'God's Not Dead 2' Filmmakers Wade Into California Politics
Pat Boone and Mike Huckabee sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown comparing pending legislation to the movie in which they appear.
Some of the folks behind God’s Not Dead 2 see similarities between their fictional film and a real-life bill winding its way through the California legislature, and they are pleading with Gov. Jerry Brown to not allow it to become law.
Senate Bill 1146 “prohibits a person from being subjected to discrimination” at California colleges, according to state senators Ricardo Lara and Mark Leno. It does this by narrowly defining a religious school as one that trains pastors and theology teachers, so Christian schools across the state might no longer be allowed to hire Christian-only staff, teach religious ideas in regular classes, require attendance at chapel services or keep bathrooms and dormitories restricted to either males or females.
The bill has been a hot topic for months in some Christian and gay-rights circles, and now Pat Boone and Mike Huckabee, who are both in God’s Not Dead 2, along with the movie’s executive producer, Troy Duhon, have injected themselves into the debate via a letter sent to the governor.
“Whether the issues are brought up by our movie or this bill, in all cases as Americans we want maximum freedom for individuals and we stand for those freedoms,” the three wrote in their letter, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Parents of students who attend public schools are right to have an expectation that their children will not be subjected to unwanted and excessive proselytizing,” they wrote, adding that teachers also ought not have to “give up their First Amendment rights at the classroom door” and that “transgendered people have a right to live freely.”
They added: “Christian colleges have a right and indeed a sacred duty to not be forced to give up their beliefs. Balancing all of these rights is your job and we urge you to err on the side of freedom and allow Christian colleges to operate according to their beliefs.”
God’s Not Dead opened in 2014 and made $62 million worldwide on a $2 million budget. It stars Kevin Sorbo as a professor who urges his students to declare that God is dead or potentially fail the course.
God’s Not Dead 2 opened in April and has made $21 million thus far, with a DVD scheduled for release Aug. 16. The film stars Melissa Joan Hart as a high school teacher under siege for citing scripture during a class lecture. The film's trailer is below.