Monday, August 18, 2014
GOD'S NOT DEAD
Evangelical Christian cinema hits a new low with this propaganda movie designed to convince the viewer that atheism (and science) is irrational and provides an inadequate world view for modern society. Now, there is nothing wrong with literature that engages in the contemporary debate about the existence of [the Christian] God. My gripes with this movie have nothing to do with the differences in belief between the characters. There is some outstanding material on both sides of the debate worthy of consideration. But GOD'S NOT DEAD is most assuredly not one of them. It is superficial, predictable, contrived, emotionally manipulative, and misrepresentative of atheism and, in particular, science. Just about every character in the movie is converted (what did you expect?!). The arguments offered by the main character are simplistic and, frequently, caricatures of what science actually says or the best atheist thinkers actually believe. Most of them could be effectively critiqued by any thinking school-kid. The movie's explorations of physics and philosophy demonstrate almost no actual engagement with the ideas and are reductionistic and ill-informed. Any intelligent non-Christian would, in my opinion, be quite offended by the way in which it portrays them - and any intelligent Christian would probably despair of the ridiculous, narrow-minded Christianity that the makers so obviously believe is true. The film essentially demonises atheists, scientists, and Muslims. Just about every distorted stereotype is paraded in this travesty of a movie. Fundamentalist Christians will probably lap it up and will have reinforced the prejudices already held against science, philosophy, and other people who differ from them. Give it a wide berth!