Episode 96: The Christian Cinema-GOP Persecution Complex

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By Citations Needed, Nima Shirazi, and Adam Johnson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The last two decades have seen the release of a number of explicitly Christian movies which tell stories of believers navigating the trials and tribulations - both literal and figurative - of a perceived non-Christian world. In this universe, followers of Christ are constantly under siege by secularists, swarthy Muslims, gay and trans agenda-pushers, feminists and a hostile, out-of control federal government.

While the media usually lumps these movies into a generalized “faith” category they are best viewed not as earnest meditations on religion and “faith,” but a political project on behalf of the Republican party, with a distinct protestant flavor.

Today, we are going to focus on the biggest and most influential players in the “Christian cinema” space: production company and distributor PureFlix and Affirm, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Worldwide. Pureflix and Affirm embody the core ideological tropes of the U.S. conservative base: a promotion of US militarism, anti-Muslim racism, pro-capitalist messaging, hostility to LGBTQ populations, anti-Semitic Zionism and a runaway contempt for women.

On this episode, we’ll discuss how the Christian cinema industry is not just low-budget schlocky propaganda that’s fun to dunk on (though it certainly is), but something more deliberate, sinister, and corrosive––a state-subsidized, far-right messaging machine for American reactionaries and imperial interests.

We are joined by author, artist and filmmaker Frank Schaeffer.

116 episodes