Disturbing Reconstructionist Connections with Oscar Nominee Film, “Alone Yet Not Alone”

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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?

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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.

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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:

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Alone Yet Not Alone 2014-01-17 at 2.11.53 PM

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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:

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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:
 
 

85 comments on “Disturbing Reconstructionist Connections with Oscar Nominee Film, “Alone Yet Not Alone”

  1. Interesting article, its too bad that we are supposed to play a different game in the arena where the only way to win is with politics and money aka Oscars…the Oscars are one of the most biased and crooked awards shows out there…back when it originally came out many famous actors and actresses refused to be a part of the award ceremony because of the politics of it all (http://mentalfloss.com/article/30074/8-academy-award-nominees-and-winners-who-snubbed-oscars)…gotta love Katherine Hepburn

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  2. Yes, I was a bit surprised, too, Davidauge, but now after thinking about it for a while, the majority of the popular Christian movies have these kinds of connections (i.e., Courageous, Fireproof).

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  3. This is true, Kirk Cameron and that family have really done some interesting things, I can’t say that I disagree with all the messages that are portrayed…but in my eye, anything that is connected w/Vision Forum and those…I keep a safe distance from – like the film Divided…there’s a load of wisdom to like, never watch, ever…

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  4. I don’t see the behind the scenes manipulation as anything scary, because it is done all the time, whether or not a film is “Christian.” Just look at how the insiders killed off any chance that “Zero Dark Thirty” would win best picture because of the protests about the torture scenes in the film. I saw it, and it reinforced my own revulsion to torture. I didn’t see it as endorsing torture at all. Anyway, the song is lovely, the film has its own agenda, just like many other films out there, such as “Promised Land.” I don’t think we need to get our panties in a knot because this time it is a right wing Fundamentalist/Reconstructionist that put out a film. We can count on reasonable people to understand the agenda. If some Christians jump on the bandwagon, so what? They did the same with “Passion of the Christ”, in spite of Mel Gibson’s twisted theology. In the end, Gibson was exposed. I bet the same will happen with this project.

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  5. I am old enough to remember a hymn with that very music of the song ” Alone, yet not alone”. It’s going through my head yet I can’t pin it down yet.

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  6. What’s scary to me is not the music or Joni, it’s the idea of Reconstructionism/Dominionism. That’s what’s scaring me.

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  7. Also Rick Warren has talked in the past about the “three legged stool”
    Which combines government, religion, and business together for “God”.
    These guys are all very well- connected; just connect the dots.

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  8. J A tweeted, ‘Doug Phillips/Vision Forum was nixed from Christian film “Alone Yet Not Alone”. Many reconstructionist connections.’
    Reconstructed version– “Nobody, from a nonexistent  businestry,  was nixed from Christian film “Alone Yet Not Alone”.
    Reconstructed version– “There was no Douglas Philips (one “L”), no Colonel Mercer, and he may not have been unrelated to Young Hylea and Tall White Brave.”
    Reconstructed version– “For the last 15 years, nobody has been our leader, spokesman, and bosom companion, and no one has been raising nobody’s kids.”
    Reconstructed version– “There never was any Comrade Trotsky.”
    Reconstructed version– “There is no Narnia, no overworld, no sky, no sun, no Aslan. There is no world but ours.”
    King James version: “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (II Peter 3:4)

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  9. A couple of comments:

    1. I’m a big Joni fan and am amazed by her abilities, but the tune itself isn’t Oscar-worthy. It’s not that catchy.

    2. Buying Oscars, like buying your way on the New York Times best-seller list, is a reality. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/02/22/heres-how-you-buy-your-way-onto-the-new-york-times-bestsellers-list/

    Most of us are fairly naive, including myself. For example, I used to think that the managers of Barnes & Noble put their favorite books on those tables just inside the front door. Ha! Only in my dreams. Those slots are bought and paid for by the publishers, each 6″ x 9″ space on a table costs several thousand dollars.

    I hate to be a cynic, but the past 8 years have taught me that if any large corporations are involved, you can bet that the game is rigged.

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  10. [Phillips’] son, Joshua and daughter, Jubilee are still listed as cast members.

    So are they really in there still, and has anybody who knows what they look like watched the movie to check? I find this hilariously ironic on some level, because the only time they got anywhere close to the real film industry, was after their dad self-imploded. Bet that wasn’t in the 200-year plan. 😉

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  11. “Also Rick Warren has talked in the past about the “three legged stool”
    Which combines government, religion, and business together for “God”.
    These guys are all very well- connected; just connect the dots”

    He was mentored by Peter Drucker. Years later we see the new Prez of post genocide Rwanda talking about the “book” that changed that nation. Was it scripture? Nope. It was PDL.

    Scary. But then Warren has flirted with just about everything. And of course, it is easy for him to talk about micromanaging others since he is a gazilllionaire. (Oh that part about him reverse tithing did not include ALL his income)

    What kills me is when you strip away all the accoutrements, Warren is not that far apart from the reconstructionists.

