1. notleia says:

    I was mostly distracted by the Canon wearing Tudor-ish clothing while the rest of everybody had blah tv-version medieval-style clothing. (Maybe I’ve been watching too much of my historical clothing Youtube peeps.)

    Honestly, medieval Catholicism, especially as practiced by peasants, would have been more than half pagan anyway. That’s where the witchcraft and anti-witchcraft junk came from anyway, because the earlier, “purer” notion amongst educated Catholics was that witchcraft didn’t exist.

    I guess there’s another free idea for ya, Travis, about the tension between the educated elite and the dumba** layman within Christianity. Because while Catholicism and the Orthodoxy flavors give us a lot of overeducated frills susceptible to weaponization (among them, buying indulgences), they definitely did not give us dumb trash (still weaponizable) like snake-handling, because snake-handling is “Biblical.” One of the few positive things that can be institutionalized religion is that they don’t go for cults of personality.

    • Is snake-handling a thing that anyone has made into a weapon? Isn’t it kind of a fringe thing that hardly anyone has bought into? And those that do aren’t really making much money off it? Right?

      Though yeah, it’s Biblical in that it is based on a Bible verse…though the Bible verse is in the future tense as in this is something that will happen, not in the imperative mood, as in this is something you are commanded to do.

      I’m sure there are some other things we can identify as strange or nutty based on the Bible, especially if we pull out an obscure verse that isn’t referenced anywhere else with a doubtful meaning–like the Mormons making an entire doctrine out of one obscure reference in I Cor 15 to “baptism for the dead.” But the application of a little reason and better Bible study takes care of almost all of that.

      As for the issue of laymen, I’m like the Puritans who passed the “Old Deluder Satan” act in Colonial America. I’m something of a Bible education populist. I agree with the old-time Protestant thinking that literacy should be universal, because how else can a person read the Bible?

      So I think unwashed masses of uneducated Christians should not be a thing. Christians should study the Bible and know it well–and I have known enough people of limited education who did that and who did a pretty good job of understanding it that I feel that’s possible. (Though I admit to also knowing people who do a lot of Bible reading who don’t seem to understand much. But just reading through is not the same as studying.)

      Yeah, I know lots of people don’t know much, but I have been a Bible teacher in every church I’ve attended for decades now because I want to do my part to alleviate that situation. I feel I’ve helped in my little corner. And I think most people can know quite a lot if they apply themselves.

      As for the cults of personality, I agree it’s a tremendous issue in Evangelicalism and has been an issue in all branches of Protestantism to a degree, ever since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door. Sure, a number of popes and patriarchs and saints have been super-influential and have made long-term changes in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but overall they don’t change the institution as much as a single congregation can be changed by a single personality.

      I think the answer to that problem rests in the average church member becoming more educated and intellectually independent. But I’ve known smart, educated people who are in essence groupies to a leader with a strong personality. I’ve also known smart, educated people that fall in line with a popular movement that may not have a single leader, even if that movement doesn’t follow what the Bible says. E.g. the Prosperity Gospel. I’m not sure why that happens.

      I suppose I have a natural disinclination to be a crowd-follwer. Good for me, maybe, but it leaves me feeling helpless when discussing cults of personality. I don’t even know why people get obsessed with personalities in the first place, which means I unfortunately don’t know how to stop that problem. Bible education doesn’t hurt, but isn’t a guaranteed cure.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post, Travis. Thank you for sharing it with your readers.

    You might enjoy reading the following listed weblog post:

    < https://www.teleological.org/blog/2006/02/05/stargate-sg-1-joins-the-attack-on-christianity/ >.

    Then, there’s this point of view that seems to diverge from the one above:

    < https://corthodoxy.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/stargate-the-christian-story-and-the-role-of-humanity-in-the-universe/ >.

    Blessings to you,

    — Keith

  3. Some of this comes down to how skilled people are in addressing/depicting social issues. Unfortunately, people tend not to understand each other very well before they start leveling criticisms at each other. So we get shows that point out legitimate issues (such as corruption in church leadership, or the fact that people have done horrible things in God’s name, whether or not they were ‘true’ Christians). But these shows end up handling such issues poorly, either by portraying religion as mostly evil, or portraying Christianity inaccurately.

    This isn’t an uncommon problem, though. The overall behaviors are often committed by every side, and not nearly always with malicious intent. An atheist could look at God’s Not Dead and have a similar reaction to your take on Stargate SG-1. ‘Hey, this is depicting us in a hateful and negative way. It’s extremely inaccurate and is meant to be an attack on our belief system!’ Which means Christians committed similar errors to the ones made by Stargate SG-1: having a legitimate issue but addressing it in a way that comes off as hateful, ignorant or inaccurate.

    Of course Christians could say God’s Not Dead was made to defend Christianity, rather than to attack atheists. But then people working on Stargate could claim their work was not meant to attack Christians, but was merely taking interesting elements from history and throwing them together into a fun story(and that if they were criticizing anyone, it would be the corrupt individuals that believed this stuff back then. So no offense to nice modern Christians.)

    I’d say it’s fine to point out or even rant a little bit when the other side gets something wrong, but it’s not necessarily a huge deal if a show’s inaccurate about something. It’s important that people are able to speak their opinions, imperfect as they may be at times. The presence of a ‘problematic’ opinion or story isn’t usually close to being an immediate threat (which is something Cancel Culture participants tend not to realize…) Instead, the focus should be on whether everyone has the ability to put forth their own story with their own opinions in it. As long as we’re able to do that, and do it well, we can usually counter the bad opinions just fine.

    People should cultivate self awareness too, though. Like, Christians can complain about stories like Stargate SG-1 and wish atheists understood us better, but that frustration should help us see why it’s important to avoid committing the same writing mistakes when WE approach subjects we disagree with.

    As for your particular take on this show, IDK. You seem to err on the side of jumping to negative conclusions about their intentions, but it’s hard to say for sure whether I agree when I haven’t actually seen the show. I do know there’s a lot of reasons why a show can come across this way without it actually being super hateful and antagonistic toward religion/Christianity, though.

What do you think?