“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.”
"God's not Dead: We the People" was released recently and I saw it on Tuesday night. While I don't normally do movie reviews, I think this one deserves some comment. Here is the official description:
"Reverend Dave finds himself at the defense of a group of Christian homeschooling families after they receive an impromptu inspection by a progressive, local-government official -- who doesn't like what she finds. Believing that the children are receiving an inferior education compared to their public school counterparts, and potentially being unfairly indoctrinated at a young age by their Bible-believing parents, the families are ordered to return their children to the public school system, or else face exorbitant fines and contempt of court. Taken aback by the interference of the government, and believing that their right to educate their own children as a freedom worth fighting for, the resistant families, along with Reverend Dave, are invited to Washington to testify in a landmark congressional hearing that will determine the future of public (and private) education in our country for years to come."
All of the movies in this series have over reached in the story lines to tell a story that portrays an attack on Christianity that is beyond what is common, even if it rightly reflects some exceptions to the general reality. Two weeks ago I would have said this one does the same thing. Before I get into that, let me make a few preliminary comments.
Production value, acting, and script writing are unfortunately what you might expect from a lower budget film. That isn't to say it wasn't good, but your expectations in those areas should be appropriate if you go see the movie.
Regardless of whether you think it is appropriate, many will attack this movie for connecting the Christian faith to the country of the United States. The narrative will be that the movie promotes an "evangelical Christian nationalism." They might even throw in some works like "racism" or "Trump voters" to round out the criticism. There is nothing in the movie itself that would suggest any connection to racism or voting for Trump, but those "criticisms" seem to be traveling buddies these days. Whether people want to admit it or not, the United States was founded on Biblical principles. Any unbiased evaluation of the founding documents, the founding fathers, and even the monuments in our country will lead to that conclusion. There is an unabashed commitment to this reality by the script writers and producers of God's Not Dead.
Homeschooling finds itself center stage in this movie. For people like former governor and current candidate for the governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe who believe that children do not belong to their parents, but the state, or to all of us, homeschooling is a threat. That isn't part of the movie in any way, but just a week ago McAuliffe said, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." Also within the last week President Biden has weaponized the FBI to investigate parents who speak out against school boards for teaching sexually explicit material (my own daughter dealt with this about 8 years ago) or for promoting ideas related to Critical Race Theory).
As I sat and watched this movie it was clear to me that this was not as much of an over reach as some might think. There wasn't a straw man being erected by the script writers. In the end, this movie is a call to action. It isn't just homeschooling that is at risk, it is parental rights, education in general, and even certain aspects of our nations history.
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John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.