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  12. Just for grins…In the Left Behind movie there are a few “extras” who were mega church pastor wives.

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  13. I don’t see the behind the scenes manipulation as anything scary, because it is done all the time, whether or not a film is “Christian.”

    I do see it as scary because I have never encountered any kind of group whose teachings can completely destroy a family with its Patriarchal ruling. I am especially concerned about the women/young girls brought up in this and also that young boys learn from their fathers and perpetuate this gross oppression of women.

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  14. I hate to be a cynic, but the past 8 years have taught me that if any large corporations are involved, you can bet that the game is rigged.

    We could start a side group here and I’ll join: Cynics R Us.

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  15. The young woman who was victimized by Doug Phillips with his extra marital affair is a cast member.

    Well, I wasn’t going to be the first one to mention that. 🙂 That said, let me put the reminder out here that we will not be disclosing the name of the woman on this blog. I view her to be a victim of a bully who used his position of trust to gain sexual favors for himself. What a freakin’ creeper. And now he remains with his wife who bore his 8 children and probably expects her to dish out and not deprive him. Don’t get me going.

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  16. “I hate to be a cynic, but the past 8 years have taught me that if any large corporations are involved, you can bet that the game is rigged.

    We could start a side group here and I’ll join: Cynics R Us.”

    LOL…how about Reality Is Us? We don’t even have to be cynical…it’s reality.

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  17. I just watched the trailer for this movie and it was as I suspected. The obvious is so accepted by predominant Christian society that it has not yet been mentioned in these comments. Julie Anne, one of your bolded section above describe it so well :

    The manipulation or “take over” activity is nothing new to Dominionism or Reconstructionism.

    I should say so… and this film perpetuates a foundational error relative to that statement. That error is the premise that the white Christian colonizers had every right to steal land and murder the local “savages” because they were not Christian. It was their manifest destiny. The triumph of Christianity. The First Nation people here were friendly towards the colonists and helped them to survive. However, it was the colonist Christians who were the brutal betrayers and murdered their benefactors. History has been rewritten. Thanksgiving was not a joining in peace between the colonists and indigenous people. It was actually a celebration over the slaughter of them. Columbus, whom we celebrate annually, tortured, enslaved, raped and murdered thousands of peaceful native men, women and children all in the name of Christian superiority. So there is a very real reason that indigenous people began to fight back: They were trying to survive. It is time for Christians to repent for this terrible history upon which we so proudly built this nation. We need to repent because the travesty goes on. Deals are made in congress that are still taking land from native people and destroying it in the name of our other god, “Progress”. Violence and rape are still very high on reservations, but few people know that well over 70% of the crimes committed there are perpetrated by people of other races (predominantly white) who travel onto the reservations to pillage and then leave unscathed because they know that native courts have no legal permission to prosecute non-natives even when it occurs on their land. The Indian holocost was many times more horrific and greater than the Jewish holocost, yet we have swept it under the rug because it is OUR sin.

    Now I look at the trailer of this “Christian” film perpetuating the narcissistic lie of the evil, barbaric savage and the good blond, white, victorious, innocent Christian children. Yes, Julie Anne, you are right: “the manipulation or take over activity is nothing new to Dominionism or reconstructionism.” Why don’t we see a Christian movie revealing the truth of what we actually did in our selfish expansionism? Why don’t we reveal what our wrong doctrines have done to others? Because it would damage our self-deluded narcissistic image of being right. It might challenge our right to the proud monument we have built to ourselves of the good ole (Christian) USA. (By the way-the Constitution and Federal/state power relationship was modeled after Native intergovernmental peace treaties. Did they teach you that in ACE?)

    I am a mixed-race woman. I am a tribal citizen through my mother’s clan and I am white through my father. I am also a Christian. So I have had the responsibility to bring honor to my ancestors as well as repent for the sins of my Fathers. It gives me a perspective that helps me to stand in the the shoes of others and see their view. The picture I see from all angles is very clear in terms of our “Godly Christian heritage” relative to our treatment of native peoples of America. What is shocking to me is that the people who created this movie are still living in the 50’s cowboy and Indian movie era and are willing to perpetuate myth and false concepts of good and right in their portrayal. What is sad to me is that no one else in this comments section has yet seen it relative to this movie and mentioned it. It is just an indication to me how far we have yet to go in our awareness and extraction of the lies perpetuated by Christian Dominion culture. I sincerely hope that my comments are a beginning of awareness for those who read here.

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  18. I don’t think the trailer gives enough perspective to label the film with any particular “ism”. Undoubtedly there have been many injustices and atrocities throughout history; no nation or race is innocent in all of this. History happened one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Back to the subject of the song, though, I think that all this uproar over the nomination of the song (not the movie) for an Oscar is unwarranted. How much do any of us really know about the process and protocols of nominating songs for Oscars? What are the criteria that the members use to decide how to vote? I, too, have read several articles on the web related to the nomination of this song, and several have what appear to be cut-and-pasted paragraphs from other articles or blogs. What if a lot of people are passing along misinformation and half-truths?

