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Christian Porn: Kevin Sorbo’s Atheist Salvation Fantasy

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In recent years, several movies marketed to Evangelicals have featured erotic scenes of Evangelical revivalism ravishing atheism. Movies such as God is Not Dead are built around the notion that the Christian gospel has the power to brings atheists to their knees. Never mind the fact that these Evangelical fantasies are about as real as the scenes found in countless porn movies. While I can point to countless Evangelicals who are now atheists, rare are atheists who become Christians. When people tell me that they were atheists before they embraced the wonderful, matchless grace of Jesus, I question them as to what they really believed. Most often these former atheists were not atheists at all. At best, they were anti-theists or indifferent to religion. These atheists-turned-Christians wrongly assume that not believing in the Christian God means the unbelievers are atheists. This simply is not the case.

Most atheists I know can give numerous reasons for why they are atheists (or agnostics). Most of the atheists-turned-Christians I have met couldn’t explain atheism if their life depended on it. Ask them what atheist writers they have read and they will likely give you a blank stare. What often happens is that Evangelical pastors and evangelistic zealots convince these new Christians that they were once atheists. What better testimony is there than that of an atheist who realized the Evangelical deity was the true and living God. Outside of being a Satan worshiper, a mob kingpin, or Pablo Escobar’s right hand man, there is no greater Christian testimony than to have once been an atheist.

Most atheists are naturalists and materialists. Most atheists put a lot of stock in the sciences. It is hard for me to imagine someone abandoning science and a naturalistic view of the world in exchange for a religious system built upon an anti-science, anti-reason foundation. I am sure, on rare occasions, it happens, but I do not personally know of one person who was once a card-carrying atheist and who is now a Bible-believing Evangelical Christian.

Actor Kevin Sorbo is working on a film about “an atheist who, upon experiencing a near-death experience, converts to Christianity.” Titled Let There be Lightthe movie will feature Sorbo as the world’s greatest atheist. Think Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, or Steven Hawking. Or move way down the list to C movie atheists such as myself or other one-time Evangelical preachers. Try to fathom what possibly could happen for one of us to have a come-to-Jesus moment where we reject reason, skepticism, rationalism, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, and science and in their place embrace the mind-numbing, anti-intellectual, irrational, and anti-science beliefs of Evangelicals. Sorry Kevin Sorbo. This might be some sort of Christian porn fantasy, but in real life it is highly unlikely that a well-known atheist would reject atheism in favor of Evangelicalism.

Of course, this won’t stop Sorbo and others like him from making movies such as God is Not Dead, God is Not Dead 2, and Let There be Light. You see, these movies are not made for atheists or to be used as an Evangelistic tool to reach the godless for Jesus. These type of movies are campaign propaganda meant to stir the hearts of believers, leading them to believe that ANYTHING is possible — even the salvation of Richard Dawkins.

Yesterday, Mother Teresa was granted sainthood. This monumental event led Benjamin Wiker, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville to say that Catholics  should now pray to Saint Teresa of Calcutta, asking her to heal Steven Hawking of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and convert him to Christianity Wiker writes:

I know this might be rather bold, but I’d like to ask, say, several million people out there to pray to Mother Teresa during her canonization day, and eight days thereafter, for the conversion and complete healing of the great physicist Stephen Hawking.

Why? As simply as I can put it, his conversion and cure would be a miracle that would show to the world that Christian faith and science are not opposed, but (as St. John Paul II said) “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

Imagine what would happen to Hawking himself if God would see fit to answer this prayer through the intercession of Mother Teresa. He would not be any less a physicist. He would still know what he had previously known, from Black Holes to Quantum Mechanics, but his universe would quite suddenly become immeasurably larger and more complex.

Hawking would then be faced with an even bigger task than coming up with a Theory of Everything because the Everything he would now have to fit into the Theory would involve mysteries beyond the ken of science, but not in ultimate contradiction to them. Faith and science couldn’t be in contradiction because they in fact co-exist in a much larger harmony. There are Black Holes and there are also Albanian nuns (or at least one) whose prayers somehow bring about the divine healing of unhealable diseases like Lou Gehrig’s disease, which has for so many years afflicted Hawking.

