Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Missing the Purpose of Nativity … and Obama

posted by Douglas Howe

First, there is the news that religious groups are feeling pressure about not pulling their support for “The Nativity Story” based on lead actress Keisha Castle-Hughes being pregnant out of wedlock. Then comes the news that Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose-Driven Life” and pastor of Saddleback Community Church, is receiving complaints from evangelicals for inviting Sen. Barack Obama to speak at his church.

There used to be a time when the spiritual journey and politics weren’t inexorably linked. And there was a time when acting was just acting, and actors had their own personal lives separate from their work.

I miss the clarity.

If a young woman gets the high honor of playing the part of Mary–and if the movie tells the wonderful story of “The Birth”–I don’t see why a church or religious groups should need to boycott the story of Jesus because of activities in the personal life of Castle-Hughes. Christian groups didn’t support the movie or pick the cast, but they sure should be allowed to support the story!

As for Rick Warren’s issue, I think evangelicals and others in the Christian Church should be careful: When they start criticizing the author of the best-selling religious book (aside from the Bible) in all of history for inviting a probable presidential candidate to discuss solutions to AIDS, they run the risk of becoming the very pharisees that missed the story of Jesus the first time around.

“Our goal has been to put people together who normally won’t even speak to each other,” said Saddleback in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “We do not expect all participants in the summit discussion to agree with all of our evangelical beliefs … the HIV/AIDS pandemic cannot be fought by evangelicals alone [and] will take the cooperation of all–government, business, NGOs and the church.”

I’m going to order tapes of Obama, and I’m going to take my kids to see “The Nativity Story,” and hope that doesn’t get me in trouble with my church friends!



  • http://HASH(0xfbdc960) Maranda

    First of all i would like to say, i agree with the people who believe the actor Keisha Castle-Hughes should not have been allowed to play Mary. Mary was a sweet innocent girl not a girl who is pregnant out of wedlock. The church does not believe in anything of that nature, and to have someone play a part of a blessed person such as Mary is absurd. Yes, she may be a good actor, but she should not have been choosen to play it.

  • http://HASH(0xfbdac18) dean

    “I miss the clarity.” That’s from 3 Days of the Condor, if i’m not mistaken, referring to the explicit lines of conflict during the Cold War. I loved how succinct and powerful that line was. Glad to see it being used again.

  • http://HASH(0xfbdaaec) anonymous

    I can’t believe people would complain about Barack not being an evangelical and Warren inviting him to speak at Saddleback. I think people need to stop throwing that term “evangelical” around because what they seem to forget is that many Christians (Protestant and otherwise) don’t identify with the term. I am a Protestant Conservative Christian and I don’t identify with the term nor would I want to be categorized as one. I recall reading an article about Obama and it seemed clear that he is God-fearing man, now of what denomination I don’t know, but people need to just step off and stop trying to put people in a box. The God that created us all can’t be put into a box, so why would he create something that could be put into a box. Psalms 139:14 says “I praise God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Sounds like something you cannot put into a box to me.

  • http://HASH(0xfbda4d8) Karen

    Those boycotting The Nativity are exaclty the same ones Jesus came to talk some sense into. But unfortunately they will not be visiting this website and will not get to hear your well stated opinion.

  • http://HASH(0xfbda1fc) ingrid

    It is sad to see how self consider christians think they have the right to judge and to condem also! I understand that we would like to know that the actress who was chosen to play the part of the mother of our Savior, is an inocent pure girl; but that is not going to hapen, if she was so pure she would not be an actress; or are you so naive to asume that if we don’t find out anything wrong with the actress that means that she is pure as the real Mary?? Don’t you know that “no one has being found righteous not no one” Dear brohters and sisters, we are to LOVE each other and to pray for each other; have you consider praying for that young girl? have you consider what message are you showing her on behalf of christianity? Worse yet, on the name above all names JESUS CHRIST? Be careful chistians, whith the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.Do not become like the secular world. The way I see you guys, is exactly like the passage when the scribas and the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman cought in adultery….and you know the rest: ” He who is without sin among you , let him throw the first stone…” Jh. 8: 3. From a loving sister in Christ.

  • http://HASH(0xfbd8f54) melissa

    Maranda: Saying Keisha Castle-Hughes should not have been allowed to play Mary implies she was pregnant before casting, which surely is not the case since she’s pregnant right now. When casting actors, no one can predict what choices they will make and whether those choices will reflect those of the characters they are playing. I would love for everyone in the world to be devoted Christians who make no mistakes — but no one in the world, Christians and non-Christians, is perfect. We have an opportunity to show this actress kindness, without condoning sinful choices. Her situation makes me reflect on the foolish things I and loved ones have done.

  • http://HASH(0xfbdc978) Stacey

    Who are you to judge this young lady? You are not God…he alone is the judge and the jury. You might want to look in the mirror before being so quick to pass judgment on anyone else. I suppose you have done NOTHING in your lives that would cause another person walking this earth to look down upon you…I don’t think so. That would make you a Saint, would it not? Shame on you!

  • http://nkapsar@juno.com Nancy Kapsar

    Concerning Keisha Castle-Hughes not attending the Vatican premiere… There are indications that she was working on another film, thus chose not to come. But if she was not invited to the Vatican premiere, it would be good to think back about the scene in the movie where her “accusers” were about to cast stones at her. To this type thinking, I must say, “Let those who are WITHOUT sin, cast the first stone at this young mom or mom to be, lest anyone think they can fit into such a category!

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