Episode 128: Inside the Mind of a Religious Sexual Abuser »« RD Extra: Does Religion Make Us Better People? (Galen’s Bulldog Edition)

Comments

  1. says

    I live in a town with a single screen theatre, so I couldn’t scam my way out of paying for it. Anyway, I agree with everything y’all said except for the expression on the Muslim father’s face as he was kicking his daughter out of the house. I thought I saw some compassion there, as if he knew what he was doing was wrong and he didn’t really want to choke his daughter, but all the other decisions he had made in his life compelled him to follow through. Accepting his daughter’s faith decision would have meant questioning every he believes, and he couldn’t do that.

    He as the closest thing to a complex character in this movie. I had some hope for the movie for the first half hour but after that the characters become progressively flat until everything was just a caricature.

  2. says

    You might be interested to learn that at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) the 2014 film God’s Not Dead currently has a 4.9 rating on a scale from one to ten based on 8,413 votes (as of 11 a.m. (MDT) on Friday, April 18, 2014).

    What makes this fascinating is that most people gave the movie either a one (31.8%) or a ten (43.1%) with noticeably less voters giving the movie anything between these two extremes. It resembles a reverse bell curve, which is contrary to most movies that corresponds more closely to a classic bell curve.

    Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2528814/ratings

    In addition, 4.9 is not average, but a poor rating for a film at the IMDB. Most IMDB users rate most films from five to ten, and do not use one to four unless the movie is irredeemably atrocious. The current average is actually 7.0, and 4.9 is “about” two standard deviations from this mean, based on a quick calculation.

    Source: the mean is reported just below the Top 250 film list
    http://www.imdb.com/chart/top

    Cheers, from Andrew Antaro, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

  3. ragarth says

    I’m a fan of bad movies. Now I want to see both of these, God’s Not Dead, and Noah. If a movie can make me groan so bad that it *hurts* Then that movie is doing something right!

  4. Lisassaya says

    I used to like this show and then it referenced McGee and Me.

    Oh the memories and horror. I need to go watch some Wishbone and some 3-2-1 Contact to wash out my eyes.

  5. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    Fun podcast. I especially enjoyed the Kevin Sorbo “He took EVERYTHING!” moment. I will probably wait til I can find a free/online version of the film, and perhaps host a MST3K viewing party of sorts. Sounds like this movie is perfect for that.

  6. Fox says

    Over at The Thinking Christian blog, Tom Gilson, national head of Ratio Christi, I believe, has covered this film in a number of posts. The discussions have been rather interesting as well. Tom (and J Warner Wallace) has also noted research about the “Professor Radison Effect” (my term) of how Christianity is persecuted on college campuses by the prevalence of atheist professors. “We have the data,” said Tom. I have not yet had the time to read through it, but sources are here: http://www.jewishresearch.org/PDFs2/FacultyReligion07.pdf. Perhaps you guys would be interested in doing an episode on this. I think your listeners would be interested. Also, I haven’t reached the end of the podcast yet, so I don’t know if you mention it, but I believe the film ends with a list of anecdotes or references of the Radison Effect in America.

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @48:03:

    I take a poll of the class after we’re done discussing the god unit and I ask them “Just by guessing, where do you think I lie on this issue? Do you think I’m an atheist, an agnostic, or a theist?”

    […] More people in the class think I am a theist than think I’m an atheist.

    […] I do that to keep myself honest, in the sense that if I am abusing the power of the podium to push my own viewpoint, and my bias is detectable in what I’m teaching, I want to change that.

    If a biology teacher asked whether students thought he/she accepted intelligent design, would that be a measure of unfair authoritarian bias in the teacher that must be minimized?
     
    And if a large portion of the class said “undecided” or “yes”, would that be a success?
    Would that be neutral?
    Would that be more a reflection of the teacher’s presentation or the students’ own biases?

  8. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    #9 Continued:
    If trying to present neutrally – so the assessment is deliberately ambiguous – to measure their bias, that would make sense.
     
    But to gauge the presentation’s neutrality, it seems like you’d also need survey the students’ own positions and compare the two polls.

  9. gshelley says

    If everyone is the town is enough of a Christian to be going to the concert, how come all the students are non believers?

