Nifty essay by Raymond Ibrahim (translator and editor of the Al Qaeda Reader) over at Front Page, about the "negative portrayals of Christianity in major Hollywood movies." He recounts the portrayal of Christians in movies such as Beowulf, The Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and King Arthur (2004). These days, the Christians are typically depicted as weak, hypocritical drunkards, conniving, and skeptical at best about their faith. The blue-painted Druids, on the other hand, are portrayed as fun-loving "free spirits," the Muslims as pious and noble.
"That pagan peoples habitually engaged in barbarous practices, such as human sacrifices, cannibalism, and slavery, or that Muslim law, then and now, is characterized by extremely draconian measures, such as stoning fornicators, subjugating non-Muslims and women, and, under certain circumstances, still sanctioning the institution of slavery is, of course, never mentioned. Nor is the fact that Christianity abolished things like human sacrifices, and its ultimate law is to love God and one’s fellow man (Mark 12:30-31)."
Ibrahim raises the question of masculinity and religion, the perception that Christianity is the religion of the weak. It wasn't always so. There are many warriors in the Catholic faith, such as St. Michael the Archangel who battled Lucifer and cast him out from Heaven, and St. George the dragon-slayer. Christians have always had strong father figures as well, monogamous men who provide for and protect their families. It's getting harder to see that element today in the increasingly feminized, watered-down church. But I digress - back to Ibrahim:
"At any rate, while Hollywood is on a crusade to defame Christianity, it would do well to remember that it is because of Christian civilization that they are even able to make movies in the first place. Not only is Christianity fundamentally responsible for what many a Western liberal takes for granted, that is, the freedoms and advancements of Western civilization, but much of the historical records that movie-makers are able to exploit, warp, and subsequently rake in millions with were compiled by Christians. No small irony is the fact that the one single solitary manuscript that contains the text of Beowulf was written by a monk and preserved in a monastery for centuries."