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God's Politics

While I was doing research on the New Atheism, I had the pleasure (not) of viewing the DVD The God Who Wasn’t There. As expected, the film’s glowing reviews are from atheist Web sites (surprise, surprise). But regardless of one’s particular beliefs, this film is to pardon the pun, godawful. In a nutshell, the director, who outed himself as a former fundy turned atheist, picked the best of the New Atheist thinkers. Meanwhile, the Christians profiled included the Branch Davidians, Charles Manson, and a woman who cut off her baby’s arms for God.

The Gospel narratives were depicted through select film clips and fringe historical accounts that made Gojira (1954) seem realistic by comparison. No anti-God film would be complete without unauthorized footage from Mel Gibson’s The Passion to prove that Christians just love violence. Had this filmmaker bothered to interview a single credible Christian scholar, this documentary might have been able to posses at least some semblance of street cred.

As I was goggling The God Who Wasn’t There, I came across BreakPoint’s announcement about The Blasphemy Challenge. Seems that right before Christmas, a group calling themselves the “Rational Response Squad” invited a hundred youths to trade in their soul for a DVD of this documentary. Yeah, this is kinda funny – I mean if you’re going to commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, you gotta do lot more than post a video on YouTube. While I’m sure many of these kids were trying to get a rise out of their parents, I do wonder how many folks out there take this hooey at face value.

Speaking of pseudo-documentaries, so far, I haven’t seen any sign that Coral Ridge Ministries’ is planning a similar “salvation special” offering a free copy of their documentary Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. While I haven’t seen this film yet, based on what I read on their Web site, something tells me it’s yet another biased bit that paints all Christians in a less than favorable light. Call it a strong hunch.

While both New Atheists (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris) and their extremist counterparts (Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich) give very distorted views of the faith, the challenge this presents for us as Christians to show a Third Way. At least for me, I found that reading Brian McLaren’s recent post “The Politics of Joy” gave me some food for thought here during this holiday season.

Becky GarrisonBecky Garrison is the Senior Contributing Editor for The Wittenburg Door. Her piece, Contemplating Coulter Christianity, an Amazon Short, is now available on Amazon.com.

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