Month Archives: April 2009

Did ABC Show “The Ten Commandments” a Week Late?

by Chris Gacek

April 13, 2009

Working under the assumption that a movie ought to be shown before the event it is meant to commemorate, I wondered this weekend if the folks at ABC mistimed their showing of a classic film.  But then again - maybe not. 

This past Saturday, Easter Eve (4/11/2009), ABC broadcast the much-beloved film by Cecil B. DeMille, The Ten Commandments.  The film is a classic.  Here is an excerpt from ABC’s press release:

Starring Charlton Heston as Moses, this dramatic Biblical epic is presented with an all-star cast, including Yul Brynner as Pharaoh, Anne Baxter as Queen Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as the overseer of the slaves and Yvonne DeCarlo as Moses’ wife.
 
The Ten Commandments won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Special Effects and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

Unfortunately, the movie was trounced at the Oscars by Around the Word in 80 Days (Best Picture) and The King and I ‘s Yul Brynner (Best Actor).  Heston was not even nominated for an Academy Award.

Since the weeklong celebration of Passover began last Wednesday night (4/8/2009), I probably would have shown The Ten Commandments before the beginning of Passover on the previous Saturday.  In that way, the events of the Jewish captivity in Egypt and the Israelite’s deliverance from bondage would have been retold before the entirety of the holiday.

That said, ABC may have had the far better approach - whether by accident or design.

From a Christian perspective, there is a beautiful Old Testament-New Testament flow in showing a film about Moses and the giving of the Law at Sinai on the eve of the Resurrection Sunday.  Jesus observed in Matt 5:17 (ESV):  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  A central promise made by the Lord and delivered through one those prophets is found in Jeremiah 31:33 (RSV):

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah’s declaration and its fulfillment seems to be echoed in this writing by Paul to the church in Galatia, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”  (Gal. 4:6 ESV).

All praise and glory to you, Lord.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

April 13, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

More from Honduras

by Tony Perkins

April 9, 2009

Yesterday was a rainy day, but a very productive day! We received a warm reception from the local officials in Tela this morning as we inquired into the local government process that we would have to go through in order to construct an orphanage. I’ll be honest; I was prepared for a more “involved” process that might require campaign contributions - but that didn’t happen. They seemed to be genuinely appreciative of our humanitarian efforts to address what they recognize as a very serious problem - children with no parents.

While officials in Tela have certain jurisdiction over Tornabe, the Garifuna who live in the village operate with a lot of autonomy. In fact, from what we gathered the Garifuna refused to recognize the outside government, at least when it comes to paying taxes.

Ray, a friend in a local church that my home church helped establish here, also operates a taxi, so he drove us around. While it is not more than seven or eight miles to Tornabe (on the Caribbean), the condition of the roads and paths-along with the stray animals-make the trip somewhat of an adventure. In fact, at one point near the village, the taxi got stuck in the sand on the road and we had get out and push.

When we arrived, Pastor Marvin, the pastor of the local evangelical church was out picking up food for the orphanage. We had not spoken to him since we were in the village last summer and he was not expecting us. We had not been able to communicate with him regarding our desire to work in his local community until today. When we shared with him what we would like to do his eyes began to tear up and he said “glory.” He then told us they had taken the first steps toward establishing an orphanage but did not have the resources and had been praying that God would some how intervene on behalf of these children give them the ability to feed them three meals a day and provide a safe place for them to live.

After looking at what they have already started the process will go much quicker than we had originally thought. In July we planned to return to complete a kitchen, dining area, and a small sleeping area. Plans will then be made for a much larger dormitory divided into two areas: one for boys and one for girls.

It is certainly rewarding to serve the “least of these” who have been orphaned by parents who died of AIDS, but as we walked and drove through the village, seeing the children run in the midst of the trash that was strewn throughout, I was reminded of why we do what we do at FRC. Deny as we might, there are consequences for a community or a country that rejects the proper nature of human sexuality within the context of marriage. Unfortunately, far too often it is children who pay the price for the “sexual liberties” of adults.

Who are you going to Believe, Me or your own Eyes?

by Robert Morrison

April 9, 2009

An unnamed White House aide has tried to stifle criticism of the President for his deep and low bow before Saudi King Abdullah at the recently concluded G-20 summit in London. That anonymous fellow seems to giving us Groucho Marx’s line: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” The aide claims that the tall President was merely taking both hands of the diminutive desert monarch in his and had to bend down.

That set off another round of Internet speculation. Queen Elizabeth II is also much shorter than the President, and you can see him giving a short, sharp bow of the head to her. The point of our previous criticism is not that Barack Obama showed greater deference to the king of a despotic regime that persecutes Christians while slighting the Head of State of our leading ally, Britain. The point was simple: Americans do not bow to anyone.

 

The anonymous source in the Obama administration is only making matters worse by denying what is obvious to anyone with eyes to see. Okay, this cover story is probably better than the notion that the President was looking for a lost contact lens. Or tying his shoe lace. But it still doesn’t wash.

This videotape may soon have more viewings than the famous Zapruder film of President Kennedy’s assassination. It seems to many too silly a topic to merit any attention at all. So what if he did bow to Abdullah, impatient MoveOn types are asking. Let’s move on to more important matters.

