Here is a fact check I did a long time ago for a website that never used it. Hopefully it’s not too late, but if you’ve seen/are considering seeing I’m Not Ashamed, here are a few things to know after you watch it.
After I saw it, I was in a daze, trying to figure out how much of what I’d seen actually happened. In case you’re in the same situation, I did some research to answer the most common questions, and if you have any other questions concerning the validity of what happened in the movie, comment them and I’ll be happy to research them for you!
Were Rachel’s last moments in the movie (of Eric Harris asking her if she believed in God before killing her) real?
True to Probable. Undoubtedly the most disputed question, Wikipedia states that at least one author has questioned the validity of the Eric Harris asking Rachel if she believed in God. The sole witness, who sustained half a dozen gunshot wounds, told his mother that he had asked her and has since reportedly, repressed the memories. We also know that Eric Harris asked two others (Valeen Schnurr and Cassie Bernall) if they believed in God, and shot one.
Harris’ journals reveal that he wanted to be God: “…I feel like GOD and I wish I was, having everyone being OFFICIALLY lower than me. I already know that I am higher than almost anyone…” and also: “… I want to grab some weak little freshman and just tear them apart like a [expletive] wolf… show them who is God.”
Eric Harris really made threats to the student who refused to drive him to school.
True. The student’s name was Brooks Brown, and Harris indeed made death threats to him for the reason of being perpetually late in driving him to school. Harris also posted Brown’s personal information on the Internet, after which Brown’s parents filed a complaint, which was posted in a local paper.
There was more than one student who wore the black trench coats.
True. Called the Trench Coat Mafia, it had a member named Chris Morris whom Harris asked to participate in the massacre but he said no, thinking it was a joke.
Rachel really confronted the shooters after a violent video they made for a school project.
True—the shooters did make a violent video, called Hitmen for Hire, in which they acted out shooting and killing students in the halls of their high school and also shouting swear words; and in the book written by Rachel’s parents (Rachel’s Tears, page 114,) it states that she did confront Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, asking them why they were so obsessed with death after seeing that video. The confrontation may not have happened the way it did in the movie. In the shooter’s videotapes at home they mentioned her as a “stuck up Christian [expletive]”.
Rachel would sit next to the new girl at school.
True. Rachel was known to befriend the unpopular or outcast students.
Rachel performed the lead role in her school’s play.
True. The school play was student written in which she had the lead role.
Rachel wore different hats and quirky fashions.
True. Rachel was known to dress to amuse her friends.
The shooters were influenced by Darwinism, Hitler and natural selection.
True. Despite Dylan Klebold’s Jewish heritage, both reportedly loved Hitler and Nazism; excerpts from Harris’ journal praise the Nazi philosophers like Nietzsche and expressed dislike towards Jews and blacks. Fellow students said that every time either made a good shot when bowling they would say “Heil Hitler!” Natural selection was indeed something that influenced them; Harris’ reaction to his punishment for stealing a computer was: “…how come, If I’m free, I can’t deprive a stupid [expletive] [expletive] from his possessions If he leaves then sitting in the [expletive] van out in plain sight and in the middle nowhere on a Fri-[expletive]-day night. NATURAL SELECTION.”
Eric Harris said: …”I want to get rid of all the fat, retarded, crippled, stupid, dumb, ignorant, worthless people of this world. No one is worthy of this planet only me and who ever I choose.”
True. He actually wrote that in the journal he kept in the months before the shooting.
Rachel Scott really had a boyfriend.
Likely. It is known that she had a relationship in her teens, but broke it up. Rachel’s Tears, page 45.
Rachel had a “big brother” friend.
True. His name is Mark Bodiford; it had to be changed for legal reasons.
Rachel was mocked for her Christian beliefs.
True. Five of her closest friends distanced themselves from her, and she did in fact write a letter to a relative talking about how her friends were leaving her “…But you know what? It’s all worth it.”
Thirteen tears were drawn in her notebook two hours before she died.
True. Her father discovered that in her diary, and she drew it in a class shortly after she had drawn a picture of a Columbine rose.
