Religion and Movies

Have you ever noticed how religion is missing from movies?  This just dawned on me the other day.  I’m not trying to talk about how Christianity or God is missing from movies, that’s a whole other topic.

I know that there are several companies that create movies specifically for certain religions.  I have seen and admittedly sometimes avoided many Christian movies over the years.  When I studied the Latter Day Saints while I was in college I even saw a few Mormon movies.  I am talking about the absence of religion in mainstream movies.

Courageous (film)

The Singles Ward

Now that I am back to school I get to experience lots of new things.  My first few years of college were at a Christian University and I enjoy finding the humor in the differences between Christian University and Secular University.  One of the big things is religious views and views on religion.  The thing is, everybody has an opinion, usually an emotional one.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

Some people blow it off, some people adamantly don’t want to discuss it, most “religious” kids are ostracized or embarrassed, and sometimes people let you in on their beliefs without even realizing it.  A quick reference to karma or centering themselves before a performance or big test is a significant insight into someone’s belief system.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA....

LDS Temple, UT

What I think is interesting is that none of this is covered in movies.  Why?  Is it really too controversial to put in a movie?  Aren’t movies supposed to reflect everyday life?  Are we so afraid that we cannot handle learning what someone else may believe?

When I see someone going through a difficult time it is often followed with some kind of reference to religious views.  Be it prayer, meditation, cleansing, a visit to church, or simply looking up to talk to “the man upstairs.”  Whatever the belief, in times of crisis people usually turn to something.  So how come we don’t usually see that in movies?

My husband quickly pointed out the prayer in Talladega Nights by Will Ferrell.  Awesome prayer, by the way!  So much to learn on the social commentary of Christianity in that scene!  So, yes, there are some references to religion, but very few.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t think of very many times when I’ve seen someone go to meditate or see their priest or go to church service, or get on their knees and pray during a time of crisis.  Crisis happens in most movies, something goes wrong and we watch the characters deal, but the way that most people deal is not included.  There seems to be a strategic absence of religion. Why?  Is it a good thing?

Do you think exposure to other religions in movies would negatively or positively affect people?  How do you think it would affect one’s view of Christianity?

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