I am surprisingly a fan of the Christian propaganda film, God’s Not Dead. The production value puts it way ahead of other Christian films and it had not one but two big named stars in it. Of course the characters were unrealistic Christian stereotypes of atheists, but I think it works against Christianity on many levels. Awhile back I even wrote a somewhat positive review for it for Examiner. Now they just released the trailer for the sequel and it is hysterical! Check it out:
Where to begin? Well first, the controversy in the film revolves around a student bringing up something Jesus said in the Bible in relation to a class discussion and the teacher then quotes the exact verse to the class in reference to the question asked. That’s fine. Unless the teacher then turns around and says that all the students should worship Jesus or go to Hell, there is no church/state violation here.
But in crazy Christian Persecution Land, the evil ACLU has to sue the teacher and threaten to take her teacher’s license away over this. I guess they should sue me too because I did something very similar when I was student teaching eighth grade social studies.
Every week, the kids had a period of silent reading time in which they could read whatever they wanted (within reason), but they had to read something. Most of them hated it and kept trying to come up with ways to get out of it. One student brought in her Bible and then informed me that she wasn’t allowed to read it because of church/state separation. Hello? I’m a social studies student teacher with a strong interest in civics and church/state separation issues. I told her that she could read whatever she wanted. I just couldn’t compel her to read “The Bible,” but if that was the book she chose to read, she was free to read it. She wasn’t too happy about that and opted for Goosebumps instead.
The same girl had previously asked me about religion and I had told her that I was an atheist, but that everyone was free to believe whatever they like under the First Amendment of the Constitution. On that occasion, I did notice that the instructing teacher raised an eyebrow when the topic of religion came up, but he was satisfied that my answer did not breach any church/state walls. I did not for example tell her that she should be an atheist too or that God was imaginary (which he surely is).
Interestingly enough, there was a case in which a teacher did actually push their religious point of view on students. That student did catch it on tape and it was a big court case. But it was way different than the God’s Not Dead 2 scenario. It was the In God We Teach scenario. Yeah, there is actually an evenhanded documentary about what really happened and it is very different than the situation presented in this new Christian propaganda movie. Although, I give the Christians credit for having a catchier theme song.