From Anita Busch‘s Deadline box-office report, updated this morning: “Noah was playing like a mainstream movie when it opened, but that [box-office] bump indicates that it had some cross-over from the faith-based audiences which [are continuing] to keep God’s Not Dead in business. Although based on the Biblical story, Noah doesn’t mention the name God once. How funny that God’s Not Dead [has] made such a surprise second weekend showing, as if to say, ‘Oh yeah?’”
What is this, a revival meeting under a tent in Corpus Christi, Texas?
Perhaps Busch didn’t get the memo so I’ll resend: Cheering for the God team isn’t cool among Los Angeles industry types. With this crowd you’ve gotta go agnostic, atheistic, dispassionate, Bill Maher‘s Religulous…whatever. If you’re a spiritual-leaning type go with Hinduism, Buddhism or Taoism but leave “God” out of it. It’s a cultural thing — you don’t want to side with the fundamentalist yokels. Why in any event would you want to believe in “God” as some kind of cosmic moral force who has a rooting interest in the human condition? The idea of reducing an eternally perfect cosmic symphony of science and math and mystery and altogetherness into an entity with a personality who ponders the moralistic fate of the residents of a speck of micro-mulch known as planet Earth….why, it’s insulting!
Darren Aronofsky chose to use the term “the Creator” in Noah because the word “God” no longer connotes universal cosmic unity and splendor. It doesn’t carry the weight it did in the days of Cecil B. DeMille. Over the last 30 years “God” and Christianity have been co-opted — a polite term for “kidnapped” — by conservative Christians and used as a club with which to beat non-Christians with. The term has been polluted. Hence, “the Creator.”