Faith. We all have it in different forms. Whether you are an atheist or a devote Christian, it’s OK to believe in something (or not) bigger than the human species and the world we know. Dig deep into the most ancient of religions, you’ll find that what beats all of them is hope and love – the kind of sense that all the bad stuff happens for a reason and there is a life beyond death has kept us warm in many ways.
It’s OK to explore your faith in films and art. What it is not ok to do is to use a film to shove your own thesis down the throats of everyone who’ll listen.
Following on from the wildly awful God’s Not Dead (which saw a Christian and an Athiest science man fight it out until Christianity won,) God’s Not Dead 2 revolves around Grace (because that’s the most obvious name she can be called beyond Faith), a schoolteacher who quotes biblical verses during an innocuous class. The big bad men on the schoolboard tell her that it is against the law to do so but Grace refuses to apologise, taking this all the way to court where a big bad lawyer tries to tell her she’s in the wrong. It’s up to Melissa Joan Hart’s quivering chin and pout to save the day!
The film’s premise could’ve opened up a deep theological debate about the separation of church and state. It could’ve kindly put forward the idea that despite different faiths, denominations, and religions, the core message is of love and acceptance. It could’ve used the Christian Faith as it should’ve be: To open up dialogue about generosity, care, and that having faith is actually OK, if you use it for the benefit of the world and humanity. You know. The kind of Christianity that isn’t based off Trump’s electoral speeches.
Instead, this insipid drama that really belongs on a Lifetime Channel for bible-bashers shoves the idea that Christians in the US of A are the most persecuted people on this planet. By demonising the lawyer and the school board who try to abide by the law “state and religion should be separate,” God’s Not Dead 2 feels like a sucker-punch of overzealous religious propaganda to your face rather than an inspiration message of love and kindness. It is much more detrimental to Christianity than anything and makes Melissa Joan Hart’s Grace an even more insufferable Kim Davies, fighting for the right to say and do all kinds of shit. They are people every day, dying for no good reasons but apparently, this stuff is good enough for Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Jesse Metcalfe to take to court.
The fact of the matter that God’s Not Dead 2 doesn’t get is that the separation of church and state makes a lot of sense and challenging that because a teacher hammers her Christianity to her students is a big bag of Jesus dicks in the face of science and forward thinking progress as well as people from other religious backgrounds. No one is saying that you cannot spout your beliefs but when you are in a position of influence and change historical figures to support your religion (for example, Gandhi was Hindu against Britain’s colonisation of India) then you are being a bit of a douche and not exerting your rights as a Christian…
GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 IS OUT ON DVD & BLU-RAY NOW!