This morning, I woke up and checked the news for any report on the box office of my husband’s most recent film, God’s Not Dead, which opened last night. Imagine my surprise to find that, not only is it tracking to earn better than 50% more than initially expected, but the article in Variety failed to even mention one of the stars of the film. This is tremendously odd, because this same actor played the title role of at one time the most-watched television show in the world, and a pivotal supporting role in the smash hit Soul Surfer, and is a man who is recognized by people on the street, by name, world-wide. Of course, it’s
There, I wrote it – it’s not a swear word or a “banned” word (like Sheryl Sandberg’s “bossy”), it’s the name of the actor in the film that is “co-starring Shane Harper,” as Variety reports. The Variety article also mentions that Willie Robertson appears in the film, but of my hubby, who does an outstanding job portraying an angry atheist, Variety says nothing. Nada. Bupkiss. Zip.
Actor Kevin Sorbo plays Professor Radisson in “God’s Not Dead.” (Image source: “God’s Not Dead”/YouTube)
I wondered, could there be an agenda driving this lack of commentary (ignorance, in the truest sense of the word)?
The second sentence of the article gives it away. “Shailene Woodley’s “Divergent” might be the No. 1 film in America but faith-based audiences are once again proving to be anything but conservative at the U.S. box office.” (Emphasis mine.)
Observe, if you are going to see Christian films, you simply must be a leftist! (You must be one of us!) Apparently, at Variety, at least, conservative is the new liberal. That’s the same kind of logic that gave us “job-locked” and “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
It’s clear, from Bill Maher’s recent rant against God to the reviews of God’s Not Dead, that Hollywood doesn’t like Christianity. The Hollywood Reporter’s reviewer, Steven Farber, actually criticizes the film on the basis that, “It cheapens the issues to suggest that anyone who doubts the existence of God came to that conclusion because of a personal trauma.” Farber believes, apparently, that all atheists simply evolved, lazily coming to the assumption there is no God, from no particular causation, similar to the atheistic belief that the entire world came about by pure accident.
I tried to ignore his swiss-cheese logic, but as a co-author of The Answer: Proof of God in Heaven, a book based on the incredible logic of the universe, I cannot. For instance, when Farber says of the subplot, “a Muslim girl who defies her overbearing father by embracing Christianity… is seriously offensive in suggesting that Muslims are the only religious group intolerant of other faiths.” Does he believe that every Hollywood movie in which the priest or the cop turns out to be the bad-guy intends to portray ALL priests and cops as bad-guys? (Or does he believe they all are, and therefore is goes unremarked?)
Farber continues: “As the title and the producing entity suggest, the film is clearly designed as propaganda to counter Hollywood’s more typical ‘godless’ efforts.” While accusing the filmmakers, Farber reveals he is not above propagandizing, himself. He unwittingly exposes his abject bias by reporting, “On the first day of class, the haughty Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) asks that all students sign a paper affirming that ‘God Is Dead,’ so that he will not have to spend time arguing with traditional believers. Josh refuses to sign, and the professor reluctantly offers to let him have a portion of three classes to try to win the other students over to his devout point of view.” (Emphasis mine.)
In fact, the professor happily goads Josh, demanding, insisting and requiring that the student present his own argument, saying, “I’m going to enjoy failing you!” This atheist professor is anything but “reluctant.” Neither was Bill Maher, who haughtily said, “No one can blame me when I say this is a stupid country. When 60 percent of the adults in it think the Noah’s Ark story is literally true.”
Bill Maher may make his arrogant comments and court of public opinion will issue judgement, pending the final one, of course. Kevin Sorbo is a also man who stands resolutely in defense of his faith and his freedom to express it. Having survived a major health crisis at the age of thirty-eight, he understands the value of faith. He told TheBlaze he hopes the film shows skeptics that “there might be something greater out there.” Sorbo is neither reluctant nor haughty.
Many atheists, and apparently many Hollywood types, are reluctant. They don’t want to be bothered: to think about God, to defend their positions, to speak of any of this. And it bothers them that a film, the very name of which they find outrageously offensive, is performing exceedingly well. Perhaps they see too much of themselves in the professor’s character. So, just like the nasty professor, who started his class by ending the discussion, they intend to do that in the media surrounding this film as well. The difference is, the professor accused his adversary by name. But in more cowardly fashion, Variety begins their discussion of the success of God’s Not Dead by not deigning to mention KEVIN SORBO by name.
*** Since our posting this article, Variety has stealthily modified the content of their article to include Sorbo’s name at the very end. They have just perfected the Gaslighting Technique.