‘Atheist’ gets red carpet treatment at ‘Christian Oscars’ ceremony

‘Atheist’ gets red carpet treatment at ‘Christian Oscars’ ceremony February 24, 2020
Image via YouTube

BENEATH the headline ‘Atheists who see Christianity as good for society’ the Christian Post reveals that Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, above, best known for playing the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films, strongly defended Christianity at last week’s Movieguide awards ceremony, a celebration of piss-poor faith-based movies.

Rhys-Davies told the Christian Post:

We seem to forget that Christian civilisation has made the world a better place … We owe Christianity the greatest debt of thanks that a generation can ever have, and to slight it and to dismiss it as being irrelevant is the detritus of rather ill-read minds, I think.

Is Rhys-Davies, as the headline suggest, really an atheist?  Wikipedia describes him as a “rationalist” and a “skeptic” and also points out that the ardent Brexiteer one became a poster boy for the fascist British National Party for his anti-Islamic views.

He also garnered praise for his views in National Vanguard an American white nationalist, neo-Nazi organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Way Back Machine link in the Wiki footnotes No 26).

The Christian Post reports that Rhys-Davies, who recently starred in an animated adaptation of Pilgrim’s Progress and is the lead in an upcoming biopic of Saint Patrick, said he often finds himself sticking up for Jesus in his line of work.

Rhys-Davis is just one of many skeptics, atheists, and secularists of late who reject the rhetoric of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and recognize the immense good the Gospel has done for the world. Whereas the so-called New Atheists slandered Christianity as being backward and poisonous, a new crop of unbelievers see it as beneficial, beautiful, and maybe even in some limited sense, true.

As for Movieguide, I love it because it’s a great resource for finding top class films. If Movieguide uses the the word “abhorrent” – as it frequently does to describe a film – you can be sure that it’s well worth watching. In 2018 I wrote a piece pointing out that Movieguide went on the warpath against the Kevin Hart comedy Night School. It warned that the movie contains:

Irreverent portrayals of a Christian chicken restaurant patterned after Chick-fil-A … Teddy’s job at a restaurant called Christian Chicken has him wearing a chicken suit while holding a sign out front that says its food is ‘heavenly’, and yelling ‘Honk once if you love chicken, honk twice if you love the Lord!’

There’s also a scene where he tries to break free from taking part in an employee prayer circle. This scenes [sic] and the restaurant’s overly happy Christian boss sometimes appear to be mocking Christians.

But a 2017 that really sent Movieguide into outrage overdrive was the highly-acclaimed The Shape of Water, which it described as “a vile lust story.

The underlying worldview in the movie is that our sexual impulses aren’t something that should be suppressed or rebuked, but instead should be lived out totally and openly. This is no surprise coming from [Guillermo] del Toro since his last movie centered around an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister.

This is absolutely abhorrent and detrimental to society. Add on the fact that The Shape of Water has extreme violence, strong foul language, and lots of political correctness, it’s one of the worst movies in recent years, a movie that every viewer should want to avoid.

The Shape of Water was named one of the ten best films of the year, was considered one of del Toro’s finest since Pan’s Labyrinth, and it won numerous awards.

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  • WallofSleep

    “… best known for playing the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films…”

    He’ll always be professor Maximilian Arturo to me. Mendicant!

  • TankaS

    How sad that he has such racist, bigoted views 🙁

    Off now to add “The Shape of Water” to my Watch Soon List 😉

  • Raging Bee

    We seem to forget that Christian civilisation has made the world a better place…

    HE AND HIS CHUMS seem to forget that WESTERN civilization was making the world a better place before it became Christian.

    And they’re also forgetting that large chunks of the progress made by “Christian civilization” were made despite reactionary opposition from established Christian churches.

  • Tawreos

    I guess they got tired of making atheists out of straw and have decided to make them out of descriptors.

  • Matt G

    Watch out! They have so little self-awareness that they would actually use this argument to defend Christianity.

  • Jim Jones

    There was a time when Christianity pretty much ruled Europe. It is called “The Dark Ages” for a reason.

  • WallofSleep

    Yeah, I was kind of disappointed to learn that.

