I’ve been following the atheist blogosphere reaction to the movie EXPELLED closely. Last night, PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins tried to enter an advance screening. Myers was asked to leave by security and rushed out gleefully to blog about it. As a pro-life activist, I have to admire his moxie, but I would have gone the whole way and gotten arrested if it were his event.
There is a rich, deep kind of irony that must be shared. I’m blogging this from the Apple store in the Mall of America, because I’m too amused to want to wait until I get back to my hotel room. I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.
Here is my open letter to PZ Myers:
As a big proponent of the film EXPELLED, I don’t see any irony here at all. If anyone wants to see the Myers and Dawkins clips that badly, you can just go to my blog.
I saw the movie on Tuesday and was given a DVD with over 30 minutes of raw clips. We were told as teachers to show it in class and use it as a debate opportunity for our students to discuss the issue of censorship, and so on. Of course, they want it to go to people who will promote it and get our friends to come out to see the movie. (Yes, it’s a vast right wing conspiracy!)
The DVD has the infamous PZ Myers interview in which you say your goal is to destroy or marginalize religion. (If I was really smart, I would have bought 100 of these and sold them to on EBay to militant atheists for $20 a piece as “movie contraband.”) Movie producers often do promotional test screenings before the release. Certain types of people are invited and some are not. It would be no different if you tried to crash an advance test screening of Indiana Jones or Star Trek except the security would have been tighter. And yes, you should have been arrested if you trespassed in any private function. On the other hand, you are making a mountain out of a molehill, the clip you wanted to see is already on my website.
What is ironic is that you can see the parts you really want to see the most — there are numerous clips out there already — and you are making it sound as though it’s a huge conspiracy to bar you from the debate. What is happening with EXPELLED though is that some movie reviewers want to crash the gates early so they can pan the film and pronounce it DOA — as did Roger Moore (no, not 007 — he would have gotten in) the Orlando Sentinel reviewer.
It strikes me as odd because most reviewers who are allowed into advance screenings have the professional courtesy not to publish their reviews until the week the movie premieres. No such courtesy here. The political stakes are too high.
The MAIN reason the media is not invited to these screenings is because the film is in raw form and is not ready for the general public yet. We saw a high-res DVD version that was not quite cinema quality.
All the secrecy and the buzz is working toward a big box office. I know all you anti-ID-ers are warming your insides over this imagined “incident,” but how does it really work in your favor?
Controversy sells. More people are going to see the movie as a result. That’s what we all want, right?
If I didn’t believe in a higher intelligent design, I’d see it as a great cosmic irony.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
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Running Time: 28 minutes
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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