‘Easy A’ Christian Bashing

I like peeking in on ChristianCinema.com because they regularly update and have opinionated articles. One fresh posting  called “Easy A Spells Doom for Christians” concerns the teen comedy starring Emma Stone (loved her in ZombieLand) and Christian bashing. The general premise of the movie is peer acceptance through perceived sexual activity. Once the main character gets a reputation for having sex with nerds (which she fakes) she is judged harshly by the campus Christian youth group.

Phil Boatwright, author of the article, is worried that this is more typical Hollywood Christian bashing which is increasing in volume and of course he embellishes his point by using the word “Doom” in the article title (really Phil, it’s not that bad). He cannot understand why a friend of his watched Easy A and enjoyed it while overlooking the profanity and the Christian stereotypes. I can tell you why. Because no doubt Easy A does not represent every Christian in America and some Christians “get it” because they’ve met the type of Christians portrayed in the movie. There are judgemental, snotty Christians and there are friendly, open-minded Christians (the same is true of atheists). No offense to Phil, I would assume he considers himself a more moderate person of religion, but Hollywood constantly has to hear how evil they are by people in a religion with widespread abuse and scandal. Teenagers, in particular, can be especially harsh and they don’t need religion as an excuse to act like those kids in the film, though religious upbringing seems to be an underlying influence. Girls who sleep around are sluts while guys are “pigs” that supposed good girls will still sleep with.

I clearly remember being the awkward nerdy Christian in highschool and being flabbergasted at how many “Christian” girls would date clearly inappropriate “bad boys.” Heavy petting, blowjobs, sex and even getting knocked up for not using birth control–but then it was alright as long as you renewed your vows with Christ at one of those altar calls. Sexually speaking, it didn’t pay to be a good Christian nerd and it made me very judgemental as I did not realize that young women (as well as young men) follow their hormones first and God second. They will also talk about how the spirit led me to this guy or that girl–again, hormones.

The one part of the article I found amusing was when the author wrote this: “There doesn’t seem to be any effective Christian alliance willing to voice our dissatisfaction with the film industry’s bigotry toward us.” Bullshit. There is now a Christian Film Industry and there is no need to cry “bigotry.” Simply support Christian films you like with your money and Hollywood will listen–they have been listening. More Christian films–professional money makers–have been done in the last decade than ever before and it is only growing. I get tired of this supposed minority whining. You will be bashed–yes! Because we can point to numerous instances where it is deserved. But your new slew of Christian films should provide plenty of entertainment for you and America is a religious majority so I’m not sure what the worry is? Will Easy A convince the majority that they should become atheists because Christian young people are snots? I don’t think so.

Read the article over, you’ll be amazed at how far the author goes–even referring to a “demonic advance” within American culture. All this over a silly teen comedy. I think Christians may be more upset about Emma Stone’s character Olive helping out a gay friend and Lisa Kudrow’s scene where she repeatedly takes the Lord’s name in vain–also highlighted in a CBN review. The movie itself is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter. Christians might do well to reread that book as Easy A is not a demonic advance but is a light touch compared to authors of the past who commented on vicious puritanism. At least these days, the new puritans can’t burn you or press you to death with stones for being a skank. Really what Christians are often complaining about is loss of power in an environment where the creative minority can bite back.

19 thoughts on “‘Easy A’ Christian Bashing

  1. “Will Easy A convince the majority that they should become atheists because Christian young people are snots? I don’t think so.”
    Bull sh*t.
    If you’re a Christian watching this, you may feel very embarrassed by the way your religion is portrayed on screen, but you’ll still be a Christian at the end of it. If you are someone who’s never really thought about religion before watching this, you will come out of the theater with a very negative taste for Christianity, and will definitely not be interested in being a Christian.
    When you use religion as a plot drive in your film, you should make an effort to be sensitive to how the religious people will feel about your portrayal of their faith. Easy A makes no effort to show a balanced portrayal of Christianity. Even if they had had just one cool character who was Christian, I would have been satisfied. But instead all we get is over the top, judgemental Bible thumping Christians. There was not a single Christian character presented in a positive (and realistic might i add) light, which left me, as a Christian person, cringing and feeling completely mocked throughout the entire movie.

  2. As a christian youth I completely agree with this article and movie. My honors english class went to see Easy A to compare and contrast it with The Scarlet Letter, and the movie is mild compared to the classic. Nathaniel Hawthorne used betrayal, persecution and the unjustness of society to tell his tale about Hester Prynne, and you don’t see Christian people today banning the book because of that. Easy A is truly the modern Scarlet Letter both in the juxtaposed themes and characters. I suggest that any Christian that is offended by this movie look to the classics if you want to criticize. Easy A is obviously just modernizing the plot to help teenagers understand what Nathaniel Hawthorne was trying to get across in his novel. There was no malicious intent by the writers. I actually know some teens in my youth group that would fit right in with Marianne and the other “Jesus Freaks.” Not because they are true christians wanting to live their lives according to God, but because they put on airs and (opposite to what the bible tells us to do) make everyone who is not a christian feel bad– you could even say they force feed Jesus’ teaching. Maybe I’m just a liberal lutheran, but this film should act to open the eyes of teens, and ADULTS that are not truly living by God’s word.

