Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Stoning of Soraya M.

I don’t know what crawled up ole’ Jim Caviezel’s crotch to play any kind of role in this despicably barbaric movie. If he was intending on converting some folks than he did a piss poor job of it. This movie was another key factor in my decision to make a hasty exit from the faith. Anyone who has cracked open the Old Testament can come to the inevitable conclusion that god ordered the vehement act of stoning. I guess throwing rocks at people was as inventive and merciful as god knew how to be back in the OT.

I think that I would only preserve such an act on the worst of criminals. Criminals that have done some seriously demented shit like Jeffrey Dahmer, or Adolf Hitler. But, god just finds reason to do it for the most idiotic things. Lovers playing bump, bump before marriage would get stoned. People having a little gay sex would get stoned. People getting raped and forgetting to yell out in the process would get stoned. Someone being a wayward son "beyond reprieve" would get stoned. You get the picture.

Anyway, if you want to see what stoning really is all about than you’ve got to watch this movie. The film director, Cyrus Nowrasteh, does a tremendous job of making the stoning scene as authentic as possible. SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!!! For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, Soraya M. is about a woman in an Iranian village who is wrongly accused of making advances on another man who recently lost his wife. Soraya M.’s husband is an adulterous lunatic that plots against Soraya which eventually leads to her grizzly demise.

The death scene itself takes a good thirty minutes of time to unfold. Soraya walks down death row as onlookers stare at her with looks of haughty disapproval. Some Children are restrained behind fences and walls so they can’t see the event as it unfolds. Meanwhile, men are digging a hole in the ground deep enough to conceal Soraya’s body from the waist down. Some less restrained Children collect rocks that are of adequate size to hurt but not kill the person with a single blow, as was practiced in Biblical times. Other children sit and click the rocks together as Soraya proceeds in her death march, which serves as an eerie way of heightening the scenes sense of extreme desperation and unyielding conclusion. A parameter is set around the hole with chalk. The person is given mercy if they are able to somehow get out of the hole and pass that outer circle of chalk. But, the odds are heavily stacked against them.

First, the victim’s hands are tied with rope behind their back. Second, they drop them into the hole and fill it up with dirt so mobility is completely diminished from the waist down. Lastly, they use the rocks to deliver blow after blow which further immobilizes the victim. As in Biblical times, the first person to throw the stone is the parent. Soraya’s father casts the first rock, but it falls feebly short. Soraya’s father calls her all sorts of demeaning names in the process and denounces her as his daughter. Never fear though, Soraya’s husband is there to fulfill his god given obligations. Like a pitcher on the mound, he lines up, cocks and fires the first blow which hits Soraya squarely on the forehead. Her blood begins streaming down as it drips off her nose and onto the indifferent earth below. Cheers from the fellow men can be heard, but a gasp from the women seems to balance the scene. One woman in particular, Soraya’s aunt, pleads with the men to stop the stoning. This woman seems to have the only sense of decency in the story.

Nevertheless, the execution must continue; after all, it was mandated by god. Now is where it gets real interesting. Soraya’s two children are asked to join in the macabre event and throw a stone of their own. The boys' hesitate for a bit, starring back and forth at each other, but ultimately give in to the cravings of the mob. They each throw a stone, and both stones hit the mark. The boys’ heads turn downcast afterward. They seem to understand that this is completely immoral in every sense of the word. It’s sad when children understand how ridiculous something is but not god.

Soraya, now bleeding profusely from various regions of her head, screams out and pleads for mercy once again. But ultimately, god has the say so and the crowd demands that god’s judgment be carried out. The rocks start coming in bunches now and Soraya is starting to fade. The procession of rocks stops briefly for someone to check on Soraya’s condition. Her husband walks up to her and see’s her eye open and roll. He screams, “the bitch is still alive!”. More rocks soon find their mark and Soraya is nothing but a bloody heap at this point. The event draws to a close and we are taken to a month or so later where Soraya’s aunt digs up her bones.

Needless to say, god commanded this nonsense in the OT and saw it as appropriate punishment for people who screwed before marriage or even worked on the wrong day of the week. Sorry, I can’t be a part of this. Not when my morality is superior and Joe Smo’s morality is superior to god's. Nobody I know would wish this upon their worst enemy; let alone, somebody who masturbated too hard. In closing, this was something that I had to see to believe and it really put some anger in my heart against a fictitious god--silly I know--that not only kills babies, but finds it appropriate to kill others like homosexuals in a manner such as this.

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