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Critique of The Godmakers Terminology

Editor's note: I hesitated to put the last section of this article on the site for two reasons. First, I generally try to avoid disparaging the religious beliefs of others. Also, I felt that the language was disrespectful towards Deity. However, I have had many discussions with Christians of other denominations and found their usage of this type of disparaging language against Latter-day Saints to be rather common. By showing them how this underhanded technique could also be used against their own beliefs, I hope to encourage them towards tolerance for the religious beliefs of others. -- WJW (See Interfaith Relations home page)

by Van Hale

The movie "The Godmakers," released early in 1983, is the production of several ex-Mormons who are now ultra-conservative Christians. In addition to a number of obvious errors, distortions, and the like, the producers of the movie use a clever technique throughout. Mormon beliefs are re-phrased in the producer's own sensational and offensive terms. The result is a most unfair portrayal of Mormonism. For example, Mormons often express belief that man is in the image of God. In the movie this is re-phrased, to present, as Mormon belief, that God is an "extra-terrestrial humanoid."

This technique can, of course, be used to disparage any system of belief. For example, the following paragraphs are presented as a statement of the beliefs of the producers of "The Godmakers."(emphasis added) It sounds bizarre and offensive, not because it inaccurately presents their beliefs, but rather because their beliefs have been re-phrased in sensational and offensive terms. It is, thus, unfair, just as is their portrayal of Mormonism presented in the film.

A being of three separate persons at the same time, God is a mysterious schizophrenic. He decided to try out mortality, and thus became the only extraterrestrial ever to become a humanoid. To do this he created a woman named Mary, and after an unnatural conception to this unwed mother-to-be, he became her illegitimate, half-breed son.

He suffered a self-inflicted stroke of amnesia, and had to re-develop even the most basic abilities. As his supernatural powers began to return, he traveled through the area talking with demons, and as a human god, succeeded in impressing many with spectacular feats of magic. He wanted a large following, and offered the bribe that all who would became his groupies would never be held accountable for any of their wicked deeds, no matter how heinous. He threatened that he would see to it, that those who would not follow him would be tortured by burning forever, and ever, with no possible relief.

He had outraged a number of the leading citizens to the point that they wanted to put him to death. Still a young man, he decided he had had enough of mortality, and wanted to return to his former state, but he did not want to suffer the death his enemies had planned for him. After a chat with his father, he carried out his father's will, which was that he leave mortality only after a moving drama in which he was offered as a human sacrifice, the condition upon which the father agreed to make good the incredible promises the son had made to his followers.

(See A Sci-Fi Connection in LDS Theology?; Response to Criticism home page; General Criticism home page; The Godmakers home page)

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