    Did Professor Hercules seem as though he had any knowledge of philosophy? From what I heard, he didn’t know how to present a logical argument and he was unfamiliar with the basic apologetics Josh used. As far as I can tell, he probably had’t even taken a college level philosophy course (unless it was his own)

  10. johnmarley says

    @gshelley(#11)

    Did Professor Hercules seem as though he had any knowledge of philosophy? From what I heard, he didn’t know how to present a logical argument and he was unfamiliar with the basic apologetics Josh used. As far as I can tell, he probably had’t even taken a college level philosophy course (unless it was his own)

    The Straw Professor (or Atheist or Philosopher) is a staple of fundie xian fantasy.

  11. gshelley says

    It does remind me of the chick Tract “Big Daddy”, where the professor teaching evolution seem sto have next to o knowledge of his subject and is thrown by counter claims that anyone who passed college biology, let alone was qualified enough to teach it should have been able to refute.

  12. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    The Straw Professor (or Atheist or Philosopher) is a staple of fundie xian fantasy.

    Article: Dispatches – A Parody of Wingnut Emails

  13. gesres says

    I felt my face flush with embarrassment at the thought that anyone could be gullible enough to take this depiction of an atheist philosophy teacher seriously.

  14. Barbara says

    Your comment that ‘God is Not Dead’ is like one of Grandma’s emails made into a movie cracked me up. We must have the same Grandma.

  15. Mark Smith says

    Thanks for a great episode–you guys gave a clear-eyed evaluation of the film. After I saw the movie, I had two thoughts: (1) This film will be a great tool in solidifying evangelicals’ faith–it makes them feel self-righteous and allows them to perceive themselves as a persecuted minority; and (2) The film indicates, in a back-handed way, a lack of confidence among evangelicals in their own faith. After all, if they had no doubts about whether their beliefs are true, they wouldn’t need to construct straw man atheists that they can knock down. As the film shows, they have to construct caricatures of the other side to prop up their own beliefs.

  16. says

    The (Christian) girlfriend and I did a 38 minute review of the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Fejfp5-wA

    We couldn’t spend any more or less time on such an abomination. The funniest thing was that we got shushed by a mother in front of us who was with her two teenage children, and after the film she went to complain to the poor ticket-takers. We went over to talk to them, but they quickly fled out another exit. The moral of the movie was supposedly to stand up for your faith and they tried desperately to avoid actually talking to us. Lol.

  17. Curt Cameron says

    I haven’t seen the movie, but from the sound of it, if I had, I would be stumped by why the atheist professor kept quoting prominent atheists. Your picking up on how that’s their projection of their own epistemology onto atheists was right on the money.

    I’ve always thought that the biggest difference between skeptics and “believers” of all stripes isn’t that we reach different conclusions, it’s the methods we use to reach those conclusions.

  18. James S says

    Seriously though have you guys ever thought about how tough it is to be white and Christian in the US. I mean they have to share space and tax dollars with people who aren’t white and Christian. They are occasionally, upon treading outside their fishbowl, told their worldview is incorrect. Oh but to wake from the nightmare of comprising the vast majority of the population. To shake loose the chains? of not having every last soul in America agreeing with you. So what if there is only one open athiest in congress. The rest are just pretending because they have to! I think we can all agree that the incredibly long end of the stick that white Christians enjoy could be a lot longer, and we should not rest until they get even more than they righteously deserve.

    Amen to empathy bitches

  19. says

    There is a new comic called God is Dead by Jonathan Hickman, Mike Costa and Di Amorim, in which “the ancient gods are back, bringing with them a trail of disasters and atrocities.” Apollo, Zeus, and many other deities are present, but no Yahweh. I wonder if that has anything to do with this movie, or its title. I wonder if something called God’s Not Not Dead will be next. :)

    Cheers, from Andrew Antaro, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Sources:
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=6421
    http://www.comicvine.com/god-is-dead/4050-67042/characters/

  20. Latverian Diplomat says

    @9 @10

    There’s a difference between good teaching in philosophy and good teaching in science. The goal of an undergraduate philosophy class is teach critical reading and thinking and familiarity with the major lines of argument from classic philosophical problems.

