Neil Carter went to see God’s Not Dead 2: Electric Boogaloo and has a long, detailed review of the movie. It’s everything we could have expected after watching the first one, loaded with ridiculous caricatures and wildly unlikely elements to form a giant lie about the faux persecution Christians allegedly suffer.
I’m particularly interested in the legal distortions:
But this particular film takes a bizarre turn when, after the ACLU comes after the teacher for mentioning Jesus in class (because they totally do that, right?), the entire court case turns on a dime and becomes a defense of the historicity of Jesus and the reliability of the gospels.
See, first of all, that’s not how this would even work. Assuming for the sake of argument that mentioning Jesus in class could get a teacher suspended (it won’t), and further assuming that the bad guys come for the blood of the individual teacher under consideration (they wouldn’t…they would come after the school system), the entire court case should have been about whether or not Ms. Wesley actually overstepped her legal boundaries by citing a teaching of Jesus during class. It should have been about exploring the boundaries of both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution. The judge, played by former Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson, quoted each of those clauses at the beginning of the case.But then the case inexplicably changes course and becomes about something completely unrelated to the question under consideration. Instead of deliberating over whether or not Ms. Wesley broke the law (it feels like a criminal case, complete with a jury and everything), the defense redefines the case around proving whether or not the historical Jesus is based on reliable sources, and whether or not the gospels themselves are believable documents.
It’s like they’re ripping off the plot of Miracle on 34th Street. Only this time, it’s set in Arkansas at the state capitol. And instead of trying to establish whether or not Santa Claus is real, now they are trying to determine if Jesus was real. Because that would totally happen in real life in a court of law. And it’s totally relevant to the case at hand.
They call in witnesses pulled right off the shelves of your local Christian bookstore: Case for Christ author Lee Strobel climbs into the witness stand to give his take on the reliability of the Bible, followed by a fast-talking J. Warner Wallace (whom I’ve never heard of, but who apparently authored a book entitled Cold Case Christianity). Just a few seconds into this bizarre detour from the original purpose of this case, one begins to wonder if the writers of this movie have any idea at all how anything legal works in this country.
They don’t. Nor do they care. The only thing they care about is preaching to the audience and nurturing the utterly false sense of grievance that so many Christians in this country feel about their completely mythical persecution. And whatever lies you have to tell to make that case is fine. After all, God will forgive you. Hell, he might even give you extra credit.