God’s Not Dead? Maybe He’s Just Not Feeling Well

Is God dead? The very existence of this movie proves that God, while not yet dead, is at least coming down with a really bad case of the flu.

God’s Not Dead gives top billing to a cameo appearance by Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson (the one with the business degree), who appears as himself with his wife Korie, playing herself.  Hold onto your willing suspension of disbelief: Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo stars as a Shakespeare-quoting philosophy professor who demands all his students write the phrase

God is dead

as part of their first day of class exercises. One student refuses because he’s a Christian. Our hero Josh Wheaton is then challenged by Professor Radisson to

prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals.

Humility ensues.

(The names are important: Joshua= Jeshua=Jesus; Wheaton, bringing in the sheaves; Radisson=radical. Josh’s parents are named Ward and June in the cast list).

Based on both a book of essays, God’s Not Dead: Evidence of God in an Age of Uncertainty by evangelical author Rice Brooks and the catchy song “God’s Not Dead” by the Christian rock band The Newsboys who appear in the movie, God’s Not Dead is produced by one of the film’s stars, David R.A. White who stars as Pastor Dave (again with the names!). White has appeared in over twenty Christian-themed films, including Revelation Road 1 and 2, Holyman Undercover, Redeemed, and Jerusalem Countdown.

God’s Not Dead, which hits high points of evangelical rhetoric (liberal colleges, brave youth, standing up to faith even at gun point), opens on March 31, the spring equinox, a major pagan holiday. Interesting….

And okay, what is with former teen idols going all Jesus Movie of the Week? Kirk Cameron is full on repressive fundamentalist. Dean Cain has appeared in several Christian-themed movies. Kevin Sorbo

decided to take his faith with him while working in Hollywood

and has of late only appeared in Christian movies (Soul Surfer, What If…).  Michael York jumped to Jesus and hasn’t had a good role since.  One Tree Hill hottie Chad Michael Murray starred in the reboot of Left Behind (weirdly he played Michael York’s younger brother in Megiddo: Omega Code 2). I liked it better when stars past their prime finished off their shelf life in horror movies.

Bob Newhart to Headline Anti-Gay Summit Legatus: TV Icon + Rick Santorum = Unfunny

TV icon Bob Newhart is slated as headlining entertainer for the Legatus 2014 Summit to be held February 6 -8, 2014,  in Orlando, Florida, alongside Rick Santorum and the Catholic League’s William Donohue. It’s pretty clear where  the ever-frothy Rick Santorum and Donohue stand on LGBT issues–and Legatus?  Jeremey Hooper writes for GLAAD:

Legatus pushes the idea that homosexuality itself is a “disorder” from which one must be “cured.”

This year Newhart won his first-ever Emmy playing opposite openly gay actor Jim Parsons on the very funny and at times off-color The Big Bang Theory. And Newhart appeared onstage with Parsons to present at this year’s Emmy. Parsons was named one of OUT magazine’s 100, and recently won his third Emmy and the GLESN Inspiration Award. Legatus assures in members that with Newhart

Summit attendees can certainly anticipate a clean show, but they will also get a good dose of Catholic humor.

GLAAD is actively contacting

Mr. Newhart’s representatives to let them know how, exactly, an appearance at this event will come across to LGBT people and allied voices,

A part of  me is hoping that Newhart will pull an  “Elton John in Moscow” and use his voice to speak up for LGBT rights. Newhart will have the floor, the pulpit if you will, and an opportunity to change minds with his legendary humor. Granted, there might be a little bit of blowback, but it could certainly have an effect.

On the other hand, Newhart telling Legatus that he will not perform because of their hate-filled views that harm so many people–both LGBT and their allies– who are his co-workers, friends and fans would also be a strong and bold move.

HT: Back2Stonewall.com

First Thing to Do November 1: Skip “Ender’s Game”

There are many reasons why I’m not going to see Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card’s homophobia; I don’t care for science-fiction; Orson Scott Card advocates government overthrow; no actors I care about; Orson Scott Card plays the victim; there are way better movies opening and in theaters already; Orson Scott Card, as a producer stands to make money from Ender’s Game, and if the film does well, from subsequent sequels and merchandising.

KSL anchor and reporter Carole Mikita on the “Deseret News Sunday Edition” interviewed Card this past weekend, and the author went for the victim move with a neener-neenr combo:

The only reason I’m being attacked for it is because ‘Ender’s Game’ is coming out as a movie, so that was something that was going to get a lot of publicity for the people attacking. I’ve had no criticism…

I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas. Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it…

Actually Card, who was on the National Organization for Marriage’s board of directors, wanted to punish people who didn’t fall in line with his dogma, and he has been personal in his attacks. Via The Daily Dot:

1990: Card argued that states should keep sodomy laws on the books in order to punish unruly gays–presumably implying that the fear of breaking the law ought to keep most gay men in the closet where they belonged.

