Tag Archives: movie

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Go See Selma

1) It’s historically accurate
The events in the film actually happened. Martin Luther King Jr. did go to Selma and he did lead a march there. History is important, but it is often ignored. This film does a great job of showing history in an accurate yet entertaining light. It is a film that people of all ages can learn from.

2) It teaches about racism and social justice
The Selma march was caused by people being denied their rights. Both African Americans and women had had the right to vote for over 40 years. African American men had actually had the right to vote for nearly a hundred years by the time the Selma march happened. But they were denied that right as a result of continuing racism. Selma teaches about the affects racism can have on people and it shows the importance of standing up for what is right. Martin Luther King Jr. was a powerful and effective protester, and his methods can be applied to issues that exist today. Everybody even moderately interested in social justice can learn from this film.

3) It is inspirational
Martin Luther King Jr. is a powerful figure. His name is known around the world. Even if you can’t remember exactly what was in his “I have a dream” speech, chances are you have heard about it. Ad people love the idea of overcoming adversity. Selma features a prominent figure and it has a powerful message. Even if you don’t come out of the theatre ready to take to the streets in protest, you will come out of the theatre inspired.
4) It is hopeful
Martin Luther King Jr. was able to lead the people of Selma to victory. Selma is one of the protests that was an obvious victory. The adversity was over come. It is difficult to walk out of the theatre without thinking that all protests can be one, and all adversity can be over come. It makes the future look that much brighter.
5) It is relevant
It is impossible to watch Selma without thinking about how it relates to current events. There are obvious similarities between the police brutality directed at the Selma protesters and the police brutality aimed at the protesters in Ferguson. Selma was released at the perfect time. I can only hope that people look at the similarities and learn from the events of the past so that the future can be brighter than it looks right now.

Mar07LN-blog480 Ferguson

Why Left Behind Will Not Convert An Atheist

We decided to go see Left Behind today. Earlier I had seen an ad for it that read “don’t bring a non-believer to this movie” in an obvious “they will be converted” tone. So we decided to answer that challenge. And now I’m going to tell you why I’m still an atheist.

First, the movie really isn’t all that good. The music sounded like it was from the 90’s, and it didn’t match the scenes. The lines were terrible and sounded false. And the people didn’t behave in a manner that you would expect them to. If you were hugging your brother and he suddenly disappeared with his clothes still in your arms, would you run to the nearest hospital looking for him? I’d be trying to find out why he disappeared, not assume that he somehow stripped and ran off in the blink of an eye. Would your response to people disappearing right in front of you be to start looting? In a mall still full of people? With cops and security guards still around? It was badly written and badly produced.

Second, it seemed to try and show the horror of being “left behind” while trying to make sure that you don’t see the true horror of it. The movie suggested that if the end times were to come all the children would be raptured. But the Christians who believe in the rapture claim that children are born in sin and you have to be saved to be raptured. So why would all children be raptured? Why would the non-Christian children be raptured? How could the new born babies be raptured? Thy are born, which means they are somehow guilty of sin. And they can’t be saved because none of them could possibly accept Jesus. They couldn’t even have been baptized yet, provided they were born to parents who believe in infant baptism. Those infants wouldn’t be raptured, they would be stuck on Earth with everyone else who was left behind.

Third, a preacher said that deeds weren’t enough, you had to believe to get into heaven. None of the people left behind were particularly bad people, they simply didn’t believe. That means, to accept the story, I’d have to be okay with the idea of bad people going to heaven because they genuinely believe and good people being left behind because they genuinely don’t. What good person deserves to be subjected to 7 years of torment followed by an eternity of hell? And who in their right mind would see what God was allowing to happen and then decide that he was worthy of being worshiped?

Fourth, I’d have to accept a contradiction. Is the rapture the only way that God can accomplish whatever he’s trying to accomplish with it? Then he’s not omnipotent. Is God omnipotent? Then what is the point in the rapture?

After discussing our own reaction to such events if they were to occur, we have decided that, in the event of the rapture, we would have to conclude that Yahweh existed, but we would also have to assume that the other gods could exist as well. We wouldn’t, however, decide to “be saved” and worship Yahweh. Rather we would try and destroy his plan. First we would try and kill the anti-Christ. If we succeeded there, we would try to kill Lucifer and God. After all, they are a threat to us. They are trying to kill us. We would not submit to either side. We believe that that would be the most logical course of action in that situation.

Are You Waiting For Armageddon?

I just finished watching Waiting For Armageddon on Netflix. I’ve seen it before, but it’s been a few years, so I thought I’d watch it again.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is a documentary about Evangelical Christians who are waiting for the end times. The documentary interviews these people about their beliefs, follows them to Israel where they are baptized and visit the Dome of the Rock, and even visits one of their church sermons. It is quite the disturbing documentary.

In the beginning, one man talks about his past beliefs as a non-believer, he said he had atheistic leanings, whatever that means. He said that it took a lot for him to become open-minded and prove through math, science, etc that the Bible is true. I’m pretty sure he’s got that backwards. You’re not supposed to start with assumptions and prove them right. That’s how you ensure that your beliefs are full of conformation bias. If he were as open-minded as he says he is, he’d have taken the beliefs that he actually held at the time and tried to prove them wrong. Instead he simply did his best to convince himself that his wife was right.

Another man, while they were at the Dome of the Rock, said “I kept hoping one of Saddam’s missiles would find itself hitting the dome.” Really? Wow, how…loving of you. Hoping for death and destruction, that’s great. I’ll never understand how anybody can be so full of hate as to wish death on anyone. And these people claim to be full of love!

