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YMMV / God's Not Dead 2

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  • Critical Research Failure:
    • The film treats the teacher responding to her student's question and mentioning Jesus as if the school and government would be out for her blood. What she did was perfectly legal, even if at worst she came off a bit preachy with it, and upheld by the First Amendment. The law only prohibits public school teachers from trying to indoctrinate the students into a religion or leading them in prayer (during school hours, anyway), similar to what Radisson was trying to do in the first film.
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    • This film perpetuates the myth that kids are not allowed to pray in school. Kids are allowed to pray in school. It is illegal for a public school teacher to deny a student's religious rights in public school. What can't be done is a student demanding special treatment or interrupting the class for their beliefs, and a teacher cannot lead a prayer of any kind, or indoctrinate them.
    • They also state that it is illegal in all schools to pray, when there are private schools students can attend based on one's belief system outside the government for this very purpose. It's also only illegal for public school teachers to lead prayer - students are free to pray as they wish, so long as it doesn't disrupt school activities.
    • The people in the film treat the First Amendment as if it was specially tailored to Christians and Christians only, and also as if it gives them the right to push their beliefs in every corner of the country. What it actually does is make it so one cannot be arrested or prosecuted for believing in any religion one chooses to, and those rights stop when you try to make those into laws, harm others, and indoctrinate or lead them in prayers at public schools.
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    • Grace is given a public defender...for a civil law case.
    • The trailer has the evil atheist prosecutor absolutely scoff at the idea of proving that Jesus Christ existed. Most people,note  including atheists, believe that historically Jesus did exist. The point of contention is whether he was the Son of God, if any of the miracles he performed actually happened, or if he was another religious reformer among many.
    • They also seem to believe that if Jesus does exist, it would mean everything he represented is 100% true, but that is hardly the only possibility. Others would include that not all of his words were recorded accurately, or that he really existed, but only as a normal man. Even those who believe Jesus never existed, or at least there's not enough evidence to show this, might still feel that some sayings attributed to him have merit as wisdom, but are simply not divine revelation.
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    • The ACLU is portrayed as a Nebulous Evil Organisation of atheists bent on destroying Christianity. The ACLU is an organization dedicated to protecting everyone's rights of free speech, press and assembly - they are only at odds with Christians because more often than not they are the ones trying to enforce their beliefs on others. In fact the ACLU actually defends Christians frequently as well. In Real Life the ACLU would be defending Grace rather than how the film portrays them as out for her blood.
    • During Lee Strobel's testimony, he claims that the way our calendar counts from the approximate birth time of Jesus as proof of his existence. However, as a Patheos reviewer pointed out, the anno domini (A.D.) way of counting years in the calendar wasn't invented until the 6th century by Dionysus Exiguus, a monk living in the Eastern Roman Empire, long after Christianity had been adopted as an official religion by the Roman and Byzantine empires. Historians believe Jesus was born between 4 BC (Herod's death) and 7 AD (Quirinius' census), based on the stories of his birth in the Gospels.note  This has been used as an argument against Jesus existing, since they can't agree on when he was born. Most historians do think he existed, but do not take any position about the divine nature Christians proclaim he had.
    • This film seems to be dedicated to showing that in the world we live in the US government has complete control of what Christianity can and cannot do, showing them oppressed by arresting people for even speaking Jesus' name or arresting preachers for not complying with the government's demands of showing their sermons before each service.note  What they don't seem to realize is that the separation of church and state is a two-way street - government stays out of religion and vice versa, and it makes it look like the United States is the exact same as some Middle Eastern government. In real life though many people have claimed that the opposite is happening, with Christianity trying to dictate what the government can and cannot do.
  • Designated Heroine: While Grace's comment in class wasn't inappropriate, she was a teacher employed by a public, secular school who met with a student outside of class and preached a religion the student's parents didn't agree with to their presumably underage child. While this also isn't illegal, it is a much more gray area and can definitely be argued to be disrespectfully inappropriate. Even if the parents had shared her religion, they might have still objected to the unsupervised meeting out of school and/or a school employee preaching to their child, especially because Christians disagree on many issues-plus it could simply look suspicious.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Like the first film, a lot of Christians feel this way about the film. Possibly even more so, as the premise of the first had some potential, but the premise of the sequel is unbelievably stupid.
  • Glurge: The way this movie portrays non-Christians as bad people, and Christians as invariably good, sends the message that other beliefs are malicious, beyond even simply being wrong. Then again, this movie was always intended as an exploitation piece.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In December of 2015, a Muslim New Jersey history teacher, Sireen Hashem, who claimed to have been prohibited from mentioning Islam or the Middle East in her classes, filed a lawsuit against her former workplace, saying she had been discriminated because of her faith when they fired her after she showed her class a video clip of Malala Yousafzai, who went on to earn the Nobel Peace Prize of 2015, showing how a scenario like God's Not Dead 2 would play out in real life - she's the one filing a lawsuit against her former employer.
    • This film seems to believe that just because the laws prevent them from enforcing their beliefs by the government that they are being persecuted and this will one day lead to the government killing Christians, rather than the government just giving equal rights to all beliefs. However, they seem to completely ignore that Christians in the Middle East are being killed for their beliefs by a government essentially controlled by another religious belief. Even worse, the film seems to treat the former as if it was the latter.
