I can understand the conflict in Rodrigues’s head if his stomping could free others, but the others knew what they were getting into and they went not to stomp on Christ’s image. Jesus saved us by being tortured and thus, showed us how to save others’ souls indirectly, by example. “He that would lose his life for my sake will gain it” comes to mind. If Rodgrigues lost his life for Christ’s sake, he would have showed others the way to gain heaven. Instead he and Endo show people how to lose their souls in false compassion (the compassion would be commendable in itself, but it would lead to thinking that’d lead one to thoughts that would get you lost. The part about all of them being redeemed because we all are fallen adds insult to injury to God. Yeah, God can suffer and this movie will increase it. Jesus did not walk around glowing or the Pharisees would have respected him more and even convinced he was the Messiah and not have killed him and thus, no salvation for us. I think Endo should realize that.
The die for me and lose your family for my sake are not Western contrivances. Jesus and his closest were all Jews (a people of the East, albeit not Far-East). Judaism was not an Anglo-saxon religion and were very much passionate to the point of killing heretics–or having Romans do it. The Romans were actually more like the Japanese culture with which Endo seems to be conforming Catholicism. Maybe there were deaths for bad-mouthing Janus or other Roman deities, but I don’t believe it was like you HAD to believe and behave in a way to be Roman as Pontius Pilate said, “What is truth?”. I don’t believe they were zealous, but it’s hard to say if any ever died for Janus or Hera before they had an empire. To him. the natural, pragmatic way of deciding things was worthwhile–esp. to save his hide. If things got crazy again, Caesar would have his head, maybe. Actually, not all Jews were truly passionate about the truths of their faith as the Pharisees were concerned about another temple burning again by the Romans.
Thus, Endo seems to have reconciled an Eastern religion almost with Western sensibilities (except the West doesn’t have the group-think thing as badly where you don’t stand-out), as we see so ominously since the Lambeth Conference of the Anglicans, when they allowed contraception, as followed in-step by the mainline Protestant denominations and, to an non-formal way (as the Church could not, by its nature, allow contraception, but its leaders could do the small “t” tradition 2-step by having altar girls, dropping barriers, and Western ways of showing honor to our God, and making it a fuzzy, people-friendly-in-a-natural-way atmosphere), the Catholic Church’s leadership. “We must make peace with the culture as much as possible. There’s no point in making things nasty for our followers”. Apart from the Catholic Church, other communities, and definitely other religions, cannot right themselves if ever they were in the right (as the Jewish religion was before Christ).
Actually, they are supposed to lead us to our doom (in a white martyrdom kind of way, at least, as someone close to us will always have a problem with that) in this world as it is a brief stay and Heaven would be an eternal joy for those who are lead to a battle, not a bloody one with an NWO as evil manifest in this world, but with Evil himself, Satan. Obviously, of course, our leaders are not supposed to provoke the government on purpose to make a red (is that the bloody kind?) martyrdom happen for the sake of it happening for a good end (as, for one thing, it would put mortal sinners in a situation of damning themselves worse) but, if it comes to stepping on an image of Christ or death, that would be an appropriate time for such a leader’s decision. Individuals, of course, have the freedom God gave them to trample on Christ’s face, but God help 'em if they do (it would be a very bad idea to step on Mary’s, but I’m not sure if it makes you an apostate from the true Faith though her help would be pretty hard to get if unrepentant because of offending her and God, through her being offended). It may be a venial sin out of fallen human nature; but, as the Bible has it, it may not.
This movie is going to come at a bad time and as a bad example for Christians when the goddess-types and alien-adherents come to full power. This period of conservatism may be the “deep breath before the plunge (I was watching Lord of the Rings this weekend)”. Some think the President, despite Supreme Court nominees, is into the whole NWO thing and conspiracy theorists believe the elites are into something freaky. Witchcraft, a goddess type of religion, is gaining hold and some think some of the elites are pushing a Gaia kind of thing, though polluting nature with their jets doesn’t have me totally sold on that unless its a goddess to replace God or the patriarchal archetype He represents to the adherents of a religious feminism, which oddly has no problem with China’s aborting of little girls. God/goddess–Satan doesn’t care as long as people get tired of God in whatever way they see fit. It seems the Endos will have proved themselves a great help to his cause, if he goes militant.
I may be wrong. These are my impressions from reading the first article posted. How they saw themselves as fighting syncretism seems to display their madness borne of natural emotion-dominated thinking. It doesn’t sound Catholic to me.