Moreover, if these prayers were answered, Hawking would know exactly what it was like, some two millennia ago, to be healed directly by Jesus, and that would mean that the New Testament would quite suddenly be transformed from a book of fiction (as too many scientists see it) to a book of startling miraculous facts. That book would then have to be on the same shelf with his physics books.

As far as I know, Hawking never met Mother Teresa. But I have often thought, when seeing Hawking so sadly trapped in a painfully twisted body for so long, what it might have meant for him if Mother Teresa had come to him, as she had to so many like-wise broken bodies lying in the dust of Calcutta, and picked his frail body up, looked into his eyes, and spoke with him about the love of Christ.

One might say that it’s too late for such a meeting. But it just may be the perfect time, her canonization, a very busy time for saints. She could, God willing, go to him now.

I also think about this meeting for what might seem an odd reason. Stephen Hawking has lived far, far longer than anyone should who has Lou Gehrig’s disease. That in itself is a mystery. Perhaps it is a mystery waiting for such a meeting.

I pray that it is, and hope again, for several million others to do likewise. Spread the word.

St. Teresa, by the Grace of God you ministered to the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick, the crippled, the leprous, and the dying. We beg you please, in virtue of the Graces now bestowed upon you in canonization, to pray for the complete physical healing and conversion of Stephen Hawking. Through the same Christ our Lord you so dutifully served. Amen.

I predict, based on the evidence at hand, that no notable atheists will be converted through Sorbo’s movie. I also predict that seven days from now Steven Hawking will (sadly) still have ALS. And as a final prediction, I predict that Christian preachers, priests, and movie makers will continue to make money off Christian porn featuring straw-men atheists who do not exist in real life. From the safe corners of Christianity, God’s spokesmen will continue to tilt at the atheist windmills of their own making. Cheering crowds of Christians will rejoice, thinking their leaders have once again routed the enemies of God. Little do they know that no atheists were harmed in the making of this movie.

16 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Geoff

    I agree entirely with your assertion that the transition between atheist and believer is a one way street. The assertion of reason over culturally induced religious belief is something that I’d say is impossible ever to undo. When apologists such as Lee Strobel now or C.S.Lewis in times gone by claim once to have been atheists they are doing so only to increase their credibility. In reality they were only ever ‘passive’ unbelievers, not having taken a considered step into reason.

    I was also interested in this reference to Stephen Hawking. I’ve long felt that a person genuinely looking for signs from God might wonder at Hawking, the longest ever survivor of motor neurone disease, yet still capable of understanding concepts that most of us can’t begin to grasp. But of course signs from God only count if they are what you want to hear.

  2. Avatar
    Troy

    I wonder if the profitable Christian movie phenomena has run its course. The recent bombing of the movie Ben Hur is a good indication that if too many of these movies are produced they cease to be the special anti-Hollywood refuge for good Christians to support with their money.
    I’ve always been attracted to 3-d movies, and when the format was revised and revived 10 years ago I was happy to visit any 3-d movie that was released. One of the early ones was Beowulf, which actually is a rather poor movie, but it was one of the early 3-d movies and did pretty well for that reason. Once the cinema became crowded with every movie having the 3-d option a movie like Beowulf would likely have been a flop.
    So yeppers Kevin Sorbo is preaching to the choir. Considering the distorted and dishonest way atheists are presented I hope all his endeavors are failures.

  3. Avatar
    DJ

    A co-worker of mine brought up the subject of knowing someone who was an atheist turned Christian and wanted to know the difference. I had just gotten done personally reading the difference between Christian > atheist and the atheist > Christian so I explained what I had found out.
    When the human mind does not know information, ANY new information is accepted by the brain. Since there is no counter information, the brain believes what it is presented. Community pressure also plays an important part.
    As an “atheist” at birth, the child readily accepts what it is told and is what they are brought up to be by parents/adults, most times.
    As an adult “atheist”, if it knows nothing about Christianity, it will accept the new information because there is nothing to dispute it.
    A Christian turning atheist, now, already knows about the faith. One has information and has counter points. One is not leaving and going into atheism blindly.
    And…isn’t Kevin Sorbo a Christian trying to act like someone he knows NOTHING about…an atheist? How can even an actor “know” the part?