Rachel Scott loved acting.
True. As said before, she had the lead role in her school’s play and had always wanted to be an actress. To her father she once said, “You’ll see me on Oprah, Dad!”
No one paid attention to the early violence of the shooters.
True. Not only did they display violent themes in their schoolwork but also broke into a van and stole equipment. Their criminal records were expunged for attending psychiatric treatment and obeying the law, and they made such a good impression they were released early. They were convincing liars; Harris was aware of this and noted in his journal that he hated liars and yet was one himself.
Rachel befriended a disabled kid like Austin.
True. His name is Jim, and she indeed asked him out on a “date,” remarking in her journals that ‘“Wow! Did he ever shine! His face lit up. It was amazing. Such a simple thing, but I guess not for him…’ (Written in Rachel Scott’s journal, April 20 1999, 20 minutes before she died.)
The shooters wore “Natural Selection” and “Wrath” T-shirts on the day of the shooting.
True. Eric wore Natural Selection and Dylan Wrath, just like in the movie.
http://www.acolumbinesite.com (website which contains the actual writings and videos of the shooters)
Rachel’s Tears (book written by the parents of Rachel Scott. Buy it here at https://www.amazon.com/Rachels-Tears-Anniversary-Spiritual-Columbine/dp/1400313473/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491601725&sr=1-1&keywords=rachel%27s+tears )
The Journals of Rachel Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High (written by Beth Nimmo and Debra Klingsporn) (buy it here at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1404175601/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_sims_1 )
10 thoughts on “Fact Checking I’m Not Ashamed”
Wow. Thank you for doing so much research on the truth behind this movie. I really want to see it now!
While I agree with most of this, and would love to believe Rachel died for her faith, the one source (the true fact checker from the Criminal Minds wikia that you used) says that it was not just one author that denies that fatal convo took place, it was multiple witnesses and the FBI, too… I was actually going back and forth in my head about that, actually… If he knew she was a believer and that impacted his decision to shoot her (which is terrible, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t mind the idea of her dying for Jesus), that’s one thing, but if it never even happened… I just don’t want people blowing that up and saying stuff that didn’t happen, you know? We’ll probably never know til we get to heaven….
That’s actually the primary reason I haven’t watched the movie yet… Other than that, it sounds great…
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You really should. The details are spotty, so that’s why it’s very probable it did happen. If you were unfortunate enough to read Eric Harris’ journal, you definitely would know that there was unquestionable evidence that he hated God and therefore anyone who believed in a God other than himself. My theory is that he would have killed Rachel whether or not she said she believed, but if you’re hanging back from watching it, don’t! The important thing to me was seeing and being inspired by her faith and her life, not so much her death. I do think she was pretty martyrized? in a olot of stuff, which I didn’t like, but o really appreciate how the movie didn’t victimize her–it didn’t lie and say she was a perfect person.
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Yeah, I think her life and faith are both definitely things to look up to 🙂 I just want people to get the facts right, is all. Yes, Jesus wants to give our all for Him– even our own lives– BUT He also wants us to be truthful. In a gray area like this, I think it’s best to ask God Himself what happened, since Rachel can’t tell us.
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Yes, I definitely agree that the family and friends who were traumatized by the event might flee to make her seem as angelic as possible so that they’d be comforted. But I honesty think that the company and people who made the movie wouldn’t participate in a lie.
I also think that a lot of secular places and organizations might resent the fact that she died for Jesus and want to hush us all up by spreading false rumors, too
who was Celine?
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I think Celine was a renamed friend of Rachel’s. Rachel likely had a friend in similar circumstances. The male friend you see she has, though–Nathan Ballard–I believe he was real. He actually was part of making the movie.
*sorry, Mark Bodiford. I forgot, it was changed.
Were Rachel’s friends real?
Hi! Thanks for these questions, I’m so sorry to get back so late!
Though it’s been a while since I’ve researched, Rachel’s friends were real (their names were changed, though). I don’t know if Celine was based on a real person (though she probably is).