  3. You know, if I had to chose a church to attend, it would be Lutheran. I remember going to one in downtown Seattle when I was nearing the end of my Christian journey and I loved the atmosphere. Lutherans seem to keep tradition but also are involved in social justice. At least that was my impression after a couple of services.

  4. Some people writing about this movie don’t seem to understand the difference between some members of a group acting in a certain way and portraying the group as if ALL its members act that way. If I can prove that some people of Arab background are violent terrorists, does that make it okay for me to make a movie that implies that all Arabs are violent terrorists? If I can prove that some African-Americans are ignorant, does that make it okay for me to make a movie that implies that all African-Americans are ignorant?

    I’m not advocating any sort of ban of this movie. See it if you want. But don’t pretend that it’s not bigoted just because you can find some people of the group that act in that manner.

  5. I was literally nauseated by the bigoted portrayal of “Christians” in this movie. It seemed obvious to me that the writers had not met a true Christ-follower. Clueless Christians wake up. This is Christian-bashing in the extreme and the reason there is no general outcry (as there would surely would have been had Muslims been portrayed using such a characature style)is that it has become acceptable, if not fashionable to be tolerant of everyone but Christians in our culture!

  6. I understand and appreciated the stereotype of Christians portrayed in “Easy A”. In fact, I applaud the movie’s author for pointing it out so clearly.

    It’s not the movie industry’s mission to be sensitive to anything. Unfortunately for Christians, the movie does a pretty fine job of encapsulating how most of us outside of religion perceive Christians, (i.e judgmental, condescending and overtly pious).

    Stereotypes, although unfair, are sometimes based on an underlying grain of truth. If you are seeing your religion being perceived as a stereotype, or in an unflattering light, you might first look inward at your own behavior to try and understand where that perception could have originated. If there is any truth in what is being said, then I recommend that you try to change yourself for the better instead of lashing out toward the messenger.

    In counterpoint to “Jen’s” comment above… It may be entirely possible that the writers of “Easy A” have met many so called “Real Christians” and are just re-telling what they found to be self-evident.

    The “Easy A” Christian is of a type that I encounter daily (yes daily), and I find their behavior repugnant on every possible level.

  7. To the comment by the atheist above, your assessment of the average Christian is ridiculous. If you actually think that most Christians act the way they do in this film, that’s proof that media like Easy A has tainted society’s perception of Christians, and cast them in a negative light. You obviously enjoyed the Christian bashing in this film because it allowed you to feel superior about being an Atheist. You sound self-righteous and judgmental, which are ironically traits you label Christian people to have.

  8. I find that many Christians act that way. People find it very hard to believe that I believe in God and have a personal relationship with him and follow no religion.

  9. Over the top negative stereotype of Christians, no excuse, and the movie was bull shit. Why not make her nemesis blacks or muslims or black muslims who want to HONOR KILL HER…

    IN THE MOVIE SHE STEPS ON A BIBLE during a series of quick scenes going Church to Church for answers, but there is no minister or pastor on duty midweek midday (symbolic of what, there is no God?). Clurgy have office hours, and you can read the Bible and pray 24-7. Anyway, then she finds a preacher, played by SNL’s Fred Armistead (sp?), who turns out to be the father of the Christian girl at school. He repeats there is a hell and she runs out.

    Give me a break this is the blatant anti-Christ anti Christian bigotry, plain and simple. IT WAS NOT NECESSARY TO MAKE CHRISTIANS IDIOTS, BUT THAT’s Hollywood. It is OK to bash Christians and mock them… Yep fair game. There is no consequences (no suicide bombs or violent protest). OH NO… don’t you dare criticizes a minority, blacks, gays or muslims no matter how F’ed up the crap is in their culture and “religion”… AND THE GAY CRAP… Yea the kid is gay, fine, but we did not need to see him cuddling with his BLACK LOVER… The movie needed to emphasize the gay kid ran away with his BLACK LOVER for some reason. OH BLACK? WTF?

    Moral of the story being slutty, dressing slutty, passing off false rumors, lying is OK! ALSO sex with teachers is OK as long as there are no STD’s involved? This movie was really all about what, not having morals or standards? YES PEOPLE SHALL JUDGE YOU BY YOUR MORAL CHARACTER AND ACTIONS. Deal with it. More important IMHO you will be judge by God. There are consequences to your actions her and now, and we do have an eternal soul.

