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Persecuted is a 2014 American Christian propaganda and political “thriller” film about religious liberty in America being destroyed by the sinister forces of freedom, equality, and religious pluralism. The film is written and directed by Daniel Lusko and stars James Remar (Dexter Morgan's adopted father), Bruce Davison (portraying another evil senator), Dean Stockwell, Raoul Trujillo, Fred Thompson, Brad Stine, David House, Tabatha Shaun and a cameo appearance by Fox News' own Gretchen Carlson. It was released theatrically on July 18, 2014 and was overwhelmingly panned by critics. It carries a rare 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 2.5/10 based on 13 reviews.
“”The film's premise is simple: Secular progressives have taken over the government & Evangelical Christians are being hunted down & abused for their beliefs. But if you want to experience real abuse sit down & watch this badly written , poorly acted, intellectually insulting piece of crap.
The film follows Billy Graham like figure John Luther (Remar), a highly regarded televangelist and founder of Truth, a well-funded and highly influential evangelical ministry that appears to be the lone upholder of Christian values in a dangerously tolerant world. Because of this, he is the last obstacle in the way of destroying Christianity in the United States. When he refuses to promote Senator Donald Harrison's (Davison) Faith and Fairness Act, a religious-reform bill that will guarantee equal treatment and recognition for all systems of belief, Harrison as well as Luther's own supporters abduct and frame him for the rape and murder of a teenage girl in order to destroy his credibility. Wanted by the FBI, Luther has to walk through the valley of the shadow of death in order to clear his name and expose the government’s insidious multi-faith agenda of watering down the Gospels with a little help from his friends including his father, Fr. Charles Luther (Thompson). By the end of the film, Luther has cleared his name and Harrison has been killed as well as several of his associates. However, the man on top of the conspiracy is none other the President of the United States. Finally, the ending is left ambiguous with him about to speak at a press conference and leaves it unclear whether or not he will speak up against the conspirators or go along with them under the fear of another attack on his life.
Problems with the film
The film is basically one long "Christians are persecuted in America" sermon, a belief which continues to live in the minds of the religious right. It is the kind of paranoia that would be expected from the minds of conspiracy theorists such as Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Robertson. As Hugo and Jake of The Bible Reloaded pointed out in their review of the film, the vaguely defined Faith and Fairness Act is highly unconstitutional and would neither get passed into law nor ever stand up in court. On top of that, the film carries a major logical fallacy, in that the film tries to treat Christianity as an oppressed minority, where at the same time Donald Harrison wants John Luther to endorse the bill because by doing so his show will be able to reach more people than NBC Nightly News, thereby showing that Christianity has a lot of power and is hardly a persecuted minority. Also, the film has a typical straw man view of anyone who isn't a "real Christian". Basically anyone who doesn't aggressively insist evangelical Christianity to be the only valid faith is portrayed as greedy and corrupt. To egg this on even further, there is a scene where the ministry board meets after Luther goes on the run and on the center of the desk (and the frame) is a big golden calf statue. Subtle.
- "Persecuted (2014)". http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/persecuted-religious-right-fantasy-thriller-about-death-freedom-america. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "James Remar". http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001664/. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Bruce Davison". http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001117/. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Persecuted (2014)". http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/persecuted/. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Psalm 23:4". http://biblehub.com/psalms/23-4.htm. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Persecuted (Film)". http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Persecuted. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Atheists Watch "Persecuted"". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q96-4a_ym1c. Retrieved 11 January 2016.