The Lone Ranger, any number of critics will tell you, is not a great movie. But is it threatening to Christian beliefs?
Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Coalition and Editor-in-Chief of the Christian movie-reviews site Movieguide, kicks off his critique with the charge that The Lone Ranger has a "strong mixed pagan, revisionist, politically correct worldview."
While the word is a startling one, perhaps conjuring images of druids and the like, it's really being used by Baehr to mean "non-Christian"—in the review, he clarifies the pagan elements as "allusions to 'spirits' who have power to influence events" and general "mysticism."
In an interview with the Christian Post, Baehr said that "the pagan elements triumph because you're looking at it from Tonto's point of view." Of that world view, he said, "It's not Buddhism, it's not Hinduism, it's a mishmash."
Paul Asay, senior associate editor for Focus on the Family's review blog, Plugged In, which also reviewed the film, told the Christian Post that Tonto's "view is more persuasive than the Christianity presented here." Asay added that "the carnivorous rabbits are fairly suggestive that the movie is pushing Tonto's view of the world."
Some context: The Lone Ranger is not the only film deemed "pagan" by Baehr. He also complains of the paganism in reviews of the Twilight and Harry Potter films, as well as such animated children's fare as Epic and How to Train Your Dragon.