Podcast: Are Superheroes False Gods?

It’s not quite that simple. But there is much profundity in this discussion about our culture and superheroes.

Nate is one of my all-time favorite podcast hosts. This was an engrossing discussion.

Okay, I like the co-host Gene Gosewher too.

I talk alot so if you like to listen to me, you will love this podcast. If you hate the sound of my voice and my thoughts, then this will drive you up a wall.

Listen here.

The Boys – Amazon Series: Woke Hollywood Anti-American Christophobic Absurdity

The anti-superhero series on Amazon. What if superheroes got publicists and social media?

The premise of this series is that a major private corporation manages superheroes’ careers and brand images like Hollywood celebrities. Of course, there’s big money in them thar hills and the whole “save the world” thing is just a cynical meme for exploitation by the elite.

I’m not that entirely adverse to the premise because, while I applaud the elevation of noble values that comes with most superhero stories, I have also had a deep distrust of the genre because of its tendency to replicate the idolatry of pagan religions.

Superheroes as God Substitutes

On the one hand, a superhero like Superman can certainly be a “Christ figure,” a myth that points toward a spiritual truth. But I have also observed that as our culture becomes more secular and more god-hating and anti-Christian, it is no surprise to me that superhero stories become replacements for that lost narrative. Superhero blockbusters are evidence of a deep inescapable hunger for deity. And when the Judeo-Christian god is expelled from society, superheroes function as replacements of human projections.

There is very little difference between, say the gods of the ancient world, and modern superheroes. Sometimes, they are even direct references to such (Wonder Woman, Thor, etc.). They perform the same purpose: they express and explain cultural and moral values and incarnate the pursuit of transcendence, that hunger for deity.

Humankind is “homo-religicus” or an inherently religious being. And when you cast away the constraints of the Judeo-Christian God, you do not become strictly secular, you actually construct a new mythology (religion) to fulfill those transcendent needs. You create new gods. And if you try to stay secular, ideology becomes your religion, or totalizing discourse that is your god of ultimate values: Leftism, Marxism, Socialism, identity politics all operate in this way. They are God-substitutes. They are idolatry.

And those gods are tyrants. Because human beings are essentially evil, and therefore, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In this sense, I actually found myself quite interested in the series, at first.

At first.

In fact, the story can be seen as a critique of the corruption of power and of elitist celebrity culture. That is how it is set up, before it all comes unwound… Continue reading

Unplanned: A Deeply Moving Story of a Planned Parenthood Whistleblower

The true story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director who presided over tens of thousands of abortions. But when she finally sees an actual abortion, her entire life is turned upside down.

I just saw the premiere a couple days ago in Los Angeles. I was blown away. Put it on your calendars NOW to see it opening weekend March 29.

If you care at all, even a little bit, about the issue of abortion in this country, you must see this woman’s story. It is a deeply moving portrait of redemption. It is both gripping and beautiful.

Ashley Bratcher plays Abby Johnson with a fresh innocence, a growing awakening, a broken heart, and a freed soul. Her journey is nuanced, honest and without malice.

The Cover Up

All the demons of hell are going to come out against this movie. Why? Because it is good story told well that will move the hearts of anyone with a conscience who watches it.

And it isn’t a propaganda piece. It shows some pro-life protestors at their worst, and all the Planned Parenthood workers at their best. It is honest about the nuances and complexities of the issue of abortion in the real world of women’s lived experiences.

This is not good news for Planned Parenthood. It’s a whistleblower movie about justice that is on the level of Silkwood, The Insider, Erin Brockovich, A Civil Actionand Michael Clayton.

And like those movies, the evil corporate beast seeks to crush the hero.

The powers that be already tried to suppress it by giving it an R-rating, even though it is only a PG-13 movie.

Next, the godless secular press will ignore it as much or more than they did with the other spectacular abortion movie Gosnell. They will block, censor, ban, demonetize, deplatform and deboost the movie’s advertising and conversation. Just like they did Gosnell.

I would not be surprised if Planned Parenthood sues the filmmakers, even though they already sued Abby Johnson and lost. Which is a most satisfying and humorous part of the movie.

It is nothing short of a miracle that Gosnelland Unplannedcame out within a year of each other.

Be a part of that miracle, put it on your calendar, March 29 opening weekend.

