Really, America?

Creation, a new film about Charles Darwin cannot get any US distributors because of fear of fundamentalist backlash:

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as “a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying”.

Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Specieswas published.

“That’s what we’re up against. In 2009. It’s amazing,” he said.

“The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.

Am I wrong or this would have never happened ten years ago? It seems like the fundamentalist backlash against modernity that took center-stage on 9/11 in Islamic form and which has intensified in its Christian form among evangelicals as a backlash to 9/11 is increasingly, irrationally, and most unjustly and troublingly receiving only increased deference and quite likely undeserved recognition as a majority position. The regressive, authoritarian, anti-intellectual, fearful, hateful, willfully stupid and potentially violent forces of fundamentalism must not be catered to like this lest they will increasingly come to demand and expect more and more concessions to ignorance and regression.

Hollywood should be ashamed of itself for its cowardly refusal to stand up for art, knowledge, history, science, and freethinking out of fear of those who want to drag human thought back to the bronze age. What a pusillanimous people we’re becoming.

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