"Persecuted": thriller about poor religious conservatives versus evil liberals

In "Persecuted," a forthcoming theatrical release movie, religious conservatives defend themselves against pluralism, secularism, reproductive rights, and feminism.

The movie had a preview screening at CPAC, where it received a warm reception. As Peter Montgomery writes, the film offers some good insight into the mindset of the American right:

Let’s review the symbolism in Persecuted. The enemies of religious liberty are those who use the language of fairness and equality and those who say America is not a Christian nation. Religious pluralism is portrayed not as a matter of respecting freedom for every faith tradition, but as a deceptive, coercive tool of government to erase religious difference and put all faiths under the politically correct thumb of government. Other religious leaders are either co-conspirators or complicit sheep. The only non-Christians I remember in the film were those sitting silently on the dais as Sen. Harrison launched his religious takeover project. Oh, and about that growing cohort of religions “nones” in America? Luther’s dad tells him at one point that those who believe in nothing must destroy him in order to achieve their goals. And with the exception of some FBI agents, government officials are as soulless and devoid of scruples as the characters on House of Cards.

Luther and his father symbolize the alliance between right-wing evangelicals and conservative Catholics. We aren’t told how it is that Luther’s father came to be a Catholic priest, but perhaps he was an Episcopalian who left for the Catholic Church when his own denomination became insufficiently conservative on sexuality issues. After Luther finds his father murdered, he spends the rest of the cat-and-mouse drama with his dad’s bloody rosary beads wrapped around his hands: a symbol of the shared willingness for martyrdom pledged by conservative evangelical and Catholic signers of the Manhattan Declaration?

It’s hard to say what kind of impact Persecuted might find, but any contribution it makes to our civic discourse is likely to be negative. Its backers clearly hope that a marketing campaign targeting conservative Christians will find an audience and help push a trend toward bigger-budget movies with that audience in mind.

'Persecuted': Religious Right Movie Thriller About The Death Of Freedom In America [Peter Montgomery/Right Wing Watch]

Notable Replies

  1. petzl says:

    That sound you hear is of me banging the head against the wall.

    Seriously, why is religious pluralism and coexistence of believers/non-believers so hard for evangelical christians to understand?

    These people project that their enemies plot to convert and/or kill them because -- surprise -- in their deepest id, they wouldn't mind converting and/or killing their non- or insufficiently believing "adversaries."

    Also, I thought the supply of right-wing hackjobs had been used up in God's Not Dead.

  2. It seems like their own persecution complex is the only kind of masturbation that some of these conservative Christians accept as permissible.

  3. Because they can not fathom that others are serious about tolerance and assume that these others would act like they would like to act, i.e. forced conversion or extermination.

  4. Thanks for those who attempted a compassionate reply. I'm an Episcopal priest who left Evangelicalism a decade or so ago for many of the reasons that are mentioned on this reply chain. We need to realize how frightening a changing world is to people who are clinging to the memory of cultural power. They are addicted to power and need to be treated like addicts, not like enemies. Addicts require tough words and lots of truth, but also compassion and empathy. I wish those who have more intellectual foundations to be open minded-- like people who read boing boing-- would use that openness to realize the psychology of fear and addiction that underlie fundamentalists and come up with more effective ways to help these folks realize that living in a sustainable, pluralist, open society is much better than living in a theocracy.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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