…Christians are stupid. Sadly, the audience at the Morris Theater today gulped it right down and confirmed it.
This movie and its predecessor has only a few simple premises: a) all atheists are bad people; b) all Christians are good people; and c) if they close their eyes real tight and pray real hard and pretend, those arguments their pastor made to them will hold up in a court of law. So right off the bat, we meet a heroine of the movie who is grieving over the offscreen death of her brother, while her parents don’t seem to give a damn at all that they’ve lost a child. Her parents are “freethinkers” obviously, while she’s going to convert to Christianity. The father of the Chinese fellow who found Jesus in the last movie shows up to slap him around and disown him for his faith. A team of ACLU lawyers show up to persecute another heroine who dared to quote the Bible in a high school classroom; the lead lawyer is a sneering reptilian buffoon. An ACLU lawyer who is completely dumbfounded by the arguments of Lee Fucking Strobel.
The story is all about a court case. Above heroine who mentioned Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr in a class about non-violent protests gets dragged before an inquisition of fellow teachers, school board members, and lawyers who, obviously, are all atheists who detest Bible-believing Christians (where is this school? I’d like to move there) and when she refuses to apologize for proselytizing — because she didn’t — they all smack their lips in anticipation, because they’ve called in the Evil ACLU, who will destroy her in a court case.
Let me just say, speaking as a certified Evil Atheist myself, who also tends to be more strident than most, I did not believe this persecution scenario at all. The movie was very careful to set the scene so that there was no doubt at all that she wasn’t promoting religion at all, but was responding to a student question asking for a comparison between a set of historical (well, semi-) figures, and the teacher’s response was more cautious than even I would have been in quoting the Bible. It was set up from the beginning as a trumped up case.
What follows is incoherent. The legal case her lawyer tries to make at first is that she was simply speaking her conscience, rather than that she was responding directly to a student question. Then he switches gears and decides that the best strategy is to claim that she was making a secular argument, merely quoting historical figures. Then later he decides to rant and rave and claim that if they silence a Christian for speaking her mind, next thing you know they’ll be coming to arrest everyone for mentioning the Bible. It makes no sense, but of course the jury sees it as valid and votes to declare her innocent.
That wasn’t a spoiler. You know no Christian will suffer any consequences in this kind of movie.
Another irritating thing is that, although apparently this whole sham of a court case was all about proving that Jesus was real, the slimy ACLU lawyer allowed the defense to trot up a whole string of Christian apologists making ludicrous arguments, and not once did they disagree or bring up counterarguments. According to this movie, there are hundreds of contemporary first person accounts of the crucifixion, and no one disagrees with that.
One good thing, though: at least this one didn’t kill any atheists to get a deathbed conversion. It did have the woman from the first movie who had been diagnosed with cancer and converted to Christianity, though; instead of killing an atheist, they had prayer cure a Christian of cancer, praise Jesus. It also had a string of cameos from Christian culture warriors, like Pat Boone, Mike Huckabee, that same abominable Christian musical group, the Newsboys, from the first movie.
One more damning thing: it’s boring. It just goes on and on. It’s so bad that my wife had to nudge me awake in the middle.
Skip it. Total waste of time.
I’m content to let it stand as a testimonial to the paranoia and inanity of modern American Christians. I would think that the people who ought to be most indignant about it are Christians themselves.