For the Fundamentalist Baptists in the movie Born Again, one needs to be a part of the Church in order to be saved. Before watching this film, I associated Born Again Baptists with political issues. As discussed in Chaves’ “Polarization”, religious involvement has become increasingly tied with political stance. As religious involvement has softened, those who still attend a weekly service are more likely to be conservative.
In my politically aware lifetime, I have known Baptists to be rather vocal about political issues. Particularly in the South, there is significant preaching to the public from the Baptist community in regards to gay rights and women’s rights. Born Again showed a different story. In a Fundamentalist church in Massachusetts, God’s word is the only word that should really be considered, and following the word of God is the only way to salvation. Conservative politics are not particularly preached by the pastor. Rather, the pastor speaks about things such as how he has been “liberated by my wife” and says that “my wife knows something, and so does yours”. The pastor is heavily involved in counseling members of the church, and we frequently see scenes of him sitting down for coffee, helping husbands and wives through their marital issues. He serves as a source of wisdom and a reference to the word of God.
Born Again was released in 1987, which is an important factor to consider. It would be interesting to see if a similar church in the modern day would focus more on political issues, rather than providing personal advice to members of the congregation, and getting “non-believers” to be Born Again.