 

New Movie Gosnell: It’s NOT Gory, It’s a Thrilling Courtroom Drama. Why Does Hollywood Not Want You to See It?

 

True story of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell whose infanticide and other criminal activities were ignored by the government and the media for decades, resulting in the cover-up of the worst serial killer in American history.

I got to see an advance screening of this new amazing movie coming out THIS WEEKEND. You must see it. Because Hollywood does not want you to. Why? Why did NPR and Facebook censor the ads for this movie? Why does the Left hate it?

Because it’s a great movie about the truth that they all suppress.

Believe it or not, this is NOT a “pro-life political” movie. It is a thrilling courtroom drama about a serial killer and how justice was delayed for a criminal monster. It is a movie about the cover-up of crimes and how the system and political bias of those in power feed that cover-up. This is no different than Erin Brockovich, Michael Clayton, Spotlight, The Insider, The Verdict, A Civil Action, China Syndrome and many other Hollywood conspiracy movies. The only difference is that Gosnell is about a politically incorrect villain so you would have never had the opportunity to see this unique movie if it were not for the brave, courageous storytelling of its producers, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney (They also wrote a NYT Bestselling book by the same title). I have mentioned previously on this blog that I have had the privilege to work with them and I believe they are two of the most heroic storytellers in filmmaking today.

Secondly, this is NOT a gross-out horror movie (though it could easily have been). There are no in-your-face grotesque images of what Gosnell actually did. A few creepy moments, but NO GROSS VISUALS. They didn’t need to show them. Your imagination fills it in. The director, Nick Searcy, had the creative foresight to understand that it would take the focus off the amazing story and turn off their mainstream audience. It would also get them branded as “Anti-abortion propagandists” by the Media Goliath. This movie is no more explicit than an episode of most television legal or detective procedurals.

It’s safe to watch.

This is actually a detective and legal drama that focuses on the detective who was a part of uncovering the crimes, James Wood (played by Dean Cain), and the D.A., a “pro-choice” liberal (played by Sarah Jane Morris) who both seek the truth no matter where it leads. Hers is a deeply personal journey of discovery and the honesty it takes to face one’s own bias in a world of high stakes and consequences.

That pursuit of truth, regardless of political affiliation, is mostly absent from our once-great culture. Those who are in power in the most influential institutions of the government and the media use their positions of influence to promote their political agenda and destroy their opponents, NOT to uncover the truth. Truth dies in darkness. And that of course is the theme of Gosnell.

The Genesis of Discovery, the Origin of Evil…

Continue reading

Gosnell: A Movie About America’s Most Notorious Serial Killer. And Why You Don’t Know About Him.

True story of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell whose infanticide and other criminal activities were ignored by the government and the media for decades, resulting in the cover-up of the worst serial killer in American history.

I got to see an advance screener of this new amazing movie coming out in October. Keep your eyes open for it. I’ll remind you on this blog when it’s out.

Right off the bat, this is NOT a pro-life political movie. It is a detective legal drama about a serial killer and how justice was delayed for a criminal monster. It is a movie about the cover-up of crimes and how the system and political bias of those in power feed that cover-up. This is no different than Erin Brockovich, Michael Clayton, Spotlight, The Insider, The Verdict, A Civil Action, China Syndrome and many other Hollywood conspiracy movies. The only difference is that Gosnell is about a politically incorrect villain so you would have never had the opportunity to see this unique movie if it were not for the brave, courageous storytelling of its producers, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney (They also wrote a NYT Bestselling book by the same title). I have mentioned previously on this blog that I have had the privilege to work with them and I believe they are two of the most heroic storytellers in filmmaking today.

Secondly, this is NOT a gross-out horror movie (though it could easily have been). There are no in-your-face grotesque images of what Gosnell actually did. Yes, creepy images at times, but not gruesome. The director, Nick Searcy, had the creative foresight to understand that it would take the focus off the amazing story and turn off their mainstream audience. It would also get them branded as “Anti-abortion propagandists” by the Media Goliath. This movie is no more explicit than an episode of most television legal or detective procedurals.

It’s safe to watch.

This is actually a detective and legal drama that focuses on the detective who was a part of uncovering the crimes, James Wood (played by Dean Cain), and the D.A., a “pro-choice” liberal (played by Sarah Jane Morris) who both seek the truth no matter where it leads. Hers is a deeply personal journey of discovery and the honesty it takes to face one’s own bias in a world of high stakes and consequences.

