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  1. One of my chronic complaints about Hollywood's representation of religion is that it is never familiar to me -- the way Christianity is typically portrayed focuses on a style or branch of Evangelicalism (or Catholicism) that rarely feels authentic. So I mean it when I way this film has the most positive and resonant depiction of Christianity that I can recall from a mainstream Hollywood film. The lawyer who declines to prosecute Slahi because he was tortured says things like, "As a Christian...as an American..." he objects to torture. It also shows him paying a personal and professional cost for making such a stand, which speaks to the fact that the persecution of Americans for being Christian is more often than not at the hands of other Christians rather than from secularists who are offended by their Christian faith. Anyhow, it's a terrific and moving film that has had me thinking all month about the fact that the central event in human history was the state-sponsored torture and execution of an innocent person for political expedience. I am trying to avoid easy binary constructions like, "You can't be a Christian and endorse torture..." but the film really hit home for me (as someone who has met people who have been tortured how deeply, deeply, problematic and foolhardy it is to think that accepting torture is compatible with a Christian worldview.
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