Film Review: “One Nation Under God” (2011): Misinterpreted facts and frightening conclusions
By Jason Hines, Esq. -
There were several speakers on the DVD, and each of them had two responsibilities. First, to make sure that they established the idea that America is a Christian nation that that Judeo-Christian principles are to be inculcated into government. Second, the goal was to convince Christians that they should be politically involved, vote their values and encourage other Christians that they should do the same. Several popular conservatives are recruited to help make these points. Despite the multiplicity of voices, there are some problematic themes that run throughout the presentations. Each of the presenters engages in some element of either misrepresentation or misinterpretation of facts, specious logic, or just plain bad theology.
The misinterpretation of facts was somewhat expected. Most of it was conservative evangelical talking points. Both David Barton and Newt Gingrich made mention of the fact that the Supreme Court has taken prayer out of schools. Of course this is not true. Engel v. Vitale
Mr. Barton makes the same illogical leap in his discussion of Christians in the voting booth. He assumes that all Christians feel the same way he does, and that if those Christians vote pro-choice or pro– gay marriage, then they are not voting their values. This type of rhetoric is disingenuous and does not help to win people to their cause.
Dr. Dobson is using his theology to whitewash history, and to ignore the fact that America has never been the Christian nation that these people envision it to have been.
As I think about the events of the day and the content of the DVD, two final points jump out to me. One, Newt Gingrich said what the goal of this DVD really is. At one point he states that it is time for people of faith to take back power from the minority elite. That is the real issue. It is not truly about having this nation be Christian. It is not truly about feeling persecuted for their majority faith. Rather, this is about wanting to be in control of others. To compel people to follow their will (not even the will of God).
Two, my wife and I noticed something interesting as we sat amongst the members of the Old West Cowboy Church. The pastor provided note paper for us and encouraged us to take notes for our own edification. As we looked around room, we realized that we were the only people attempting to take detailed notes. Most people did not write anything down at all. Some only wrote down a sentence here or there. My wife and I were the only people who attempted to record all the major points being made by all the speakers. This lack of critical thought was the most appalling thing to me. These people were being sold on all kinds of historical, logical, and biblical inaccuracies, and they were more than willing to accept it without inspection.
Jason Hines is Associate Editor for ReligiousLiberty.TVthehinesight.blogspot.com