Work From Home

By Alan Caruba

 

When I was growing up in the 1950s there were two blockbusters, “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur.” Together they pulled in $1.795 billion in adjusted domestic ticket sales. The power of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to draw audiences is impressive and, in hard times like the present, many seek a message of hope in religion.

 

It’s worth keeping in mind that, according to Pew research, by the end of 2012, a large majority of Americans—77% of the adult population—identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons. Some 18% expressed no explicit religious identity and 5% identified with a non-Christian religion.

 

U.S. Presidents, particularly the Founders, were serious readers of the Bible. Tevi Troy, writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 14, noted that “Our earliest presidents, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all assiduous readers—of history and philosophy, and the Bible as well. Lacking many books in his earliest years, Abraham Lincoln “was among the most diligent readers of all U.S. Presidents.

 

I suspect that the Obama administration’s open attacks on the Catholic Church for its resistance to Obamacare’s demands that contraceptive medications be covered in healthcare insurance plans makes a lot of Americans, not just Catholics, uneasy at best, raising serious questions about the nation’s fundamental devotion to the free practice of religion.

 

In a statement about the National Day of Prayer, President Obama made no reference to Christianity, but acknowledged freedom of religion in its historic context. He is a far cry from his predecessor, George W. Bush, for whom his faith in Jesus was openly acknowledged and who found wide support in the nation’s evangelical community. Bush was an avid reader of the Bible.

 

A Marxist at heart, I doubt that Obama cares much for Christianity and his Chicago church was led by Jeremiah Wright who is most famous for having said “God damn America” and had to apologize for remarks critical of Jews. Obama has openly defended Islam and many believe he is a Muslim.

 

Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible these days after years of films based on cartoon characters like Batman and Spider Man. In 2014 it will release more big Biblically-based films than it has in the last eleven years combined and the trend is strong for more in 2015.

 

Debuting in February was “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, culled from the History Channel’s 2013 miniseries, “The Bible”, produced by Mark Burnett who, along with his wife, Roma Downey, is a devout Christian. Debuting in March is “Noah” from Paramount, starring Russell Crow and coming in April is “Heaven is for Real.” On its way to the nation’s theatres are “Mary” and “Exodus.”

 

Burnett believes that people are seeking messages of spiritual uplift in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and I would add the five years of Obama’s failed management of the economy with its emphasis on socialist, Keynesian government spending that has proved to be largely a waste that has added six trillion to the nation’s soaring debt.

 

Having attended school when the day began with a pledge of allegiance and the reading of a prayer, I am among those who lament the court-imposed ban on the latter. As a longtime book reviewer, I have seen a trend of books espousing atheism. Among the latest I have received are “Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist” by Anthony B. Pinn, “The Original Atheists” edited by S.T. Joshi, and “The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal” by Paul Kurtz, one of the most active critics of religion with fifty books to his credit. There are, however, many books that explore faith such as “Faith Afield: A Sportsman’s Devotional” by Steve Scott and “”What on Earth Do We Know About Heaven?” by Randal Rauser.

 

One can only hope that Hollywood’s re-discovery of the Bible will contribute to a resistance against those groups and individuals who protest any display of religious symbols such as the Cross, notable during the Christmas holidays.

 

America was founded by men who were believers in religious expression and faith. And tolerance. The drift from these values harm the nation and a renewal of them are the essence of hope.

 

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Views: 661

Tags: Bible, Christianity, Hollywood

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Comment by Victoria Thiel on February 25, 2014 at 5:17pm

Hollywood, while unapologetically bashing Christianity, doesn't mind making money off it and re-engineering the bible to serve the message of social justice and redistribution.  

Hope you are no longer watching NCIS after the insulting ad with Michael Weatherly, representing himself as Jesus, promoting abortion .

Hollywood can afford to give us insults and drivel, because if we refuse to go to the movies, they get us to subsidize their failures with our tax dollars.  Isn't America great?  Every other business has to sink or swim under the burden of government interference. Not Hollywood.

Comment by Walt M. K on February 18, 2014 at 3:21pm

"It’s worth keeping in mind that, according to Pew research, by the end of 2012, a large majority of Americans—77% of the adult population—identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons. Some 18% expressed no explicit religious identity and 5% identified with a non-Christian religion."

Alan,

So many times we hear how the greater percentage of Americans believe in some form of Christianity. IMHO, nothing could be further from the truth. If weighing ones beliefs is measured by their actions, then America is anything but a Christian nation in her heart. I don't think anyone on this board would dispute that America, culturally,  has been progressively "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" for the last several decades. Her citizens claim one thing (enter the pollster) but make allowances for something other than things reflecting the Christian character. 

Comment by Walt M. K on February 18, 2014 at 3:05pm

Patricia Eden -

 "Please read that one before passing judgement and God should be the judge not us!" 

With all due respect, that is nonsense. 

Christians are charged with making "judgments" concerning doctrine, if God's church is to remain fundamentally sound. Spiritual discernment is what's sorely lacking in today's Christian Churches. And there is only one sure-fire way to sharpen this gift - "study to show thyself approved unto God…" 

Comment by Walt M. K on February 18, 2014 at 2:49pm


"Debuting in February was “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, culled from the History Channel’s 2013 miniseries, “The Bible” " 

*sirens and red flags*

The History Channel - widely known for their fictionalized commentary and narration. 

Comment by Elaine Jex on February 18, 2014 at 12:11pm

Last night on Fox the movie industry is down 60% and asking the State of California for a tax break.The hypocrisy. Gee, do you think they have realized they have alienated a large sector of movie goers. I think so. Follow the money, you will always get the truth. Way too late for me.

Comment by Judy Lyford on February 18, 2014 at 11:48am

Hollywood spends most of their time, energy and money on trash for young people. They don't seem to care that many Christian and non-Christian adults have stopped attending movies altogether. Many of us even refuse to watch the most popular TV programs.

Comment by Doug Nicholson on February 18, 2014 at 12:13am

The book, "Heaven Is For Real", was written by a pastor, whose son apparently had a "near death experience", went to Heaven where he met Jesus, God, many angels & a sister who had died in a miscarriage prior to his own birth. According to the book, he had never been told of the failed pregnancy, so it was quite a shock to his parents when he told them he had met her in Heaven. If the movie is 1/10th as good as the preview looks, it should be GREAT!!! The book is available from iTunes & the movie preview is on Youtube.

Comment by Jo Gonzalez on February 17, 2014 at 11:27pm

Even Hollywood cannot ignore the 100 Million people who watched "The Bible" on television.       These people are not dumb, they produce things for profit.       There is no profit for something that is not in demand, so therefore, their is a need, a desire, and most importantly, a Market for Biblical Revival.       The conclusion is Christians are beginning to demand more, come to the front, and be recognized.      A need to be filled.       The Left can deny God, but it appears, the Truth is, People are seeking God and Religion.

Comment by Janice Hall Waddell on February 17, 2014 at 8:58pm

Patricia Eden - I have not read the book - my husband is, at the moment - however, I have watched his speech about five times.  I am not talking about a book.  I am talking about a movie.  We are talking about liberal Hollywood making these movies.  The problem, as I see it, Patricia, is that people get a false idea about who God really is, a false impression of how things happened.  Many already believe that the Bible is just a good story book.  Will these movies glorify God and what He does for us, or does it just make it a story?

Comment by Elaine Jex on February 17, 2014 at 8:51pm

Though I think it is great hollywood is making these movies, I am  waiting for the liberal slant. Will have to see the movies with my mind wide open before I get excited. It's hard for me to believe hollywood would not have an agenda.

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