Facing the Giants, the film that has stirred up some chatter because it was rated PG for its open references to Christianity, is stirring up even more trouble for cultural commentator and writer Dick Staub.

Staub dared to suggest that, even though Christians had been involved in making and supporting the film, it was still mediocre and unsatisfying. In fact, his words were even stronger… he called it”another artistic embarrassment in the name of Jesus.”

Staub is learning an important lesson: If Christians made it, we cannot publically admit that it is anything less than glorious. He also needs to learn that if a movie moves people, that qualifies it as being of surpassing excellence, and wobetide the man who dares say anything critical about it.

So, now, Staub is receiving the wrath of those who support the film.

The more common reactions were from people who a) loved the evangelistic themes; b) believed we ought to support the effort because it was made by good Christians (“I thought Dick was ‘one of us;’” c) agreed it didn’t meet Hollywood production standards but thought my comments were counterproductive in light of a) and/or b).

For anyone who wants a peek into my mailbag, the following email I received today is an example.

“Your article is offensive at best. What do you expect when the budget is ($)100,000 and the actors are new to the acting profession? I saw the film and there were some scenes that were weak but the story line was exceptional and moving. I saw people openly crying and moved during this movie. They were emotionally involved and impacted. That is more than I can say for the majority of trash that comes from Hollyweird. Maybe they will learn this lesson again. People do not want to see garbage that comes out of movie business incessantly. My hope is that this movie makes a ton of money for Sony and the church in Georgia. They deserve it, just for receiving comments like yours. Keep writing your so-called reviews. It will keep the movie in the press and gain more viewers. Annoyed”

Sigh. I’ve seen people “openly crying” (as opposed to “closed-ly crying”) while watching American Express commercials and lousy sit-coms. People get “emotionally involved and impacted” watching the Miss Teen USA Pageant. Does that mean they’re worthy of high praise, and should be protected against any criticism?

Apparently, if you make a mediocre movie and stamp Jesus’s name on it, it’s automatically worthy of praise.

Round and round we go.

Fight on, Dick Staub. Fight on. You have the wisdom of the Jedi masters. I believe in you.

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