That pursuit of truth, regardless of political affiliation, is mostly absent from our once-great culture. Those who are in power in the most influential institutions of the government and the media use their positions of influence to promote their political agenda and destroy their opponents, NOT to uncover the truth. Truth dies in darkness. And that of course is the theme of Gosnell.

The Genesis of Discovery, the Origin of Evil…

Continue reading

Paul: Apostle of Christ – The Profound Victory of the Gospel in the Midst of Persecution and Suffering.

 

The true story of the apostle Paul’s last year of life before martyrdom in Rome. Luke the physician visits him as Christians in Rome struggle with secrecy and survival in the midst of great persecution.

I recorded a podcast on the movie with Nate Sala’s A Clear Lens here.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my notebook with me when I saw the movie. And I don’t have time right now to detail everything, but we touched on everything in the podcast.

Listen to the podcast here.

I wanted to write this for the headline: This persecution of Christians is what we have to fear coming true again, NOT the ridiculous delusion of The Handmaid’s Tale that will never happen.

This is a must-see film for Christian believers. Well-written and well-acted profound wrestling with the issues of persecution and retribution, violence and non-violence, in the context of the Neronic persecution of the first century.

Realistically biblical dialogue that captures the language of the Pauline epistles and makes it come alive in a way that I have not seen done before. Paul’s most theologically rich phrases, like, “to live is Christ, to die is gain,” and “Christ in me,” etc. are woven into the dialogue in a way that are satisfyingly realistic and illuminating. It gives flesh to abstract theological concepts.

This is not a feel-good movie. This is a profound spiritual exploration of suffering. Its theme is about finding the victory of faith in Christ in the midst of suffering and persecution; an ironic paradox that unbelievers cannot grasp, and even most believers have a hard time living out. That’s why this story is so valuable.

It is a low budget movie, and though it deals with the Neronic persecution, we don’t get to see the full brutality of the arena, which would have hit home the visceral depth of evil done against Christians. But it does a great job of capturing the internal and spiritual struggles faced by those under assault, and how faith in Christ carries one through to the end.

Paul: Apostle of Christ is an excellent example of how Christians can make better movies with better quality and integrity. Support it, so we’ll get more of them.

 

To get the big picture of the first century suffering of the early church, you can read the novel Tyrant: Rise of the Beast, which chronicles the details of Nero’s persecution of the Christians in a way that speaks the Gospel to Power. It’s the big budget version I wished these filmmakers would have been able to afford.

 

A Wrinkle in Time: Why Does Hollywood Keep Raping Christian Stories?

I guess A Wrinkle in Time can now officially be a part of the #MeToo movement of Hollywood victims.

And before you start “outraging” about the metaphor, I want to say that it actually fits perfectly. Rape is the forced penetration, and often insemination, of an unwilling person.

So too is the act of taking a Christian classic and deliberately eviscerating it of its meaning, and then inseminating it with the seed of a hostile alien worldview.

It’s an act of narrative violence.

But that’s how many secular and pagan storytellers roll. This has been a problem for a long time. In my book, Hollywood Worldviews, I list movies that were made through the years where the original stories were rooted in a Christian worldview (many of them, true stories), but were either completely secularized and shorn of their Christian elements or were so minimalized as to undermine the Christian meaning with a humanistic spin.

That’s called subversion. You retell your opponent’s story through your own view and thereby take control of the story. It’s one of those few things that postmodernism is correct about. If you control the narrative, you control the meaning.

Here are some movies through the years that subvert the Christian faith through suppression or elimination of it: The Pursuit of Happyness, Pocahontas, The New World, Hotel Rwanda, Becoming Jane, Anna and the King, Hard Ball, Walk the Line, Unbroken, The Vow, The Finest Hours, Hidden Figures.

And that’s not to mention movies, like Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Last Days in the Desert, where atheists completely subvert Biblical stories and the Biblical God with an idol of nature or atheist demythologizing.

Most of these movies above are true stories, whose characters are driven by their faith to such an extent that the deletion or suppression of that motivation is a violation, not just of the story, but of the human being.

Now Madeleine L’Engle can join those ranks.