But it is an important matter. First, it is an indication of how this President-one of the least familiar figures ever to enter the White House-views America’s place in the world. It is a good thing for the President to be personally humble. Washington said in Congress and at his first Inauguration that he did not consider himself equal to the tasks before him, but with the help of Providence he would go forward. Lincoln said he would gladly hold the haughty General McClelland’s horse if only he would bring the Union victory. They did not talk down America.

Second, it is something entirely different if this President is humbling America before the world’s leaders. Defenders of President Obama seem to be saying, it didn’t happen, and if it did, George W. Bush did it first. Bush has already been criticized here for holding hands with Abdullah. This was worse.

Third, still worse was President Obama’s abasement of our country during his European trip. “Politics stops at the water’s edge” is an old saying, sometimes attributed to the late Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R-Mich.), who crossed the partisan divide to give Democratic President Harry Truman his powerful support for the Marshall Plan and for NATO.

Throughout this foreign tour, President Obama seemed to be seeking out people to say “Sorry” to. Many of us were very critical of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s sneering dismissal of “Old Europe” when Germany and France declined to join our 2003 invasion of Iraq. Rumsfeld’s unwise statements were fair game for criticism-but that criticism should have been delivered here, not over there. President Obama need have little concern that such a disavowal would not be heard in Europe. That’s what the World Wide Web is for.

While he’s not reading the seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill that Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave him, the President might nonetheless take a lesson from Churchill. When he visited the U.S. after having been defeated and booted out of office by the British voters in 1945, Churchill as Leader of the Loyal Opposition was descended upon by American reporters. They were looking for pithy quotes from Churchill on the general mess his successors were making of things in Britain. Churchill-while he was on foreign soil-would not oblige them. He said his views on the conduct of His Majesty’s Government-the Labour Party majority in Parliament-could be read in Hansard’s, the official record of proceedings of the House of Commons.

Churchill was strictly observing the rule that you don’t criticize your own country or its government while abroad. I had several opportunities to visit Canada, Britain, and Europe during the 1990s. It was by no means easy to put a sock in it whenever Bill Clinton’s name was brought up at conferences. But that’s what we believe. Or it’s what we used to believe. Politics stops at the water’s edge, or even at the border. If a private citizen can observe the old rule, it is even more important for the leader of three hundred million Americans to do so.

Third, the White House should tell us whether the President did or did not bow to King Abdullah. To let stand an anonymous aide’s dubious denial risks this new administration’s credibility. It may be that President Obama thinks that Americans should bow to foreign leaders. Perhaps he believes we could avoid armed conflict with North Korea, Iran, or Cuba if our Head of State would publicly bow to them. If he thinks so, then he should say so and not hide behind an anonymous spokesman. If that’s what he believes, most Americans probably don’t agree with him.

Finally, you’ve probably seen the bumper sticker that says simply “Coexist.” It depicts the symbols of the world’s major religions. Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam are shown. It would be wonderful if they could coexist.

In the present world, one of those symbols is clashing loudly with all the others. The President is right to reassure Muslims that we are not at war with them. It’s not yet clear what he will do about those jihadists who tell us daily they are at war with us. From the Beirut Marine barracks in 1983 through 9/11 and right up to this morning’s headlines about “pirates” off Somalia, they have been begging to differ with that bumper sticker mindset. They are the ones unwilling just to coexist. Will bowing before despots convince these jihadists that America is serious about defending herself against terror?

A successful terrorist attack on the American homeland could cripple us. President Obama’s other priorities cannot simply be asserted. National defense is always Priority One. Ask Churchill.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

April 9, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Notes from Honduras: Vol. 1

by Tony Perkins

April 8, 2009

We arrived in Honduras last night on our trip to make preparations to build an orphanage for children whose parents have died from AIDS.  On our medical mission trip this past summer we went to a village outside of Tela, called Tornabe, and discovered homeless children everywhere. The reason, we found out, was that Tornabe has the highest rate of AIDS infection in the Western Hemisphere.  These children sleep on the beach, the streets, or — if they are lucky — the house of a friend where they are safe.  We are working with a church in the village to host the facility.

Our arrival last night was delayed a few hours after a passenger in Miami made a threat and was removed from the plane — along with his luggage and mine! I am told it will be here this afternoon.

This morning our plan is to meet with local governmental officials to make sure there are no unforeseen obstacles that could pop up in the process of building the orphanage.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

April 7, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Having the Experience, Missing the Meaning

by Family Research Council

April 7, 2009

Talk show host and author Tavis Smiley has written a new book called Accountable, which attempts to navigate the difficult waters swirling around the success or failure of Obama’s presidency. Smiley, who is African American, is quoted in the Washington Post today as saying that if Obama fails, “it may be another 400 years before we get another African-American president.” Smiley is at the center of a raging debate among African-American leaders about the limits of tough questioning of the new president and his policies, a debate in which Smiley has been in the minority as an advocate for treating Obama as a man and not merely a milestone. Smiley is on the right side of this debate, in my view, but his apocalyptic opinion that Obama holds the fortunes of African-American politicians in his hands only feeds into the mantra of those who regard Obama as an untouchable symbol. A failure of Obama’s policies would and should damage only those policies - massive expansion of government, nationalization of various parts of the U.S. industrial sector, international naivete, and radical social liberalism - but that failure should merely pave the way for the election of someone of opposing views. There are a number of conservative African Americans of stature who have that resume, and the country could well elect one of them president before 4 — and not 400 — years have passed.

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