The documentary didn’t just interview the Evangelicals who wanted to see Armageddon, it also interviewed people who had studied the culture surrounding this group. One of the women interviewed said that they are interested in war and violence, and want to see the death and suffering of others. Given the comment of the guy above, I’m inclined to agree. It’s scary how badly these people want others to die. They seem to care more about seeing a prophesy fulfilled than they do about the human lives affected by it.

If someone believed, as these people do, that Armageddon is coming, then I can understand the Evangelicals who push their beliefs on others. If you think someone is going to die a horrible death, and you think that you can save them from terrible suffering, isn’t it your duty as a human to help them? But most of the people in this documentary seem happy to live and let live. They don’t try to convert anyone. How can they sleep at night knowing that people will be tortured for eternity and they’re just going to let it happen?

This documentary leads to a lot of questions.

So, are you waiting for Armageddon?

Modern Day Witch Hunts

I just watched an interesting documentary called Cropsey. I found it very interesting. It talked about Andre Rand and the children that he is thought to have murdered. 

This documentary is far different from many documentaries that talk about serial killers. For one, the film makers never once make the assumption that Rand is guilty. Instead, they listen to the opinions of the people they interview and discuss the lack of evidence available. It’s not about making accusations or spreading fear, it’s about trying to find the truth.

But the very method they used to try and find that truth shows a lot of the problems with how we as humans try to find justice. Andre Rand may or may not be a murderer, but we do not have the evidence to say one way or the other. However, it no longer matters if Rand is innocent or not. Someone could find conclusive evidence that he’s innocent and people would still believe that he’s guilty. They would assume that the evidence was fake, or that it was somehow irrelevant or simply misleading. These kinds of witch hunts happen all the time. Once someone is arrested for a crime, they remain a criminal in the minds of people who have heard the story even when they are proven to be innocent.

Our society holds up the mantra “innocent until proven guilty,” but it hardly ever works out that way for the person accused. It’s often guilty until proven innocent in society’s eyes, but even proof of innocents won’t always convince society of the person’s innocence. I can’t help but find this concerning. If people are being victimized, then I want the police to find whoever is doing the victimizing. But I don’t want to just see a trial. I’m not going to feel safe because someone was put in prison based on eye witness testimony alone. I want to know who actually committed the crime. I want the police to make sure that they arrest the right person so that the crime stops. And I want them to fix their mistakes when they make them. I don’t want them to bury their mistakes and allow some innocent person to pay for someone else’s crime while the criminal is able to keep committing the crime.

But I don’t think that that will happen in our current system. I think the justice system needs to be reformed for justice to actually occur. Prison isn’t about rehabilitation or punishment. All it does is keep people away from their victims for a time. Prison just allows people to become worse. Especially if that person is incarcerated for something small like drug possession. I want to see the people who can become rehabilitated, getting the help they need. We’d save a lot of money if we concentrated on creating valuable members of society.

The justice system requires a lot to fix it, but I think it would be worth it if it would put an end to the single minded witch hunts that lead to innocent people in prison and criminals going free.

Not My Father’s Son

Nate Phelps has a documentary in the making. For those of you who don’t know who Nate Phelps is, he’s the son of the Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps. Nate has recently stepped down as head of CFI Calgary and is an active member of the atheism community.

The documentary talks about Nate’s life. It discusses the abuse he suffered as a child as well as his life post-WBC. I can’t wait to see this documentary when it is completed. I have heard much of what had happened to him and what he has done, but I am looking forward to hearing the entire story (or a good deal more of it, anyway).

Camp Fyrefly

My partner and I just went to an event held by the Camp Fyrefly group. Camp Fyrefly is a summer camp for LGBTQA youth. They seem to be an amazing group of people and the camp helps a lot of youth. The camp focuses on teaching youth not only how to be comfortable with who they are and how to deal, but it also teaches them leadership skills so that they can be leaders in their community.

The event that we went to was a film showing. The film talked about the camp itself, but it mostly focused on the stories of some of the campers. They were really moving. I was especially impressed with the number of transgender youth who had been helped by the camp. Unfortunately, those who are transgender are often discriminated against even within the LGBTQ community. But this camp has helped a lot of youth of all gender and sexual orientations.

The camp only has three locations so far, but they are growing. Hopefully they will soon have camps across Canada and, possibly, internationally. It’s too late to help with this years camps, and I don’t have the money to support them financially, but I’m hoping to be able to volunteer with them next year and I would love to help send a child to camp when I have the money. In the mean time, I want to make others aware of the wonderful things that this camp is doing.


My partner and I recently went to the movie Maleficent. It was very well done. It came across as very much a feminist take on the old Sleeping Beauty story. 

Angelina Jolie did a great job portraying Maleficent. In stead of her being an evil witch who simply wanted to make the monarchs suffer, she had real motivations. Yes, what she did was wrong. She realized as much. But she had been hurt badly by someone that she had once loved. She wanted revenge. Her emotions and actions were easy to sympathize with.

What I liked most about the story was the power given to the female characters. Maleficent fought the king herself despite having the power to call an army to her side. She also went out of her way to protect Aurora. And Aurora was quite powerful too. She was able to make Maleficent realize that her actions were wrong. She was curious. She had hopes and dreams, and she was willing to fight for them.

But my favorite part of the movie was true love’s first kiss. It wasn’t the usual girl gets kissed by man she’s never met before, wakes up, falls in love, gets married, and lives happily ever after type of kiss. It was love formed by a relationship. It was developed over years.

This was probably the best movie I have seen this year.

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