A recent article in the Christian Post tells of some anxious atheists among the executive producers of Downton Abbey who, "have instructed Alistair Bruce, (the historical advisor) not to incorporate any religious element into the series."
Bruce says, "In essence you hardly ever see a table that isn't already sat at...because no one was ever allowed to see a grace being said...And I would never allow them to sit down without having said grace." (Because it would be so historically inaccurate to portray most of the people as atheists.)
Also, "The executives even insist that the table napkins should always be folded in a triangle and not like a bishop's mitre. The historical advisor said the people panic when they try to 'do anything religious...' "
This reminds me of the scene in 1984 where the poet Ampleforth is imprisoned because, in his effort to translate a poem from Rudyard Kipling into "Newspeak" (a language created for mind control), he left the word "God" at the end of a line. Such a sin is unforgivable under Big Brother's reign.
Though it's frightening to think what life will be like if people like the executive producers at Downton Abbey are allowed to make laws instead of TV shows, I do pity them.
What an impoverished mental and emotional world they must live in as they try to convince themselves that nothing exists beyond what can be seen.
The thing that's most pitiful is the irony and sheer silliness of their efforts. What is Downton Abbey about? It's about the value of human beings and human relationships. It's about love and service, justice and morality. It's about death and pain, and the incorrigible hope that says neither will win in the end. In other words, it's about God.
And this is not just rhetoric. Try considering the importance of these things in a person's life. What is more important to us than love, justice, morality, and hope? What would be the quality of our lives without them?
Now, try to conceive any meaning in these if there is no One to ultimately vindicate them, and if we will have no conscious existence after death to know that vindication. In other words, try to conceive of a love that will come to an end, and a justice that will never be served. A love that will come to an end is not love; a justice that will never be served is not justice. Try as we may, we cannot get away from the Theological Necessity. The attempt is like trying to find alternatives to blood and air.
With this in mind, those executive producers are like a man with an insane phobia of water floating with ten other people on a raft in the Pacific. He plugs his eyes, ears, and nose, and forbids everyone else to say anything about water. But even then he's got to find some way to explain the constant rise and fall of the raft.