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  19. Bystander –

    I have not seen the film to know if the film itself endorses Reconstructionism. However, a lot of people involved in this venture are Reconstructionists and that concerns me. We already know what their agenda is – -to dominate and take over. So this is all part of gaining credibility in the mainstream Christian market. Having Joni sing was a brilliant way to getting the film and people involved accepted.

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  20. I understand the concern. But have you read the book? Admittedly, I am kind of new to your blog and I admire the work that you’re doing. It takes a lot of guts to fight a defamation lawsuit as you did. Many Christians are blissfully unaware of the sub-cultures and movements that go on in the shadows around us. Until I found your blog, I’d never heard of Doug Phillips or Vision Forum, although I’ve known some people who chose to home school for various reasons. Is there a recent connection between the Cravens and Phillips, though? Was Vision Forum bleeding before the news broke about the infidelity? Did people start quietly jumping ship over the past few years? While I agree that abuse in any form is reprehensible, I also think that sometimes you have to step back and allow abusers to experience their consequences, and the abused to make their decisions how to react. I’ve read a lot of criticism on this blog of Southern Baptists – and I am one – but in my particular congregation we have had procedures in place for many years, to make sure that children (or even hurting adults) are safe in our church family.

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  21. Maryl:

    I knew when I saw your name what would have upset you about this story and I’m so glad you brought it up. My blog post was already nearly twice as long as I like, so I only scratched the surface on the many issues related with this. One of the most disturbing aspects of Reconstructionism/Dominionism is racism. There are some in this group who are Kinists. They are basically white supremacists, so they would have no concern about historical accuracy of Native Americans. It’s very sad.

    Thank you for sharing your words and I hope people will consider them and what roles Christians have played for centuries in the cover-up of the truth of what really happened to Native Americans. You are right – and we have discussed it here before, that Christian curricula perpetuates these myths aka lies. People like David Barton who is highly respected in Christian homeschooling circles, has a track record of revising history to make it palatable to Christians. It’s ridiculous.

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  22. Is there a recent connection between the Cravens and Phillips, though?

    No, they have a long history. It’s been said that Leininger (Tracy Craven’s father) purchased the 7,000 SF home Phillips lived in; it was purchased for Vision Forum ministries and so that’s why they had to move out.

    Was Vision Forum bleeding before the news broke about the infidelity? Did people start quietly jumping ship over the past few years?

    No, not to my knowledge.

    While I agree that abuse in any form is reprehensible, I also think that sometimes you have to step back and allow abusers to experience their consequences, and the abused to make their decisions how to react.

    As I’m almost on my 3rd year of following people – high controlling pastors, abusers, there are many in ministry who do not experience many consequences – CJ Mahaney, Chuck O’Neal, Bob Grenier, James MacDonald, Prestonwood Baptist pastors, etc, come to mind. I’m not one to stand back and wait for an abuser to get caught when I know survivors and potential victims are in harm’s way.

    I’ve read a lot of criticism on this blog of Southern Baptists – and I am one – but in my particular congregation we have had procedures in place for many years, to make sure that children (or even hurting adults) are safe in our church family.

    Which Southern Baptist pastor have I discussed here? My mind has gone blank. Anyway, it’s always great to hear when a church has good procedures in place. yea!

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  23. “I’ve read a lot of criticism on this blog of Southern Baptists – and I am one – but in my particular congregation we have had procedures in place for many years, to make sure that children (or even hurting adults) are safe in our church family.”

    There has been criticism from commenters of Al Mohler, John Piper, Paige Patterson, Mark Dever, etc. Some of us don’t think their views on marriage, females, God are helpful. There has also been division caused by their religious views.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/04/us/a-calvinist-revival-for-evangelicals.html?_r=0
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/how-calvinism-is-dividing-the-southern-baptist-convention_n_3399504.html

    Most believe their church is a safe place for kids & adults. I hope yours is & it has checks & protections in place for the money that comes in, for the kids, & for hurting adults who may need assistance. Those are the areas that are most at risk, IMO.

    It’s a shame that the “safe houses” normally aren’t church related. Wouldn’t it be great if more churches took the hurting to heart & did something about it?

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  24. I really need to learn the differences in Baptist churches. This stuff is foreign to me. Ok, sure Mohler is Southern Baptist (duh – she hits her head). Ok, I didn’t think Dever’s church was, but I knew of their connections. There are so many different Baptist churches (and what do you know, I go to one, too!)

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  25. Maryl, I am so glad to read your comment. It is helpful. And I was glad to read JA’s response.

    I am not a native American (not that I know of) but I do know the difference between right & wrong.

