Have you wondered why there aren’t so many religious movies? It’s because they suck ass. If I wanted to hear about the life of Jesus, I’d go back to Sunday school. Movies are about entertainment, and in my opinion, religion simply has no place in cinema.
However, the religious right in America is getting pissy over the fact that Hollywood doesn’t produce that much religious movies, and now that we have two big budget Christian movies released to the mainstream (Son of God and Noah), the Fox News pundits seem to have a problem with it. Since I haven’t seen the films yet (as an atheist, I think they’re repulsive), I’m about to describe what I’ve heard they’re bitching about this time.
In the case of Noah, the conservative pundits are picking on how the film isn’t faithful to the Bible. Actually, they’re mad because Noah isn’t faithful to their version of the Bible, which mainly comes from those saccarhine children’s Bible stories. You know, those shorter, watered-down versions of Bible stories that Christian parents read to their kids.
They’re also mad that in Noah, the word God purportedly isn’t used at all, perhaps because the studio producing it wants to avoid offending non-Christians. Let’s make one thing clear: Noah is not a documentary, and neither was the Bible. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no solid evidence that the events of the Book of Genesis actually did happen, so it can’t be a documentary.
As for Son of God, I’d have thought that conservative Christians wouldn’t have any problem with it. In fact, when you’re appealing to right-wing nut jobs who think everyone else is going to burn in Hell, you can’t exactly go wrong with a film about Jesus…right?
Unfortunately, it turns out that you can go wrong, because the women of Fox News are complaining that the Jesus of this film is “too sexy”. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t a fundamentalist right-wing Christian housewife want to spend the night with “the sexy Jesus”?
Other than that, Son of God is virtually unremarkable, being that it’s basically the “Jesus” section of The Bible TV series, which itself was basically the cinematic equivalent of going to Sunday school.
The last thing about this that bugs me is that whenever the concept of religious cinema is brought up, people almost always think about Christian movies, and these movies are always expected to have some kind of moral message. Basically, this means that most people’s concept of religious movies basically amounts to more propaganda in favour of the church. It’s as though Hollywood assumes that Christians want to hear the same message over and over again.
Like I said at the beginning, movies are about entertainment, and many religious movies can’t be entertaining because the writers of these films are primarily interested in preaching the same antiquated message over and over again.