November 20, 2011
You might have read that crossword puzzles delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
But have you heard that a brisk discourse about religion and politics with someone of an opposing opinion is the better way to buff up your brain cells and defeat dementia?
If true, Bill Moyers lives the cure.
He pursues all angles of any untouchable topic in his relentless resolve to examine, explore, expose and explain. The septuagenarian's personal Holy Grail - to see and record issues through fisheye journalism - will surely keep his brain muscles fleet and frisky as he quaffs from the fountain of youth.
In this two disc DVD package, God & Politics, Acorn Media assembles a collection of past PBS shows, dividing them into three segments - "The Kingdom Divided", "The Battle for the Bible", and "On Earth as It Is in Heaven". Moyers, an ordained Baptist minister, gently tills the contentious topics back to 1987.
...from the Reagan-Bush administrations' amalgam of Christian and anti-Communist proselytizers during the Iran-Contra conflict in Central America ...to the personal, political and fiscal consequences of televangelicals and their lavish churches.
The bonus DVD adds a more current chapter, "Is God Green?," which features a lively religious debate within the evangelical community over the Bible and God's verdant earth.
Watch born-again-Republicans and born-again-Republican-environmentalists argue trees, coalmines and the Bible.
Some believe that God bequeathed the globe to Adam and his progeny to use any way they wish. Others contend that Noah, by preserving the animal kingdom on the Ark, was the archetype for future custodians of God's creation. Or is dirty tap water in West Virginia and toxic floods waters in New Orleans just God's punishment for our behavior?
And for those folks who savor civility, Moyers wages war and peace at the table - with interviews. Christians, Muslims and atheists cover conflicts emanating from the cataclysmic 9/11.
God & Politics is a crash course for the next presidential elections, with religion shadowing every candidate. Without ever saying "Tea Party," the DVD is their story, too. As a man of faith, this self-proclaimed "advocate for dialogue" respectfully asks the questions and listens to the answers.
But why and who, you ask, has the time to revisit the Contra-Era or the later invasion of Iraq? Anyone who thinks history might repeat itself. The controversies are universal and ageless. Religion and politics were tearing apart America then, and religion and politics are threatening the world now.
So when is the optimal instant to watch Moyers? Straightaway, PDQ, promptly, pronto.
And by probing yesteryear's issues with Moyers, we keep our mental muscles young today, and hopefully keep our aging democracy fit for tomorrow.
The moral of this story? Mind the mindfulness of Moyers.
Recently the 77 year old Moyers admitted, "I have no skills for retirement." Luckily for all of our graying matter, he returns to PBS this January with the debut of his weekly Moyers and Company.
Studio: Acorn Media
Cast: Bill Moyers, Wendy Kaminer and Sister Joan Chittiste
Length: 325 minutes, 2 discs
Rated: Not rated
Aspect ratio: 4:3