MovieChat Forums > Shotgun StoriesĀ (2007) Discussion > Christian forgiveness and worldly respon...

Christian forgiveness and worldly responsibilities?


I thought that was a very interesting concept that the father had a family who he wasn't taking any responsibility for. He becomes Christian and successfully raises a second family, perhaps as a result of it's guidance, and yet he cut himself off from the responsibilities of his "former life".

That was quite a realistic seeming scenario. An individual doing that isn't hard to believe but it seems from the funeral that he became a respected man despite everyone in that small town undoubtedly knowing there was a family he continued to abandon. Is that believable in southern baptist (i guess) circles?

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The entire point was that the father was a hypocrite. He was no more a Christian than anyone, his "second life" was just a sham so he could abandon his earlier family. Great, great movie.

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You don't need to pretend to be a Christian to abandon your first family but i would have thought abandoning your first family would make being a respected Christian difficult. Apparently not.

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No, I agree with you man. He just pretended to be a Christian so people wouldn't look down on him for what he did (at least that is what I took out of it), and for some reason people accepted it. But somehow the fact that he ABANDONED HIS FAMILY didn't ever make his "new" family or friends think twice about the kind of guy he was.

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Yes, that "somehow" is the bit I'm wondering about. Was it realistic do you think? Would people let that slide, in a small community. Perhaps not but still on the surface they'd act like they don't mind just to get along. Who knows.

It's a great film either way, i just thought i'd mention it.

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Growing up as a Southern Baptist in a town of under 1,800 people (on a good day) I'd have to say: Yeah. It would happen. Unfortunately, there has come to be a lot of hypocrisy and the like in smalltown "Christianity." I'm very much a Christian (not a Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic), always will be, but it wears on you growing up in such circumstances. I'd say it was very realistic, and, knowing also how my dad grew up in middle-of-nowhere rural Kentucky, I'd say the locales (although based in Arkansas) are spot on as well.

Very accurate movie, and one I enjoyed quite a bit.

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One scene which subtly hints at this aspect of the father's supposed "changed ways" is the fight between Kid and Mark, which takes place outside a bar where the christian sons are hanging out and drinking. I think this is supposed to suggest that either the father never completely abandoned his old ways, and influenced his second family as such, or that no matter what conscious decisions he made to change his life, genetics still played a part in leading all of his sons to a propensity for violence and alcoholism.

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Just watched the movie and thought it was quite good, one of the best I've seen that deals with anger and revenge. What jumped out at me was the constant finger pointing about who started the whole feud, which never really got answered. To me, it was the father who really started the whole thing. By, essentially, trying to sweep away his past so that he doesn't have to think about the hurt that he had caused created a rift between his family. I don't think there is anything to suggest that he was a Christian because he did not face up to the fact that he had caused such hurt and pain and never sought to reconcile with his family again. No matter if anyone is a Christian or not, I think it speaks volumes to us that we need to deal with our past and bring reconciliation, otherwise people will not find a way to love one another.

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great issue to raise, OP

some things to consider:

we dont know a whole lot about the families' dynamics at any point prior to the setting of the drama.

clearly, the first mother was also a malevolent person, and must have played a part in the estrangement of the boys, if not also the tensions & conflicts leading to the father's rupture with her and her sons.

the mother of the second family was clearly a kinder and more well-loved (and cared for) person, in the center of her family.

the only things i can inject into the situation were that the older family were left dangling (none of the older boys had any skills - an encapsulation of their abandonment, impoverishment, losses), while the younger boys had property, a family tradition of nurturing, a loving & loved mother.

beyond that, its hard to surmise, in my view of the situation.

the younger family was advantaged, relative to the older family. hence the essential injustice leading to conflict. the dispossessed demanded to be heard.

that hearing was enough in the flow of provocations (far, we all understand, from the first) to start the ball rolling.

all that said, the dynamics of the town might be understood to have concluded that the first family, including the mother were 'bad apples/white trash', while the second family were people of a higher quality.

just another aspect of the film that is left to our speculation, really. there's no reason to expect/assume that every town acts rationally, or in perfect accordance with our expectations. add to the fact that there's so much, again, that we don't know about the story, its hard to draw conclusions.

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Nah think about the term 'born again christian'.

He was a born again christian and that means turning your back on your evil past, that would include his wife and abused sons.

The simple truth is that he was a coward and instead of being 'reborn' he should have killed himself. He was a hypocrite but his delusion convinced everyone around him and he convinced himself.

If he had a smidge of courage he would have reformed himself and taken up the rest of his life atoning and healing his violent past.

But he didn't, he ran away. He couldn't face his former self and past actions. But his past caught up to him even after his death.

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The father was obviously a hypocrite (and all-around bad guy, imo). I had the feeling that his actions were accepted by the townsfolk because his first family was considered trash. Just one of the many examples of sham holiness that so-called Christians commit. The bible says not to judge others, yet how many Christians denounce and pass judgment on perceived sinners? I thought the acceptance by the small town of the father's abandonment of his first family was very realistic.

Also, being Christian doesn't mean being perfect or without sin. They are supposed to strive toward this goal, but Christianity acknowledges that we are only human, and all people are sinners.



I need my 1987 DG20 Casio electric guitar set to mandolin, yeah...

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He also sucked on plumber's tools and devoured uncooked chicken livers, but these scenes were cut.

The sense itself was I.

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Attendance at the funeral was pretty sparse. This might be a clue that the father did *not* become a respectable member of the community after abandoning his first family.

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Attendance at the funeral was pretty sparse. This might be a clue that the father did *not* become a respectable member of the community after abandoning his first family.


Yeah, that's a big clue and a nice touch. He might have stopped drinking, but that was it. He was still a weak, selfish bastard.

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Also, being Christian doesn't mean being perfect or without sin. They are supposed to strive toward this goal, but Christianity acknowledges that we are only human, and all people are sinners.

Irrelevant. By abandoning his first family, he perpetually sinned against them.

Christianity claims that all people are sinners.

Fixed that for you.

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