And if her estate was willing, well then, they are complicit in the crime. Continue reading

The 15:17 to Paris: How God Prepares the Heroes We Need Right Now

The true story of how three American friends stopped a terrorist attack on a train to France and saved 500 lives. Directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Dorothy Blyskal from the book.

Clint Eastwood is one of the most courageous and bold filmmakers in Hollywood. He defies the hegemony, goes against the grain, speaks truth to power.

The 15:17 to Paris is no exception. This is a story of American exceptionalism, positive Christianity, pro-military and salvific masculinity.

Like Owen Wilson would say, “Wow.”

It follows the ordinary lives of three boys from grade school up to adulthood and how the simple and sometimes frustrating obstacles of life are providentially used by God to create ordinary heroes. I use that ironic term “ordinary heroes” deliberately because, not only is this a true story, but it is one that shows us being a hero is not something for comic books and movies, but is part and parcel of a life of traditional American Christian values that have been lost in our culture.

The Gimmick

All right, I have to say this right up front, the acting is not Oscar-worthy. It’s mediocre, and a bit of a weakness of the film. But I am totally okay with it because Eastwood cast the actual three men to play themselves in the movie.

It’s a gimmick that works because it carries with it a certain sense of authenticity that A-list actors would not carry. Of course, I love what A-list actors can bring to true stories as well. But in this case, it’s okay that they don’t. And the reason is because the whole point of the story is that ordinary average citizens without privilege can be real heroes.

So, you’ll have to have a little patience with these first time thespians. But trust me, it will be worth it.

Salvific Masculinity in an Emasculated World

Leftists and America-haters will hate this movie with all the hatred in their black little hearts.

Patriots and reasonable Christians will love this movie because it showcases God’s providential control in our lives and defies the political correctness of cultural Marxism that is destroying our society.

Here’s how it does that… Continue reading

Oscar Win: The Shape of Water Reveals the Soul of Hollywood — Bestiality.

A sci-fi interspecies romance. A mute female janitor working in a 1960s top-secret government facility falls in love with an amphibious fish-man that looks like a modern Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Okay, so I have to give the Academy kudos for not giving the Oscar to the movie that celebrates adult sexual exploitation of teens. Instead, they opted for the movie that celebrates sex with animals.

That’s like kicking out Harvey Weinstein, but keeping Roman Polanski.

And it is entirely predictable.

A theater full of moral hypocrites, sexual predators and their enablers joke about how depraved they are, and avoid speaking truth to their power, while they award best picture to a Christophobic fantasy about sex with animals.

Please. Stop the madness.

Yes, I know they hinted at “the problem” by virtue signaling, but the Pharisees did not address it explicitly like they do with “other people’s sins.” Now, all of a sudden, they are sensitive and subtle. They were like a government agency that assures us they are investigating their crimes, “So don’t worry, we’ll clean up our mess.”

Yeah, right. While they arbitrarily destroy other men’s lives with mere accusations and think the fascist race for the guillotine is “justice”.

Their moral confusion is apparent in everything they do. It’s time for real change.

Social Justice for Animals

But back to the movie, an abominable SJW hate-fest against another caricature of Christianity, and an elevation of the very paganism that leads to the sexual predation that Hollywood is consumed with, while mocking Christian men, like Mike Pence, for their honorable chivalric actions toward women.

Remember, the director, Guillermo del Toro, made the very pagan Pan’s Labyrinth that was a fantasaical glorification of pagan blood sacrifice.

Well, he does it again in The Shape of Water.

The janitor is a lonely mute woman, Elisa, who works as a janitor at a government facility in the 1960s, a symbolic choice for the Cold War as a metaphor for “American paranoia” that supposedly leads to violent oppression of rights.

This is the stereotypical “Red Scare” narrative that worldwide panic was created by the vast right wing conspiracy about an ideology called Communism that didn’t murder over 100 million people and certainly didn’t threaten us with all those big scary nuclear weapons. And uncle Joe was a great guy too! Because we now know that 100 million weren’t murdered by Communism, but rather the paranoid fear of America!

So, the storytellers try to paint a theme about “civil rights” by making the protagonist a marginalized victim, who only has two friends, who just happen to be other marginalized victims in the social justice pantheon: Zelda, a black woman at work and Giles, a gay artist next door.

So, the set-up is to equate her story with one of oppression and forbidden love. You know those evils that only Christian patriarchy create.

Which comes to the villain, another vile caricature of Christianity… Continue reading