Just as there are movies that affirm or strengthen people’s faith or spiritual inclinations, there are a number of tremendously thoughtful and compelling movies that dismantle religious faith as we know it. Naturally, in an industry driven so heavily by American filmmakers, the majority of movies dealing with religion, that I’ve seen at least, target Christianity and Christian dogmas primarily. Given that it’s the most influential religion, and one of the most influential forces period, in America, this is understandable, and probably appropriate.
There are plenty of big, dumb, obnoxious ways for people to criticize religion. There are lots of caricatures to draw on in movies, often done to comedic effect, in movies like Easy A. The religious are an easy target because, frankly, there are so many examples of Jesus freaks acting like crazy people, picking up snakes and covering up sex crimes and going on murderous crusades and other hateful stuff. But in the midst of these extreme examples, there are plenty of thoughtful points to make about the rigidity and exclusionary aspects that seem inherent to faith-based communities. And there are some really smart movies that take these issues head on.
Here’s a list of 6 movies that have offered searing criticisms of the derply devout.
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