Melissa Joan Hart, the actress who stars in God’s Not Dead 2 says she is “getting grief” for playing the role of a good Christian woman in the film.
CNSNews.com is reporting on Hart’s role in the sequel to the 2014 hit, God’s Not Dead. The new movie, which opens today, is all about taking the conversation about faith in the public forum to a new level.
In the film, Hart plays a teacher named Grace Wesley who gets in trouble for responding to a student’s question by comparing the teachings of Jesus Christ with those of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The school, citing the violation of the separation of church and state, demands that she apologize. When she refuses, a civil rights group convinces the student’s parents to sue her on the basis that there is no historical proof Christ ever existed.
“For the longest time, while I played a witch on television [on ‘Sabrina, The Teenage Witch’], the Christian community attacked me for popularizing the magic aspects on that secular TV show,” Hart said in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times.
“Now it’s the opposite. I’m getting grief for playing the good Christian woman who is being persecuted by the outside world!”
Hart does not hide her commitment to Christianity and says she felt called to make the film.
“Today, there are a lot of Christians being persecuted for their faith,” she said, adding that trying to maintain a separation between church and state has been taken to a new level that is “far beyond the freedoms this country was founded on.”
As for how to handle religion in the public square, Hart says “we can’t simply lump everyone into two camps — the believers and the non-believers. There are so many shades of opinion on the subject of religion.
“There are all sorts of segments of the Christian community, from Catholic to Presbyterian to Methodist. Even within the Evangelical community. There’s so much room in there to interpret faith. … My hope is simply that this film lead to a more respectful discourse on the role that religion should play in our society. It is a debate that is raging in our country.”
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