Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter T Chattaway

Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas

Recommended Posts


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on the headline, I was expecting a time-traveling adventure in which Kirk Cameron teams up with the producer of The Bishop's Wife.

 

Also--something about the trailer causing people to invoke Jesus but not in the way Cameron intends.

 

Also--I'd say that this thing looks bad even by Christmas movie standards, but that would just be too easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on my smartphone before, and didn't have a chance to actually watch, much less embed, the trailer. But now...

 

 

...oh my.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention that the cap that they chose to present the movie to YouTube--the one you see before you even watch the darn thing--is the single most terrifying image they could have picked. It's like Bad Santa meets The Exorcist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gotta love the movie poster where he's wielding a candy cane like a weapon.  You can look at it here, in case you've missed it:  http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=12724

 

I would expect nothing less from a man who believes the banana proves intelligent design.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, a mutual friend tells me that Cameron is long past, and even regretful about, that intelligent design debacle. I'm happy to encourage us help clear the way for him to leave that chapter behind.


Gotta love the movie poster where he's wielding a candy cane like a weapon.  

 

That's a reference to this, methinks... with the snowglobe taking the place of the idol Indy retrieves from the natives who worship it...

 

raiders_poster.jpg

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has Kirk Cameron or Ray Comfort publicly renounced their past efforts to promulgate intelligent design (including disseminating doctored copies of Darwin's Origin of Species to college students)?  I'm not aware that they have, but would be delighted to learn otherwise.  To me, that would seem the best way to "help clear the way for him to leave that chapter behind," as opposed to back channel hearsay.  

 

A quick check at Cameron's website indicates he hasn't left young earth creationism behind, since just today he posted this article:  http://kirkcameron.com/sea-monsters/ .  It takes some serious mental juggling to believe that mosasaurs, creatures who thrived during the Cretaceous Era (ended 66 million years ago), existed after the Fall of Adam (since Homo sapiens only arose 500,000-200,000 years ago)!  He may have renounced the banana, but still has no shame over promoting bad science.  

Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, intelligent design necessarily doesn't believe in a young earth, as I'm sure you know, and disagreeing with the banana doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't other stronger evidence out there for intelligent design.  For all we know, he could have moved past the banana idea because it takes away from other evidence.

 

Interestingly enough, just the other day I was chatting on a facebook page with a nice Christian lady who happens to have an IQ of 210 (yes that's a two in front) who is married to a physicist (whose a Christian.)  In a private message I asked her what her views on some of these things were.  Her response was that very intelligent people look into some of the information out there and come to believe that Darwinian evolution and other similar concepts are true, but that many people with exceptionally high range genius IQ's (like her own) look into this and believe that some of the information that this is built on is bogus.  She mentioned how the fossil record, in actuality, does not show the "Darwinian tree", but instead show phyla that start unexpectedly and then end, while others start and then end (and so on.)    She also mentioned several other extreme genius people along these lines, one fellow testing higher than her who is an Orthodox priest. 

 

Make of that what you all will.  

 

My point is, that there is little chance that this person would buy into the banana "debacle", but she certainly believes in an intelligent designer.  As a matter of fact, right now over at the 4G High IQ Society page on facebook there is a debate going on about intelligent design and there has yet to be a person refute many of the concepts, especially the statistical odds against the fine tuning of the universe happening by chance in the time allowed.

 

So, the idea that intelligent design believers are nincompoops who reject 'science" is one of the lies being promulgated in our societies right now.  There are people who are anything but idots, who would disagree with this.

Edited by Attica

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, Ray Comfort was the one who actually espoused the banana theory (and may still do, for all I know). Cameron was just sitting there, if memory serves.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, Ray Comfort was the one who actually espoused the banana theory (and may still do, for all I know). Cameron was just sitting there, if memory serves.

 

Yeah.  I remember him sitting laughing along with it.  I know that Ray has written a couple of books on evolution.  Have no idea what they are saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing about this film.  I can only expect that it has a strong potential core audience.  Maybe not in these parts, but there are obviously people out there that love the guy and he's touching on a subject that many of them will be undoubtably be backing.  Actually I would expect that a lot more Christians agree on the basic idea behind this film than many of his other ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give the movie this: it seems to envision the "war on Christmas" as not just a secular thing, but as a neo-Puritanical thing, too.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give the movie this: it seems to envision the "war on Christmas" as not just a secular thing, but as a neo-Puritanical thing, too.

