“Evolve This!” Hollywood’s Anti-Christian Agenda in the Film Paul

Article by Cris D. Putnam of www.LogosApologia.org

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.[1]

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.[2]

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[3] and Pierre Guerin[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

[1] “Paul Evolve This Mens T Shirt,” http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Evolve-This-Mens-T-shirt/dp/B004Q72TDY (accessed May 4, 2011).

[2]William A. Dembski and Henry F. Schaefer III, Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 16.

[3] “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.

[4] “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.

[5] Ted Peters, “The Astrobiological Delusion Regarding the Future of Religion” Counterbalence, http://www.counterbalance.org/astrotheo/astro-frame.html (accessed May 3, 2011).

[6]“God Man and ET,” http://www.michaelsheiser.com/UWConferencePage.htm (accessed May 3, 2011).

[7]James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), DBLG 532.

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13 Responses to “Evolve This!” Hollywood’s Anti-Christian Agenda in the Film Paul

  1. Jay in UK says:

    The earth is cursed for the sake of mankind, and presumably the current laws of physics as manifested on earth are a consequence of this (e.g. we get injured when we walk into walls, tired when walk up hills, die when we fall from heights, etc).

    So… if visiting “aliens” could be killed or injured or require the input of entropy to propel their vehicles, then they too would be subject to these laws (specifically the Second Law of Thermodynamics), which makes them cursed / fallen too. If they’re not fallen then (a) they would recognise, promote and serve God and (b) not be subject to the laws of death – remember, the sinless Christ made Himself subject to death that He might redeem his people, but on occasions before Calvary there were examples showing His sovereignty over the law of death, specifically in healing and walking on water, the miracle of the bread & fishes, etc .

    To my mind, the Bible has made it very clear about the curse upon the earth, i.e., that it’s a consequence of mankind’s sin alone. Even the fallen angels’ status brought no such curse upon the earth, so the presence of mortal ETs on earth would be a conundrum insofar as that would present them as being under the very curse we caused through our sin in Adam. From this we can deduce that the only intelligent ET beings doctrinally permissible are:

    (a) sinless and living in a part of the universe where the laws of physics are different to our own, or else living sinlessly in another universe, for example, with the Lord as angelic beings, or,

    (b) fallen but not subject to the same laws of physics as us here on earth, perhaps being in immortal bodies that will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire with all the damned of humanity. If they are sinful yet have immortal bodies, then they sound very much like fallen angels.

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  3. Tom Amitai says:

    There is no “b” in the phrase “on the lam”.

    Did you mean “IMDB” where you wrote “IMBD”? If so, I wouldn’t consider a movie’s “rating” there to correlate with its reception by the movie going public, due to self selection bias.

  4. Kcido says:

    Paul (film): good anti-Christian propaganda

    This Article: good Christian propaganda

  5. Clement St Witherspoon says:

    Top up on your British humour before you waste your time writing 10,000 word essays. I suggest some Monty Python

  6. squatchie says:

    The film Paul could be considered a light-hearted hint to encourage people of all faiths to ease up a little when it comes to zealotry and literal interpretations of their respective scripture.

    Why separate religion from the attempts at explaining the the universe? Because there is a myriad of religious views on this planet and any explanation stemming from such viewpoints is biased in the direction from which it came, thereby useless to humanity as a whole.

    The facts that are taught to subsequent generations should only be objective enough to NOT suggest literal interpretations of any “holy text.”

    The people that are left behind when we leave this Earth deserve to make those judgment calls for themselves, and consequently deserve to have a set of unbiased facts derived from repeatable, empirically determined results.

    Intelligent design is a poor excuse for scholarly pursuit. Those energies could be better spent in the effort to vanquish cancer, educate and feed the poor, and attend to the suffering that occurs at the local level.

    The Christian Church in America needs to focus on real problems (those problems that Christ actually tasked us to tackle) and avoid passing moral judgment on fellow human beings. Anything contrary to the above is plainly and simply selfish, and,last I checked, sinful.

    Here’s a news flash: Not all non-white, non-Anglo-Saxon-protestants are doomed to the eternal fires of hell. There’s plenty of good folks out there that don’t think like you do, don’t believe what you believe, and especially don’t act like you do. Those people will be meeting me in heaven just as my fellow Christian friends who aren’t hypocrites will be as well.

  7. Mitch says:

    What is the problem with an ET poking fun at religious fundamentalism? The whole notion of a middle eastern mystic (jesus) representing the whole universe is absurd so why not poke fun.. a move like “Paul” was an excellent opportunity to do so.

  8. John Jones says:

    You quote,
    “Love your enemies” (Mat 5:44), and yet when I read this article filled with hate and anger I wonder how much (if any) of our Lord’s bible you have understood. I feel ashamed to be a Christian.

    Please stop spreading this blasphemy and confirming the already negative sentiment about Christians.

  9. Frank in Ireland says:

    Every subject gets some abuse in the movies. You can’t ignore something as big as Christianity in modern film. Religion is no longer given a spot on a pedestal where no one can touch it, or say anything negative regarding it, and this is a move in the right direction.

    There are plenty of Christian films in circulation, but when an atheist is portrayed in Hollywood, there is an uproar. It’s very hypocritical.

  10. Frank in Ireland says:

    So do you just allow comments that support your article and reject those which oppose it?
    Then you have the audacity to call a film propaganda?
    Again, stop being a hypocrite.

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