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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

from Facebook: “faith-based” films are no fun for an atheist

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maryann buzz
  • RogerBW

    Like so many things in the USA these days, this sort of filmmaking seems to be explicitly political. Going to see “faith-based” films may be so much part of someone’s culture that it would feel like a betrayal not to do so, and anyone who says they’re not actually much good is obviously on the Other Side. You wouldn’t want to be on the Other Side, would you? Well then.

  • Bluejay

    Hello, from the Other Side.

  • Totes on the Other Side. It’s awesome. We have cookies.

  • RogerBW

    Yeah, but it takes guts to say in public “I disagree with everyone I know, and I seem to have more in common with the people they all profess to despise”.

  • I don’t give a shit. :-)

  • Danielm80

    I’m going to offend someone with this comparison.

    I think going to a faith-based film is kind of like having an unusual sexual fetish. If you’re turned on by people dressed as penguins, then you may not care all that much if the penguin porn is badly written, or if the person in the penguin suit is a terrible actor. You’re just grateful to find any penguin-based stag films at all.

  • Bluejay

    penguin-based stag

    Now I’m confused. Don’t mix your animals!

  • RogerBW

    “penguin films”. Hur hur hur.

    These days there isn’t any shortage of this sort of material, though.

  • LaSargenta

    I love this analogy. Nope, that’s not hyperbole. It really is perfect.

  • I think they’re hilarious.

  • Danielm80

    Wasn’t there a penguin-stag on Avatar: The Last Airbender?

  • Arthur

    I think it admirable that you watch these films despite your religious (non) orientation so that we agnostics don’t have to. I think there should be someone pointing out the weakness of the films as films. But I don’t envy your experience.

  • Bluejay

    No, those were otter penguins. :-)

  • NorthernStar

    I must admit to (mild) curiosity about these films (since I’m British and haven’t seen or heard of such movies before). Are they Bible stories? Angels on earth? Do they star anyone familiar?

  • I’m British, but I live in the US. These Christian movies are basically Christian porn (by which I mean it’s a huge industry producing crappy movies that, when you watch them, you can’t help feeling dirty and a little embarrassed) – the American Christian movie industry is really big – they make a whole lot of straight-to-video movies. I think I read that it’s the biggest movie industry in the US (but I can’t back that up with numbers).

    The cable TV channels are chock full of these types of films, but they are usually extremely tedious and poorly made. They often feature actors who used to be somewhat well-known on TV and who are born again Christians – Kirk Cameron (star of the TV show Growing Pains is a big name in Christian movies.

    The message they usually trot out is “Believe or be damned”. They’re usually set in modern day (to cut costs) and they tell a story of moral and principled Christians triumphing over evil atheists, or evil demons, or unbelievers coming to realize that the Devil is real, or other similarly simplistic and ridiculous garbage.

    “C Me Dance” is one infamous howler that you can probably find on Youtube. Another is “God’s Not Dead”, starring Kevin Sorbo (who used to play Hercules on TV) and Dean Cain (who used to play Superman in the TV show Lois and Clark).

    A good one to watch, which actually has good production values, is “Saved”. But I’m not sure that counts, since it’s almost Hollywood quality and doesn’t beat you over the head with a Christian message.

  • Bluejay

    Wow, Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo too?


    The best Christian movie I’ve seen is Les Miserables. Too bad Victor Hugo can’t write ’em all.

  • Nor do I. Loud and proud atheist, rationalist, and realist.

  • Nathan

    They’re no fun for anyone it seems. Christian Rock on the other hand, is surprisingly okay.

  • RogerBW

    It can be, let’s say. Though many of the bands that are actually any good, like Creed or Evanescence, drop that label as soon as they can.

  • NorthernStar

    Thanks for that. “God’s Not Dead” with Sorbo and Cain… Is it terrible that I kind of want to see that? (I preferred Terry Hatcher and Michael Hurst anyway)

  • Nathan

    I think it has more to do with good bands exploring new themes and sound that causes the “labelers” to retract their label. It’s easy to alienate people who used to be scared of drums.

  • Jonathan Roth

    As someone looking forward to Zootopia with unfettered glee, you aren’t wrong. :P

  • they make a whole lot of straight-to-video movies

    Which I am very happy to ignore. But in 2015 there were a handful that got wide mainstream theatrical releases, and did well at the box office. They are becoming unignorable for anyone watching the film industry.

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