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The Deacon's Bench

Evidently, Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, in reviewing (unfavorably) “Secretariat,” took a few gratuitous swipes at director Randall Wallace. And now Chicago’s legendary Roger Ebert is calling him on it:

O’Hehir mentions that Randall Wallace, who directed the film, “is one of mainstream Hollywood’s few prominent Christians, and has spoken openly about his faith and his desire to make movies that appeal to ‘people with middle-American values’.” To which I respond: I am a person with middle-American values, and the film appealed to me. This news just in: There are probably more liberals with middle-American values than conservatives, especially if your idea of middle-American values overlaps with the Beatitudes, as mine does.

When O’Hehir says Wallace is “one of mainstream Hollywood’s few prominent Christians,” what exactly does he mean by that? That one is too many? Surely the Hollywood mainstream has room for several prominent Christians? Surely it is permitted for Wallace to speak openly about his faith? Although O’Hehir finds “Secretariat” a repository of Christianity (of the wrong sort, presumably), I found it rather secular.

That’s just part of it. There’s more that Ebert didn’t like about O’Hehir’s review.

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