    • Avatar
      Michael Mock

      “And…isn’t Kevin Sorbo a Christian trying to act like someone he knows NOTHING about…an atheist? How can even an actor ‘know’ the part?”

      It’s rather like what would happen if I tried to portray a Martian. If I painted myself green and put on little antennae and went around prattling about galactic civilization and primitive human social customs, it would be enough to fool my target audience (humans) because the vast majority of humans have never met any martians and don’t realize that they aren’t at all like that.

    • Avatar
      B

      Your statement about how the brain not having any counter information then accepts what information is presented is very interesting to me. Could you direct me to some source I’d like to read more about that. Thanks

      • Avatar
        DJ

        B,
        You bring up a good question. Let me see if I can find a writing, instead of just taking my word on it. In the mean time, here’s a summary of how I validated my findings through my own life.
        Since I left Christianity almost 12 yrs ago, I’ve done much research, not only finding out that the information churches taught me was bias, limited, and in many cases wrong, I went onto finding out about how people argue w/fallacies then to find out an overwhelming reality about our thinking patterns.
        Personally, I did not have the counter information that all 4 Gospels were orally translated, for decades, therefore, hearsay…an adult telephone game if you may. I was never told that the 4 Gospels were not written by those authors, the arguments debunking Genesis, Noah’s Ark, etc. The church information was accepted as presented, their excuses believable because of the “fear card” played if I dare listen to…counter information by those bad, evil atheists.
        We as humans accept what our peers tell us.

  4. Avatar
    Randy

    I believe I am an atheist turned Christian. More on that in just a minute.

    When I first heard about “God’s Not Dead” all my Christian friends gushed how it was one of the best faith based movies they’d ever seen and how it would be a great evangelistic tool to reach the “lost” especially atheists. When I watched it I was appalled at it’s stupidity and criminal characterization of Sorbo’s atheist professor. Here was not a real atheist, but some sort of Christian fantasy in which every atheist is secretly mad at God for some personal reason. I told my friends how this did not represent the person I used to be at all. It didn’t really change their opinions. They really “understood” atheism now and how God could overcome it. The movie’s end with a basic deathbed conversion by Sorbo was the absolute height of absurdity.

    Back to my first statement. I fully embraced atheism and secular humanism. One of the biggest influences on my (lack of) belief was “Mythology” from Edith Hamilton. I did not see how any system of faith truly differed from any other – all of them represented the mythologies of particular cultures. I was never really a “Big Bang” guy but more of a static universe guy. I was learning about evolution and especially had an interest in the prehistoric earth and dinosaurs. I was not angry at God. I was not slighted at God. God just didn’t fit into the equation anymore than dragons and unicorns or Zeus or Thor. I did not grow up in a Christian home, but one where my parents pretty much kept their beliefs to themselves and did not force me to go to church.

    I’m not here to share my “testimony.” Those things are subjective at best. Suffice it to say I had what might be termed a “supernatural” experience that changed my beliefs, but it could be easily argued that it was a hallucination, my imagination or any number of things. I do not wish to debate that. What I wish to say is this: as an atheist I was a good husband, a good father, a hard worker and a good member of society. I was not some wicked troll in service to Satan. I have been in my career for 26 years and for the first 12 of those years I was an atheist. In that time I built a reputation of honest, integrity and service that has helped make me the success I am today.

    Some of the nicest, most generous people I know are atheists or agnostics. I don’t find them villains. I am not out to convert them. I do enjoy discussing things with them. I am generally frustrated with how my fellow believers treat or view them. I do try to correct that, but I cannot say I am always successful. One of my great heroes today remains Thomas Paine – he was an anti-theist at best but I believe he may have been the first great atheist of our nation. I love the works of Bart Ehrman, they challenge me and he is an amazing scholar. I believe the biggest problem of most Christians is that they simply read within their own sphere of belief, if they read at all. Most are just not well educated on their own beliefs much less those of others.