    • Some reviewers of the first film joked that the reason Radisson was killed was not because it was supposed to give himself the chance at redemption, but God was essentially enacting an equivalent exchange as at the same time the Newsboys were praying with Amy over her cancer. The theory was that to cure Amy's cancer God needed to kill someone else, i.e. Radisson, but the reviewers usually brushed it off as after all cancer doesn't work that way and claimed it would be a really stupid idea. Come this film it is heavily suggested that Amy was cured because she became a Christian and suddenly that doesn't just sound like a joke theory anymore.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The first movie has the son of Zeus as an atheist, now this one has a a witch who has experienced the Salem Witch Trials as a devout Christiannote  once again in the middle of a Witch Hunt. EVERY critic points out the irony in this.
    • Who better to cast as the evil attorney that wants to prove that "God is dead" than The Devil himself, Ray Wise? Suddenly the trial becomes less "poorly executed Author Tract" and more an "evil scheme to cheese off God" (as some Christians believe atheism and other non-Christian views are Satanic, it's possible this was an intentional choice).
    • One of Ernie Hudson's most famous lines is from the Ghostbusters (1984): "If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe whatever you say". Come this film and many reviewers are thinking the only reason he is in this film is for a paycheck.
  • Idiot Plot: As pointed out all over this section, the film runs on this. This was probably the intent of the filmmakers to some extent, but for the wrong reasons than the finished product shows. They most likely wanted to portray the fact that the teacher went to court over referencing Jesus as a result of a kid's overacting to what she said as said idiot plot, but the actual idiot plot comes from how they set it up, as a teacher who referenced The Bible as she did, when answering a student's question and not preaching in any way, would never go to court like she is. She might be questioned on said words if a student really would've had a problem with what she said, but all she would've had to do is tell that person the context around the words and she'd be fine.
  • Informed Wrongness: Yes and no. On the one hand, a teacher briefly mentioning a religious figure while answering a student's question in class is something only the absolutely absurd would try to make a big deal over, and they'd likely get nowhere in doing so. On the other hand, atheists and religious/spiritual non-Christians have no genuine kindness or even simple rationality to their credit, according to the movie. And while there was nothing wrong with Grace's comment in class, the movie seems to say that any parent/guardian who objected to their kid being religiously preached at by a public school teacher would be wrong and also that only a non-Christian would object to preaching of Christianity to their kid. In reality, Christian individuals have diverse beliefs, meaning the parents and teacher's religious views might differ in certain areas, and even if they didn't, some Christians do strongly believe in separation of church and state. If they wanted their kid to be exposed to religion at school/by a teacher, they'd either try to put them in a religious school or set up a meeting themselves between teacher and student outside of class.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Some atheist viewers seem to like Ray Wise's portrayal of a cartoonishly evil atheist simply for putting effort into his performance and adding some much-needed hammery to the movie.
  • Narm:
    • The people defending the teacher are outside the courtroom chanting. They are not saying any bible verses, they are chanting the phrase "God's not dead, he is surely alive" line from the Newsboys song.
      • Also one of the protesters has his sign upside down.
    • The judge's gavel breaking when he charges Grace's lawyer with contempt.
    • The fact this film came out on April Fools' Day.
  • Pandering to the Base: Just like the first movie, this film seems to do nothing but pander to the Christians with a persecution complex along with the belief that the Christian religion should be above the law.
  • Paranoia Fuel: This film really amps up the persecution complex of Christians by having the trailers state how "THEY"note  are out to get them, how Christianity is at war complete with a scene of the same pastor being arrested, and setting atheists up to be like an evil organization bent on destroying Christianity once and for all. At one point it even justifies this whole thing by insinuating that if Christians don't fight for their religion now, tomorrow they could be dragged through the streets and killed for believing. It's pretty unlikely in a country that is over 80% Christian, and that's ignoring that many atheists have a "live and let live" attitude or even defend one's right to freely worship their religion. Even those who have anti-religious/anti-theistic views don't advocate what happens in the film-they limit themselves to criticism, or legally preventing religious establishments.
  • Propaganda Piece: What, this movie? No, of course not. This film contains no political agenda whatsoever.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The lead "evil atheist" refers to Christianity as an oppressive belief. Christians really have persecuted certain groups historically so it makes sense for someone to hold this view.
    • While cross-examining Brooke (the student who Grace helped convert to Christianity after her brother died), the “evil” ACLU lawyer points out that as a teacher, Grace was unqualified to give advice for Brooke’s personal problems and should have directed the latter to the school’s counselor.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Grace's lawyer is an atheist and she is a devout Christian. Despite their different views, practically nothing comes from this dynamic as he essentially agrees with everything she wants.
    • If the film just focused on the actual reason Grace was on trial to begin with, it could have been an interesting study on the limits between the separation of church and state. Instead it just completely turns around and becomes a case about proving Jesus' existence.
    • The Chinese kid who converts to Christianity subplot had some real potential behind it, and his dad had actual reasons to be mad: back home in China, at the very least being out and proudly religious (and that's any religion, not solely Christian) ain't good for your career prospects. If he (or his dad) worked in the Communist party, that's even worse. The kid could get himself relegated to the Chinese equivalent of Milton's basement office, if not booted out of a cushy lifestyle entirely. It completely explains why his dad would be so mad at him, since from the dad's perspective his son is throwing his life away. Yet they instead treat is as if it's solely because he's an atheist and atheists hate Christians.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The teachers get the parent of the child who asked the question to sign a paper with a blood red pen.
  • You Look Familiar: The kid who originally snitched on Grace at the beginning of the trailer is also one of the kids that is at her house later giving her support.


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