The Sequel to God’s Not Dead Happened in My Classroom, But In Reverse

Jul 15, 2015

by Neil Carter

Given that the first installment of God’s Not Dead only took $2M to make but grossed $60M, Pure Flix Entertainment decided to bless the world with a second installment, rather uncreatively entitledGod’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive.  It takes place in Arkansas and centers around a fictitious teacher named Grace who had the audacity to openly admit her Christianity in a public school setting (The horror!  In the Bible Belt no less!).

With the principal and superintendent teaming up with a zealous civil liberties group represented by an attorney with no love lost for God, Grace faces an epic court case with the help of sympathetic and charismatic defense lawyer, that could cost her the career she had always dreamed of — and expel God from the classroom once and for all.

The teacher, portrayed by Melissa Joan Hart, gets sued by an atheist student who couldn’t countenance an open demonstration of faith, and somehow she has the support of the principal as well as the superintendent (clearly the writers have never been to Arkansas). This scenario even puts the teacher on trial for her crime of openly speaking about Jesus. Just as with the previous scenario in which an atheist professor demanded his students publicly renounce their faith on the first day of class (You canread my review of that cinematic train wreck here), the writers seem to have no idea how educational environments work. I’m guessing they also have no idea how the First Amendment is supposed to play out in government sponsored spaces.

Christian movies like this exist because real life doesn’t sufficiently validate people’s persecution complexes. Something more dramatic is needed to justify their fears. That’s where outfits like Pure Flix come in. They exist to feed Christian paranoia stemming from the belief that even though they make up the overwhelming majority of Americans (doubly so in Arkansas), somehow they are being mistreated by having to let other people occupy the same space.

Well, something like this plot does in fact happen in real life, and it happened in my own classroom—except in reverse, and minus the dramatic courtroom scene (again, that’s not how these things work).  Let me tell you a story. This one, by the way, isn’t made up.

Confronted By a Student During Class

A few weeks into my previous teaching job, a seventh grader confronted me in front of the class, asking me if it was true that I am an atheist. At this point in time I wasn’t open about that, but she was digging around my Facebook profile and found evidence which I had not yet realized could be seen by the general public. I knew better than to openly admit my atheism in Mississippi, especially since I had only transferred to this school to be where my own children were. I didn’t want to jeopardize that, so I dodged her question and said that I wasn’t at liberty to discuss my religious affiliation in class.

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21 comments on “The Sequel to God’s Not Dead Happened in My Classroom, But In Reverse

  • Melissa Joan Hart? As in Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Burn, burn the witch!

    somehow they are being mistreated by having to let other people occupy
    the same space

    Well, you know, that is a violation of the laws of physics.

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  • 3
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Good story and a great comeback at the ridiculous claim from Bleeding Heart Christians™ that religion is under attack in the US. The only ones under attack are the people with no religion. The teacher and author of the OP has learned this at great personal expense and the way he was treated by the school’s administration is nothing short of revolting.

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  • Of course religion IS under attack. Let’s not delude ourselves. Virtually every comment on this forum constitutes an attack on religion. Let us be clear an attack on religion is not an attack on personal faith. As far as I am concerned you can believe whatever nonsensical bollox you like. The problem is when individuals combine into organisations, codify their delusions into dogma and seek to impose it on the rest of society – That is Religion. That should be attacked, undermined, neutered and rendered irrelevant.

    Attack religion! it is a better option than having to defending yourself against it

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  • No witches were ever burned – the punishment for being a witch was hanging. Burning was reserved for heretics, like atheists and everyone else that didn’t toe the church line. So much for tolerance, eh!

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  • 7
    Miserablegit says:

    I suppose it is my natural mischievous nature to wonder how to deface the words God is real by adding a letter a before real and following up with fucking pain in the arse.

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  • Bewilderbeast
    Jul 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    No witches were ever burned –
    8. King James authorizes the torture of suspected witches in Scotland

    Scotland’s witch-hunting had its origins in the marriage of King James to Princess Anne of Denmark. Anne’s voyage to Scotland for the wedding met with a bad storm, and she ended up taking refuge in Norway. James traveled to Scandinavia and the wedding took place in at Kronborg Castle in Denmark. After a long honeymoon in Denmark, the royal newlyweds encountered terrible seas on the return voyage, which the ship’s captain blamed on witches. When six Danish women confessed to having caused the storms that bedeviled King James, he began to take witchcraft seriously. Back in Scotland, the paranoid James authorized torture of suspected witches. Dozens of condemned witches in the North Berwick area were burned at the stake in what would be the largest witch-hunt in British history. By 1597, James began to address some of the worst prosecutorial abuses, and witch-hunting abated somewhat.

    the punishment for being a witch was hanging.

    Not everywhere it seems!

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  • Christians say to themselves, “I like Christianity. If anybody doesn’t, there is something wrong with them”

    I would like them to say, “Pressing my religion on others in the classroom is against the constitution. Whether anyone approves or disapproves of Christianity is irrelevant. Rule of law is paramount.”

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  • I’m eagerly waiting for the upcoming instalments of this film series:

    God’s Not Dead 3: He’s Just Busy
    God’s Not Dead 4: He’s on an Extended Vacation
    God’s Not Dead 5: He’s Just a Little Tired, Please Don’t Disturb Him at the Moment
    God’s Not Dead 6: But He Is Currently Being Treated for Severe Depression and Is Taking an Indefinite Leave of Absence
    God’s Not Dead 7: No, He Definitely Is Dead Now, He Tragically Passed Away After a Short Illness Having Retired Just a Week Earlier

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  • 15
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    What the… in Denmark? does.not.compute.

    Not that surprised actually. Here also in Canada, we have our fair share of Creationist, anti-evolutionist, all-around quack, faith-head politicians and MP’s. The most notorious is Stockwell Day, a member of the Conservative Party (what a surprise).

    His former portfolios include Minister of Public Safety, Minister of International Trade and President of the Treasury Board. He’s an all-around shady politician involved in controversies and dirty politics. He has publically declared being a Young Earth Creationist.

    He’s not the only one. A few are independents but most are Conservative Party members or MP’s in Harper’s cabinet who avoid or deny stating their position on evolution publically for fear of political blowback (or fear of being ridiculed by the Canadian mainstream media). Names that come to mind: Gary Goodyear, Gordon Dirks, James Lunney, Rick Nicholls and I’m sure there are more.

    After all, the main requirements for believing in Creationism are very easy to find in many people:

    Strong scientific illiteracy. The vast majority of people already fill this requirement regardless of whether they are religious or secular.
    Poor critical thinking skills and a strong inclination towards wishful thinking (also two very widespread traits).
    Systematic tendency to deny facts when those facts are unpleasant or inconvenient.

    Just add unconditional respect for authority figures in Christian institutions and reverence for the Christian holy storybook and voila. What you get is the impenetrable faith bubble. The most insidious form of mental gridlock.

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  • Thanks for all that (RDF used to have articles / comments regarding Canada news).

    scientific illiteracy

    An article, ‘Start Science Sooner’ (SA) strongly suggests teaching children as young as kindergarten; of course, the challenge is to keep it bolstered throughout school years, and not get de-railed by creationist-agenda teachers. Sneaky devils, they are.

    impenetrable faith bubble

    A needle is needed!

    Personally, I remain surprised at Denmark – land of Lego, Soma Cube, and their general level-headedness.

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