 

I noticed that, too. Whether that makes the concept more interesting or less is another matter; the neo-Puritans [and, for that matter, the mythical secularists who want to ban all holidays except Festivus] at least have the virtue of holding an actually unpopular opinion, as opposed to a thoroughly conventional one. This trailer carries the air of a man standing in the streets shouting that roads are a very good thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, I didn't mean to imply that people who believe in ID or creationism are idiots or nincompoops.  I apologize if I've given that impression.  I do believe that as individuals, Cameron and Comfort have behaved deceptively and stupidly in their propagation of ID and young earth creationionism.  I don't believe that about adherents to creationism or ID in general. 

 

And to me, it's largely inconsequential who did the main talking about the banana, whether Cameron or Comfort.  To paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi, "Who's the bigger fool - the fool or the co-host who follows the fool?"  If Cameron didn't like what Comfort was saying, he could pick up his stakes and find a new gig.  I've left a couple of jobs where I felt my professional integrity was being compromised; D-list Hollywood actors are capable of doing the same.

 

On the topic of intelligence and acceptance of creationism vs. evolutionary theory, in the U.S. at least, educational level does not correlate with adherence to one or the other.  (We are somewhat unique by the way - among Western nations we stand alone in the high percentage who buy into creationism.  We track more comparably with Islamic nations in that respect.)  What does correlate in the U.S. with rejection of creationism/ID is level of education and achievement in fields specifically related to evolutionary theory, such as biology and cosmology (I guess it would be hard to work in the field of astronomy, measuring stars that are hundreds of millions of light-years away, if you think the earth is 6000 years old).


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew said:   that people who believe in ID or creationism are idiots or nincompoops.  I apologize if I've given that impression.  I do believe that as individuals, Cameron and Comfort have behaved deceptively and stupidly in their propagation of ID and young earth creationionism.  I don't believe that about adherents to creationism or ID in general. 

 

 

No worries.  I don't usually follow Cameron or Comfort as a rule and had never heard of them trying to change Darwin's writings, or anything like that, so I'm unaware of anything that isn't kosher in any large sense.  I mean not that the banana thing wasn't dumb.

 

As far as IQ goes in relation to what I was saying above, it is more to do with raw processing power (to use a certain terminology), than with actual education.  So someone with an IQ of 210 would not necessarily be educated in a certain area, but would be able to look at the data surrounding herself and sort through it in a way that "normal" IQ's would not.  I mean, if the average IQ is between 90 and 110, Mensa level is 130, Stepen Hawking is 160.  Then think of 210 in comparison.

 

As well.  So far as evolutionary theory goes.  There are an awful lot of people who know Darwinism inside and out and are still skeptical of it.  There just are.  For example J.Y Chen, one of the worlds leading paleontologists spent some time studying a site near Chengjiang (China) which was full of early Cambrian animal forms.  He published several papers on this.  He gave a lecture at the University of Washington geology department in 2000, in which he argued that the Chinese fossil evidence contradicted the Darwinian theory. One professor in the audience asked Mr. Chen something along the lines of whether he wasn’t a bit nervous about expressing his doubts as to Darwinism so freely. Chen answered. “In China, we can criticize Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”

 

In other words, it's well known that criticizing Darwinian Evolution can get scientists in trouble with their careers.  Yet even so, there are many who are skeptical about it.  This includes leading paleontologists and Biologist, amongst others.  Make of that what you will, but it's happening, and it's growing.

 

For example a scientist (Christ Williams) with a Ph.D in Biochemistry said the following  " Few people outside of genetics or biochemistry realize that evolutionists still can provide no substantive details at all about the origin of life, and particularly the origin of genetic information in the first self-replicating organism. What genes did it require -- or did it even have genes? How much DNA and RNA did it have -- or did it even have nucleic acids? How did huge information-rich molecules arise before natural selection? Exactly how did the genetic code linking nucleic acids to amino acid sequence originate? Clearly the origin of life -- the foundation of evolution - is still virtually all speculation, and little if no fact."

 

 

One could dig up many more similar quotes from scientists who think that modern findings put Darwinian concepts into further question.  As a matter of fact, Stephen Jay Gould, one of evolutionary theory's most famous scientists became so largely because of his "Punctuated Equilibrium" idea, which was basically an attempt to find an idea that addresses the problem of Darwinian processes not being adequate to explain the rise of new life forms in the time allowed, this as can be seen in the fossil record.  In other words, he saw that the Darwinian understanding of evolution was flawed even though he did believe in evolution and searched for new processes by which it might have worked. He is now, by and large, considered to have failed to have found a solution to the problem.

