Hollywood Messes with Christianity, Too

In another letter about Eric Scott’s “Valhal-Mart,” Alexandra Erin writes:

I really have to disagree with the contention near the end of Eric Scott’s posting “Valhal-Mart”. While it must be remembered that Christianity enjoys a very privileged position in our culture and thus can’t claim to be injured by off-target pop culture depictions, the fact remains that the Christian religion *is* treated as mythology by Hollywood to be pillaged wholesale for stories and characters.

Consider the move Legion, which has a gun-toting archangel action hero facing off against the legions of heaven and/or hell to save a come-again Baby Jesus from the wrath of a petulant God.

Are any of the supernatural figures in this movie meant to be straightforward interpretations of Biblical figures put forth for a religious public? No. The audience for Legion is not serious Christians, it’s people who want to see a supernatural action/horror movie and here are some convenient puzzle pieces the moviemakers could use to give them that.

Even when Judeo-Christian Big-G God is treated more sympathetically by Hollywood (like when he’s played by Morgan Freeman), he still bears about as much resemblance to the Biblical figure as Odin the sufficiently advanced extradimensional alien of Marvel comics bears to Odin the god.

These “religious” movies aren’t made to pander to or irritate Christians, either. The only reason the names/iconography in such movies are Christian in the first place is because Hollywood understands that people will be familiar with the names and tropes and trappings and symbols.

It’s not Thor’s status as a “dead god” that gets him co-opted into comic book movies, in other words. The fewness of his followers and the comparative invisibility of his following is the reason there aren’t more such pictures being made.