    Overall, the Puritans were one group of colonists which held elitist views, were antagonistic, mistreated & were violent toward native men & women, Quakers, slaves, etc. They’ve had a PR make-over & should not be revered, especially not by homeschoolers (I am one). We need to make sure we’re teaching children truth based on right/wrong & not one group’s biased idea of right/wrong (indoctrination). There is plenty of info. online for anyone wanting to do their own independent research.

    http://public.gettysburg.edu/~tshannon/hist106web/Indian%20Converts/the%20puritans3.htm

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  26. I just watched/listened to the song/video. Joni has done much good & I admire her in so many ways. I’m sad she was part of this. I think it’s an unfortunate choice.

    I hope she knows that ashes or tragedy isn’t God’s will (Isaiah 61) nor does it make these situations right: poverty, breaking of hearts, captivity, devastation, tragedy. We have compassion & help each other through these situations. Yes, God does give beauty for ashes, good news, healing of broken-hearted, liberty.

    For those who have been taught in church that suffering is good for you: It is false teaching to say that suffering is good. NO! Suffering is not good. God says there will be no suffering in heaven, right? So how can suffering be good?

    What we can do is learn from it. We can help others through it. All of that doesn’t mean the suffering itself is good. Suffering itself doesn’t transform. Circumstances themselves don’t transform. It’s up to us. We decide. We can choose to transform, knowing the Holy Spirit is with us.

    Ironically, what’s not talked about as much in church anymore is that we can learn from enjoying also. When we watch joy. When we do actions that bring joy. We have the same opportunity to choose to transform as a result of joyful situations and through them learn to do actions that bring joy for us & others.

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  27. There are ways to disagree with people’s views without painting them with a broad brush or generalizing. Until we’ve seen the movie or read the book, are we not jumping to conclusions by stating that the film is pushing dominionism? I understand it is set during the French and Indian War, which was before the Revolution. Didn’t the Manifest Destiny craziness develop much later? If Doug Phillips really is connected to the movie, that is noteworthy, but it almost seems that you are saying that people who do not see things as you see them should not have a voice.

    A Mom, funny you mention the money. We have a pretty convoluted system and I am one of the check signers. We have never had a problem but we instituted the accounting procedures after a sister church got picked clean. I have been at this same church for almost 22 years and am deeply involved.

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  28. If Doug Phillips really is connected to the movie, that is noteworthy, but it almost seems that you are saying that people who do not see things as you see them should not have a voice.

    How so? Can you give me a direct quote so I can see what you mean? I’m sure I’m not always the best communicator.

    Saying there are Reconstructionist connections is not the same as saying the movie is pushing Dominionism. I have not even seen the movie, so I couldn’t make such a claim. The connections are concerning, though, considering Dominionist agenda is always to “take over.”

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  29. A Mom,

    “For those who have been taught in church that suffering is good for you: It is false teaching to say that suffering is good. NO! Suffering is not good. God says there will be no suffering in heaven, right? So how can suffering be good?

    What we can do is learn from it. We can help others through it. All of that doesn’t mean the suffering itself is good. Suffering itself doesn’t transform. Circumstances themselves don’t transform. It’s up to us. We decide. We can choose to transform, knowing the Holy Spirit is with us.”

    I’m not sure I completely agree with your view about suffering. I believe sometimes we are asked to suffer in order for God to teach us something or to strengthen us in ways in which we would otherwise never learn or have the strength He wants to instill in us.

    In my case, I had to suffer abuse in order to learn compassionate advocacy to become a voice for others who have suffered child abuse. I had to lose my son in order to become strengthened by the Lord to fight corrupt courts and to use my own voice to write strong letters to people in positions of authority to try to get laws changed. I also had to be strengthened to no longer harm myself, or to attempt to end my life, and to learn how to forgive those who have harmed me or who took my son from me. Yes, sometimes I believe God does have a purpose behind periods of suffering.

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  30. The term manifest destiny was first used in 1845 but it was merely an extension of the concept of the doctrine of discovery which was codified in canon law in 1452. This was the arrogant supposition by the church that they were superior by merit of their Christian faith and culture and therefore had a God-given right to forceably take land and possessions occupied by heathen. Unbelievers were not even considered human. This belief justified control, slavery, torture, rape and theft in the name of Gods kingdom. So, yes, the concept predated the timeframe in which this movie is set.

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  31. Bystander (21, 10:28pm) When I see, in the above clip, a pretty white woman (with black hair, feathers, and a tan) standing in for a Native American, my memory goes to all those other Christian movies that did not understand anything but themselves, and that showed it, from make-up to costumes to teeth so white they shine in the dark. It is not a leap to assume that “manifest destiny” and “the white man’s burden” will be the underlying ideology.

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  32. Good morn, waitingforthetrumpet2. I agree with A Mom. Here’s how I see it. Suffering is the consequence of evil, the product of wrong. I refuse to call anything connected with evil “good”, not in any way. Doing so heads us straight into that weird territory of Piper’s “suffering for a season” and “we suffer because we can’t learn any other way” and “submitting to suffering makes us like Christ”.

