Zeitgeist: The Movie

I recently learned about an online film called Zeitgeist: The Movie from the Gary DeMar Show, a Christian worldview radio program produced by American Vision. Zeitgeist: The Movie is a three-part film which attempts to explain how we, the people of the world and particularly America, are being duped by a grand religious, political, and economic conspiracy involving Christianity (and religion in general, though only Christianity is actually attacked), the 9/11 attacks on America, and the Federal Reserve. I have not watched the film but from the information on the website and information I gained from the Gary DeMar Show, I can tell you that basically the premise of the film is that the establishment has used Christianity to manipulate the minds of people and create division. Furthermore they rehash the tired conspiracy theory that 9/11 was perpetrated by the Bush Administration in cooperation with other nations. Finally they argue that the U.S. Federal Reserve is basically a group of wealthy bankers bent on world domination.

Even though they would claim religion in general is the problem, it is funny that Christianity is the only one they attempt to debunk. The arguments are very weak and very elementary and not logical. Basically they contend that Christianity was really made up by pulling from ancient near Eastern myths and paganism, specifically the Horus religion of ancient Egypt. There are elements of astrology, they claim, woven into Christian theology and that they idea of God’s Son is a pun-like element taken from the fact that Horus, the Egyptian god who was considered god of the sun, was fathered by Osiris, probably the most important Egyptian god. There for Horus, associated with the sun, came from their main god. He was the sun come from Osiris. Jesus was the son come from God. I am not joking. This is of course ridiculous because the scriptures were translated from Hebrew and Greek texts and the words for “son” and “sun” in these languages bear no resemblance or relationship to the words for “son” and “sun” in the Egyptians’ language. Furthermore this bad pun only works in English.

I headed over to the film’s website and began doing some reading on the Q&A page and came across a rather unbelievable paragraph.

How life got here is an understanding that is irrelevant, for odds are, life is energy and has always existed, and does not end. What we do in life through understanding life’s processes is the true philosophy and the faster people stop looking to some invisible power that doesn’t exist for guidance, judgement [sic] and afterlife, the faster “heaven” will dawn on the planet earth. The true guidance comes from within, for we are nature itself. We are all brother and sister and we are symbiotically related to all other life forms in the most literal and profound ways. We are God. Period. There is no Evil and no Good- these are false notions based on biased ideals from a very primitive time in our evolution. The fact is we are one family living on the planet in harmony with nature, and religion serves ONLY the perpetuation of division and hatred. Also, the idea that the human race needs religion to be “moral” is absolutely absurd. We are not simply “guilty” or have perpetual “Sin” as certain religions would like you to believe. We are perfect. The reason the world is such a disaster is not because of some innate human flaw. It is a disaster because separatist, racist institutions like Religion, Nationalism and thus Politics, continue to corrupt each generation with the same age old value systems, designed only for social subservience and the perpetuation of the status quo.

Now again I have not watched Zeitgeist: The Movie so I will not pontificate too long and hard about something that I have not actually watched, but there are statements in this paragraph that on a rudimentary level I would seriously question. Without getting into the other topics of the film, some of the statements in this paragraph alone beg some questions that I would love to take to these film makers:

“Stop looking to some invisible power…the faster ‘heaven’ will dawn on planet Earth”?

This has been attempted by Communist governments over and over. They remove God and the divine and the spiritual and quickly descend into oppression, resentment on the part of their citizens, and ultimately collapse. On the other hand it is the nations who have had Christian influence that have flourished and led the world for centuries now (e.g. The United States and Great Britain). I do not mean that they are “Christian nations” per se, but that Christian ideas of law and morality have had great baring on their societies. Finally, I seriously doubt that those oppressed in China would dare say that they are approaching “heaven” on planet earth.

“There is no Evil and no Good…these are false notions”

Wow. This has so many problems on so many levels. No Evil. That’s quite a concept and one that I would like to entertain. But would you mind explaining such a concept to my younger brother who was frightened out of his wits when once he was robbed at gun point by a Meth addict with a sawed-off shotgun? Try telling that to the families of children whose mothers, in their deranged states of mind, have murdered their own offspring. Let’s make it really personal. Try telling that to the people that I myself have deceived and lied to in my short lifetime.

But there is no good either? So the fact that I am married to my best friend and that the best times of my life have been since June 25, 2000 is not good? What would you call it? Mutually beneficial? The fact that I have nieces and nephews that constantly bring laughter and joy into my life and the life of my family is not good? What is it? I guess we’re just lucky.

Furthermore, call the publishers of the hundreds of millions of stories and novels that pit good against evil in which good and love always wins out in the end. Films depicting a protagonist overcoming tremendous odds so that good can win out are apparently meaningless drivel. Art becomes meaningless. Literature becomes meaningless. Love, peace, truth, marriage, child-rearing, walks on the beach, dinner with friends, and yes, even “harmony with nature” becomes meaningless if there is no such thing as good. If there is no good or evil, right or wrong, then why should you mind if I believe in Christianity, Egyptian mythology or the man in the moon? Why waste your time and money and effort on even making Zeitgeist: The Movie? Who cares if the establishment is using Christianity, 747’s, or even the Federal Reserve to accomplish world domination? What’s wrong with that? Certainly you would not say that it’s “evil” (whatever that’s supposed to mean, right?). I guess a more poignant question concerning this topic would be “what’s wrong with hypocrisy?”

C.S. Lewis summed up my sentiments perfectly in Mere Christianity: “Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.”

“We are not simply ‘guilty’…We are perfect. The reason the world is such a disaster…is because separatist, racist institutions like Religion, Nationalism and thus Politics, continue to corrupt each generation with the same age old value systems”

Well this is absolute nonsense. These statements use words to describe a state of being and then describe an opposing state of being and some how both descriptions co-exist. We are perfect yet we are corrupted by “age old value systems”? Either we are perfect and incorruptible or we are not perfect and able to be corrupted. A thing can not be both perfect and corrupted. A generation can not be corrupted yet remain perfect. So two options remain for you. Either we are most definitely perfect and the current way that we are (religious beliefs and all) is the perfect way and the arguments of Zeitgeist: The Movie become moot. Or we are most definitely not perfect and have been corrupted into a faulty way of thinking which Zeitgeist: The Movie is attempting to correct. If it is the former then this film is completely unnecessary and a waste of time. In the latter case you, the film makers, must concede that we are not perfect. Either way you lose because in this statement you have sought to put forth two mutually-exclusive ideas as both being true. Either a vase is whole and unflawed or it is not. Either a computer monitor has no blemishes or cracks or it does. Either man is perfect or he is corrupted but not both.  And don’t get me started on the ones doing the corrupting. Are they evil?  I guess not, if there is no evil.  So then what exactly is your beef?  Quit trying to peddle your New Age nonsense. You can not have it both ways.

Again I have not watched the film and do not know what else they may try to claim in it. I have simply read the Q&A page on the Zeitgeist website and if it is any indication as to the claims and arguments made in the film then I am wholly unimpressed.

Josh H.

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