2004:  He claimed that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse.”

2008: Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill.”

2009: He joined the board for anti-gay lobby The National Organization for Marriage, which was created to pass California’s notorious Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

2012: He supported his home state North Carolina’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by arguing that gay marriage “will be the bludgeon [The Left] use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.

And let’s not forget Card’s call to arms against the US Government:

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary… Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.

But they key, in his interview, excerpted in the Deseret Times is this:

[The criticism] won’t affect my work. Will it affect the reception of my work? Of course, but not in ways that they expect. My sales go up with such attacks.

So let’s join in solidarity and be the allies we would want to have, supporting the LGBT community, especially those in states still working for marriage equality, by boycotting Ender’s Game, and prove Orson Scott Card wrong, as the sales figures for Ender’s Game tickets go down.

Late Night: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

There’s a lot that’s going on out in the world and while some of it has nothing to do with Halloween it does provide some good fodder for costumes. Other costumes are in bad taste, “too soon” or not. What are you doing/wearing for Halloween?

Now for the very scary: According to a certain Christian sect very popular among elected conservatives, Ted Cruz is the Anointed King who will redistribute wealth. And why if liberals want to do it, distribution of wealth is Evil; but if Ted Cruz does it, it’s totally cool? The answer lies in a sermon delivered by Dominionist preacher Larry Huch at his megachurch August 26, 2012, where Ted Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz also delivered a sermon. Huch preached:

The number 12 means ‘divine government’, that God begins to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington – God’s people and his kingdom will begin to rule and reign…I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected – Ted Cruz, the next Senator. But here’s the exciting thing – and that’s why I know it’s timely for him to teach this, and bring this anointing. The rabbinical teaching is, especially amongst gentiles, who God opens their eyes, that in a few weeks begins that year 2012, and that this will begin what we call the “End Time Transfer of Wealth.

And that when these gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grown and grow and grow. It’s said this way – that God is looking at the church, and everyone in it, and deciding, in the next 3 and 1/2 years, who will be his bankers. And the ones that say, “Here am I, Lord, you can trust me,” we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the Messiah. This message if for you. Would you welcome our good friend Rafael Cruz ? What a tremendous man of God.

The elder Cruz then took the pulpit and said:

The pastor [Huch] referred to Proverbs 13:22, a little while ago, which says that the wealth of the wicked is stored for the righteous. And it is through the kings, anointed to take dominion, that that transfer of wealth is going to occur. God, even though he’s sovereign, even though he’s omnipotent, he doesn’t let it rain out of the sky – he’s going to use people to do it.

The theological implications of this are huge, as are the political and social.  And scarier than any goblin at your doorstep.

Santorum Says Satan Controls Hollywood

Rick Santorum spat a frothy mouthful on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, plugging his first foray into film production, The Christmas Candle, due out this holiday season. The movie, from EchoLight Studio, is a period piece set in a Thomas Kinkade-esque village and tackles modernity vs (Christian) tradition as electricity and progressive thinking threaten the  town’s visit from a Christmas angel. Now the CEO of EchoLight, Santorum said, seeming a little uncomfortable:

This is a tough business, this is something that we’re stepping out, and the Devil for a long, long time has had this, these screens, for his playground and he isn’t going to give it up easily.

Shifty eyes much?

I’m not going to go into Santorum’s (il)logic about Satan controlling Hollywood which at some point will end up in a grand conspiracy, but ye gods and little fishes, if Satan controls the film business, why did the self-proclaimed White Witch of Los Angeles give a lecture about the film industry and how it controls the mind? Inconceivable!

And speaking of inconceivable,  Santorum’s position on  Satan in the film biz puts him at odds with fellow conservative Sen Ted Cruz who admitted that in addition to playing video games (also a tool of Satan)

I’m a huge movie buff. Love watching movies. So we’ll often go and watch a movie.

Cruz’s favorite movie? The Princess Bride which has a wizard bringing Westley back to life. Blasphemy!! Clearly Ted Cruz is thus a tool of Satan, which makes his opposition to the current administration a Satanic plot. But wait, conservatives think Obama is Satan, or at least the Anti-Christ…

Screw it, I’m gonna go watch an MK-Ultra produced, Illuminati/Satan mind control movie. Like  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Fantasia.

