As details continue to emerge about Elliot Rodger, the man authorities say is responsible for killing six people in Santa Barbara, California, last Friday, a spotlight has been shined on his father, filmmaker Peter Rodger.
Rodger, who was second unit director for “The Hunger Games,” also made a 2009 documentary called “Oh My God,” which asked celebrities and everyday people around the globe to answer the question: “What is God?”
According to the Christian Post, Rodger went to 23 countries over a three-year period to interview an array of individuals, including some well-known names like David Copperfield and Hugh Jackman, in order to study the role that faith and religion play in society.
“I was frustrated with the childish schoolyard mentality that permeates this world — I call it the ‘My God Is Greater Than Your God’ syndrome — where you have grown men flying airplanes into buildings shouting ‘God is Great’,” Rodger said of his motivation for making the film in a 2009 interview with Edge magazine.
Rodger added, “Where you have the leader of the free world telling the BBC in 2003 that he invaded Iraq because God told him to — where you have the constitution of a country (Iran) that dictates that its supreme leader is God’s representative on earth — where you have young men and women blowing themselves up (and innocent others) to buy a place into heaven.”
The filmmaker said that these dynamics led him around the world as he searched for answers to some of the most complex religious conundrums.
Watch the film’s trailer:
Rodger told Edge that his goal was to “find out what ‘God’ means to people, and to determine whether religion and religious people were causing all the world’s problems.”
He described his own children as physically “healthy” in the interview, though he didn’t go into detail. Relatives have said that Elliot Rodger had been treated for mental illness for quite some time and that he had Asperger’s syndrome, according to the Post.
His son, Elliot Rodger, and his daughter were reportedly listed in the film’s credits. While the documentary was clearly important to Rodger, it was cited at a detriment in Elliot Rodger’s 107,000-word manifesto composed before his death.
“If only my failure of a father had made better decisions with his directing career instead wasting his money on that stupid documentary,” he wrote.
“Oh My God” reportedly caused the filmmaker to go into debt, leading to his son’s resentment; Rodger had used his home’s equity to make the movie.
As previously reported, Chin Rodger, the mother of the 22-year-old, received a phone call from her son’s therapist at 9:17 p.m. Friday. The therapist apparently alerted her to the manifesto, in which he discussed his plans.
She then reportedly checked her son’s YouTube channel and saw a clip in which he made terrifying threats and quickly phoned Peter Rodger, her ex-husband. The two rushed to Isla Vista, but they were too late; their son’s rampage had already unfolded.
(H/T: Christian Post)