Never has a movie made me fight alternating urges to throw up and cry like Easy A. Its expertly written banter and snappy one-liners thinly disguise a brutal, ignorant and disgustingly heavy-handed attack on Christianity.
I don't usually go into movies expecting to be insulted, but I did have my misgivings about the Emma Stone teen comedy. Even from the trailer I could tell that what could be a fresh and original film was instead exploiting the tired stereotype of the evil, bible-thumping Christian.
This stereotype is especially prevalent in our time of Quran burners and Glenn Becks. Unfortunately, it is like most stereotypes defined by the abrasive, vocal minority instead of the quieter, more sensitive majority. This majority sits on the couch at home with shaking heads as conservative morons with network coverage make the rest of us look like bigoted idiots. Trust me, we're out there.
Not that we'll admit it. We've become entrenched in a shame culture where Christians with brains in their heads are afraid to speak out for fear of being associated with the ignorant nut jobs on TV. We can't start a productive discussion for fear of being judged by our more secular peers.
Change and understanding won't come about until reasonable people from both sides of the argument come together and genuinely try to figure each other out. Problems stem from movies like Easy A that force progressive Christians back into their shells.
For those of you who haven't seen it, Easy A is the story of a snarky high school student named Olive, played by Stone, who lies about losing her virginity and subsequently comes under attack from the religious members of her school.
The movie's maliciousness towards its lazily-characterized Christian antagonists is matched only by its ignorance. Olive decides to go church-hopping to see what these "Jesus freaks" are all about, and based on two highly unrealistic bad experiences she manages to completely dismiss an entire system of worship.
There were so many times I wanted to leave, but I held out hope that somehow the movie would redeem itself. How could any film be so blatantly insensitive and get away with it?
I should have left. By the end of the film, when most of the other theater goers were laughing and filing out, I was rooted in the aisle trying not to cry in front of my friends. And failing.
No one should go to a movie expecting to be attacked for who they are. But while protestors freak out over non-white antagonists, no one cares when Christians are brought to the slaughter.
There is no reason for this kind of brutal aggression. I accept everyone and so do most other Christians I know. It's in our doctrine, for crying out loud.
Movies like Easy A that push their agendas at the expense of their "villains" will not prompt discussion and understanding. They'll just send us deeper into a cycle of misplaced blame and constant conflict.
Talk to us. That's all we want.