God’s Not Dead – 2014

God's Not Dead

God’s Not Dead is a movie from 2014. There are things that I love about it and things that I hate about it. Among the things I love is the underdog fight against society and rules that you deep down know it’s wrong. The little man stands up for what he believes is right. The story is about this kid taking a philosophy class in college or the university or wherever. His professor starts of the first class but proclaiming that God is Dead and wants all of the students to write it down and sign their name to it. He wants a total homogenate consensus about this. Of course, most of the students sign off whether they believe in it or not. It’s the easiest way after all. But there is also one kid that refuses to go along with it.

What happens is that he is given the choice to leave the class or defend his standpoint by proving that God really exists in front of the whole class. He has the professor against him of course but he takes on the task and makes it his mission to defend God’s existence. The fact that he stands up for his beliefs is something I really love about this movie. I’m not a very religious man myself but if there is something I really hate is when other people are dictating to us what we should believe in. It doesn’t have to be a religious standpoint at all, it could be political or any opinion really. We’re all entitled to our opinion and the chance to present our case with evidence.

Impossible to Prove

We all know of course, that the existence of God is impossible to prove scientifically. We also know that it’s impossible to prove the opposite. In fact, we are not able to prove that anything is or behaves in a certain way. The only thing we can prove is that it’s not behaving in another way. Everything else is really just theory, a hypothesis. So, that’s the thing I love about this movie. The little man takes it upon himself to stand up for what he believes in.

In God’s Not Dead we have a lot of other ingredients though. We have a woman finding out that she has cancer. There is religious oppression which is just as bad as denying something to believe in God. Unfortunately, this is portrayed with Islam as a base, pointing out Islam as a controlling religion. I don’t think it’s fair to make a cheap point for Christianity by throwing dirt on another religious conviction. I don’t think it’s fair that the atheists in the movie ridicule the Christians either. That’s actually one of the things I hate about the movie. We could and should treat each other with respect.

Terrible Debater

The professor, for instance, is a terrible debater. I don’t think that it’s very realistic that he should be so utterly bad at it. He takes to strawman arguments at the first chance and tries to diminish his opponent with emotions rather than an argument that fits his case. He is using his social status to claim that he knows more than a freshman on the subject. That might very well be the case, but why not use arguments about it instead, that would have made an awesome movie. But God’s Not Dead don’t take that route. What I was hoping to become an interesting debate more or less becomes a monologue from the student. There’s no real counterargument from the professor.

So, if God’s Not Dead was meant to stir up feelings of anger and frustration from the viewer it has succeded. At least for me. And I think that there may be a point to that because of some of the characters’ choices. There is more than one occasion where something tied to religion or non-religion or how you should put it shatters lives and families. There are some true egocentric assholes in the film. Some of them might be humblefied at the end but some are actually up for debate.

I think God’s Not Dead is based on some true events. Not that things happened as they are portrayed in the film, but i the rolling credits there are a few civil rights cases where Christians has been suspended or dismissed because of their religious beliefs. I think that is the point of the movie, the get them redemption is som way or form. I just wish it weren’t so heavy biased for Christianity. It should have been religion in general. That’s the thing I hate about it.

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Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

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