’t suffer all that they did for something (freedom and opportunity) that they valued so much.

        Today we are all out of whack. I constantly am hearing people (and often have to catch myself) bitching and blowing all out of proportion the smallest inconveniences. We have become a culture of ninnies. I hope everyone has read that fairytale, “The Princess and the Pea,” because that is what we have become. We can feel (or claim to feel) that single pea at the bottom of ten layers of mattress and what would be considered luxurious comforts to anyone else are considered intolerable. That’s exactly what we have done to our health care system, for instance.

        So, yes, collectivism is a big part of the Left. No doubt about it. And I maintain, as always, that there are the two tiers: The true-believer Obama or Hillary types at the top and the legions of useful idiots who think it’s all about “saving the planet” or some such nonsense, who are at the bottom.

        But even given this arrangement, the collectivism we are racing toward isn’t ideological purity, per se. And although those true believers and sociopathic power brokers of the Left would build gulags if they could, the kind of collectivism that people are pining for isn’t based upon Jew hatred or something like that (although there are aspects in conservative hatred). The collectivism of today is based upon all of us being the lead character in “The Princess and the Pea.” We all want to be taken care of. We want every rough spot smoothed out. This kind of America is no longer America. As Mark Steyn says, we’ll still have the same zip codes, but it will be (or is) a different place.

        And a main aspect of this collectivist America is the feminist/feminine aspect. We’re to be mothered to death instead of the kind of collectivist fascism (the “hard” kind) that lines you up against a while and shoots you. You could argue the latter is quicker and the former is the death by a thousand cuts.

        Given just how deeply Americans are hooked (have been hooked) on entitlements, it’s doubtful that most can see beyond their own corruption. And that has been my experience. America is dead and dying to be replaced by a supposedly benevolent nanny. The problem is, this is a stupid and spendthrift nanny, even assuming the benevolence (which I, of course, never do).

        The Utopian nicey-nice dreams will not ever be realized. The only hope for America in regards to organizing once again under the idea of liberty is if all those Princesses out there become so perturbed by the hardships that socialism will always produce that they reject it. But even then, it requires that there be an opposition party in place and ready that is not as emasculated as John Bohner and the Republican Establishment.

  3. LibertyMark says:

    Q: What is it about the Left Wing Artistsphere that impels the inhabitants to insert their Leftist life view into every corner of the entertainment business?
    A: Government money.
    It is, after all, PBS. Perhaps an antecedent question is, what should be the role of Government (i.e. taxpayer money) in the “Arts”?

    Given the political climate of shutdown, debt ceiling, closed war memorials (but not Camp David or presidential golf courses), isn’t there an easy answer to PBS and the like?

    Take a good idea, publicly fund it, and within a couple iterations it is corrupt. Every.Single.Time. My favorite example of this was the NASA jizya to Islam. It has been replaced for me by the National Park Service website showing videos of how women under Islam are more free than any other.

    What’s the difference between PBS and Pravda? Answer: very little, except in degree. Give it time; that difference will narrow, too.

    Post Script: while writing this, something came in on this very topic. Seems the Shutdown has no effect on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – parent of PBS and NPR – because they just received $445M in taxpayer money.

    Defund PBS and NPR. The time is now.

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      I’d add that the other reason the Left injects politics into everything is that when you are trying to institute a planned society, any dissent is fatal; that is, everyone must agree to the plan, or at least not openly disagree. Therefore, no opposition to Leftist ideas can be tolerated (hence their zeal to suppress free speech), and those ideas must be inculcated in every available venue, from government-run schools to the arts.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The goal of the Fabian Society in Britain was to take control of the various media and education, giving them control of the sources of information, and use this control to bring about “democratic” socialism because the voters would have no other alternative — as far as they were allowed to be aware.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung, so I notice that gutenberg.org has several Father Brown eBooks available for free download. Which one do you suggest to begin with?

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      I would start at the beginning and read “The Blue Cross”. If you like what you read, I would simply download the complete Father Brown Mysteries Collection. There are something like 50 stories.

  5. Kurt NY says:

    Is it possible for anything to come out of Hollywood these days without homosexuality being involved in some way? A few decades ago, everything seemingly came down to some ex-Vietnam era soldier doing something despicable, now no movie is complete without some virtuous gay individual being put upon. And, of course, being a Christian is by definition to be an unreasoning, unintelligent bigot. Coming from the land of the casting couch, questionable accounting practices to screw investors, unpaid interns for slave labor, and directors getting their rocks off by requiring nubile females to perform topless for them for no discernable non-prurient reason, such endless moralizing and preaching at me is getting really tiresome.

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