Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Catholic group slaps the Three Stooges. Then pokes them in their eyes and hits them on their heads with a rubber hammer. Just kidding.  From The Hollywood ReporterThe Catholic League is in an uproar over the way nuns are depicted in Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s redo of The Three Stooges, which 20th Century Fox opens Friday domestically. In a terse statement issued Thursday, Catholic League president Bill Donohue takes issue with a “nun bikini” and large rosary worn by swimsuit model Kate Upton in the slapstick comedy as well as with Larry David’s character. David, like Upton, plays a nun in Three Stooges, and his character’s name is Sister Mary-Mengele — named after infamous Nazi Josef Mengele.
“In the 1950s, Hollywood generally avoided crude fare and was respectful of religion. Today it specializes in crudity and trashes Christianity, especially Catholicism,” Donohue said. “Enter The Three Stooges. The movie is not just another remake: It is a cultural marker of sociological significance, and what it says about the way we’ve changed is not encouraging.”Fox disagreed that Three Stooges diverges from the original series. “The movie, in keeping with the spirit of the original TV show and its stars, is a broad, slapstick comedy,” a Fox spokesperson said.
Fox disagreed that Three Stooges diverges from the original series. “The movie, in keeping with the spirit of the original TV show and its stars, is a broad, slapstick comedy,” a Fox spokesperson said.
“As the Stooges have proved over time, laughter is a universal medicine. The nuns that Mr. Donohue alludes to, are in fact, caring, heroic characters in the movie, albeit within the framework of a very broad comedy,” the spokesperson continued. “And as far as the nun attire, I think we did the audinece a favor by letting Kate Upton wear the nun-kini rather than Larry David — it could have gone either way. We invite you to see the movie and decide for yourselves.”
(Read the entire story @ The Hollywood Reporter.)
Comment: I haven’t yet seen the film but I must say it looks funny to me — the kind of old-fashioned slapstick nonsense we could all use right about now.  As for its portrayal of Catholic nuns, without having seen it,  it seems to me to fall short of an attack. It looks as though the nuns, overall, are portrayed as doing good works. As to Mr. Donohue’s concerns, at this point, they strike me as much ado about not much.  There are genuinely nasty attacks on Catholics out there that warrant criticism but Catholics (including me) should resist the urge to join society’s “I’m more offended than you!” sweepstakes. Turning the other cheek is a good thing. By doing so, maybe we can set a positive example. Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Boink!

2. Oh, no! Not another Mel tape! From TheWrap: Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas warned Mel Gibson on Thursday that calling him a liar could be hazardous: he has a tape.

3. Baby gifts. October Baby expands  to 190 new theaters this weekend.  The movie starring John Schneider, Jasmine Guy and Rachel Hendrix as a young woman who, as an infant, survived an abortion and embarks on a quest to find her birth mother, opened in about 400 theaters last month and has performed very well at the box office.  Click here to see the complete list of expansion cities.

As I wrote earlier: I highly recommend it.  The brothers have managed to take an extremely dark subject and shed light on it with a deft mix of human drama and, remarkably even humor. You can rest assured there are no scenes depicting an actual abortion. Instead, the script (which, though more faith-based, is similar in tone to 2008 Oscar nominee Juno) remains focused of one young woman’s search the truth about her past. And, in the end, what the movie is really about is forgiveness.

But, I’d like to hear your opinion. Send me your thoughts on the film and you could win an October Baby T-shirt and a movie poster signed by the cast.  There will be two winner, each receiving both prizes. Contact me at

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

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