2014: The Year of Religious Film

I just did a review of the latest in this year’s interesting string of films that are all about religion.  All of these films seem to have a defining feature – they are almost all about how religion is so persecuted.  Neat fact, that was the title of the last film I reviewed – Persecuted.  A film that is so blatant with its message that it even got Gretchen Carlson to come on and do a fake news story about how oppressed Christians are.  I am getting a sense that the Christian-right of this country is feeling a little lost lately.  How do I know this?  Well, let’s just look at the highlight films in this year of Christian propaganda.

The first is “God’s Not Dead.”  A film about how a good Christian boy goes to college and finds out that it’s a liberal bastion of atheism and that any professor who teaches there is an atheist.  Yeah, that sounds accurate, right?  It is a film that told the audience who is into it EXACTLY what they wanted to hear.  And in case that was too subtle for you, there are side-characters all going through their own story arcs with issues that the film believes it also has to jackhammer into your brain.  Oh?  What’s that?  All that still too subtle for you?  Well, you’re an idiot, but let’s not get hung up on the negatives.  The film ends with a bunch of news articles showing how the Christians in this country are so oppressed.  I know, right?  That level of subtlety is just masterful.

Next up is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a while – “Heaven’s For Real.”  Based on a book by the same name, written by a pastor whose son went through pretty much what the main character of the film did, it tells the story of a boy who nearly dies and sees heaven.  He comes back and tells his daddy all about it, thus incentivising him to bring his relationship to God even closer.  It was apparently falling on hard times.  Again, just so subtle!  I have a friend whose psycho religious mother took her to see it for Mother’s Day.  She talked about how her mother became so enamored with the film, to the point of tears.  Both of us found that funny because it shows how the people who these films were designed for, they love them!  Not in the “well, it is their belief” sort of way.  This is to the point where they are making it into an obsession.  This is everything to them.

And finally, there is “Persecuted.”  This film is even less subtle than the other two.  If the faux-Clinton and the EVIL mission to unite all the faiths as a means of making world peace is too subtle for you, then Gretchen Carlson conducting a fake interview where she asks why the good preacher man is fighting his fight and how the true, Tea Party Christians are being oppressed might give you your fix.  This was a movie that exists for the singular purpose of telling Tea Party Christians that they are right and that they are being brought to heel under the boot of liberal atheist douchebags like me.  Oh, and it’s also really racist, having the good preacher man be seduced and exploited by a sultry black girl.  Yeah…that’s weird.  Just putting that out there.

So why are all these religious films coming out?  Why is defending religion becoming so popular?  Why is the conservative-Christian movement so desperate to feel like they are being oppressed somehow?  Well, I think it all comes down to the fact that the non-religious and atheists (like me) are becoming so many and so outspoken.  Where once the non-religious and atheist crowd was simply a funny little addendum to the quirks of life, we are now part of the many.  We are a crowd that has grown to the point where we can’t be ignored anymore.  Wave after wave of people is saying that they are either unaffiliated with no religion or not the Christian one.

Religion’s response to this was as messy as it was miscalculated.  They decided that they would go back to basics with the threats of hellfire and damnation.  But it didn’t work.  The people who weren’t religious kept being non-religious.  In fact, that just sent more people into our arms.  People were tired of being told how evil they are and how unworthy they are.  They wanted a live and let live approach.  If they lived that, why should they believe something else?  Instead of becoming more tolerant and open-minded, large chunks of religion in this country doubled-down on their bigotry and flaws, believing that the believers would be on their side.  However, it isn’t working, and the faithless keep coming.

I have not gotten on religion nearly as much as I originally did lately.  But this latest string of films and the growing outspoken religious crowd has lit a fire under my ass to preach my gospel of how religion is bullshit with renewed vigor.  Is that a good thing?  Maybe not.  We shall see.

In the meantime, the Tea Party right has made some hilarious films that are all worth watching, for the humor factor.  For real, you won’t regret it.  Enjoy.

Until next time, a quote,

If you believe that death takes you to an eternal paradise, why are you wearing a seatbelt?” -Doug Stanhope

Peace out,

Maverick

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