    I guess my final point is that all Christians are not slobbering, irrational zealots. I do feel like I am quite the minority and it puts me at odds with others in my faith quite often. I have a saying, “One thing has not changed since I became a believer. When I was an atheist my biggest enemies were Christians. Now that I am a Christian…my biggest enemies are still Christians.”

    • Avatar
      Michael Mock

      That’s actually about the only way that such a conversion makes sense to me: if it’s the result of some sort of personal, mystical experience. That doesn’t do me a bit of good, as you pointed out, but it’s the sort of thing that it would take to move me out of a purely materialistic world-view.

      • Avatar
        DJ

        And everything we experience is interpreted by the brain. We correlate, make associations and assumptions because that’s what human brains do. I call them S.A.P.E – Self-Authenticated Private/Personal Experience.
        There’s a saying: Don’t believe everything you think. The mind creates its own illusions by linking thoughts that share no connection.

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  6. Avatar
    Melody

    “Here was not a real atheist, but some sort of Christian fantasy in which every atheist is secretly mad at God for some personal reason.”

    I find this stereotype very interesting not because that is who I am now, but who I sometimes was when I was a Christian. I could be pretty angry at God and it made me feel like I was an unbeliever somehow. It made me feel like a really bad Christian yet I also had a hard time trying to stop being angry. I was angry at God because I believed in him and he didn’t save me from my troubles. There was anger and than guilt about the anger.

    C.S. Lewis has this story about being an angry convert: “perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” (Surprised By Joy, ch. 14, p. 266).

    Both Lewis’ testimony and a story in Adrian Plass’ the Sacred Diary (not sure if it was number one or two) about an angry man who comes back to God after years, and God isn’t angry at him (even prefers him taking his anger out on Him instead of anyone else) helped me in dealing with this feeling. Perhaps God was ok with me being angry at him sometimes, which was a relief. These stories helped me to see that my feeling wasn’t that ‘out there’ as I thought.

    It makes me wonder if that feeling is what those cardboard atheists are based on. The angry Christian’s feelings that are not really allowed to exist in a more rigid Christianity.

    The Sacred Diaries are a really fun read by the way. It’s about a pentacostal preacher in the UK and it just mocks everything in that culture, written by a pentacostal preacher in the UK 😉 It’s mostly about everything that can be frustrating about faith.

  7. Avatar
    Ian

    I’m not an atheist, just more apathetic on whether or not there is a god. Kind of a non-practicing Diest.

    I was never angry at God when I deconverted. What good would it do, anyway?

    When I studied and decided for myself that I wanted nothing more to do with Christianity, it was purely academic. My views have evolved and my reasons are more founded; but I still don’t believe because of facts, not anger.

    Christians are the ones who are angry, so they assume everyone else is, too.

  8. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    A really interesting post, so many good points being made. I want to read ” The Sacred Diary ” as soon as I get the opportunity. My thanks for that reference. I was looking over Daniel Mann’s blog, mannsword.blogspot, I want to clue him in as to the many reasons for people either walking away from God or becoming an atheist to begin with. He seems to think that only the West losing its colonial clout is the main cause-” society today-” rather than the Christian conduct that primed both international and personal/cultural revolt against it. What’s so terrible about Abrahamic Creed’s are that in extreme forms throughout history up to the present, they’re nearly identical in violence and oppression, as the Dark Age illustrates so well ! I find it amazing and telling that U.S. Christian leaders hate and resent the Enlightenment Era so much, denouncing that movement at every turn, insisting that it must be reversed, with them up for the job.

  9. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    I notice that if you choose to comment on Mann’s blog, you do have to register as a member, which I don’t feel like doing, at least for now,lol.

  10. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    I notice that if you choose to comment on Mann’s blog, you do have to register as a member, which I don’t feel like doing, at least for now,lol.

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