Whether intentional or not, many conservative Christians tend to avoid all media that promotes views that don’t mesh with fundamentalist Christianity. Examples of subject matter typically avoided in Hard Right Christian fundamentalism might include evolution, Charles Darwin, natural selection, the separation of church and state, sex, dancing, political messages coming from left of center (or even the center), personal freedom, positive messages about other religions and spiritual traditions, and so on. In a sense, this is understandable, since the material would probably be offensive to some degree. However, this kind of avoidance does more harm than good.
Even though the subject of a documentary film or an article may be of great interest to a Hard Right Christian reader, a mental cease and desist order will be psychologically issued upon the appearance of content like, "Here’s why I don’t believe in God…" There are several reasons for this avoidance; most are based on various types and levels of fear (which is the likely foundation of all sorts of negativity).
The idea for this post was germinated during the first few moments of watching The Genius of Charles Darwin, a fascinating documentary about Charles Darwin (which happens to be a much despised name in Hard Right Christian fundamentalist circles). The narrator, Richard Dawkins, stated that the theory of evolution is one of the main reasons he does not believe in God. As an ex-fundamentalist and longtime "agnostic", those words still cause a tinge of emotional flux — thus the likely reaction by a true believer to those "heretical" words would be to turn the program off immediately.
Afterward, no good would ever be spoken of The Genius of Charles Darwin; if anything, only condemnation and criticism. (This is, of course, a generalization intended to illustrate the point of this article.)
Naturally, anyone genuinely interested in the personal pursuit of religious/ spiritual truth would be more objective than the viewer in the above example. A true spiritual seeker cannot really do any "seeking" until a satisfactory level of objectivity has been attained.
As we’ve said before in the Search for Truth blog, a real spiritual seeker cannot succeed if the only resource material used in research and study comes from a typical church library.
I’ve never examined Charles Darwin and his revolutionary ideas very carefully, but various circumstances have led me to begin looking into these things this evening. I recently borrowed a copy of the acclaimed, award-winning The Genius of Charles Darwin (a three-part television documentary by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins). Along with it came the film Creation (2009), a biopic/historical fiction movie about Charles Darwin and his daughter (played by Jennifer Connelly).
Before the evening was over, I found myself doing something for the first time ever: I started writing a letter to Richard Dawkins. I’ve thought of writing a letter to a celebrity before, but I never actually did it. I don’t know if I will put in the time necessary to finish it and send it – we shall see.
My crush on the smashingly lovely brunette, Jennifer Connelly. continues…