In 2003, 3 year-old Coulton Burpo nearly died during an emergency appendectomy. When he came to, he started telling people that he’d had a near-death experience and had gone to Heaven, where he’d ridden a rainbow colored horse with Jesus, met magically de-aged versions of people’s dead loved ones and brought back a message from his own miscarried would’ve-been sister.
Oh, and not that you should read ANYTHING into this minor detail, but Coulton’s dad Todd is a pastor (shocker!) who transcribed the kid’s “account” into a bestselling book, which (amazingly!) the Burpo Family has been able to expand into a hugely successful ministry movement; because apparently American “pop-Christianity” wasn’t embarrassing enough without stadiums full of clueless twits literally swaying in thrall to a not-even-Biblically-Correct spew of pablum from an oxygen-deprived 3 year-old.
And now it’s a movie, starring Greg Kinnear (why?) as Todd. Interestingly, the trailer (maybe also the movie?) seems to leave out the detail of this guy already having been on Heaven’s marketing team – which is kind of a weird detail to leave out of something like this…
I like how the trailer, while downplaying the proselytizing aspect (presumably the film will take a “true or not, isn’t it INSPIRING!!!???” track since it’s aiming to be a mainstream sort of thing) none the less manages to cram us much Christian Movie stock-iconography into the frame as well: Heartland sunsets? Firefighters? Soldier funerals? All that’s missing is Kirk Cameron and a 1-800 number.
Yesterday on Twitter I got into a bit of a “thing” with the Reddit Atheism crowd, suggesting that they might want to ease up on their typical behavior (and maybe while they’re at it those obnoxious “nyah nyah!” holiday-themed billboards) when it comes to Aronofsky’s NOAH movie. Well, regardless of how I feel about Internet Atheists… even the douchey-ist of douches can have a purpose, and stuff like this is theirs. Have at it, fellas.