erik lundegaard

Sean Hannity's 'Let There Be Light' Makes Me Almost Believe in God

I'd kinda forgotten about “Let There Be Light” until Dan Piepenbring wrote about it for The New Yorker. Brave man. He watched it so we wouldn't have to.

Movie doesn't ring a bell? It's that Kevin Sorbo-directed thing about a famous atheist who sees the light. 

Oh, Kevin Sorbo doesn't ring a bell? Nice! I wish I were you. He's the guy who played “Hercules” on TV in the 1990s and is undergoing his second act (or third, or 12th) as the go-to actor/director for conservative Christian movies.

Sean Hannity's Let There Be LightIn “God's Not Dead,” for example, he played an atheistic philosophy professor who forces every one of his students to say “God is dead” ... until one brave young man shows him the light. In this one, which he also directed, and co-wrote with his wife, he plays an infamous atheist who has a near-death experience and sees the light on his own.

In “GND,” his character became an atheist because his mother died of cancer when he was 12 and he couldn't see how God would let that happen. In this one, he becomes an atheist because his 8-year-old son dies of cancer and he can't see how God could let that happen.

Etc.

This latest is getting some attention because Sean Hannity co-produced it and makes a cameo as himself. Once the “seen-the-light” Sorbo goes on Hannity's show, we get the following back-and-forth:

Hannity: You're literally going to try and convert kids to Christianity. What about diversity? What right do you have to impose your religious values onto somebody else?
Sorbo: Well, what right does ISIS have to cut people's heads off?
Hannity: That's a powerful point.

I love that Hannity portrays himself as a man interested in diversity.

These types of conservative Christian movies have been a minor thing for a while now—I guess since spring 2014. That's when “Son of God,” which merely took episodes of the TV series “The Bible” and repackaged them into a movie, grossed $59 mil at the U.S. box office. “God's Not Dead,” released a month later, grossed $60 mil. Less than a month after that, in April, “Heaven is for Real,” starring Greg Kinnear, was released and grossed $91 mil.

And conservative Christian movies were off and...

Actually, that was about it. Only three CC movies since have grossed north of $50 mil: “War Room” in August 2015 ($67.7), “Miracles from Heaven” in March 2016 ($61), and “The Shack” in March 2017 ($57). Even Jesus Christ Himself, Jim Caviezel, playing a football coach in “When the Game Stands Tall,” couldn't get them off the couch in August 2014 ($30).

So did conservative Christians begin to see the con? Did they get tired of, oh I don't know, storylines in which men become athiests because so-and-so dies of cancer, but then they see the light? Who knows. 

Now we have “Let There Be Light,” which not only has Hercules Hercules Hercules, but Hannity, who can promote it to his heart's content on his radio and Fox-News shows. And his heart is content. Christian news sites have talked up the movie's success. After its first weekend, Hannity himself tweeted this message: 

“On a per-screen box office average, ”Let There Be Light“ is the No. 2 movie in the country! Amazing for an independent film! Thx to all!”

As a result, for its second weekend it doubled its theater total: from 373 to 642. And as a result of that, after nearly two weeks, “Let There Be Light” has grossed a total of...

$4.5 million.

Makes me almost believe in God.

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Posted at 08:23 AM on Thu. Nov 09, 2017 in category Religion  

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