R&P – “American Heretics”: Blue Christians in a Red State

„The film American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel, now screening in select cities nationwide, celebrates the work of progressive Christian leaders behind the pulpit and in the statehouse, as they carve a narrow path for themselves in the politically conservative, Bible Belt state of Oklahoma.”

American Heretics is not principally a chronicling or a narrative of reckoning. It’s a defense for liberal Christianity. Interspersed through the film are threads of expert talking heads whose historical claims the filmmakers use in an attempt to render the heretical orthodox. The commentary serves to authorize by implication, ostensibly providing the historical grounding for the Christian practice endorsed in the film. Bernard Brandon Scott, an emeritus professor of New Testament of Tulsa’s Phillips Theological Seminary, brashly confronts the viewing audience with some valuable information: Christianity survived for centuries without a Bible; women played a part in the development of early Christianity; the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. It becomes clear that the type of Christianity the film (and perhaps some or all of its subjects) polemicizes against is a Christianity that wants a stable, authoritative Bible, patriarchal hierarchies, and a Christian nation. What the commentary does, then, is attempt to evacuate Christian conservatives of their claim on the Bible, to pull the ground of authority out from under them, to disrupt the idea that it’s necessary to be a political conservative if one is a Christian.”

“American Heretics”: Blue Christians in a Red State

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