This is a response to this blog post:
I call shenanigans.
Let’s start from the beginning. First let’s look at the TWO examples given by the author: Carrie and South Park. I don’t really see either as being representative of either 1. society or 2. Hollywood. In fact, South Park is an outcast that isn’t exactly among the Hollywood elite.
Take the statistics. If 75% of the United States is Christian, then what is the religion of most of the characters in most of the movies out there? I’ll take a wild shot in the dark and say that it is around, say, 75%.
Think of it this way, there you are watching the latest romantic comedy where up and coming young New Yorker is juggling a budding career and a new girlfriend at the same time. They have their trials, but in the end, they live happily ever after. If neither one ever comes out and states their religion, why would you think they weren’t Christians? And what is more Christian than finding the one you love? What is more Christian than “happily ever after”?
Just as there are millions of normal people who go to work, go to the bar, go to the gym, go to wherever it is they go to, every single day who don’t outwardly display their religion, there are these characters in movies. How can you spot them? By how you should be spotting them in the real world: by what they do.
The first instance is a great one: Carrie. Carrie’s mother isn’t just any Christian. She isn’t even a conservative Christian. She is a wacko. A fucking nutcase. She is a whack job who is as far from sanity as you can get and still function in society. She expresses that insanity through religion. Why? Well, ask Stephen King.
But allow me to make conjectures. Carrie is a horror story. For horror to work, the reader/audience has to identify with story, with the characters. By grasping onto something like Christianity (75% of America), King brings home something that a lot of his potential readers are completely aware of. And then he twists it. He perverts it. He turns something that should be safe into something that is not.
That is to tell a story, not to destroy Christians.
Ok, let’s go to comedy. Take Dogma as a good example. This movie is directly aimed at what Christianity tells us. It puts the faith and the church right in the cross hairs and really doesn’t hold back. It is hilarious. (I think, at least)
Now imagine the same type of movie: just as blasphemous, just as scandalous, just as badly humored and whatnot, but this movie is aimed at Hindus. Would you get it? Would you think it is funny? What do you know about Hinduism?
Christianity is such a deeply rooted part of our history as America. Most of our predecessors came from Europe. Most of them were Christians (some escaping repression from? Other Christians! See we don’t even like ourselves). That history from Rome forward changed Europe, guided Europe and carries over the Atlantic to here today.
How would you write a period piece about the Elizabethan era without touching on the oppressive control the church had on normal life? Would you gloss over the past to appease the present?
Hollywood doesn’t have an anti-Christian agenda. (maybe some people in Hollywood do) Hollywood has only one agenda. It is a good old American idea: money. It has got to sell, or they won’t do it. The dollar wins every time. So here is the thing, if Christians don’t like what is being put out, why don’t they stop going to see it?
If 75% of America is Christian, then is safe to say that most of Hollywood characters are either acted, written or directed from a Christian perspective.
Look at the real world. Are all Christians saints? Hell no. We rob from each other, we beat each other, rape, murder, get into road rage, we swindle old people out of their life savings, we do a lot of horrible, horrible things to each other.
Well, you may think, those people aren’t really Christians. I’d be inclined to agree with you, but the requirements for Christianity aren’t that high: Believe in Christ.
Christians come in all types, all shapes, from Christmas Eve Christians to every Sunday Christians. We are Democrats, Republicans, Independents. We are open minded, we are closed minded. We are tolerant. We are bigots and racists. We are sports fans and we are pacifists. We are war heroes and we are poets. We are people. And as people we are not defined by a singularity of ourselves.