Four years ago a 14 year-old named John Smith fell through the ice of Missouri’s Lake Saint Louise. He was underwater for 15 minutes. At the hospital he was clinically “dead” — no pulse, 88 degree temperature — for 45 minutes. But then God brought him back to life after his adoptive mom, Joyce Smith, begged for divine intervention.
Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta suggests that “the ice cold water actually slowed John’s metabolism so much that it allowed him to survive a situation that might have otherwise killed him.” I for one support this hypothesis.
Given the market for faith-based entertainment, there’s a new film called Breakthrough — directed Roxann Dawson, produced by DeVon Franklin, released by Disney — about this episode, made for rightwing types who adore the idea of God stepping in and saving the day.
Excerpt from Owen Gleiberman‘s 4.8.19 Variety review: “On the surface, there’s no reason why a tale of mystical healing should inherently belong to either the conservative or liberal camp, especially given that the current leader of American conservative politics, Donald Trump, is a rage-fueled narcissistic demagogue who, measured by his words and deeds, is no more a Christian than he is a Martian.
“Yet the aspect of Breakthrough that makes it, spiritually and culturally, a movie of the Trump age is the literal-mindedness of its faith. The movie isn’t just an affirmation of Christian belief; it’s a sentimental celebration of never doubting. It says to its audience, ‘If your faith is strong enough, then you will be protected, no matter what.’ That’s an incredible reassurance, but it’s also an excuse — for following certain leaders wherever they take you. No matter what.”