It seems so hard to imagine…
“As much as I hate to admit it, there is a bias against Christianity in this country. [Soul Surfer] A movie about a girl using faith in Jesus to rebuild her self confidence causes controversy but a movie like ‘Easy A’ which portrays Christians as stupid over zealous pricks gets critical acclaim.” –Anonymous On FB
For the record, I believe the person who wrote this to be decent man, and considering I’ve derived this from how little I know him, that’s a pretty hard thing to say with confidence, but I do.
Soul Surfer, which comes out this week, I believe, is an autobiographical story about that girl several years ago who’s arm became a Lean Cuisine meal for a shark, and her journey through recovery, tested faith, and overcoming all to continue her passion, which is surfing.
The ‘faith,’ as you probably have already deduced, is that delightful little acceptable-excuse-for-everything-in-this-country: Christianity.
Now, let me make my peace quickly with Christianity here and now. I have my little gripes about the faith itself, but that is why I do not believe in it. I can let our differences go and move on with my life. What I loathe is not the church, but the choir and their evangelical Song of Hell that’s directed at everyone but the mirror. It’s those who brainwash kids to spread the word and the fundies who will use violence in the name of Jesus who anger me so much. Oh, and the politicians who use it as an excuse to take away my rights and my friends’ rights. They can go to hell.
Back to my point. Yes, I agree, in many, many cases in American media, Christianity is treated like crap. While I DID like ‘Easy A’ I liked it for it’s satirical nature…not it’s antagonistic usage of conservative people. Christianity, for the most part, does not deserve such portrayals in more serious media, which it still sometimes gets.
However, I must interject on behalf of my neopagan breathren and sister-en (?) and say that Christians shouldn’t bitch about films like ‘Easy A’ or ‘Saved!’ These films, at least, are flaming satires and don’t hide it. There are some cases in pop media where Christianity is given a positive spin. Like Soul Surfer, yes. But also in the multitude of openly Christian singers, country and mainstream pop (annoying as they are *coughcoughDISNEYCHANNELcough*) who are portrayed as honest people who trust in Jesus.
Try slapping the old Wiccan label an on honest musician, and what do you get images of? That ‘honest’ just seems to disappear, doesn’t it?
Pagans get SHIT when it comes to media portrayal nowadays. Or…ever…days. The archetypical teenager goth/emo punk who lives at Hot Topic and is borderline-sociopath is all you’re going to see. Ever. Not only is it not an accurate depiction, but it’s consistent across the board and completely embarrassing.
Just look at The Craft, which came out almost twenty years ago. You have a group of…well…teenage goth chicks who are borderline sociopath as the main characters. And they’re Wiccan. Surprise!
Fun fact, the film’s star, Fairuza Balk, who played the Craziest of Them All is, in fact, Wiccan in real life.
See? At least Christianity gets a good fighting chance not to make a negative name for themselves. We neopagans never had the chance. It started way back in the Roman times when Catholics became the kings and pagans became lion food. Thanks, Pope WhatHisNuts XVI, thanks a shit ton.
I guess, historically, that’s a case of turnabout, as the Roman pagans weren’t so nice to the Christians first (yes,again with the lion food). But didn’t Mr. Jesus preach that whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing?
The whole idea of evil heathens never changed, I guess, because here we are, 2011, and the only good portrayal of pagans I’ve seen is a girl-power version of Morte D’Arthur that didn’t even get a theatrical release. It’s called Mists of Avalon and it remains to this day among my Top 5 Favorite Films Ever Made.
Unfortunately, Mists isn’t even contemporary in terms of time frame.
At the end of it all, the secret word for the whole thing, is discomfort. Religion is not a very graceful topic to bring up in private or public, let alone in popular media. It’s hard to relate to because if you do have common ground with one religion, you may inadvertently be insulting someone of another faith who happens to be in the same room. Hell, just for being neopagan, every citizen of Utah has a genetically inborn thirst for my blood. The only way one can successfully remove the awkward is to insert humor up it’s butt instead. Then at least the uncomfortable laughter can be masked by genuine laughter.
I don’t see why people need to get so defensive over it all. We Wiccans take these dumbass versions of ourselves with a grain of salt for the most part anyway. Why? Because we know it’s all stupid.
My question now is, why are so many Christians so testy? Compared to Wiccans and other minorities, you really don’t have all that much to complain about. So just sit back for once, and enjoy your new pro-Christian movie.
Oh, and the next time you steal one of our holidays, take the sex out of it, and turn it into an excuse to pig out and then pray for forgiveness for it, might I suggest Litha? Lots of bonfires, lots of dancing, lots of food. Funtimes.