    In small ways, when we do wrong and we “pay for it”, it can be a great motivator, and that is useful. But the way you’ve had to suffer? Nope, I don’t believe there’s any good in it. It is plain wickedness that caused your suffering and it was devastating.

    But you’ve learned some things from it, and that is a great beauty and a sign of the potency of Christ in your life.

    Most of what I’ve learned through suffering (in ways similar to you), I would’ve learned in regular ways. The unique lessons are: a deep knowledge of the face/actions of evil, the ways evil twists and breaks people, the arduous process of finding one’s way with integrity and faithfulness through it.

    I agree that these are invaluable lessons. In fact, they should be given priority in the spiritual teachings of the church rather than dismissed. That they are dismissed and instead, often seen as signs of lack of spirituality/righteousness, is a travesty of superficiality.

    My opinion, of course. What do you think?

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  33. Patrice wrote: “…white woman (with black hair, feathers, and a tan) standing in for a Native American…”

    Actually, I believe what you’re referring to is actually (in the movie) a white woman who was captured by Native Americans as a girl and then brought into their culture (dress, dyed hair, etc.). The movie is based on the true story of ancestors of the writer.

    Apparently there are white actors who play roles of Native Americans in the movie (to which your comment would apply), but the lead actress is supposed to be playing the part of a white woman who was brought into the Native culture.

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  34. The movie is based on the true story of ancestors of the writer.

    I wish I would have saved it, TIA, but I saw comments on an article which discredited a good bit of the story and provided excellent historical information excerpts, including links, for back up.

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  35. “I’m not sure I completely agree with your view about suffering. I believe sometimes we are asked to suffer in order for God to teach us something or to strengthen us in ways in which we would otherwise never learn or have the strength He wants to instill in us.
    In my case, I had to suffer abuse in order to learn compassionate advocacy to become a voice for others who have suffered child abuse….
    Yes, sometimes I believe God does have a purpose behind periods of suffering.”

    JA, I brought up suffering since Joni E-T was mentioned in this post & because people who have been abused or are suffering come here in search for answers. Joni spoke/taught at the Strange Fire conference about suffering. Many look to her for wisdom.

    waitingforthetrumpet2, Thanks for your response. I appreciate your view. What I believe about suffering is not the popular view right now, it’s inconsistent with contemporary Christian songs & most preaching. It’s not what’s taught & I am in the minority. That needs to change.

    First, I am deeply upset you suffered child abuse. Just because you learned something(s) from it, doesn’t make the actual abuse right. That is the distinction I am making. I do not believe child abuse or any abuse or wrongdoing is God’s plan. It’s inconsistent with God’s character. God gives us choice & tells us, “Follow me, I am the way.” I do not believe all wrongdoing is the same or equal. Child abuse is not the same as stealing a car. Both are wrong, but not equally wrong. They do & should have different consequences & punishments. I do not believe God makes people do wrong. I do not believe God makes people do wrong to teach others. God doesn’t make people do right to teach others either. Can we still, always learn from wrong AND right action? Of course. But we always own & are responsible for our own good or bad action, not God.

    Some (not you) talk as if we only learn from suffering or as if that’s the best or ordained way to learn. Hogwash. We learn from good examples, 10 Commands, teachings of Jesus.

    You said, “I had to suffer abuse…”. I understand this is the popular teaching in our day & what you may have been taught to make sense of it. But I think this teaching is dangerous. Let’s think about someone being abused right this minute. What might they get from this teaching? Endure, you need it to learn, it’s happening because you haven’t learned enough yet, it’s God’s purpose & on. They may think God is “gleefully pouring out wrath” on them like God did to Jesus (horrible teaching). They are meant/created to suffer. This can cause depression or worse. I ask myself, is this a right definition of Saviour?

    Election, fate, & God chooses for us plays into what each of us believe about suffering. If every action was predetermined by God, then yes, some human beings are meant to suffer. That’s a short walk to DESERVE. And for those who don’t suffer these things? They were “elected” to be loved by God. That’s a short walk to SUPERIORITY. DESTINY. Many suffering are left thinking they aren’t good, holy, spiritual enough to love their elected, predetermine, chosen by God suffering lives. This is more horrid teaching, IMO. How can we have true, real, honest compassion if we believe this way?

    I will be upset & hate your suffering AND love you & be glad you learned from it. I will love a joyous event you experienced AND be glad you learned or took something away from it. But I will not love or be happy with or say these actions are from God: child abuse, rape, cancer, murder, etc. I will not believe evil is good because learning happened. I think Christians should be actively working against it in aid of the hurting. We do not cry peace to victims when there was none, when it was taken away. We defend & help the abused end their suffering.

