Onward Christian Penguins


(Photo snatched from National Geographic.)

A story you almost must see to believe:

On the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com, an opponent of abortion wrote that the movie “verified the beauty of life and the rightness of protecting it.”

At a conference for young Republicans, the editor of National Review urged participants to see the movie because it promoted monogamy. A widely circulated Christian magazine said it made “a strong case for intelligent design.”

The movie is “March of the Penguins,” and of all the reactions it has evoked, perhaps the most surprising is its appeal to conservatives. They are hardly its only audience; the film is the second highest grossing documentary of all time, behind “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

But conservative groups have turned its stirring depiction of the mating ordeals of emperor penguins into an unexpected battle anthem in the culture wars.

“March of the Penguins,” the conservative film critic and radio host Michael Medved said in an interview, is “the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing.”

Speaking of audiences who feel that movies ignore or belittle such themes, he added: “This is the first movie they’ve enjoyed since ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ This is ‘The ‘Passion of the Penguins.'”

Michael of Americablog has an alternative take on “what you actually see/learn in the film”:

*Emperor penguins mate once, guard the egg until the baby is hatched and then — once the season is over — never see each other or the child again.

*Emperor penguins stand by and don’t raise a flipper when their children are attacked by a predator — one baby penguin is killed and taken away (survival of the fittest, kiddo!), a scene that makes the movie a tad too graphic for young and sensitive children.

*An emperor penguin who loses her egg is seen trying to steal the egg of another.

*Emperor penguins take a different lover every mating season.

The Revealer wonders if the Intelligent Designer in whose image we are made is a female penguin. (I just realized that my “header” is pretty close to theirs, but I can’t give it up.)

Well, hey, as long as we’re all open to discussing continuities in human and animal behavior… (By the way, in that book you’ll find discussions of “penguins” on these pages.) For that matter, perhaps we can all revisit this story?

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