Thanks to immediate action taken by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a middle school in Kirtland, N.M., canceled plans to indoctrinate students by showing them a proselytizing Christian movie.
The Kirtland Middle School principal had planned to show a movie, "Facing the Giants," billed as a Christian drama. The movie's byline is a New Testament verse, "With God, all things are possible." A concerned teacher contacted FFRF a few hours before the movie was slated to be shown.
The movie tells the story of a high school football coach whose team cannot win a game, is in danger of losing his job, drives a jalopy and has a wife who is having trouble getting pregnant—until he turns to god for help. After finding god and encouraging his student athletes to have faith in the Christian god, everything turns around for the better and the team wins the state title.
The movie was produced by the Sherwood Baptist church and distributed by the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel contacted the superintendent of Central Consolidated School District #22 to explain that showing a movie with this proselytizing message to a captive audience of students at a public middle school is inappropriate. The administration agreed and informed FFRF that the movie would not be shown.
In addition to being an egregious violation of the separation of church and state, the movie received terrible reviews from critics, including one star on the popular movie review website, Rotten Tomatoes.