  • Raging Bee

    Add on the fact that The Shape of Water has extreme violence, strong foul language, and lots of political correctness…

    This quote just shows how totally meaningless the phrase “political correctness” really is.

    (And no, the violence isn’t that extreme. Has this guy ever heard of another filmmaker named Quentin Tarantino?)

  • Tawreos

    Forget Tarentino, these people need to be reminded of the Inquisition, the Crusades, and how many people converted at the point of a sword. They think that because they aren’t allowed to do things like that today that it never happened.

  • larry parker

    Looks like Christianity gets a pass on the “rationalist” and a “skeptic” fronts.

  • Barry Duke

    No-one who supported Brexit could ever be called a rationalist. The man’s a complete arse!

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Sallah to me (From Raiders of the Lost Ark)

  • Erik1986

    I did not care for the movie, thought I could appreciate its artistry and the performances. Too bad about Rhy-Davies, thought. I’ve always enjoyed his performances as an actor. Isn’t it funny (not) that they can applaud his using his celebrity as a platform to spout off, but when a progressive/liberal actor like Clooney speaks up, the reaction is “He’s just an actor, he shouldn’t mouth off like that, what does he know?”

  • Erik1986

    “A British tar is a soaring soul…” Always love when snippets of G&S turn up in movies. ;0)

  • Raging Bee

    Yes — aren’t you relieved to know this? /s

  • French Pandora

    Sliders o/

  • French Pandora

    And by burning sacred places (Charlemagne).

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    “Bad dates…”

  • Norman Parron

    Or burning old women just cuz

  • Mutale

    oh they have artciles attacking tarantino i think one said that django unchained should have been nc-17

  • Mutale

    you see the problem isnt celebrities spouting politics the problem is they arent spouting their politics

  • argyranthemum

    I’m showing my age here, but I’ve liked John Rys-Davies since he was in “Shogun” back before the earth cooled. Very sad to learn he’s such a RWNJ.

  • barriejohn
  • Rann

    He obviously also didn’t see Roman Polanski’s MacBeth

  • Freodin

    Not quite for that reason. And “The Dark Ages” is a very malleable term.

    But one might ask the question if Christianity destroyed more knowledge and culture after/during the end of the Roman Empire than they protected from the results of this decline.

  • barriejohn

    PBS America (in the UK) have been showing a fantastic series on The Plantagenets (sorry if I’ve mentioned it here previously), and another, equally engrossing, on The Hundred Years’ War. Such godly people!

    “From the Devil we sprang, and to the Devil we shall return” (Richard “Lionheart”). The last of the Plantagenets was, of course, Richard (has anybody seen those Little Princes?) the Third. ‘Nuff said.

  • Tawreos

    I think I need to find those documentaries. Thanks for the head’s up.

  • Michael Neville

    The Thirty Years Was (1618-1648) was between Catholics and Protestants and one-third of the population of Central Europe died during the War.

  • Raging Bee

    Of course — they had to destroy their civilization fighting over which sect gets the most credit for building their civilization. THAT’S IMPORTANT!!!

  • epicurus

    After watching John Rhys-Davies narrate a King James Bible documentary several years ago, I always assumed he was a Christian given how much he gushed over the KJV. If he’s not a Christian I have to think he is still a theist of some sort, unless he’s made a big change in the last few years.

  • Griff Pryce

    Academics tend to prefer the term “early Middle Ages” in order to avoid the reputation associated with the Dark Ages (crash of everything associated with civilisation, total chaos, etc.). It was a time of what we might call “confusion” in Western Europe following the fall of the Roman Empire. (Personally I think of it not so much as a fall as a “sitting down and saying, ‘aw, screw it.'”) What seems to me to be “dark” about it, though, is the lack of records — so that our historical knowledge of those several centuries is kinda sketchy at best.

  • barriejohn

    I’ve watched them several times recently, as there is far too much detailed information to absorb in one go! They were obviously shown on other channels previously, but I had never seen them – nor tonight’s excellent The Greatest Knight (William Marshal); a BBC programme first shown in 2014.

