In last Saturday’s New York Times, Anand Giridharadas wrote an interesting article about Slumdog Millionaire and the American Dream of self-reliance, the full text of which can be found here:

“…the film’s freshness lies not just in how the West sees India. It lies, too, in how Indians see themselves. It portrays a changing India, with great realism, as something India long resisted being: a land of self-makers, where a scruffy son of the slums can, solely of his own effort, hoist himself up, flout his origins, break with fate.

And that may explain the movie’s strange hold over Americans. It channels to them their own Gatsbyesque fantasy of self-invention, and yet places it far enough away as to imply that it is now really someone else’s fantasy. Indeed, after the havoc wreaked on ordinary self-reliant Americans by the impenetrable workings of the markets, after the go-it-alone trading of Bernard L. Madoff, after even President Bush enlisted the government to rescue private markets with a huge bailout, the mythology of the self-reliant self is under siege in America to a degree not seen in a very long time.”

The “gospel” of self-reliance has been a great hindrance to the Gospel of God’s grace for sinners on these shores. Here’s hoping that it isn’t exported!