The “Christian” film, “Alone Yet Not Alone” has received a nomination for Best Original Song, sung by Joni Eareckson Tada, but what questionable activity propelled it to that spot and who are some of the people connected with this film and the Christian film industry?
Friday, on my Facebook newsfeed, I saw an article from The Christian Post about the Christian movie, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” receiving a nomination for Best Original Song. Very few people saw this movie, yet this song made it on the Oscar nomination list. This intrigued me.
Have you heard the song? Joni Eareckson Tada sings it. Take a listen.
I like Joni. Her voice is lovely and I greatly appreciate her effort, especially considering her limited lung capacity because of her disability. She did a superb job.
Reading a sampling of these comments got my dander up:
People seemed to be pretty hyped up about a Christian song/movie on par with typical Hollywood notables. But I found one paragraph from the Christian Post article which stood out that the above commenters seemed to overlook:
According to Vulture, the song’s unlikely nomination wasn’t merely an act of God. One of its co-writers, Bruce Broughton, is an Oscar nominee for Best Original Music Score (“Silverado”) and winner of 10 Emmys. Broughton is also a former governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that runs the Oscars. (Source)
I wanted to know more and found another article with more insight into what exactly propelled this movie’s song from nothingness to Oscar material. These sentences, in particular gave me what I was looking for:
One of its co-writers, Bruce Broughton, is an Oscar nominee for Best Original Music Score (“Silverado”) and winner of 10 Emmys. Broughton is also a former governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that runs the Oscars.
According to well-placed sources, Broughton hired veteran film music publicist Ray Costa to try and get attention for the song and press releases were written but it gained no real editorial traction during the campaign. So, as a former Governor and head of the music branch he is obviously well-connected and well-liked within the organization and I am told he started making phone calls to colleagues urging them to consider the song. Call it the most grass roots of campaigns. This is sometimes how the inner workings of these groups operate. This one is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world and you can have all the consultants and publicity in the world, but what it really takes is you gotta have friends. (Source)
This is disturbing. If this is a Christian movie, then I would expect Christians to behave with integrity and not do what they can do to manipulate the system to drum up support.
I dug a bit deeper. Who were the people involved in this film? Were these simply Christians who were trying to get their foot into the door of the secular movie industry by producing wholesome family films? I think that’s what they’d like us to believe and it is working. I’ve been watching countless Christian leaders and blogs (and my friends in my Facebook newsfeed) highlighting the film or the Oscar nomination. Very few Christians are talking about the shady goings on behind the scene to get the song on the Oscar nomination list. They simply want to support a new wholesome Christian movie for the family. I get that.
However, it was at the IMDb website where my suspicions were confirmed:
Tracy Leininger Craven is daughter of Jim Leininger. James Leininger has been called “Sugar Saddy” of the Religious Right in Texas. At one point, he was named the #2 financial donor in Texas. Here are a several links so you can see his influence for yourself. Back to Tracy, I found this interesting quote from her bio:
Tracy has been active in various political arenas motivated by her commitment to our nation’s godly heritage. (Source)
Does being involved in political arenas give us a clue to an agenda? Maybe so.
Perhaps the apple did not fall far from the tree. This makes sense when we look at Tracy’s upbringing and connections.
Who and what agenda is behind this Christian movie industry?
Doug Phillips and his “ministry” Vision Forum may have collapsed due to his sexual fiasco, but his legacy and agenda is living on in the Christian movie industry. Let me show you.
Tracy and David are one of Phillips’ young poster couples promoting his brand of Christianity: Reconstructionism/Dominionism.
In this article from 2003 by former Vision Forum President Doug Phillips, Never Been Kissed: A Home School Love Story Part II, we read a typical courtship story that would be familiar to those in the Homeschool Movement. Doug Phillips officiated at Tracy’s wedding with her husband, David Craven and here Phillips describes Tracy’s husband, David. I’ve highlighted key phrases that give us clues as to the agenda of Doug Phillips:
He even served for six months as an intern at the Vision Forum. Similarly, Tracy honored her father by remaining under his roof and protection, (with a brief season at college), and advanced his vision through the publication of many glorious and God-honoring children’s books.
Phillips adds more about Tracy:
It is no exaggeration that Tracy — while remaining in submission to and honoring her father — has, through her accomplishments as an author, influenced tens of thousands of young ladies to love Christ more. In her own community, she has touched the lives of many young girls by teaching them etiquette, literature, history, and gourmet cooking skills. (The Vision Forum Beautiful Girlhood Collection is built around Tracy’s historical fiction books.
