In normal fashion, I came home and got online to stalk the actors on IMDB. In the process, I encountered the Rotten Tomatoes page for the film - it scored a 20% rating. Was I shocked? Of course not. I in no way expect for a religious film to convert the whole country let alone any critic or person in Hollywood. I don't expect them to love it. However, I quickly noticed that in comparison, Noah scored 76%. I haven't seen it, but thanks to Matt Walsh' spoiler and other reviews, I am drawing the conclusion that the movie has very little in common with the actual story.
In other words, two Christian movies are in theatres, and the one that tells the truth is rated at a fraction of one that is apparently full of bold-faced lies. Oh, what a world.
So, I got to reading said reviews of God's not Dead and felt my blood boiling pretty quickly. People are certainly entitled to their opinions, but, like in many cases, these opinions seem strictly biased because of the fact that Christianity is involved. Those darn, intolerant, melodramatic Christians. We certainly can't have that (that statement was clearly dripping with sarcasm in case you aren't familiar with or don't know me.)
- "Persecution isn't real." Several reviews basically up and say that Christians aren't persecuted in the US, that this whole thing is grossly exaggerated and melodramatic - like this one here that says "stop whining, 80% of the nations claims to be Christian and their thought used to dominate America", or this one that says the persecution theme is a "fetish," or, simply put, this one that just says the whole thing is "unrealistic."
Really? A fetish? A figment of our imagination? Isn't such a scathing review proof that the bias persecution is made of is very much alive? Surely I don't have to bring up the fact that the same people who call Christians intolerant are thus persecuting us by labeling our intolerance the absence of our agreeing with their opinion only- something that sounds strangely like intolerance. And yes, it does become persecution. Think Chick-Fil-A media attacks. Heck, think the dude from Mozilla who just had to leave his job - whether you agree with him or not, it was persecution - he's in America and has every right to hold and practice whatever opinion is his. So yeah, I'd say persecution in the states right now is both relevant and real.
- "Standing up for your faith is immature." In the film, the protagonist makes the hard choice despite everyone else (including other Christians) telling him to take the easy one. Many reviewers agree - "report the professor," "drop the class," "just suck it up and sign the paper." It seems the reviewers agree - he should have shut his mouth and taken an easy way out. Staying firm in your beliefs and standing up for them is clearly the weak and irresponsible thing to do.
Wow, way to tell us all to be sniveling cowards. Am I saying we need to stand up in every bio class and debate evolution? No, but come on, back to persecution - people in other countries suffer imprisonment, torture, and death for Christ and here we consider it immature to risk our grade or the opinions of our peers by admitting our belief in Him in a country where we're supposed to be free to do so? Wow.
- "It's unrealistic" Most reviewers inserted some form of a whine/argument that this situation isn't realistic - either such a professor doesn't exist, or that surely the student would have reacted in another way. In other words, the premise of the movie isn't plausible in real life.
You're absolutely right. I hate to break this to you, but if we're basing our cinematic opinions on the plausibility of the situation, it's time to throw out half your movie collection - guys, throw out anything based on Marvel comic books, girls, toss that Twilight - you may like it, but it clearly sucks, because we all know that would never happen in real life. Nevermind Star Wars or so-called classics like The Wizard of Oz. You all are screwed! Even the films based on true stories throw in some extra fun. Oh, wait, those are OK? If that's the case, you've taken me back to point 1. I smell a little persecution here. Movies are OK to exaggerate a little only if those pesky Christians aren't sharing their beliefs? Oh, and by the way, the film was inspired by a substantial list of campus court cases dealing with religious freedom (all included in the end credits) - so apparently the issue is more relevant and present than you care to give credit for.
- "The characters are caricatures." The Christians are all Christian and say cliche things, the atheists are all stereotyped - everyone is stereotyped. It's not realistic. It's not fair.
Yeah. Yeah, they are. Sorry. Sure, they could have done a better job. Nobody else has ever turned characters into extreme labels - certainly not every high school movie ever made with the jerky jocks, mean cheerleaders, and nobody geeks. Nope. Movies never exaggerate character types. Oh wait, that's right, there's extra rules stating Christian movies can't do the same things as Hollywood movies. Then that's just offensive.
- Hasty Generalizations Everywhere! Because the professor is atheist because of a bad experience as a believer, the film must be saying all atheists are this way. Because the atheists in this film are unkind, we must be trying to tell the audience this is how all atheists are, etc. etc.
- "It's preaching to the choir." Self-explanatory. It's for Christians more than anyone else.