By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
MOVIEGUIDE®’s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala is a wonderful event that lifts up movies and television programs with faith and values, and the Gala has changed lives and entertainment. Because we nominate more than 40 movies and TV programs, the event lasts three to three and one-half hours. Our network shows on Hallmark and the REELZChannel restrict us to 42 minutes, so it’s a very difficult task editing the show down to 42 minutes, especially when we nominated all these great movies and TV programs that I personally love. Because there are other judges involved, I don’t always get my choice. Often, the best family movie or epiphany prize movie is not my first pick, but, none the less, it is a movie or TV program I love.
One of the 15 movies we had to cut was one I loved, but some other pro-life Christian judges didn’t think it was as well made, and that was UNPLANNED. Of course, everyone understands it was made on a low budget with a tight schedule and is competing with some giant, big budget movies, including A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, LITTLE WOMEN (2019), HARRIET, and many more.
Therefore, we trimmed the 42-minute Hallmark program, with the intention of putting that movie back into the streaming version, which we are releasing, and perhaps the REELZ version if it fits. Hallmark has asked us to put it back into its streaming version because of some fake news, misinformation and presumptuous attacks online that were outright bullying. These attacks included charges of censorship, which is really weird since: I nominated the movie, we are good friends with the directors and producers, and we were giving the movie away on our website to donors.
We understand that if it bleeds it leads and conflict ignites press, even if the conflict is trumped up. However, the brouhaha over UNPLANNED was misplaced and produced some very vile, regrettable reactions, including someone telling our editor (who is pro-life, Christian and pregnant) that she should have been aborted. It is part of their culture for the Radical Left, especially Antifa types, to be bullies, but it should not be part of the culture of Christians!
As Christians, we are supposed to love our neighbor. We’re not supposed to spread false information, and we should manifest the Fruit of the Spirit, which is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should also be humble enough to apologize and to forgive.
There are many reasons why we’re pro-life, but one of them is that we were created in the image of our Maker, who loved us so much that He took our sins on the Cross and was resurrected to set us free. He was not a leader who bashed His enemies (in fact, he gave His life for them), and He does not call on us to be bullies.
That said, we should take a stand and be willing to help others understand why what they’re doing is wrong. We should also expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, but that doesn’t mean presuming what is not true, because we are told in His Word Written that presumptuous sins are abhorrent to Him. Slander kills. It is inappropriate to slander those who are doing the work of the Kingdom.
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