You obviously don't have a clue what it's like living in the Bible Belt. It's hard to call something aimed at 70% of the population a "niche audience". While Christians don't have the same influence across the US, they are a clear majority in most of the south. A friend of mine from Mississippi said that GnD was sold out for the first four weeks in his city.
And God's Not Dead goes far beyond misrepresenting what atheists believe. Literally every atheist (and pretty much any non-believer that doesn't end up becoming a Christian by the end of the movie) is presented as a shallow, angry, bigoted, immoral, closed-minded petty a******. My problems about GnD aren't about fair representation. This stuff affects atheists all the time. I know people who have lost their jobs and had their families torn apart just for being openly atheist (and note I said open, not preachy).
I don't know what it's like to go through that as an atheist, but I do know what it's like to be perhaps the only left-leaning (Well, relative to the American right... I'm pretty centrist) science-accepting Christian in your entire family. It seems that a large number of Christians either pity or outright attack atheists. Those of us who don't go all-in experience some degree of condescension, harsh criticism, shunning... I have to just nod and smile and pretend I'm not slowly dying inside
I think it's the all-or-nothing attitude that's been pushed for so long. You're either 110% with them or you're an idiot/traitor to the cause, or something. I remember as a teen that I was genuinely stunned when someone accused me of calling the Bible fake because I speculated whether or not Job and possibly Genesis was a parable rather than 100% historical record. It's this toxic "you have to believe every single part is exactly as it is at face value
and 100% true to any context AND 100% accurate historical record OR ELSE THE WHOLE THING IS WRONG! If this artfully written portion isn't historical record, x leads to y which leads to z and Jesus is a liar! IT CAN'T BE!"
Or when I would bring up historical context. "Hey guys, I don't know, I think this was a pretty specific instruction for this situation." No man, that wouldn't fit into the preconceived notions of its meaning, would it? Or when I actually took a history class whose professor was a former Presbyterian minister, and he went into detail about how historical context is lost in modern translations and how his knowledge of Greek (IIRC) opened his eyes to non-traditional interpretations. SOME of those (primarily one in 1 Corinthians 14 that deals with women being silent in church) fly in the face of the common (read: face-value) interpretation, but any time I bring these things up I get dismissed for basically being negatively influenced by a liberal college. I guess I'd rather be that than a willfully ignorant bigot.
I can't talk honestly about my faith with 90% of my family and most of the people I knew at my old churches. It starts unnecessarily inflammatory discussions and suddenly I'm "that guy" who doesn't get invited to Bible study any more.
So while I don't exactly understand what it's like to have totally dropped out of the church and the faith, so to speak, I still wince when I see the masturbatory atheist hating. It's actually pretty shameful, because I know middle and high schoolers at the youth group I used to work at posting on Facebook about how great GnD is and how they hope God gives them strength for when college professors test their faith like that. Gah....
MOVING RIGHT ALONG:
ArcticFox wrote:Fair enough, I don't live in the South. (well, technically MD is a southern state, but not in a way that matters.) I live in a left-leaning state which tends to mean "not particularly Christian" and I work at a University, which is an environment where being an atheist is an advantage and expressing belief in God is seen as... quaint. At best.
Unfortunately, people in general also suck