Faith, Media & Culture

Today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture feature an upcoming movie, a potential TV show and a new book you should know about.

1. Swinging for the fences. World Series week seems like a fitting time for the baseball-themed movie Home Run (set to hit theaters during the 2012 baseball season) to wrap up filming in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The movie which stars Scott Elrod, Vivica A. Fox and Dorian Brown tells the story of an alcoholic pro baseball player forced to face a painful past that include a girl he wanted to forget and a son he never knew.  Directed by David Boyd, is being marketed in partnership with Celebrate Recovery, a  growing recovery movement launched by Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in 1991.

2. TV: Does clean comedy sell?  Atlanta-based producers David Druckenmiller and Amy Kossover of Three23 Films are betting it does with their new comedy/reality pilot presentation Standup Guys which follows the travels of Robert G. Lee, Bob Smiley and Kenn Kington, three comedians, friends and family men as they hit the comedy club circuit and trying to keep their acts G (or maybe PG) in an R-rated world. I recently spoke with David and Amy and got a look at their written presentation. It’s really, really good. It could be a big winner, especially for a cable network like TBS or, perhaps, CMT.

But why stop there? These are talented guys. Robert G. Lee actually does the warm-up for the successful new Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing.  I hope the reality show leads to a Three23-produced ABC sitcom starring these guys  and following Allen’s show on Tuesday nights. The audience flow would be perfect. I like to think ahead.

3. What unites us as a society? In an era when just about every topic seems to be an occasion to for people to hurl insults at each other on TV and the internet, that’s a good question. One which Jesuit priest Robert Spitzer tackles in his new book Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues (from Ignatius Press).

“The evolution of culture and civilization has arisen out of the development of ten fundamental principles,” Fr. Spitzer writes in the book’s introduction. He says three of them deal with evidence and objective truth, three deal with ethics, three deal with the dignity and treatment of human beings and the tenth represents what is generally known as “The Golden Rule.”

Fr. Spitzer asserts that failure to teach and practice any one of those principles can lead to a variety of wrongs and that “Failure to teach several of these principles will most certainly lead to widespread abuse and a general decline in culture.”

In his book, Spitzer attempts to offer a concise and easy-to-read reasoning that transcends individual religious beliefs to offer a moral guide people of any faith (or no faith) can understand and, he hopes, accept as guideposts for forming our laws and public policies.

No blog tomorrow or Monday. See you Tuesday.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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