Looking to justify the rampant consumerism that has taken over Christmas? Conflicted about the neopagan influences on the holiday meant to celebrate the birth of the Messiah? Upset because someone said "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas?" Want to laugh until you cry? A former child star may be the answer to your yuletide prayers.
Kirk Cameron — best known for playing Mike Seaver on the '80s megahit Growing Pains and now serving as a neoconservative religious activist — has the perfect solution to Christmas angst: A film espousing fundamentalist Christian dogma called Saving Christmas, which argues that trampling people to death for doorbuster sales is the best way to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
In the film, Cameron attends a lavish Christmas party at his brother-in-law's house, who is named "Christian" because of course. Christian lacks Christmas spirit because the holiday has become too commercialized, asking Cameron how many starving children he could've fed with the money it cost to host a party and buy meaningless decorations and gifts. But luckily for Christian, Cameron assuages his doubts with absurd rationalizations about Christmas presents representing the skyline of Jerusalem and Christmas trees representing trees in the Garden of Eden. Seriously.
"I have seen better film on molding soup."
"I enlisted in the War on Christmas after watching this crap."
"Ah the symbiotic relationship between materialism and religion fully explained. It's OK to be full on for materialism even if your supposed savior was rabidly against it because it makes Christmas fun!!!"
"If there were a god, he'd have to answer for why he allowed this."
"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians had better acting and a more believable plot."
"This movie puts the 'Christ' back in 'Christ, that was horrifying'"
Overwhelmed by the negativity, Cameron took to Facebook to beg for positive reviews. Judging by the film's 8% rating, that plan failed.
The worst part is Cameron's opinions do the opposite of save Christmas. Cameron's view of religion in America is so myopic he's not even addressing the secularization of Christmas — not that it's necessarily a big deal — so much as he's addressing waffly Christians who deride the holiday's inherently consumerist nature. With Saving Christmas, Cameron is actively trying to strengthen the very worst parts of Christmas by saying that's what honors Jesus and the Christian god most.
More consumerism won't save Christmas. Legitimate compassion and awareness of the actual religious persecution that occurs in our society have a chance at doing it though. So skip this movie, and prepare some clothes to donate or something — anything.