Gay ‘marriage’ and not making Jesus your sock puppet

Would Jesus approve of gay “marriage,” as Jimmy Carter says? How Christians of every kind of persuasion threaten to turn Jesus into a sock puppet.

07/10/2015 Comments (42)

One of my favorite lines in Robert Bolt’s stage play A Man for All Seasons which was not carried over into the 1965 film comes during an exchange between Sir Thomas More and the Spanish ambassador Signor Chapuys (a character omitted in the film).

Chapuys, who is politically opposed to King Henry’s wish to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon, takes More for an ally — but More’s position is nuanced, and Chapuys is startled by the Lord Chancellor’s insistence on his loyalty to his king. Remonstrating with More, Chapuys “glibly” quotes, “Render under Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” — and then, raising a “reproving finger,” adds, “But unto God—”

“Stop!” More cries agitatedly, and must...READ MORE

Filed under gay marriage, jesus of nazareth, jimmy carter

Redefining Marriage, Part 1: Who’s to Blame?

06/26/2015 Comments (267)

Editor's note: In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark opinion legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, it seems fitting to repost this article written in June 2011 by Steven Greydanus.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10


Don’t blame the gays.

Same-sex marriage was not foisted on New Yorkers by less than 5 percent of the population. I mean, you can blame them a little. But same-sex marriage isn’t the real problem—it’s only a symptom of the problem.

Don’t blame the Evil Party or the Stupid Party. They were instruments of evil, not the root cause. I’m not saying don’t hold responsible the politicians who pushed through...READ MORE

Filed under marriage, same-sex marriage

Inside Out, Jurassic World, Spy, San Andreas: in 60 seconds!

06/19/2015 Comments (2)

As you know if you saw my new review, I’m super-excited about this weekend’s release of Pixar’s Inside Out — and looking forward to discussing it tonight on hour 1 of “Catholic Answers Live” at 6:00 PM Eastern (listen live).

Of course we’ll be talking about lots of other things too, including Jurassic World and themes linking Pixar’s Wall-E with Pope Francis’ new eco-encyclical Laudatum Si’.

You can also watch David and me review Inside Out and Love and Mercy on “Reel Faith” tonight at 8:00 PM (when and where to catch “Reel Faith”), followed by an encore of last week’s episode, when we reviewed Jurassic World, San Andreas and Spy.

And you can also see my 60-second reviews for those last...READ MORE

Filed under pixar, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

IKEA Church and “The Godfather”

How different styles of worship spaces form our imaginations and aesthetic sensibilities — for good or ill

06/08/2015 Comments (34)

Not IKEA Church: The reredos and partial view of the sanctuary and apse at Saint John’s in Orange, NJ.

My family belongs to a beautiful old parish in a poor neighborhood in the Archdiocese of Newark — a church notable enough to have its own Wikipedia page. It boasts an elaborate carved wooden reredos, gorgeous stained glass, a historic pipe organ and lovely paintings over the altar and sanctuary depicting events from the Annunciation to the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin.

Like many parishes in poor neighborhoods, it is always in need of repairs. We’ve replaced the leaky roof, but not yet repaired the water damage to the ceiling.

At some point in the past, the original confessionals were ripped out and the altar rail taken down (it’s since been put back). For the most part, though, the...READ MORE

Filed under church architecture, church art, hymns, liturgical music, liturgy, movies

New 60s: Little Boy! Mad Max! Poltergeist! Aloha! More!

06/04/2015 Comments (2)

The summer season of “Reel Faith” is now well underway, with episode 3 debuting this Friday at 8:00 PM Eastern, followed by a repeat of episode 2. (When and where to watch “Reel Faith”)

While David and I seldom disagree on films, this Friday is a rare chance to see us split twice — mildly on Pitch Perfect 2 (episode 2) and strongly on Aloha (episode 3). Yes, one of us liked one of those films and disliked the other, and the other felt the opposite. (But which is which? Tune in and find out!)

I have to say it feels energizing to disagree, and I’m sure it makes for more interesting viewing. I wish we disagreed more often! I don’t know why, but week after week, on film after film, it seems...READ MORE

Filed under reel faith, video reviews

UPDATE: New 60s! Age of Ultron! Tomorrowland! Ex Machina! Reel Faith is back!

“Reel Faith” is now in its sixth summer season … with a new feather in our caps.

05/22/2015 Comments (4)

We’d like to thank the Academy.

UPDATE: See new 60 second reviews below!

Exciting news!

“Reel Faith” returns to NET TV tonight — with a new feather in our caps: We are now the proud winners of a 2015 Gabriel Award, bestowed by the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals, the U.S. affiliate of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication.

The Gabriel Awards, which date to 1965, are intended to honor excellence in broadcasting. They are not limited to religious programming; in the words of the Academy:

The single most important criterion of a Gabriel winning program is its ability to uplift and nourish the human spirit. Gabriel-worthy programs affirm the dignity of human beings, and recognize and...READ MORE

Filed under reel faith

No, Catholic U is NOT under investigation for offending Muslim students…

Another day, another faux crisis.

05/12/2015 Comments (16)

This is not happening.

…regardless what you may have read recently on Breitbart News, among many, many other right-wing sources.

[Update: See the letter I received from Catholic University below confirming my take on this story.]

“Catholic University investigated for offending Muslims by having too many crosses,” reads the May 11, 2015 headline at Breitbart.

Judging from many comments at Breitbart and on social media, the popular impression many people seem to be taking away from the story is this: Pushy Muslim students at Catholic University in Washington, DC are professing themselves offended by the sight of Christian crosses. They’re demanding that crosses be taken down and Muslim-friendly prayer spaces...READ MORE

Filed under islam, sharia, social media

A book every serious Christian movie buff should have

05/06/2015 Comments (5)

Every serious Christian movie buff should own a copy of Peter Dans’ Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners. First published in 2009, Christians in the Movies was originally available only in an expensive hardcover edition priced as a library reference work; since then it’s been reprinted in an affordable paperback edition.

Christians in the Movies is not Dans’ first survey of cinema. An associate professor of medicine as well as a dedicated cinephile, Dans was first moved to write about the big-screen depiction of his profession in his 2000 book Doctors in the Movies: Boil the Water and Just Say Ahh! — an entertaining and insightful study of social attitudes regarding...READ MORE

Filed under movies, sdg reviews

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About Steven D. Greydanus

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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register and Decent Films, the online home for his film writing. He writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues, and is a regular guest on several radio shows. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. He is pursuing diaconal studies in the Archdiocese of Newark. Steven and Suzanne have seven children.