Can Rick Santorum Help the Church's Cultural Influence?
Former Senator Rick Santorum talks about his new job at EchoLight Cinema.
BY: Corine Gatti
Former Republican Senator Santorum said the church needs to play a bigger role in influencing culture.
Now CEO of EchoLight Cinema--Santorum is working on premiering films first at the church before they hit theaters. With the popularity faith-based films like “Heaven is for Real” and the surprise hit “God is Not Dead,” the idea is plausible, and the business model could impact culture and make the studio money.
Tom Newman, Max Lucado, Megan Alexander, Rick Santorum attend movie screening of Christmas Candle .
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“It’s a chance for the church to take its rightful place back into the center of culture again."
A Pew Forum on Religion found that church leaders from the U.S. lost the most influence on society than any other country with media and politics shaping culture.
“When we replace the church with Hollywood and the starlets, it’s not a healthy switch for society in my opinion giving the content coming out of Hollywood. What we hope to do here is to bring world premiere quality films into the church and for the church to be the center for that entertainment.”
“Hoovey” staring Lauren Holly and Family Guy’s Patrick Warburton will be the first film distributed. It’s an option for the church to be a theater, a gathering place, where culture and entertainment can be discussed within the community. Bringing first rate films to the church before television and the theaters would give participating churches an inclusive window.
“It’s an opportunity for outreach. It’s an opportunity to feed the flock and to have that social interaction,” said Santorum.
EchoLight, which also produced “Christmas Candle” is in talks with universities like Liberty, Oklahoma Wesleyan and Grand Canyon to become a hub for premiers. The company is currently in production on a film with Liberty and will warap it up this summer.
Since getting involved in the entertainment business, Santorum found the waters are just as fierce.
“I thought there were big egos in politics. That’s nothing compared to the egos you run into in the entertainment business,” he laughed. “It’s a very tough field and trying to figure out who’s real and who’s not. You could not get away with the puffery that goes on in the entertainment business if you were in politics.”