The other night, I watched a film called “Red State” with my boyfriend. It’s about a group of teen boys who are lured through the Internet to an older woman’s house, who turns out to be a member of a hate church. It’s a setup, basically. She roofies the boys and then other members of the church help her kidnap them, where they take the boys to the church and hold them captive. The boys basically have to try to get away alive. The church condemns pretty much everyone who exists outside the church, including gays, people of other races, people who have premarital sex, and so on – but gays more than anyone…they believe that gays are the worst people on the planet. They believe in murdering those who are different from them. It results in the ATF getting involved, ending with a shootout between the church members and the ATF. I’ll leave the rest for you to see if you’re interested. Anyway, it was a really disturbing story, but a really good film in my opinion. It’s not your typical horror film. It’s more drama, action, thriller, and horror mixed in one.
It’s based partly off of Westboro Baptist Church, which an infamously known hate group or hate church. The members of that church have been known to picket funerals of gays, veterans, and even some celebrities, among other groups of people. Most recently, they announced that they would be picketing the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims. Yeah, I know, awful and sick. They were part of the influence for the film, and no film has ever made me feel the way that one did.
Now I will clear up a thought you may have if you’ve never heard of Westboro: they don’t resort to violence like the church in the movie does. At least that’s what they say…nothing’s been reported so far. But either way, they are purely hateful. They call Catholic priests “vampires” (yes, seriously). They think that God hates the troops (I know, it’s getting plain ridiculous). They believe Jews and gays are the real Nazi’s, rather than the actual Nazi’s being the Nazi’s. They believe God hates gays more than any other group of people, that they’re the worst sinners of them all. They believe homosexuality is to blame for every tragedy, even 9/11. They’re happy 9/11 happened. And get this: they believe that gays should receive the death penalty. I have no respect for that church whatsoever…most people don’t. I’m sure the only ones who do are the members. To them, anyone who is different is hell-bound and of the devil, basically.
That is why that film is so disturbing…what it’s about. The fact that people out there are willing to kill others who don’t believe the same things or who live differently is just mind-blowing and sick to me. But more than anything, it’s heartbreaking. They make all Baptists look bad, but they also make all Christians look bad. Most of us are NOT that extreme…I’d say most of us aren’t extreme at all. They’re as extreme as it gets, without getting violent anyway.
I believe that everyone should be free to believe what they want to believe and to be with whoever they want to be with. Being a Christian is supposed to be about love and forgiveness, not hate and judgment. So, to anyone who hasn’t heard much about Christianity and ends up hearing about that church…I apologize…heavily. They are hateful and judgmental, and most Christians are not like that…least the ones I know aren’t. That’s never ok.
This film is sad and heartbreaking, and it will probably anger you, but I think it’s worth a watch. It shows you how hateful people can be, and how people don’t deserve that hate simply because of their differences. Can you imagine someone wanting to kill you just because you’re different? It’s sad and angering, but maybe it can help others become a bit more open-minded and more loving towards others.