We’ve got a lot to cover today so let’s jump right in!
God’s Not Dead
The film God’s Not Dead has enjoyed a limited release so far in the continental US. I live in a small town in “flyover country” and the closest screening when it opened was three hours’ drive (180 mi / 290 km away).
Here is the glory of the American free market system, the idea of supply and demand. People called the local theater. Many, many people asked for the film. Two days ago they thought there would be just one screening on a Thursday evening. Within 48 hours demand increased so much that the film has been scheduled for a week-long run in our local theater.
I will have the review up as soon as I have a chance to see the film.
So why break the mold and talk about a movie that I haven’t seen yet? Because the very fact that the film is going to appear in my town is newsworthy all on its own.
Christians in America and Europe are living in an increasingly ABC society (Anything But Christian). Schools build prayer rooms for Muslims to use and suspend students and fail papers that speak about Jesus in public. America us unique among world countries in that it was founded in large part by people seeking religious and political freedom. That vision has been greatly debated over the past sixty years, but Americans are still largely Christian.
Christians have the right to pay money for entertainment tailored to them. They have a right to vote in a democracy for a government according to their values, no less than anyone else.
This film is coming to my town not because we attacked anyone, called names, or cried foul. We simply stated, repeatedly and en masse, that we would like this film. Businesses exist to make money, and there was money to be made, so a film that is intent on encouraging and supporting our faith and culture will be here.
Noah will be here the same day, and one of the joys of attempting life as a media critic is to go and see something that I am nearly certain will make me chew iron filings and spit nails.
There is a large Christian audience here in the USA, and for as long as there have been Christians there have been Christianity as a quick path to power. (No, seriously, read the story of Simon the Magus sometime in Acts chapter 8 sometime.) Money carries a lot of power.
So Paramount pictures has put together a film on the life of Noah. I don’t have an immense problem with movies, and I know that some license has to be taken. Prince of Egypt, The 10 Commandments, and Ben Hur took license and came out with largely entertaining and spiritually uplifting stories. The films don’t even have to be centered on my particular brand of Christianity, as the social-justice idealized The Robe is a good film overall.
But some arrogant atheist twit named Darren Aronofsky thinks that he can get away with making a movie to sell to Christians while spitting in their faces. Check out this blerb from the The Telegraph:
Noah’s director Darren Aronofsky, a self-described atheist who made the Oscar-nominated hit The Black Swan, has described the movie as is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” and called Noah “the first environmentalist”. According to one early review, the name “God” is not actually spoken at any stage.
You want to make and sell a movie about a cherished portion of my religion, in fact of every major religion we have ever found in the world, fine. If you feel you need to add a detail or expand on a theme in order to get it done, I can understand that.
But you expect me to pay money when you are proud of how far from the Bible your bible story is? You want to yank out my religion and shove it full of your own worship of the perishing earth instead, all right.
But then you think I have some need to pay you for it? Do you think I’m a whipped dog to crawl and lick your hands while you kick it, just because you can put it on screen? Am I so starved for the merest mention of faith that I will swallow it no matter how ruined?
God commands me to treat you with love, to be patient and kind to you. So, no Christian call for your head to be chopped off, or burned in effigy like other religions I notice you don’t have the spinal column to exploit.
And I, at least, will pay to see your film. Then I will hustle right to this keyboard and let people know exactly what I think of it.
I’m not Catholic, but the Pope made a good move turning down repeated invitations to watch this piece of deliberate blasphemy.
Crowe has also addressed the criticisms, saying that the film was not intended to be a “Sunday school story” and would challenge viewers’ understanding of the Bible.
In other words, this film is meant to change my faith, it is a deliberate attempt to make what I believe, what you believe. “Atheist” director Darren Aronofsky has every right to make a propaganda piece for his true religion, and like most people who know their ideas cannot stand up to direct examination he can wrap it up in another, better worldview’s memes like poison in candy, but I am going to see this film to give every possible reason for Mr. Aronofsky’s next film to be a bomb.
It is an openly admitted attack on what I believe and love. While it is my sincere hope that Mr. Aronofsky comes to a saving faith in Jesus and we get to hang out in heaven for a long time, as long as he sends out movie Golaiths there is no lack of Christians with the discernment and conviction to play David.