I saw a Christian friend of a friend of mine on Facebook post a recommendation for the “God is Not Dead” movie. It was on a thread that my friend Nancy has since deleted for reasons known only to her at the moment, so I did not get the chance to respond to her friend. I was going to share this glorious link with her to a review of the movie by an atheist.
The movie, unsurprisingly but sadly, badly misrepresents atheists and casts them in a very negative light. And it is really a shame that Kevin Sorbo, of “Hercules” fame back in the 1990’s on TV, is behind the movie and is making the rounds on Christian and right-wing talk shows promoting it. Kevin Sorbo was great as “Hercules” back in the 90’s, but he is definitely not so great now as a hardcore right-wing Republican and fundamentalist Christian. Very disappointing. Very disappointing indeed…
My personal opinion is this — if you want to know something about any large group of people or understand them as they really are, then you should ask THEM, not other people who may not be knowledgeable or who may intentionally cast the said group of people in a negative light. If you want to know about atheists and understand them, then ask THEM! Most of us are more than happy to calmly and rationally explain our atheism and our reasons for it. If you you want to know and understand why we dislike organized religions such as Christianity and Islam so strongly, again, just ask us! Most of us, again, would be more than happy to calmly and rationally explain why we feel the way we do!
I find it deeply distressing and sad that many Christians will like this movie and will strongly recommend it to their non-believing family and friends. I also find it disturbing and distressing that when Christians want information about other religions or about atheism and atheists, they often turn to popular Christian apologists. And, of course, those said Christian apologists often are not knowledgeable about other religions or about atheism and atheists. And, of course, they are heavily biased toward Christianity and the supposed exclusive truth of it. So, as a result, Christians quite often get inaccurate and heavily biased information about other religions, atheism, and atheists. And, unfortunately, it never occurs to them to go to the source and ask those who believe in other faiths or atheists to get much more accurate and much less biased information and viewpoints. If I want to understand Judaism and do so accurately, I will ask a Jew! The same goes for Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other faith. And, of course if, even as an atheist, I have questions about atheism or atheists, I will ask them! That is, unfortunately not the case for most Christians. They will rely almost exclusively on what they hear from Christian apologists, and as a result they will find themselves either uninformed at worst or misinformed at best.
I can well remember back in my Christian days having an interest in other religions and in evangelizing people of other faiths. I also had an interest in evangelizing people from pseudo-Christian cults (as I considered them at the time) such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. I studied other religions and “pseudo-Christian” cults with great interest. But guess where I got all of my information? From Christian books, charts and tracts, of course! And, naturally, much of that I learned was either inaccurate or heavily biased or both. Now, of course, when I want to know something about another faith, I will ask them! I studied Hinduism with great interest a couple of years ago, and of course I went to Hindu sources on the internet to learn about them, and I even attended a Hindu temple here in town a couple of times. I did not bother seeking out what Christians are saying about Hindus and Hinduism because I know from experience that it will be biased and inaccurate.
Anyway… If you have seen this movie or have had someone recommend it to you, please share your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks.