I took my wife on a date to see the sci-fi adventure comedy Paul which has received critical acclaim and earned a respectable 7.4 rating at IMBD. It’s basically a buddy movie about two British comic book geeks who stumble across a real live alien on the lamb from the feds. What you don’t see in many of the reviews is that it is an unambiguous yet subtly subversive piece of anti-Christian propaganda. The bias and ridicule are ubiquitous and aggressive. If this sort of parody had been aimed at Muslims, the critics would have denounced it as spiteful hate mongering. Of course, in Hollywood mongering is a mandate and hate is a virtue as long as it is aimed toward Christianity.
As the two bungling protagonists assist their little alien buddy Paul in escaping from the men in black they come across two Christians, a father and daughter, Moses and Ruth Buggs . The deleterious caricature is transparent as they are portrayed as ignorant hicks isolated in a cultic subculture correlated to the suppression of everything fun. Kristen Wig’s character, Ruth, wearing a one lensed pair of glasses to hide her defective eye, enters the scene wearing a T-Shirt picturing Jesus shooting Charles Darwin in the head, which reads, “EVOLVE THIS.” This offensive shirt is now being marketed by the producers.
She is asked, “Why would Jesus want to shoot Charles Darwin?” She answers curtly, “Because of his blasphemous theories! …Are you men of God?” The response, “We’re men of science… ya know, we believe in the establishment of a biological order through the maelstrom of physical and chemical chaos.” Ruth promptly retorts, “The world is only 4,000 years old and can only be the product of intelligent design.” This is the nature of the parody. It’s inane and obvious enough.
Of course, the Dawkobots are rolling in isles over this sort of lampoon but the typical agnostic probably only finds it mildly amusing. Yet, it’s loaded with disingenuousness that likely slips by the average non-Christian. The most heinous aspect is that no real disciple would ever wear a shirt portraying Jesus shooting Darwin or anyone at all for that matter. In case this escapes you, Jesus is the one who taught “Love your enemies” (Mat 5:44). Not to mention, as the omnipotent author of life he would hardly need a weapon. When Peter tried to protect him from the cross he admonished, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt 26:52).
In contrast, one would have to say the characterization of order from chaos was generously accurate given scientific materialism. However, the 4,000 years is completely disingenuous as not even the most hard core young earth creationists would argue such a view. The next point is more subtle and indeed the most subversive because intelligent design is attached. While intelligent design denies that “biological order comes from the maelstrom of physical and chemical chaos”, it does not entail a denial of evolution nor a belief in a young earth. The actual proponents of ID define it as such:
Within biology intelligent design is a theory of biological origins and development. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable.
Yet the average movie viewer has just been conditioned to associate ID with an exaggerated parody of young earth creationism. Of course the typical moviegoer is enjoying the comedy and is not likely engaging this material critically enough to see they are being manipulated. That is how good propaganda works.
But that is not really the worst aspect of Paul’s anti-Christian agenda. When Ruth first sees Paul she screams “Demon.” While many Christians do believe the UFO phenomenon to be demonic, secular scientists like Jacques Valle and Pierre Guerin see the possibility as well. When faced with the reality of alien life Ruth gladly surrenders her Christian faith and is eager to get about the business of freedom. She has been set free to enjoy what life is really about, swearing and fornicating. As if this is what true freedom is all about. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth (Jn 8:34).
The mere existence of extraterrestrial life is represented as a complete defeater for Christianity. This is a commonly held misconception that should be addressed. It’s false. Theologians are not at all threatened by the possibility that God has not told us everything. Ted Peters writes,
Now, in my judgment, such alleged conventional wisdom regarding the predicted demise of religion is misleading and unfounded. It is misleading because it commits the fallacy of false alternatives: either believe in the ancient God of Israel or believe the speculative facts about ETIL (extraterrestrial intelligent life). This is a false set of alternatives, because theologians both Christian and Jewish could easily absorb new knowledge regarding extraterrestrial life.
In fact, during his talk at the God Man and ET conference Dr. Michael Heiser presented a case that historically theologians were even branded heretics for not believing that an omnipotent God probably had created other worlds. Thoughtful Christians are so rarely portrayed in Hollywood, if the movie producers ever actually acknowledged one they might lose their faith in hedonism.
Still yet, the anti-Christian polemic gets even worse…
And more subversive… Paul has healing powers. First he heals fundamentalist Ruth’s bad eye winning her to atheism. In one scene he resurrects a dead bird and then promptly eats it quipping, “I’m not going to eat a dead bird am I?” Yes Paul can resurrect the dead. Of course, these powers are attributed to the magical properties of evolution. But as the movie progresses we learn that in healing Paul takes on the wounds of the subject. Paul reveals that it is too dangerous to bring a human back to life. That is, until near the end of the film when Simon Pegg’s character is blasted by Ruth’s violent shotgun toting Father named Moses. Paul himself almost dies in absorbing the deadly wound and saves the day. Sound familiar?
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Is 53:5)
Curious that I characterized this film as anti-Christian propaganda. In the Greek, the term rendered “antichrist” ἀντίχριστος not only refers to one who opposes Christ but also to one who usurps his position.
 “Paul Evolve This Mens T Shirt,” http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Evolve-This-Mens-T-shirt/dp/B004Q72TDY (accessed May 4, 2011).
William A. Dembski and Henry F. Schaefer III, Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 16.
 “The ‘medical examination’ to which abductees are said to be subjected, often accompanied by sadistic sexual manipulation, is reminiscient of the medieval tales of encounters with demons.” Jacques Vallee, Confrontations, p. 13.
 “UFO behaviour is more akin to magic than to physics as we know it… the modern UFOnauts and the demons of past days are probably identical.” Pierre Guerin, FSR Vol. 25, No. 1, p. 13-14.
 Ted Peters, “The Astrobiological Delusion Regarding the Future of Religion” Counterbalence, http://www.counterbalance.org/astrotheo/astro-frame.html (accessed May 3, 2011).
“God Man and ET,” http://www.michaelsheiser.com/UWConferencePage.htm (accessed May 3, 2011).
James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), DBLG 532.