The Facts Win The Case
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
Regrettably, Fred Clark’s rant against MOVIEGUIDE® in his Feb. 18, 2019, Slacktivist column on Patheos, a website about religion and spirituality, doesn’t just play fast and loose with the facts: it never bothers to research the facts so that his rant could approach the truth. Covering all the inaccuracies may require hours of fact-checking and explanation, but here’s a brief overview.
Aside from the fact that Clark cites Christian author and radio personality Ken Myers, who’s a friend, I grew up in the entertainment industry as the son of two movie stars. My father starred in 36 movies and won the Box Office Award in 1936. My mother died when I was young. So, I embarked on an embittered road of self-destruction looking for love in all the wrong places and taking lots of drugs, which culminated in one of my friends losing his mind and another blowing his brains out as well as living with four women in a very salacious ménage in the East Village. At law school, I helped found the Environmental Law Department and became a member of the Marxist National Lawyers Guild, to represent the Chicago Seven, who were the Antifa of that day.
Several of my mother’s women friends had been transformed by the Billy Graham event in Madison Square Garden in the 1950s and tried to get me back on track. One appealed to my intellectual side, since I had studied at Dartmouth, Cambridge, etc., and asked me to read the Bible and tell her what was wrong with it. After months of refusing, believing the Bible was myth, I agreed to read the New Testament, and halfway through the Book of Matthew I was transformed. The drugs stopped, the salacious activity stopped, and the Good News of the more abundant life with Jesus Christ began.
Not knowing any better, I went to an Episcopal seminary and supported myself by being the head of the TV Center at City University of New York (CUNY). Soon, I was elected president of Episcopal TV where, under my tenure, we produced THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE for CBS, which won an Emmy Award. So, contrary to Fred Clark’s statement, I am not a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
At CUNY, 60 professors, including me, came together to develop the first media literacy course to help parents. I got married, had my first child, and helped develop that first media literacy course, which looked at movies in terms of 150 criteria in light of the cognitive development of children. Some of that criteria might be difficult for Fred Clark to understand, such as ontology, and even some of the criteria that’s important for young children might be hard for him to understand since he seems to be insensitive to what families want and need.
In addition to ontology, three of the general criteria are economics, politics and sociology, which means an important specific criteria is freedom, which opposes mercantilism or, as Fred Clark might know it, crony capitalism, and which also opposes a tyrannical government, which takes away your freedom.
In his surplusage of factual inaccuracies, Fred makes the mistake of not knowing my age. I came of age in the 40s, 50s and early 60s as a left wing, communist leaning nerd. Thus, I did not come of age as a “Cold War fundie” during the age of President Reagan.
Fred may want to know that many Christian heresies spring from the inability to hold the Both/And in mind. For instance, Jesus is both God and Man. Being incapable of holding the Both/And in mind leads to Either/Or, which is fallacious in Christian theology. We are not either Aryans or Gnostics. We are mere Christians.
Regrettably, Fred comes to conclusions based on his factual inaccuracies that have nothing to do with reality.
MOVIEGUIDE® reaches millions of people and has tried to get republished in many languages. The country where it’s republished pays for our reviews. Germany has been a long-standing outlet and so has Japan. Our work with the homeschooling dad in Russia who didn’t want to be involved in the government in Russia was never finalized for lack of funding because the countries that want MOVIEGUIDE® must pay for the franchise. So, while we made two trips to Russia, we spent more time in Ukraine, Korea, Thailand, and many other countries. In the process, I spoke to Parliaments in the United Kingdom, in Norway, in Germany, and in the European Union, all on helping your children to become media-wise. People request this because they don’t want to lose their children to what they see is a corrupt American culture.
Having said all this, it should be noted that MOVIEGUIDE® is classified as a minority, nonprofit religious organization. Fred Clark’s racism, bullying, and disinformation don’t bode well for him as an intelligent writer. However, with all of his mistakes, we pray that he will be set free from the bondage of his philosophical myopias and solipsism into a more abundant life as a Christian. And, by the way, Fred, you should come out and visit us.
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