Teen Exorcists Get Medieval on Demons for Reality Show

Claiming himself  to be a champion demon purger, Pastor Bob Larson has conjured up the the Dominionist version of a boy-band/cash-printing machine: A trio of (sorta) teen girls (one is 21) who cast out allegedly evil spirits and are featured in a new BBC3 documentary called (hold your breath here!): Teen Exorcists. They’re also the subjects of a Vice TV documentary in which they claim demons cause sexually transmitted diseases.  And here all along I thought it was bacteria and viruses, silly me.

The virgin trio–one is Pastor Bob’s daughter Brynne Larson, the other two are sisters, Tess and Savannah Scherkenback–are now taken to the British Isles which they say is a hotbed of occult activity whose origins go back to pagan times. Spunky 21 year-old Savannah explains:

It has been centuries in the making, but I believe it came to a pinnacle with the Harry Potter books.

Oh and, you guys, Harry Potter spell are totally srs bzns. Her 18 year-old sister wants you to know:

The spells you are reading about are not made up. They are real and come from witchcraft.

Not only can these girls kick ass on demons, they can kick ass in real life! All three of the home-schooled exorcettes have black belts in karate. Brynne first joined her semi-famous fundie father to cast out demons when she 13, but she’ll be leaving the Get Thee Behind Me business behind her when she starts at conservative Christian Liberty University this fall. But stage dad Bob wants to come back to the UK and continue tossing off devils–private exorcisms cost about $450, but he offers free seminars as he travels from city to city with his metaphysical medicine show.

Online, Larson, the self-proclaimed

world’s foremost expert on cults, the occult, and supernatural phenomena

who has his own reality show, The Real Exorcist, on SKY-TV in Europe, offers DVDs of exorcisms and a nifty silver metal

cross … anointed and prayed over personally by Bob.

And gosh darn, they work, according to testimonials on the sales page:

When Pastor Bob touched my forehead with his cross, the demons that had been tormenting me instantly manifested.

Not sure if you need a silver Cross of Deliverance or an exorcism? You can take Pastor Bob’s Demon Test and:

Let Bob Larson, the man who has dealt with more demons than anyone on the planet, show you how to overcome every obstacle of every day. Stop the cycles of failure, poverty and sickness. Break family curses at the ROOT! Discover why you are the way you are and immediately change destructive habits. If you have demons, you’ll be delivered.

Let’s just say to fundamentalist nutbags like Pastor Bob, anything that clashes with the pastor’s interpretation of the Bible is all Satanism and demons. And his list of what demons can do is pretty impressive: Generational curses, STDs, anger, promiscuity, loud noises, earthquakes, and crank phone calls are just some of the weapons demons use to torment Christians who have opened the door for possession by simply reading a daily horoscope or knowing someone who does.

Last year Anderson Cooper had the teen exorcettes on his show. It was hilarious:

Late Night: The Devil Made Him Do It?

In 1997, metal music was pretty much over–grunge had killed it. But that year, Pat Boone released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, his white bread covers of metal music. It was his first hit album in 35 years. It also pissed off a lot of people because metal  was supposed to be the music of SATAN and Pat Boone was an evangelical with a television program on Trinity Broadcast Network, Gospel America. After an appearance wearing black leather and studs on the American Music Awards, clad in his metal garb, he was fired from Gospel America.

But Pat met with Paul Crouch, head of TBN, and was reinstated after he explained he was simply parodying himself. Pat was back on the air.  Boone was friends and golfing buddies with Alice Cooper and the two conceived of the idea, which seems pretty funny and bizarrely hiply unhip. I mean Pat Boone sanitized some of the greatest songs of all time, like “Sha-boom” and “Tutti Frutti,” so why not give a full on white bread treatment to metal?

The result is the stuff of nightmares. But in a very good way.

Left Behind: Nic Cage Whores Himself Out

 

Times must still be tough for Nic Cage. He’s offered himself up to God the Left Behind movie series, and it’s really kinda gross. Well, maybe there are some gross points involved, though I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Academy Award-winning actor getting rich off those: The original Left Behind only grossed $4.2 million at the box office in 2001, making it the 18th most successful  Christian-themed/Christian-produced movie of all time, lagging far behind the The Passion of the Christ, the Narnia series, both The Omega Code movies (that  is pretty sad, those Omega Code flicks sucked massively), and a lot of movies that no one outside of a mega-church supper has ever heard of, like Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed  (no comment), End of the Spear, and One Night with the King (why do those last two titles make me think of M2M porn?).