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  36. “Actually, I believe what you’re referring to is actually (in the movie) a white woman who was captured by Native Americans as a girl and then brought into their culture (dress, dyed hair, etc.). The movie is based on the true story of ancestors of the writer.
    Apparently there are white actors who play roles of Native Americans in the movie (to which your comment would apply), but the lead actress is supposed to be playing the part of a white woman who was brought into the Native culture.”

    TIA, Your response really troubles me.

    Christians are producing Christian movies from this angle / perspective? And a good Christian says, “Here! Here!”?

    Say there was a slave owner in American history who sheltered, clothed, fed their slaves well. I would completely expect this set of Christians to produce a movie on that story, from that angle/perspective next. After all, it is a true story, right?

    This reminds me of Duck Dynasty & the happy cotton-picking slaves he knew. These slaves learned “contentment” in their horrid circumstances. Does that make the wrong of slavery right? Did God ordain slavery to teach these folks? Yuck!

    We need think about what following Jesus is in action, & understand wrong & right before setting out to make Christian movies.

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  37. “If Doug Phillips really is connected to the movie, that is noteworthy, but it almost seems that you are saying that people who do not see things as you see them should not have a voice.”

    They definitely should have a voice. And their voice identifies them. Opposing voices should have the right to speak as well.

    “We have never had a problem but we instituted the accounting procedures after a sister church got picked clean. I have been at this same church for almost 22 years and am deeply involved.”

    Checks & balances are wise. Most are trustworthy. But never leave anyone alone with the money. My Dad would say, “Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.” Practical advice to avoid disaster.

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  38. Patrice and A Mom, I agree with both of you. I do believe that abuse is not God’s plan for me or any child (or anyone else, for that matter). I had choices as to how to respond to the abuses. At first came the depression, denial, self-harm and worse. But once I turned my eyes on God and off myself, He was able to use the abuses and turned them into times of teaching and strengthening me for a better, higher purpose.

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  39. It is more informative about the movie’s content and easier to get the overall impression of the movie’s bent by viewing the actual official movie trailer than the video clip about Joni’s song. The impression that the movie is about the persecuted, but Godly white man vs the evil savage Indian in the framework of manifest destiny is quite apparent. Hmmmmm, I wonder why they couldn’t get enough Indigenous people who were willing to play the Indian roles?

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  40. Hmmmmm, I wonder why they couldn’t get enough Indigenous people who were willing to play the Indian roles?

    Sadly, I think the goal is to get these particular Christian (Reconstructionist-connected) actors a foot in the door to the “Christian movie industry,” build their credibility and their resumés. It wouldn’t help their effort to have Indigenous population playing the roles.

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  41. I have some limited hope that the entertainment industry is smart enough to discount the actors and the story and link the two forever in their memory so that it does not advance the career of anyone associated with this garbage.

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  42. “(By the way-the Constitution and Federal/state power relationship was modeled after Native intergovernmental peace treaties.”

    Maryl, This was in your first comment & I’ve been thinking about it. I have not heard this before. I have wondered where this revolutionary thought came from. Do you have sites or resources I can read & refer to? If so, can you share?

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  43. You can simply Google Manifest Destiny and Doctrine of Discovery to learn more about the origins of those thoughts and the history of the legal foundations behind our expansionism and land law. The Doctrine of Discovery, although canonized law from the 14th century, is still the basic foundation behind land laws today, both US and International. The Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy can be googled as well. Here is just one reference which is fairly informative: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/iroquois.asp

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  44. Just a note to say that although most scholars support the belief that the Iroquois confederacy influenced prominent writers of the constitution, such as Benjamin Franklin, not all scholars support that belief. Those who dissent with that opinion point to the differences between the two, which would be a weaker argument than pointing to the similarities.of the concepts between the two documents. It IS documented that certain constitution writers reproduced and discussed the Indigenous treaty with respect.

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  45. Julie Anne wrote:
    “I wish I would have saved it, TIA, but I saw comments on an article which discredited a good bit of the story and provided excellent historical information excerpts, including links, for back up.”

    Yes, of course the movie (and book) are written from a certain perspective. I believe the gist of the story is accurate: a couple white girls were captured by Native Americans and lived with them for years before eventually escaping. Of course there’s a whole lot more going on. I haven’t even seen the film, so I’m certainly not saying that it has the “right” perspective. Why did the white settlers/Native Americans do what they did? Was it right or wrong? Those are more difficult questions to answer, and it this time, hundreds of years later, it probably isn’t even possible to come to any definite conclusions. At best, we could come to some conclusions based on what we think actually happened based on the limited information we have.

    A Mom wrote:
    “TIA, Your response really troubles me.
    Christians are producing Christian movies from this angle / perspective? And a good Christian says, “Here! Here!”?”

    I’m not sure why my original response troubles you. I wasn’t saying anything one way or another regarding the merits of the film or the angle/perspective presented. I was simply correcting what I perceived to be a factual misunderstanding by another commenter.

