December is here and with it the Holiday season. It’s that time of year again where we rewrite a Pagan tradition and pretend as though it were always meant to be about the birth of Jesus Christ and commence whining as soon as anyone says otherwise – like Starbucks, for instance. And just in time for all that Christmas cheer, I have decided to review a film that tells it like it is.
Perhaps some of you remember my review of God’s Not Dead? At the end of it, I posted a link to a trailer for a movie that isn’t just about “why God is real”, but “why evolution is not”. That movie was A Matter of Faith and boy am I ashamed it took me this long to take such a beautifully uninformed and preachy piece of cheese and rip it a new one. And no, it’s probably not a coincidence that the title sounds like “matter of fact” but with the most important word replaced by something entirely unrelated.
A Matter of Faith is the heart-warming tale of a young woman (Jordan Trovillion) who goes off to her first year at college only for something horrifying to occur: she begins learning from her biology professor that the true answer to man kind’s origin lies within the science of evolution, and NOT an invisible and omniscient deity that created the Universe from nothing because he felt like it. Eeeevil. Ooooh. (Yes, I know that evolution doesn’t necessarily talk about the “origins” of life but this is how the movie phrases it so why not, right?)
Nevertheless, the girl’s father soon makes note of this, as she starts exhibiting signs of having been genuinely influenced by the professor’s heinous teachings. In other words: she’s one step closer to becoming a thinking human being that realizes the difference between basing your perception of the world on scientific observation and basing it on whatever your religious faith allows you to even so much as think thoughts about. Fearing for the safety of his daughter’s stupidity, our hero Creationist-Dad takes matters into his own hands and tries to “do something about it”. Who knows, maybe if he recites just the right amount of tired old anti-atheist arguments in a debate hall á la God’s Not Dead while sappy music plays in the background to show that he’s the good guy, maybe, just maybe, he’ll win the day in the end?
According to the film’s Wikipedia entry, the only positive review they could come across was written by Ken Ham. I found this to be worth pointing out since, let’s be real, it doesn’t get much more appropriately funny than that. And nobody agrees with him either. Even some of the reviews written by Christian users on IMDb pan this movie, claiming that it doesn’t have a sufficient understanding of either side of the “evolution vs. intelligent design” debate and that it doesn’t make a strong enough case for the latter side. Unfortunately, my friend, having a sufficient understanding of science would NOT do YOUR side any favors.
I don’t want to seem like I’m opposed to the notion of celebrating one’s own faith by making a movie based on them. Religion, in spite of how silly it may be to act as if everything that happens in their scripture is based on reality, has offered us some very interesting and inventive stories. If that weren’t the case, movies like The Prince of Egypt and Scorcese’s Last Temptation of Christ wouldn’t be as good as they are. It’s when you decide that your religious faiths are based on truths, and make movies that desperately try to reaffirm that, that I lose interest. Especially when you rely on strawman-ing your opponents and double-especially when you don’t understand what they’re talking about enough to actually strawman them particularly well.
I’d make the case that I’m doing it far better in my Conspiracies with Stephen Dawking parody videos (mainly since parody is different from using strawmen), because I’m usually just reciting the exact same gobbledygook that Christians and conspiracy theorists spout both in real life and on the web, with only the occasional alteration to make it more clear just how insipid it all is – and also to make it sound more funny than just parroting the nonsense at hand. Either way, at least I know what their arguments are. I’m not sure the makers of A Matter of Faith know much of anything.
The one thing this film did that made me happy was that it reminded me of a Star Wars FanFilm called A Question of Fath so now I’m sitting here rewatching some of my favorite FanFilms from TheForce.Net. I shan’t go on much further and so instead I leave you with
the trailer a great MrRepzion video about the movie, my rating, and an immortal quote from Colin Firth in the movie Kingsman that will forever be relevant in scenarios such as this.
“I’m a Catholic whore, currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black-Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. So hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, madam.”