 

For many mathematicians evolution doesn't even have what it takes to be a working model.  It has no way of explaining how natural selection would work (mutation almost always makes an organism to be damaged, not to evolve), it is missing fossil evidence that would align with the "Darwinian Tree" and major paleontologists, like the one stated above, are saying this, and have been saying something similar since Darwin's time.  The list goes on.

 

Some of it's leading skeptics aren't Christian fundamentalists, or for that matter even people of faith, and they have been studying the subject for decades.

 

For instance.

 

 

 

 

So far as cosmology goes that isn't directly related to evolutionary theory, in that one could reject evolutionary theory and still believe in an ancient universe.  

 

But when one reads into the matter cosmology is where there seems to be the strongest statistical odds against the fine tuning of the universe in the time allowed.  Gerald Schroeder with a doctorate in Earth sciences and physics has taken the time to specifically study and write about this (as have others.)  He is also one of the known hundreds of scientists who is skeptical of the evidence claiming Darwinian Evolution.

 

 

 

-

 

In other words, some of these beliefs, skepticisms, or questions, are not just to be found within the "fundamentalist" Christian groups, or even Christianity or faith in general.  There are people saying these things across the board.  I'm curious as to how many more would be saying something similar if they weren't concerned with a threat to their livelihood.  Now, one might say that this "perceived threat" isn't real, but what does it matter if those scientists *think* that it's real and therefore are staying mute about the subject.  It is clear that many think this because of various things that they have said or written.

Edited by Attica

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could we break this thread back at #9 or #10 since more than half of the thread now is about the ID debate and not about the movie at all?


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry.  I'll just remove my posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could we break this thread back at #9 or #10 since more than half of the thread now is about the ID debate and not about the movie at all?

As opposed to, you know, catty comments about "Kirk Can'teron" that are totally about the movie? [Edit: The post refereed to here was subsequently deleted by the author.]

I would argue the ID debates are about the movie...certainly more as much so as typical pre-release stuff. It is providing a context for why some respondents are/are not interested in seeing the movie and are no different from comments speculating about what Star Wars will be like once JJ Abrams takes over or how much you are looking forward to Take Shelter b/c you really liked Shotgun Stories.

Edited by kenmorefield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't, Chris.  I'm with Ken on this.  While the conversation does veer towards tangent-land in a couple of places, I think the discussion has everything to do with Kirk Cameron's credibility as a Christian spokesperson for hot button topics.  I empathize with Jeffrey's discomfort, since Cameron is a friend of a friend, but Cameron has chosen to be a very public figure, which opens him up to critical scrutiny.

 

To move closer to the film, I'm skeptical that this will be anything more than a riff on Fox News' perennial flogging of the dead 'War on Christmas' horse; and a God's Not Dead-lite on the fictional notion of an American plurality that is somehow being persecuted because some people are evil enough to say, "Happy Holidays."  Oh, the humanity!

Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay.  I'll leave it be for now.

 

As to the film.  The trailer doesn't have a whole lot of true humour to it.  What it does seem to be doing is giving a real vibe of Cameron being the kindly fellow who sees Christmas as being the joy filled time with family and friends to celebrate Christ.  In other words that people are so busy worrying about this and that, that they are forgetting about the real point, and this includes Christians.

 

I know that in my region there seems to be a few who are opposed to Christmas, but they are few and far between even if they make a loud noise about it.  Isn't that how it goes.  It seems that the Jewish community are fine with it, and would say "why not let them have their holiday", after all, there is no huge movement to repress Hanukkah.  Many would consider doing so to be silly.  I have a Jewish friend who says that on Christmas day the Jewish community goes out to the movies, knowing that there won't be a bunch of Christians taking the good seats.   smile.png

 

Also, in our city there's a certain area that has a fairly large Islam population.  It's interesting to drive through there in Christmas and to see the noticeable lack of Christmas lights.  But I've never heard any indication that these folks are offended by Christmas.

 

In other words, I have little doubt that there is some sort of "war on Christmas" at some level, but it isn't in the general population to any large degree, from what I can see.  For most people "happy holiday's" is a term that is used without any huge weight put on it.  Maybe in Cameron's region the dynamics are different, I mean, I can only expect that they would be to some degree.  That being said, I suppose it could be argued that this is still a step towards moving the population away from seeing Christmas as anything more than a holiday through which we spend time for family and friends.  I know a lot of people who have that view, and I think that they are missing a core part of the point of Christmas.  I mean, the core point of Christmas is about Christ, then family and friends, along with good times, joy and dancing would come along with the package, at least how I see it.