    “Say there was a slave owner in American history who sheltered, clothed, fed their slaves well. I would completely expect this set of Christians to produce a movie on that story, from that angle/perspective next. After all, it is a true story, right?”

    Sure, why not if that’s what really happened? Or don’t you want people telling the truth? If you have to falsify information about a slave owner to make a case against slavery, you obviously don’t have a very good case. Actually, a film just as you described would be a better argument against slavery. Even slaves who had caring masters and were treated the best were still slaves. Christ came to set us free.

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  46. Tia, are you suggesting that the intentional slaughter of MILLIONS of indigenous people is just one “perspective” and that it is difficult to determine whether or not that was morally right? REALLY?

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  47. Maryl wrote:
    “Tia, are you suggesting that the intentional slaughter of MILLIONS of indigenous people is just one “perspective” and that it is difficult to determine whether or not that was morally right? REALLY?”

    No, that’s not what I’m suggesting at all. Undoubtedly Native Americans have suffered greatly since Europeans came to America. A very good case could be made that as a group they have been the worst mistreated in American history.

    Like I said, I haven’t seen the movie, but does it actually depict “the intentional slaughter of MILLIONS of indigenous people”? Does it convey the idea that that is okay? Again, I haven’t seen it, but I would guess that the scope of the movie is much narrower than that. What about the white girls who were captured by Native Americans, lived in their culture for a number of years, and eventually escaped. Doesn’t their experience matter? Neither side is innocent.

    I would also point out that in the Bible God commanded “the intentional slaughter of MILLIONS of indigenous people.” That’s not at all to say that the European settlers of America have Biblical justification for what they did. However to affirm that “the intentional slaughter of MILLIONS of indigenous people” is always morally wrong is to call God evil.

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  48. That is one part of scripture that I have reason to doubt, that God actually ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of innocent people. I think the people who put that in writing, during the exile centuries later, wanted to push the blame for their bloodthirsty behavior onto God and make him to blame. Convenient.

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  49. sheila0405 wrote:
    “Do you defend God in his command to slaughter millions of indigenous people? I am a Christian, and I find those commands horrific.”

    Personally, I find what those cultures did horrific. God gave them hundreds of years warning and they refused to repent.

    God doesn’t need defending, but here’s some food for thought: Do you believe God destroyed everyone except Noah and his family in the flood? Do you believe God sent the Assyrians and Babylonians to kill and take His people captive? Do you believe God used the Roman army to destroy the Jewish temple and kill ten of thousands of Jews (possibly over a million)? Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ will judge all of humanity?

    Arce wrote:
    “That is one part of scripture that I have reason to doubt, that God actually ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of innocent people.”

    Who said they were innocent?

    “I think the people who put that in writing, during the exile centuries later, wanted to push the blame for their bloodthirsty behavior onto God and make him to blame.”

    Could you please direct me to some evidence for that claim?

    Sorry this has gotten so far off topic from the original post.

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  50. I don’t believe there was a literal flood. It’s an allegory. As for nations enslaving and killing each other–God gave us free will. How we use it is up to us. I believe God is ultimately in control of history, but just how much he “caused” people to kill each other isn’t at all clear to me. What about the holocaust? Where was God? What about genocides all throughout history? Where is God? I don’t have any answers to those questions. In the end, I believe perfect justice will be meted out.

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  51. Oh, and having said all that, I am aware that many on this site have deconverted. I mean no disrespect to any of those. I was responding to a question put forth by a believer in God.

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  52. Your 3rd president Thomas Jefferson was against the slave trade but owned slaves. He felt the First Nations should give up their culture,religion, lifestyle , to assimilate with the Northern Europe lifestyle, etc. The OT Jewish people fought against this same “assimilation”‘many times. They are considered hero’s for this.
    Why is it OK to promote a movie that shows the”poor white Christian women” kidnapped by the “evil pagan First Nations”. True story or not it does not make it right or just. Great injustice was done to the First Nations people, far more than was ever done to a few white folk!
    The Iroquois Confederacy had a democracy that many nations could aspire too.

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  53. Bystander: it wasn’t the trailer for me at all. In fact I didn’t watch the whole thing. It was the Oscar nomination and the people involved in the production and their dangerous connections with Reconstructionism.

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  54. I was referring to the way the conversation is turning to all the wrongs that have ever been done. It’s the songwriters who have been nominated for the award, though, not the film producers. This is not the first time that people who are well connected in the Academy have been nominated for awards for their own work. Probably won’t be the last either.

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  55. “I was referring to the way the conversation is turning to all the wrongs that have ever been done. ”

    Hmm I’m thinking this might be a slight exaggeration?

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  56. Waitingforthetrumpet (22, 10:16am) wrote: “I had choices as to how to respond to the abuses. At first came the depression, denial, self-harm and worse.”

    Me too. It was rotten for years. A good deal of it was just a normal human response to trauma, symptoms of deep wounds and not enough love.

