Not Recommended. This movie is bitter bigoted hate speech against Christians. Hysterical witch-hunting for “Christian witches.” But in the interest of not succumbing to the same imbalanced criticism against the movie that the movie propogates against evangelical Christianity, I will first note the positive. Every criminal has some good traits. The story is about a young girl, Mary, at a Christian school who tries to “save” her boyfriend from turning gay by sleeping with him. When she gets pregnant, she has to hide her shame and deal with the “queen Christian” in the school, self-righteous Hilary Faye (An obvious reference to Tammy Faye Bakker) played by Mandy Moore. Mary hangs out with the rebels, a crippled non-Christian, and the lone Jewish girl at the school who is there only because her other choice was homeschooling. She eventually gives up her evangelical faith for a humanistic faith in herself and her feelings. These filmmakers have clearly had some experience either in the Evangelical subculture or know some who are in it, because it captures some of the bad side of it rather well: prayer as a weapon of gossip, “God told me” baloney, Jesus as a cover for every kind of selfish pursuit, Jesus marketing, frauds, hypocrites etc. I actually agree in part with the critique that Evangelical subculture has become a fraudulent marketed substitute for secular culture with the same selfishness covered over in platitudes and rationalizations. The Christian subculture with it’s Christian versions of everything; Christian schools, Christian books, Christian music, Christian T-Shirts, and even Christian vices has become a pathetic pseudo-reality that too often fails to address the real evils of society. The panacea for all problems is “Accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior.” Well I agree with the filmmakers here. There is a form of this kind of subculture that exists and it is wrong. However, that subculture is not necessarily real Christianity and aye, there’s the rub. In this movie, all Christians are portrayed as hypocrites, losers, liars, and frauds. There is not a single authentic biblical Christian in the entire movie against which such exploitation is measured. Someone who lives out the teachings of Jesus with compassion yet a hatred for sin; loving, but righteous. Therefore, the filmmakers are not critiquing the abuse of Christianity, they think that twisted version IS Christianity. That is how you sniff out bigotry and propaganda in a film like this. And in the end, the homosexual, the handicapped kid, the Jew, the pregnant girl are all aligned against, the “Christian” lead, a self-righteous Fem played by Mandy Moore. Of course, there are no black people there because Christianity is, according to these filmmakers, not for them either. In other words, cast the Christian as against these special interests and “diversity” so they will hate Christians too. It appears that Christians are one of the few acceptable people groups to hate and attack in this country. Imagine a movie that focused on the homosexual community that showed all the homosexuals as either hypocrites, losers, liars or frauds. They’d be attacked by the ACLU and GLAAD and branded as sexist hate-mongers. Imagine a movie that focused on a school of African Americans that showed all the blacks as either hypocrites, losers, liars or frauds. They’d be attacked by the ACLU, and the NAACP and branded as racist hate-mongers. Imagine a movie that focused on a Jewish school that showed all Jews as either hypocrites, losers, liars or frauds. They’d be attacked by the ACLU and the ADL and branded as Anti-Semitic hate-mongers. But I guess it’s okay to make a movie that shows all Christians as either hypocrites, losers, liars or frauds. The movie mocks good things as if they were bad. It paints gun owners as gun nuts, it mocks secondary virginity, recovery from destructive behavior, clean lifestyles, prayer, faithfulness in marriage, worship music, interventions, etc. The irony is that this movie is so bitter and unfunny that it will probably do terrible business. It rings with bitterness and hatred, not truth. I gotta say, how ironic it is for Mandy Moore, to act in a movie that mocks Christians, after starring in A Walk To Remember, that elevates Christian teens in a similar context of high school. Of course, authentic Christians would not endorse the silly and false Christianity presented in the movie. They would mock it as well. But the problem lies in the propaganda, the poisoning of the well, the special pleading. The answer the story gives for false Christianity is not true Christianity, but HUMANISTIC FEELINGS. Pretty much standard fare for Hollywood. Follow your heart, your feelings and that’s truth. I wrote an entire chapter on this in my book, Hollywood Worldviews. As an adulterous woman tells her preacher partner (of course, gotta have the sexually fallen preacher, another typical cliché of Antichristian agitprop), “Why would God give us these feelings if what we are doing is wrong?” The heroine at the end of the film says, “Life is perfect. There has to be a God out there – or in us. You just have to feel it.” Of course, the god that the humanist proposes to substitute for the Biblical God is a god called ME. God is in us, which really means “we are god.” The gay struggling with his homosexuality is affirmed in his feelings, the adulterers are affirmed in their feelings, the fornicators are affirmed in their feelings. Rebels are affirmed in their feelings. (Everyone is affirmed in their feelings EXCEPT the Christian. THEIR feelings are not legitimate). Sorry, folks, but I got a news flash. If your answer to an alleged self-righteous morality of restraint is “feelings,” without a moral standard to judge and restrain those feelings (since you’ve just denied moral restraint), then you’ve just disallowed any criticism of racists, child molesters, rapists and serial killers. They have feelings too. And their feelings tell them what they’re doing is okay, and who are you to judge? When you take away that standard of moral restraint, then stop griping about a society saturated with drug addicted kids, kids killing kids, pregnant kids, kid monsters without moral restraint. That’s all the result of your “feelings” oriented morality – or lack thereof. Here’s another whopping irony: The goal of the movie is to show the Christian subculture as homogenous, comformist, and the rebels are the heros, the ones who defy such conformity. The heroine asks, “Why would Jesus have made us all so different if he wanted us to all be the same?” Funny, last time I looked, this pluralistic culture we live in is the comformist homogeneity. Relative “gray” ethics is the hegemony. Christianity is not welcomed in the public square. Christians are the true counter-cultural force, the true rebels. I mean come on, normalization of sexual perversion on every level, abortion on demand, God out of government and schools. This is a post-Christian world, folks, and inmates have taken over the asylum. Think about it for a second, the “rebels” in this movie aren’t non-conformists, they are clichés of conformity carted in from what is the true homogenous society of dominant public schools. Christian schools are the anomaly. Christian schools and homschoolers are the true non-conformists in our world. TEEN REBELS are the real conformists, not the Christian. The Christian is the true rebel in this world, yet like usual, humanistic relativist filmmakers turn the truth literally upside down and try to make the victims guilty of the crime. Morality is the problem, not immorality. It is moral people that somehow are guilty of the consequences of the immoral behavior of immoral people. Christians cause teen pregnancy, abortions, sexual diseases and criminal behavior, not the true moral criminals. Such reverse logic actually prefers promiscuity, teen pregnancy, rebellion, adultery, as good and considers abstinent clean obedient kids to be the real evil. Can there BE anything more backward?
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
(Now, the anti-Christian would consider quoting a Bible verse to be self-righteous. But think again. Who is self-righteous – the person who points to God to define righteousness or the person who points to themself [their feelings] to define righteousness?)