B-B-B-Bad to the Bone.

Rebel truth-seekers vs. complacent status-quo defenders. Free thinkers vs. conformist mind controllers. A fight for good vs. evil, a struggle for the soul of a people. All set to the strains of George Thorogood’s early-80s rebel anthem.
Who are these high-minded rebels, and who are these anti-progress thought suppressers? Partisans vs. Nazis? Revolutionaries vs. Red Coats? Not this movie. In “Expelled,” it’s Intelligent Design adherents vs. the Darwinist scientific establishment–or make that, the Darwinist American establishment.

B-B-B-Bad to the Bone.
Not set for release until February, the buzz campaign has already started for this unabashedly Michael-Moore-style, in-your-face documentary. Narrated by Ben Stein–best known for giving his money away and slowly repeating the name “Bueller” from the front of a classroom to hilarious effect–“Expelled” aims to expose the stifling of debate in this country about the origins of life and make the case for the validity of Intelligent Design.
Yesterday, I attended a presentation to drum up advance support for the film. It was led by Paul Lauer–a Christian marketing maven best known for helping make “Passion of the Christ” the blockbuster it was–and one of the film’s co-producers, a man identified only as Logan, who bore a striking resemblance to Ned Flanders incarnate, albeit tanner (and, being a huge Flanders fan, I mean that as a compliment). The purpose was to win over Christians influential in their communities, to make this a must-see, a film to which they’ll preach about, gab about, and bring their friends, family, churches, non-Christian friends, etc. etc.

B-B-B-Bad to the Bone.
Let the buzz begin. Not that “Expelled’s” intentionally incendiary tone will need much help from the pastors and religious-school teachers in attendance at yesterday’s meeting. From the clips and trailers they showed, the film presents a world of–to use a quote I heard repeatedly yesterday–“the new scientific movement” (Intelligent Design, in case you weren’t sure) vs. the tired, old “theory” of evolution. Relying on news-clip montages, interviews, even cut-away shots of concentration camps, “Expelled” talks of faithful scientists and other believers losing jobs, losing grants, even losing friends in defense of ID. And, relying on footage of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and other atheists du jure, it sets up a worldview of ID vs. atheism, with no gray areas in between.
And, taking it even further, it posits that, without God, there can be no source of morality, no reason not to “stab someone on the subway,” to borrow another phrase I heard a couple of times yesterday (and which explained, according to Lauer and Logan, the concentration camp scenes, since the film will explore the influence of Darwinism on Hitler). So the battle for ID to be taught on par with evolution is no more, no less than a battle for the legitimacy of morality itself.
Admittedly, all of this is culled from a bunch of clips and the verbal description offered by Lauer and Logan. We’ll have to wait until Februrary to see the whole movie and, perhaps just as fun, watch the ID/Evolution battle flair up around it, this time with liberals on the receiving end of a Michael-Moore-style on-screen beating.
In the meantime, need I say it again? Well, maybe one more time.
B-B-B-Bad to the Bone.

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