I first got wind of the new Kirk Cameron marriage-in-peril Christian movie Fireproof a couple weeks ago, when I saw the trailer.
This parish-financed movie has won the praise of Mike Huckabee, the archbishop of Louisville and Bubba Cathy, the churchy senior vice president of Chick-fil-A. Now The New York Times has picked up on it, noting that it's so far made $12.5 million at the box office (set against its $500,000 budget). As much as I want to mock this movie, I will not. I haven't seen it. Maybe it's good. Religious-themed movies can be excellent. The Mission, for example, is one of my faves. But The Mission does not evangelize. Based on its trailer, I'm worried that Fireproof is doing exactly that, and only that. I'm worried that it will inspire couples to stay in failing marriages -- unions that will combust with or without God's help because sometimes, regardless of holy matrimony, people aren't meant to be together. I'm worried that a struggling couple will see this movie, and force themselves to stay miserable together rather than do what's best for both of them: divorce.
Blasphemy! I can see Bubba Cathy brandishing a chicken nugget at me and smearing her palms, feet and side with BBQ sauce and screaming "Stigmata!" Perhaps I'm being unfair. It's just that the political climate has made me frightened of religious messages, regardless of nuance. Too much badness has been waged in the name of monotheism. War, for example. Or futilely clinging to a dead relationship and doing emotional damage to oneself, one's partner and one's children.
Anyway. Might I suggest a great double-billing? Fireproof, followed by Bill Maher's Religulous. Or vice versa. Room for everyone! Except the crazies.