    You wrote: “But once I turned my eyes on God and off myself, He was able to use the abuses and turned them into times of teaching and strengthening me for a better, higher purpose.”

    Yes, I was astonished when I finally learned to sit with God and receive His/Her love. I never knew love until S/He showed me.

    I also needed to search carefully inside myself, to pull out those old nasty tales that were told to me, that I believed, and that were lies. They were tightly twisted into my being and needed much effort to remove!

    So don’t forget how beautifully you were made by this amazing God. In a narrow but real way, when we love ourselves as S/He loves us, we can also see God better because we are made in His/Her image. It’s not an “instead of” kind of thing, but “also and”.

    I wish you all the goodness on tap! w00t

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  57. Well here is another question I have…is Joni teaching through song, and is that allowed if men go see this movie? Just a thought…

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  58. Well here is another question I have…is Joni teaching through song, and is that allowed if men go see this movie? Just a thought…

    Eagle – I think she also prayed and there were 2 men present. Is that okay? And in the prayer, it sounded like she was preaching.

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  59. “This is not the first time that people who are well connected in the Academy have been nominated for awards for their own work. Probably won’t be the last either.”

    It sounds like favors were asked / traded to get the nominee.

    More business as usual, & it is normal in the Reconstructionist/Dominionist community as well? Does “this is how it’s always been done” attitude make it right?

    Sounds like it’s par for the course, especially for this group. No?

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  60. @Lydia:

    Yikes. That is Fascism with new lipstick on.

    But it’s GODLY(TM) Fascism.

    KYLE: But Dad, isn’t that Fascism?
    KYLE’S DAD: No it isn’t, son, because we don’t call it Fascism. Do you understand?
    KYLE: Do you?
    South Park, “Sexual Harassment Panda”

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  61. @Maryl:

    The impression that the movie is about the persecuted, but Godly white man vs the evil savage Indian in the framework of manifest destiny is quite apparent. Hmmmmm, I wonder why they couldn’t get enough Indigenous people who were willing to play the Indian roles?

    They were following an old Heathen Hollywood tradition in casting ethnics?

    (The Yiddish-speaking Indians in Blazing Saddles is based on an actual Old Hollywood practice. For some reason, they always cast Jews in “Injun” roles because the real thing didn’t look “Injun” enough.)

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  62. The young woman who was victimized by Doug Phillips with his extra marital affair is a cast member.

    AKA Ofdoug the Handmaid?
    (Make that OfdougESQUIRE…)

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  63. Kirk Cameron has really embraced the dangerous subculture of the Homeschool Movement and ideologies, following after leaders who do not deserve to be leaders.

    Kirk Cameron is considered highly neurotic even by Hollywood standards. He even locked himself in his trailer to avoid contamination when he found out there were Heathens(TM) on the set of Left Behind.

    Slacktivist theorized that he was an adult convert (coming in with baggage) who was catechized in a Holiness tradition which defined Righteousness entirely in terms of “Thou Shalt Not”s. He definitely shows the signs of what my church calls “Excessive Scrupulosity”, a form of OCD including extreme internal guilt, fear of sinning, and can-you-top-this neurotic forms of avoiding such sin (real or imagined) and the outside world (also real or imagined) and self-atoning for that past baggage.

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  64. Hug,tahnk you!! I believe you have nailed it.
    Excessive scrupulosity is exactly what I have been trying to think of to say about Kirk. Something about him has always rubbed me wrong, & when you said that, I thought, That’s it! He gives off this air of “I’m running as fast as I can to stay in the same place”. It’s fear-based, I’m sure. He can’t relax & enjoy the more abundant life that God wants for us as believers. It’s ;-( sad……..

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  65. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrupulosity

    And it usually manifests in extreme self-introspection and sin-sniffing; fear of committing The Unpardonable Sin and more and more extreme avoidance behaviors — never mind “six degrees of separation”, more like seven, eight, nine, without limit.

    The anecdotal example I heard during my catechism was a woman who contacted the priest literally terrified that she was damned/lost her salvation because she had swallowed a drop or two of water when she brushed her teeth before leaving for Mass, thus sinning by breaking the custom of “fasting before Communion”. Priest literally had to talk her down (after first making sure she was legit; his first impression was this was a Crank Yanker prank call, it was so off-the-wall).

    This also easily becomes an unintended result of the Evangelicals’ Gospel of Personal Salvation and Only Personal Salvation, where the only purpose in the Christian life becomes keeping your nose squeeky-clean to pass the Great White Throne Litmus Test (or the Rapture Litmus Test — Don’t Be Left Behind(TM)!) And again, the avoidance/atonement behavior becomes more and more extreme, like a never-ending game of “Can You Top This?” with yourself.

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  66. Pingback: Oscar’s Governor Board Strikes Faith-Based “Alone Yet Not Alone” Oscar Nomination | Spiritual Sounding Board

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