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Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation.
BY John Lilly
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS
SERVICE, June 7 — The Motion Picture Association of America has given a
low-budget family film a PG rating because it is too evangelistic, wrote
columnist Terry Mattingly.
While a PG-rating
is often given for language, violence or nudity, the film Facing the Giants — about a depressed football coach whose life
takes a miraculous turn for the better — earned the rating for “strong thematic
elements that might disturb some parents,” said Kris Fuhr,
vice president for marketing at Provident Films. Provident hopes to open the
film in theaters next fall.
The film was
co-written and co-produced by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who serve as
associate pastors at Sherwood Baptist Church
in Albany, Ga. Among other elements, the film features
answered prayers, a medical miracle and a mystic who delivers a message from
God. In one scene the coach tells a player that he needs to “get right with
The MPAA told Fuhr the film was “heavily laden with messages from one
religion and that this might offend people from other religions.” Kendrick made
no apologies for the overtly Christian film. “We’re going to tell the stories
that we believe God wants us to tell,” he said. “We have nothing to hide.”
Parents Claim Son Bullied for
Lexington Minuteman, June 15 – Parents
of a first grade boy are suing the Lexington
Mass., Public Schools saying
their rights were violated when the school failed to tell them that
homosexuality was being discussed in the classroom. The parents also allege
that their first-grade son was assaulted on the playground because of his
According to a
press release issued by MassResistance, Jacob Parker
was assaulted by eight to 10 students during recess at Estabrook Elementary School.
David, had previously been arrested at the school for refusing to leave an
April meeting with the school principal and curriculum director. It was at that
meeting that Parker requested to be notified when the topic of sexual
orientation was going to be discussed so he could take his son out of the
The school said
that it is investigating the bullying.
Church Membership Fluctuates
LEADER, June 12 — As populations age, many churches are having more funerals
than baptisms, said the Staunton, Va.-based Leader.
Research shows that
all of the major mainline denominations — Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran,
and United Methodist — show declines in membership.
“In 1968, most …
Protestant churches all tipped from slowly gaining members to losing members,”
said David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute
for Religion Research.
contributor to the decline is decreased birthrates coupled with increasing
mortality rates at aging parishes.
Not all churches
are showing a decline. Those churches witnessing a rise in membership include
predominantly black churches, the Assemblies of God and Southern Baptists.
Catholic Church membership is also increasing, primarily due to Hispanic