Sunday, May 18, 2014
"God's Not Dead"- and neither are blatant straw men, or bad movies
I'm not going to do a review for this sad pile of muck calling itself a film- that's been done, and very well, by others already. I'll just point out a few things that really ticked me off about this junk, which I was forced to watch by a "friend" the other night-
1. Kevin Sorbo's philosophy professor character starts off by demanding that his class write "God Is Dead' on a piece of paper as a prerequisite to a passing grade. I don't care what school this is supposed to be- in the real world* this gets you canned, fast. Plus, only ONE kid in what looks to be a class of at least twenty refuses to instantly obey the teacher's commands. Come on- I get that the producers are trying to convince us that America is filled with Basically Heathen Spoiled Rotten On Their Way To Hell Only Interested In Drugs And Sex Kids, but in real life the population of that class would consist of
.....Other Christians as shocked and defiant as the star,
.....Jews and Muslims equally horrified at the command and determined not to obey, and
.....Students who realize that they didn't shell out thousands of dollars in tuition to be told what to believe by a philosophy professor (seriously, what does this have to do with philosophy?) In six years of Undergraduate and Graduate study in private and state Universities, I've never met a student who would write "God is Dead" just because a teacher told him to. Personally, I'd protest, and if that failed to achieve the desired result, I'd be having a discussion with the Dean of Students within the hour. I mean, come on.
2. Kevin Sorbo's character seems perfectly willing to toss out the class curriculum in order to challenge the One Brave Christian Student's belief in God. At this point, if I hadn't already asked Sorbo to sign my Drop Sheet, I'd be doing that now. Remember that stuff about not paying thousands of dollars to be told what to believe? I'm also not paying thousands of dollars to watch an alleged university professor debate the existence of God with one kid instead of, oh, I don't know, TEACHING THE FREAKING CLASS.
3. Instead of arguing the actual atheistic position on God- that "God exists" is a positive claim that is not supported by sufficient evidence- Sorbo's "Professor Radisson" repeatedly hides behind the Argument from Authority, ranting how unbelievable it is to him that a "mere Freshman" would question "great minds" like Stephen Hawking- if Hawking is an atheist, how could a Freshman argue for the existence of God? I mean, come on- it's this pimply nobody v. Stephen Hawking! Of course, this is shameless projection- it's actually Christians who commonly claim that arguing against the 1500-year old Bible- not to mention all these well-respected political leaders and scientists- is the height of absurdity (Albert Einstein believed in God, who are YOU to disagree? You think you are smarter than Einstein?)
4. In one of the most painfully insulting "debate" climaxes in cinematic history, Professor Raddison falls into the trap of admitting he DOES believe in God, because he blames God for letting his mother die of cancer. You know, WTF-ever, movie. This guy is supposed to be a professor? Professors generally don't get bent out of shape and flustered and raving during debates. That's what Christians do when their belief system is threatened by science- not the other way around.
5. I am not even going to get to the Duck Dynasty and some Christian rock band product placement. My friend knows who these people are. I don't- nor do I care.
*I'll wrap up by quoting an excellent review I read shortly after viewing this film- "God's Not Dead is a film by Christians which portrays the world Christians wish they lived in- a world in which they are a brave, downtrodden but not defeated minority, defending the One True Faith against the Atheistic Majority and their science-worshiping materialism. Not the world they actually live in, which is dominated by people who think exactly the way they do, and it's the atheists who struggle to have their voice heard." And by forgiving the person who made me watch this (next time, I get to pick the movie. I still haven't seen Divergent.)