Tracy’s books were indeed used to further the ideas Doug Phillips held dear in promoting his agenda of Reconstructionism. I’ve discussed before how daughters are the key to the movement, Are Daughters the Biggest Threat to Christian Patriarchy and the Reconstructionism?. If daughters are not sold on this idea, the movement will fail. Craven has
Interestingly, the same month the Cravens were married, Doug Phillips announced the launching of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Again, I will highlight the key words from Phillips:
The future of our culture will be waged in the hearts and souls of the people of this nation. The vision of the Jubilee Awards and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is to make one of the many steps needed to lead men to Christ, to train Christians to actually think like Christians, and to take back the culture for the Lord Jesus Christ in the area of film by encouraging, motivating, and rewarding those uncompromising, creative, and innovative filmmakers who are willing to take the narrow path.
In this next paragraph, we can read strong Dominionism lingo:
The enormous leadership vacuum within our culture has opened a world of opportunity for a new generation of maverick Christians to challenge the status quo presented by Hollywood. More than ever before in the recent history of our nation, we have access to the tools for waging a new form of cultural guerilla warfare against the elites who would redefine the biblical family out of existence and present a dark and nefarious vision of reality to the future. We need Christians to challenge the present culture of death, infidelity, perversion, and ethical malaise by boldly proclaiming the crown rights of Jesus Christ over every sphere of life and thought — including film. God has given us a tremendous window of opportunity. We must seize the day!
Could he be any more clear in this next sentence?
Who should attempt this journey of cultural dominion?
I found an old listing of the cast of characters for the movie, Alone Yet Not Alone here: www.oscars.net. Guess who was originally listed to play the part of Colonel Mercer? Doug Phillips!! He must have been nixed later, perhaps because of the recent disclosure in October of an extra-marital sexual relationship. However, his son, Joshua and daughter, Jubilee are still listed as cast members.
The troubling idea of this Reconstructionist takeover is that unsuspecting Christians who know nothing about Reconstructionism/Dominionism are jumping on the bandwagon to support this film simply because it is “Christian.” Whomever in the group decided to add Joni Eareckson Tada to sing was brilliant. Joni who is very respected amongst Christians gives the undisclosed movement credibility by her presence. Add to that, other movers and shakers in the Christian community have issued public endorsements which certainly will push the movie along in popularity in evangelical Christian circles (and on Facebook walls and Twitter).
You may notice these familiar names who have endorsed the film:James Dobson, Founder and President of Family Talk Shirley Dobson, co-founder of Focus on the Family and Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Josh Duggar, Executive Director of Family Research Council Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women of America Rick Santorum, U.S. Senator Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association Dr. Michael Farris, Founder and Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:9-11
The manipulation or “take over” activity is nothing new to Dominionism or Reconstructionism.
Since investigating these groups, I have seen very dangerous high-controlling people. Internet searches on key names within the Homeschool Movement (most of whom have Reconstructionist ties) will lead you to accounts of leaders stealing intellectual property from others, men suing other men, church excommunications, shunning, church splits, etc. This is not a nice and peaceful crowd. And I dare say that this may not be the brand of “Christianity” to which many of us cling.
It is true that there are very few wholesome movies coming out of Hollywood and Christians are yearning for positive entertainment for their families. Many will get on the bandwagon without realizing the agenda behind it simply because it is a “Christian movie.” But in supporting movies made by these folks, we are encouraging their Reconstructionist/Dominionist agenda.Related articles:
- Introducing ‘Alone Yet Not Alone,’ the year’s most obscure Oscar nominee, HitFix.com
- Christian Movie ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Receives Surprising Oscar Nomination, The Christian Post
- Obscure Oscar nominee Alone Yet Not Alone prevailed by the grace of God and a former Governor of the Academy, AVClub.com
- Alone Yet Not Alone: The shady story behind 2014’s most obscure Oscar nominee, TheWeek.com
- Could this Christian film win an Oscar?, WND Diversions
- Oscars: Surprise Song Nom ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Riles Up Contenders (Audio), The Hollywood Reporter
- Oscar-Nominated Film Is Endorsed by Anti-Gay Hate Groups, Film.com/movies
- Oscar Nominated “Alone But Not Alone”: A Product of the Doug Phillips / Michael Farris Empire, Love, Joy, Feminism by Libby Anne