According to the Christian Post, Paul Lalonde, CEO of Stoney Lake Entertainment and co-founder of Cloud Ten Pictures, which produced and distributed the first three Left Behinds, two of which went straight to video, said his company was rebooting Left Behind in order to give it the blockbuster treatment many fans and one of the bestselling novels’ authors, Tim LaHaye, had felt the original version deserved.  Producer Lalonde, who co-wrote the script for this version of Left Behind as well as co-writing the direct-to-video Left Behind II: Tribulation Force and having solo writing credits for the initial Left Behind, told the Christian Post:

It has always been my goal to produce a big-budget version of ‘Left Behind’ that would appeal to a wider audience. The resources to do this exist now where they didn’t back in 2000.

The “big budget” is estimated at $15million, small by today’s blockbuster standards but big enough to cover special effects and with teen-fan faves Chad Michael Murray and Ashley Tisdale (from High School Musical) and a PG-13 rating, it might draw enough to make its money back. Expect a lot of action: Director Vic Adams has worked as a stunt director on numerous films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo III, The Green Hornet, and Charlie’s Angels, and  began his career as a stuntman in You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He has directed one film, Army of One, but has an impressive résumé as a second unit director.

But Nicolas Cage? Srsly wtf are you thinking?  Nic Cage, by starring in this movie, you’re promoting a worldview that is negative, narrow, destructive, jingoistic, rigid, anti-sex, anti-comic books, anti-cool, and uptight. Left Behind upholds the pre-tribulation, absolutely nutbag, we-have-to-be-right-so-we’ll-bring-about-the-end-of-the-world thought process that’s at the foundation of the Assemblies of God, other Seven Hills Dominionists, and prophetic, evangelical Conservative Christians. Nic, don’t you understand that eschatology is scatology? Didn’t you used to be edgy, underground, bizarrely hip? This is not a risky role, this is pathetic. All I can think, aside from you needing cash, is that you wanted to give the internets some new memes. But Cage denies he takes roles for paychecks, telling the Guardian:

I’m one of those Americans who believes in working. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, you don’t just roll over on people or cave in, you find a way through it. But in film acting, for some reason you get criticised for working.

But this was the best role you felt you were offered for the time period? Wow.  In all fairness, Cage has three movies released or scheduled for release in 2013, the animated The Croods, Joe, and Frozen Ground which co-stars John Cusack and came out in June on limited release and video-on-demand. Left Behind, still in production, and Tokarev, an action film set in the Russian mob, now in post-production, will be released next year. Four other films have Nicolas Cage’s name attached, but only the Paul Schrader-directed  The Dying of the Light has a release date listed on IMDBpro.com.

At least Kirk Cameron, who starred in the original three  Left Behinds and Michael York who appeared in the execrable laugh/shite fest  The Omega Code and Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 have the excuse they are fundie Christians to fall back on. (Same could be said about John Travolta and Battlefield Earth, though Vinnie Barbarino was promoting a different, totalitarian belief system altogether.) The only thing that makes sense is that Cage needs money: At one point he owned two castles, fifteen luxury properties, a fleet of Rolls Royces, and a Gulfstream jet, and yet owed millions in back taxes to the tune of $14 million which he is paying off, And faced three multi-million dollar lawsuits. He blamed his business manager, who in turn blamed the actor’s lavish lifestyle, saying he had urged actor to cut back and to set aside $10 million as cushion:

to alleviate the financial pressure to take film roles that might be detrimental to his career.

Wow, a slave to Mamon indeed. I wonder how much of the estimated $15 million budget Cage is being paid. And did the film producers do their due diligence? Cage has said he has no religion and he donated to Al Gore’s campaign. But maybe that doesn’t matter to Cloud Ten Productions. But it might matter to the audience, though clearly, from the film’s poster, Cage does get left behind, so maybe that’s fairness in advertising.

(And Chad Michael Murray, who played super dreamboat Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill, is this the best you can do? I’m embarrassed for you. Maybe you’re embarrassed too, because your website doesn’t mention Left Behind in its news section. Though you did play young David Alexander in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, so maybe you’re acting on faith.)

Tim LaHaye, who conceived of and co-wrote the hugely successful Left Behind books with Jerry Jenkins, was a member of the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy. And if that’s not enough conservative credentials, LaHaye was the former co-chair of Jack Kemp’s presidential campaign. But LaHaye is not happy about the script, telling the Christian Post:

It’s probably the worst script I’ve ever read. And I’ve read scores of them. The plot line is nothing like the book. The only thing they retain are the names of the people, and maybe places. There is no redemptive value to this movie.

But hell, LaHaye has never been happy about the Left Behind movies in the past, calling them

church basement movies.