  10. From the CBN review: “there isn’t one redeeming “Christian” character”. Just like real life …

  11. It’s funny because the debate of course is in reference to this particular movie. But this particular movie is just one example, and just a drop in the bucket. I was just “Googling” “Christian Bashing Movies” and found this site. If you don’t think this particular movie crosses the line, fine, there are too many other examples that do. I just finished watching Paul. Another piece of Christian Bashing rubbish. The list could go on and on. It would be almost impossible to argue that the scale of anti-Christian rhetoric has escalated in general pop culture in the last 10 to 20 years, and so on. As usual at the end of the day the responsibility rests with real believers to unite and organize and “be heard” equally along with all the Hollywood bigots! -Peace

  12. Its so sad that people are believing in lies about being a Christian. After I learned about Christ I’ve learned to have character like being kinder and loving EVERYONE. This movie is bias, no good Christians in it.

    Jen I agree with what u said…
    “If you’re a Christian watching this, you may feel very embarrassed by the way your religion is portrayed on screen, but you’ll still be a Christian at the end of it. If you are someone who’s never really thought about religion before watching this, you will come out of the theater with a very negative taste for Christianity, and will definitely not be interested in being a Christian.
    When you use religion as a plot drive in your film, you should make an effort to be sensitive to how the religious people will feel about your portrayal of their faith. Easy A makes no effort to show a balanced portrayal of Christianity. Even if they had had just one cool character who was Christian, I would have been satisfied. But instead all we get is over the top, judgemental Bible thumping Christians. There was not a single Christian character presented in a positive (and realistic might i add) light, which left me, as a Christian person, cringing and feeling completely mocked throughout the entire movie.”

  13. A bigot is a person who is obstinately devoted to their own beliefs, shows animosity or intolerance of other beliefs, and stereotypes persons from other groups.

    If we only had these comments to judge on, who would appear bigoted, the pro-Christian posters or the anti-Christian posters?

    I’m not saying anything about who is more bigoted in general society (as if we could even generalize such a thing). I just think the atheists posting on this site should be somewhat more self-reflective about the things they are saying.

  14. Myself being an agnostic found the film slightly offending towards Christians. I actually think most Christians have treated me very well, while I know a lot of atheist (and also some agnostics) that are becoming increasingly intolerant.

  15. Jen who posted on January 4th, amen! I was repulsed and disgusted with the vile “humor” in this movie. Furthermore, it was completely anti-christian, that shouldn’t even be up for debate! pay close attention to all the lines and scripts associated with God, or with Christians. You will find that 100% of the time Christians are depicted in a derogatory way. When the counselor confides to Emma that she slept with a “Christian” STUDENT–which is just vile in itself–the counselor says God’s name in vain repeatedly. To the point that if you were to repeat any word that many times it would be annoying to anyone! How offensive!!!

    Or how about the “Christian” group of the school. They’re a total joke and behave nothing like the bible tells us to. It was an intentional misrepresentation of Christians. The writer’s goal was to deceive people about Christianity. What the Hell is wrong with our media? Who puts these people in charge? It’s all crude, shameful “humor” again and again everywhere.

    And consider the part where the leader of the “Christian” group is weeping over the divorce and Emma comes to console her. First of all, if she had the love of Jesus and was a true Christ follower, she wouldn’t need consolation from the likes of a character like Emma. Second, the movie totally mocks Christian’s involvement with God. I’ll paraphrase, “if God wanted such and such to graduate, God would have given him the answers” That is SUCH A COMPLETE AND UTTER LIE ABOUT CHRISTIANS. completely disparaging, completely untrue and deceptive (that’s not how a relationship with God works), and a complete disaster of a movie. I’m less repulsed by vomit than the likes of this bigotry.

  16. Perhaps there would not be as many “Christian bashing” movies and such if everyday Christians knew how to behave. I agree with this article. I am a Christian and have met many “Christians” who make me want to hide my face in shame because they are so HATEFUL. Kind of like a few comments on here.

    I think Christian Movie Reviews are pretty much a joke. They’d rather focus on fictional entertainment than solve REAL issues. Sigh.

  17. Although my comment is really late, I’d just like to put it out there that I’m Christian and that not a single one of my Christian friends or members of my church act as the “Christians” do in this movie. The movie was funny and entertaining, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly bothered that my religion was being depicted this way. I understand that there are a lot of bible-thumpers out there who judge others harshly and are irritatingly pious and self-righteous, but those bible-thumpers are the exact people that we’re taught NOT to be like. We’re not all like that!

    I think people need to understand that yes, there are a lot of Christians who are total douchebags, but in the same way, there are a lot of Christians who are nice, loving, ordinary people. And the fact that this film only depicts the negative stereotypes of Christianity is really unfair to those who aren’t like this.

    I feel that they should’ve at least attempted to be fair by including a Christian character who was not a complete lunatic, as was mentioned above by another commenter.

    I worry that this film will encourage Christians to feel embarrassed about what they believe in because of films, etc. that display such biased and negative perspectives about the Christian faith. I worry that atheists and people of other religions will immediately assume that I’m a bible-thumper just because I state that I’m Christian due to movies that misinform audiences like this.

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