    On the other hand, a biology professor was teaching a seminar on unsettled questions in biology, maintaining atmosphere free from obvious bias would also be appropriate.

  21. gshelley says

    It came true!
    http://www.breathecast.com/articles/atheist-uconn-professor-curses-rants-at-christian-evangelists-full-of-ignorance-lies-praise-darwin-video-15310/

    “Just like Kevin Sorbo’s character (Professor Jeffery Radisson) from the Christian film “God’s Not Dead,” a real life Atheist college professor went berserk on Christians for expressing their faith recently on the UConn campus.

    On April 22, UConn Anthropology Professor James Boster was infuriated when street preacher Don Karns and other Christians were holding signs that stated “Evolution is a Lie” and “Sin Awareness Day.”

    Outraged at what he saw, Boster couldn’t hold himself back and began his rant.

    “He says that evolution is a lie! Have you read the ‘Origin of Species’?” yelled Boster to Karns in a video of the incident. “I have read the New Testament and the Old Testament!””

    Because arguing with people in the street is just like telling students you will fail them if they don’t repudiate God

  22. coragyps says

    The marquee at the movie theater in Brownwood, Texas, read “GOD SNOT DEAD” last Sunday when I drove through. That could be an ornery sign-changer, or just maybe Zephyrus is truly alive and in charge of all this damn wind we get in April.

  23. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Latverian Diplomat #24:

    The goal of an undergraduate philosophy class is teach critical reading and thinking and familiarity with the major lines of argument from classic philosophical problems.
     
    On the other hand, a biology professor was teaching a seminar on unsettled questions in biology, maintaining atmosphere free from obvious bias would also be appropriate.

    Exactly.
     
    Okay class, who thinks I’m a hard solipsist? A logical positivist? A subjective idealist? A cartesian dualist?
    Who thinks the concept isn’t just a thought-provoking hypothetical… that the position not only remains legitimate and worth maintaining in the face of those counter-arguments… that it could reasonably be ascribed to the person teaching the course?
     
    The stated intent of the question was to somehow isolate and gauge whether the presenter revealed an unwanted bias, a bias to not accept theism. That, consistently, so few students divine his true position could just as well be overcorrection on his part. Or if the presentation were ambiguous, the answers would be projection on their part.

  24. ccfoo242 says

    I never get updates from your itunes feed anymore. I thought the show stopped but now I see that they show up with a date of Dec 31, 2000 so my iphone doesn’t update them. I see comments from back in November where people had this problem. What is the fix for it?

  25. FactoidJunkie says

    Glad you commented on this movie, even though I fast forwarded through the blow-by-blow portions of the podcast. The general drift of the movie was apparent. I appreciated the thoughts toward the end of the podcast more. Showcasing the movie’s adolescent character portrayals and arguments sans the MST-3000 style commentary are more worthy of your talents (even though some of your zingers were fun). Your talents for continuing to confront these types of poor arguments in our society are valuable and this show tilted a bit too far to the talk-show format for my interests.

  26. nedd says

    The apologetics researcher was Dr Rice Broocks. He wrote the book “God’s Not Dead” that the film was based on. His website is gives you nausea.

  27. mullett says

    This movie is so close to the Chick tract ‘Big Daddy’ that I hope Jack Chick sues for a share of the millions its earning.

    The funny thing is also, even though it’s a big hit in America, it’s one of those movies that probably won’t even get a cinema release here in Australia – it just wouln’t travel. It’s a peculiarly American phenomenon.

  28. says

    So weird. It wasn’t a week after I had first heard of this movie and posted on my blog the following:
    “Just watched the trailer for “God’s not Dead”… I think I need to vomit! If God was not dead before, then this movie “sure as hell” will do the trick.”, that I see you posted a podcast on the issue.
    Loved your commentary on it. I am still not sure if I will see it or not. My wife often asks why I torture myself by involving myself with such things. I guess it is some sadistic enjoyment in the suffering. I like to know what these fundamentalists are up to. By the way, I had totally forgotten about McGee and me until it was mentioned. I watched it as a child and I refrain to watch it now, as somethings are just better left to their innocence and I am sure if I watched it now I may want to vomit with this as well.

    Great stuff!

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