“If we sit by and do nothing, the pressure we’re feeling today will mean persecution tomorrow.” Sounds like something a leader here at the American Humanist Association might say—after all, we’re reminded on our money, in our oaths and pledges, and by the thousands of churches across the country that America is a Christian nation, right? But don’t be fooled—this quote comes from the upcoming sequel to God’s Not Dead, a film that surprised the movie industry with record ticket sales for its low-budget and faith-based subject matter.
Writer Meghan Hamilton suffered through watching the entire first film for TheHumanist.com in 2014; I found it painful just watching the two-minute trailer for the sequel. This time around, God’s Not Dead 2 appears to focus on Christian persecution everywhere—in churches, schools, and courthouses. And who’s leading the charge to take away your freedom of religion? Atheists, of course!
I couldn’t help but feel a little pride after seeing that the American Humanist Association was depicted as the “enemy” in the first film; one of the characters appeared as a lonely, confrontational liberal with an “American Humanists” bumper sticker on her car. This time around the enemy is the ACLU, led by one of their evil atheist lawyers putting a public school teacher (played by Melissa Joan Hart, best known for playing a witch on the Sabrina sitcom) on trial for mentioning a Bible quote in class. She claims she was merely responding to a student’s question about whether the concept of nonviolence is similar to Jesus’s “love your enemy” message, yet the more appropriate response would’ve simply been, “That’s your belief,” before moving on to teach the subject she was hired to teach. Last time I checked, public schools were a place to learn about literature, history, and science—not Jesus. Predictably, the film sympathizes with Hart’s character as she’s disciplined by school administrators and her supporters cry persecution.
Perhaps the film reveals more than what’s suggested in the trailer, but I’d place good money that God’s Not Dead 2 is, yet again, a Christian propaganda film, beating us over the head with the idea that all atheists are evildoers out to take away your freedom of speech and the right to pray while reminding non-Christians that failing to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior will send you straight to hell. I find it appropriate that the film will be released on April 1—it’ll certainly be a joke.