Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Son Of God"

Gary L. Bauer
Campaign for Working Families

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the couple who brought hit mini-series "The Bible" to the History Channel last year, are back. This time, they are bringing the life of Jesus to the big screen. Their film "Son Of God" will open in 3,000 theaters across the country this Friday.

Downey, who plays Mary, mother of Jesus, in the film, said, "This really is a love story -- the greatest love story ever told." Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles have endorsed the movie.

Rev. Rick Warren has produced a Bible study based on the movie, which Saddleback Church will be using during the weeks leading up to Easter. Due to scenes depicting the crucifixion, the movie received a PG-13 rating and may not be suitable for young children.

In fact, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman also supports the film. Burnett and Downey reached out to Foxman during filming in order to avoid the inclusion of theological errors that blame Jews, rather than the sin of mankind, for the crucifixion.

"…'Son of God' is the most sensitive, caring depiction of the story of Jesus that I have ever seen," Foxman said. "The producers have done everything possible to put the events into historical, political and psychological context."

Film industry projections initially expected "Son of God" to bring in about $13 million during its opening weekend. Those projections are now suggesting it could net more than $20 million. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Hollywood critics have to say. More importantly, will attendance figures tell us anything about our culture today?