 

 

So, for me the trailer really does imply that this is also Cameron's general understanding of Christmas and that maybe the film's perspective will be more balanced than some might think in their worst imaginings, which some of course are having because of various things that have happened previously.  If it does have a balanced and healthy view (of course from WHO's perspective) then maybe it's not such a bad thing and would be a good little Christmas movie.  

 

That being said, the trailer doesn't give much hope that this is going to be the next great Christmas film.

Edited by Attica

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Could we break this thread back at #9 or #10 since more than half of the thread now is about the ID debate and not about the movie at all?

As opposed to, you know, catty comments about "Kirk Can'teron" that are totally about the movie? 

 

 

 

Dude, what did I say that deserved this harsh retort?

 

I wasn't accusing anybody of a crime. I wasn't even complaining. I just came back to this thread to realize that it was becoming about quite a different subject than the title of the thread. I thought moving it to a new thread of its own -- or to an existing thread about intelligent design -- might open it up to be its own thing, and restore this thread to a conversation about the movie itself.

 

But hey, if what I thought was a merely practical suggestion justifies getting snippy with each other, I'll just delete the totally un-serious joke I made. Seems to me there's a big difference between a throwaway joke about a film's director and a 10-post tangent about the intelligent design debate in a thread about a film that isn't about the intelligent design debate ... but your comment supposes: Maybe there isn't?

 

Do what you want. I'll check back when the film is actually released to see if the film is being discussed. 

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Could we break this thread back at #9 or #10 since more than half of the thread now is about the ID debate and not about the movie at all?

As opposed to, you know, catty comments about "Kirk Can'teron" that are totally about the movie? 

 

 

 

Dude, what did I say that deserved this harsh retort?

 

I wasn't accusing anybody of a crime. 

 

Is this a harsh retort? Did I accuse you of "a crime"? (Quotes here designed to gently underscore how you are escalating the rhetoric, not me.) I disagreed with your request to split the thread and pointed out that if the criteria for doing so was whether or not a post was about the movie, splitting it where you requested seemed arbitrary to me. 

Your recent posts, here, at Looking Closer, and in the AS1 thread have seemed to me to be increasingly, bitingly sarcastic and not particularly likely to induce the sorts of positive, artifact-centered, respectful dialogue you claim to seek, but it is not my place to police your rhetoric. Honestly, Jeff, your response here suggests to me that I hit a nerve, one that by your own admissions in the past is particularly sensitive. You use a *lot* of sarcasm in your writing and tend to be particularly wounded if you catch a whiff of it in reply. If you feel your request and posts were innocuous (an "un-serious joke") and my reply was "snippy," there is a protocol for redress in this forum, is there not? Moderators what say you? Foul on me? If so, like Jeff, I will happily and readily comply with your judgment and take the offending post down [or comply with requests to acknowledge as much or however you want to deal with it].

Edited by kenmorefield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare

A) "Could we break this thread back at #9 or #10 since more than half of the thread now is about the ID debate and not about the movie at all?"

and

B) "As opposed to, you know, catty comments about "Kirk Can'teron" that are totally about the movie?"

 

... and let's revisit the question of who "escalated rhetoric" and was being "bitingly sarcastic" towards other people on this board

 

Why couldn't you have just said "I disagree with your request to split the thread ... if the criteria for doing so is whether or not a post is about the movie, splitting it where you requested seemed arbitrary to me. "?

 

And now you've gone and brought your personal objections to my blog into this discussion. My blog is not a discussion board. It's a review archive and editorial column, where I often employ mild sarcasm and occasional snarkiness on various subjects. 

 

Sarcasm about a subject in question and sarcasm directed sharply at someone else at the table are two different things. 

 

If anyone has issues with my writing on my blog, please email me about it. Don't make it a subject of conversation here at A&F in the middle of a thread about a movie... a movie I haven't even mentioned on my blog.

 

And if my sarcasm-free, practical suggestion about splitting a thread -- something I often do for the sake of the useful organization of material on this board -- somehow seemed sarcastic or worthy of Ken's retort, please explain that in an email to me as well.

 

But don't post anything to me on this thread, as I am not going to come back to it again at all. 

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...