  • Carstonio

    Don’t listen to the Christian Post’s spin. They’re trying to fit his quote into the framework of one either supporting or opposing Christianity.And don’t make the mistake of buying into the framework from the opposite direction, either. Atheism isn’t inherently about the viewpoint that religion is bad, even though many atheists hold that view. instead it’s fundamentally a disagreement and a skepticism about the claims made by many religions. While Rhys-Davies’ comments about Christianity as far too rosy, they shouldn’t be a reason to lift his atheist card.

    My own disagreement with him is that religions have been responsible for bad as well as good, and that doesn’t make the religions wholly bad or wholly good, and instead any moral concepts offered by the religions should be judged on their own merits or lack of them. Martin Luther King doesn’t automatically make Christianity a force for good any more than Franklin Graham makes the religion a force for ill.

  • marbles

    Somewhere, Legolas is shaking his head in disappointment.

  • laura1919

    There are a number of vague catch phrases people all across the political spectrum can use to signal to me that they’re lazy, uninformed or pretending to know things they don’t. These include “political correctness”, “nanny state”, “franken-foods” and “science has proved…”

  • argyranthemum

    The Christians who I admired as a young teen and made me want to be a Christian (abolitionists, civil rights leaders, Europeans who hid Jews in WWII) were all fighting … other Christians.

  • Griff Pryce

    It seems to me that those who are so concerned about violence in the audiovisual media [movies/TV/internet/etc.] are often the same people who support violence IRL (and who also tend to use violent metaphors in the context of political and social debate). My impression is that the rhetoric of “protecting our children” from certain images and ideas (indeed, people who f

    “Political correctness” does exist. (As an academic, I encounter it often enough, although my colleagues in humanities and social sciences departments see much more of it than I do. For the most part find it to be nice for a bit of a laugh, but occasionally it is genuinely harmful to the open exchange of ideas.) It’s true, however, that the term has become rather content-free when used by right-wingers, who like to use it as a label for anyone who calls them on their mindblowingly hateful rhetoric. In truth, the suppression of debate has been common (especially in autocratic or totalitarian systems — the Third Reich, the Soviet Union (reaching an extreme in the Stalinist years), the Roman Catholic Church, etc.), but what makes political correctness distinctive is its prevalence among those who have traditionally favoured openness.

    I’d say we should likely be more concerned about far-right politicians who use “Us-versus-Them” politics to manipulate large numbers of American voters who are angry, embittered, etc., into blaming “Them” for their problems. What I tell people who say that we should censor hate speech (or as I like to call it, “Us-versus-Them” speech: motivated by a sort of hybrid of hate and fear) — racism, religious bigotry [any of these can be religiously motivated, of course, xenophobia, sexual and gender-based repressiveness, etc. — us that it’s actually important to let the hatemongers express their views, because it makes everyone aware of just how vicious and stupid they are. Collecting data about the rhetoric of the American far right can help us to understand their technique for appealing to the above-mentioned voters — and, one might hope, to counteract that appeal.

    I think that those who oppose the American far right should keep records of their assertions — especially important if they openly promote violence — but really, we should think of them as an information source on far-right attitudes. It’s disturbing how little success we have had in stopping the efforts of the far right to manipulate voters and policy makers and infiltrate the government — particularly the courts. I know this probably sounds like I’m just trying to label my political opponents as a Threat To All We Stand For™, but this isn’t just about people I disagree with: I know for a fact that I’m not the only person who is concerned that the American far right is seriously working to undermine democracy in and transform the United States into an authoritarian theocracy. Considering how militarised that country is (not to mention its economic power)…well, ’nuff said.

    Oops, got a bit sidetracked there, didn’t I. Sorry about that.

  • Jim Jones

    If he’s an atheist, I’m the Pope.

  • Jim Jones

    If Christianity hadn’t destroyed the original of Against the Christians by Porphyry of Tyre they’d have some excellent evidence for the religion (although not the magic claims). But they did the stupidest thing they could and now they have no evidence.

  • Raging Bee

    Okay, you wrote a whole paragraph complaining about “political correctness,” without actually defining it or giving any specific examples, or specifying why it’s bad.

  • JenniWest

    Like all Righties, he sugar coats the positives and ignores the negatives.