He took Cloud Ten to court in a case that lasted nine years because he was disappointed that 2001′s Left Behind starring Kirk Cameron didn’t get the initial theatrical production he said the contract had called for and he had dreamed about. Um, because no one cared enough to invest in a large production?  Granted the film rights were negotiated between June 1996 and April 1997, before the Christian prophecy novels became a publishing phenomenon, but that’s a gamble everyone took. LaHaye lost the lawsuit, but had the option to remake the series, and if he did not exercise that option (which he didn’t), the rights would revert back to Cloud Ten (which they have). According to Left Behind’s website:

The LEFT BEHIND reboot will focus on the hours immediately following the rapture. It will not cover everything that the first book includes, but will be more specifically concentrated on those first few hours and the chaos of the world in the wake of millions of people vanishing with no explanation…

Without warning, millions of people around the globe simply vanish.

All that remains are their clothes and belongings … and an overwhelming sense of terror. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn.

Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. And there is no one to help or provide answers. In an instant, the earth has been plunged into darkness.

For RAY STEELE, the pilot of a jumbo jet, it means trying to calm his hysterical passengers who saw loved ones vanish before their eyes.

It remains to been seen if Nic Cage,who stars as Ray Steele, can redeem the Left Behind  franchise and/or if Christians will  flock to the  theaters to see a movie that stars a former -Papist-turned-non-believer and who’s been so crucified by the man who immaculately conceived the original canon. I just know I’m going to hell for making these jokes.

HT: Truth-out.org

Liberals, Religious Right Cursing NSA in Orgiastic Ritual

There’s a weird Top Sekrit location where the left, the middle, the conservatives, and the absolute raving bonkerites meet, dropping their armor and  laying aside all their other conflicts. Lately the meal served at this swingers club is a boiling stew of stupid cooked up by the NSA which has managed unite almost every group from the far right religious fringe to the tree hugging vegans on the left.

Case in point, the video below from Former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt of the ‘Pray In Jesus Name’ website  (and truly, after exploring his website, I’m really glad he’s no longer a military chaplain!):

There is a spirit of  secrecy that is really just lawbreaking in its lawlessness, and they’re doing this all behind the scenes and they’ll send out a public statement, ‘Oh we don’t have a domestic spying program.’ But they voted to fund a domestic spying program, they’re just calling it something else. And we’re exposing that, and really it has its roots in a Satanic evil spirit of violation, of tyranny really…

And then “Dr Chaps” goes on to quote some scripture and pray away the demon of tyranny who is

using the White House occupant, that demonic spirit that is oppressing us…Father, we hope that you will help the president repent, repent of this violation, of his defense now of violating our Fourth Amendment rights.

So on behalf of Americans everywhere: All races, colors and creeds, of all sexualities, all income levels and classes, let us now all come together and send out a rousing thank you to the NSA for uniting us against their snooping policies. Meanwhile, check our Dr Chaps in all his NSA demon bustin’ glory:

 

HT: Disinfo.com

James Franco’s Occult Experience (NSFW Video!)

Actor/musician/scholar/curator/bon-vivant/flâneur/bohemian/author James Franco is at it again, caressing the occult and hoping it won’t snap back. In December, Franco was supposed to be the vessel for the invocation of the Martial force of Bartzabel in a ritual designed by that great mage Aleister Crowley and performed by hip occultist Brian Butler. Only Franco didn’t show (he allegedly missed his flight), and clearly Bartzabel didn’t either, since the Not-James-Franco-Actor recited the exact same same lines from Crowley’s original work with rehearsed, overwrought precision which kinda made me wonder if this had all been a bait and switch. The event had great set dressing though, and featured Twilight: New Moon actress Noot Seear as one of the acolytes.

Now Franco’s back in the magick mode, directing two videos of the remixed song “Love in the Old Days” (which is blandly catchy) from his band Daddy that are loaded with occult imagery and are NSFW. Again, these videos are NSFW because of naked breasts. These NSFW videos feature ritual elements, Baphomet, esoteric images, and one of occultism’s few living legends, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, author of Hollywood Babylon and the guy who taught Anita Pallenberg how to nail a frog to cross, per author Tony Sanchez’s Up and Down with the Rolling Stones. And naked breasts.

Franco’s use of masked figures call to mind The Wicker Man (and David Icke’s fear of shape-shifting, flesh-eating reptiles who are allegedly the Royal family). But it remains to be seen if they’ll upset One Million Moms and Focus on the Family with their devilistic intent  and naked breasts.

(And btw the LA Times just wishes Franco would go away)

HT: Disinformation (more…)

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