Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media: 10/02/20

Because Logic Matters. Even as most of us wish President Trump, his wife, everyone in their orbit and, indeed, everyone dealing with COVID-19 the very best outcomes, the Trump Administration remains dogged both by its handling of the virus (with some legitimacy – at least on the mask issue) and the unfortunate perception by a good chunk of the public that he’s a racist. Regarding that latter problem, Jason Siler of Blue Collar Logic has just put forth a concise argument that the idea that Trump stands with white supremacists is a deliberate media-fueled lie.  The five-minute video concedes that the president could have responded more clearly to moderatorChris Wallace’s question on the subject during Tuesday night’s debate but pushes back both on the notion that he didn’t, in fact, denounce racism and on the validity of the line of inquiry itself.

That’s because, as the video irrefutably proves, he has unambiguously condemned racism and white supremacists numerous times in the past. The primary problem is that the media, apparently more interested in its deliberately dishonest narrative than the truth, refuses to report his statements in which he says exactly what they claim they want to hear him say. What’s more, as the video notes, a racist president would be unlikely sign a bill that, per the AP, “permanently provide(d) more than $250 million a year to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, along with dozens of other institutions that serve large shares of minority students.” Nor would he push forth Opportunity Zones to incentivize investment in minority communities (helping to account for what was, pre-pandemic, the lowest African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates ever). The plain and simple truth is that no matter what Trump’s flaws may be (and, IMHO, he definitely has them), the facts don’t support the contention that he is a racist. And, more than that, the media knows it. That’s the real scandal here.

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PRAY: The Story of Patrick Peyton from Family Theater Productions, a documentary about the priest who coined the phrase “The family that prays together stays together,” releases in select theaters throughout the U.S. on Oct. 9.

Synopsis: PRAY is an inspiring documentary about Venerable Patrick Peyton, a poor, uneducated Irish immigrant who sets sail for America in 1928 with nothing but his faith and dreams of becoming a millionaire. Arriving in Pennsylvania and unable to find work, he accepts the position as a janitor at the cathedral, which rekindles his long lost desire to become a priest and changes the course of his life. Nearing ordination, his life takes a radical turn when he is stricken with tuberculosis. Facing certain death, he sinks into despair. A visit from his mentor, who delivers a simple message to pray, lifts the darkness. Taking his advice to heart, Patrick prays fervently to Mary, the Mother of Christ, for her intercession and he experiences a miraculous recovery. Feeling deep gratitude, he dedicates his life to telling all the world about the power of prayer and encourages families everywhere to bring prayer into their homes. He enlists the aid of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities in radio, film and TV, and travels the world sharing the message of family prayer and its healing and hope with millions.

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Gearing UP for the holidays. UPtv will be celebrating Christmas with five World Television Premiere movies, beginning with A Very Country Christmas Homecoming, on Sunday, November 1 at 7:00 PM (ET). All told, the channel that markets itself as “the television home for uplifting entertainment” has a robust collection of 500 hours of holiday cheer and over 60 movies on hand to celebrate the season.

“UPtv’s Merry Movie Christmas offering is the culmination of a big year of weekly premiere movies on the network,” according to UPtv Content Strategies & Acquisitions V.P. for Hector Campos, who adds “We’re thrilled to kick the season off with our new movie tracker app and invite viewers to tune in to our expansive programming slate offering uplifting entertainment for the whole family as we all celebrate Christmas together.”

Launching in mid-October, the My UPtv Movies app will allow viewers to learn more about upcoming movies on the network, watch movie previews, and request personalized showtime alerts.

UPtvs holiday season programming highlights include the following World Television Premiere movies. See local listings for encore broadcasts.

A Very Country Christmas Homecoming- Premieres Sunday, November 1 at 7 p.m. ET
The third movie in the network’s A Very Country franchise (previous movies were A Very Country Christmas and A Very Country Wedding) follows
lead characters Zane and Jeannette return from their magical honeymoon to plan the perfect first Christmas as a family, but the arrival of Jeannette’s former father-in-law throws a wrench into all of their holiday planning.
Stars: Bea Santos, Greyston Holt, Deana Carter, Mike Shara, Charlotte Hegele

A Ring for Christmas – Premieres Sunday, November 8 at 7 p.m. ET
Spoiled single girl Angie Moore gets cut off 25 days before Christmas. When she discovers the existence of a sizable trust fund that she will inherit once she gets married, Angie decides to find a man to marry – by Christmas.
Stars: Liliana Tandon, Dean Geyer, Charles Hittinger, Lorraine Bracco

Mistletoe Magic – Premieres Sunday, November 15 at 7 p.m. ET
When self-proclaimed “Christmas Grinch” Harper realized that she accidentally donated her family’s beloved magic mistletoe to a charity, she enlists the help of thrift store owner and old friend Luke to help her retrieve it. Can Luke convince Harper that perhaps the magic of Christmas is real and that true love does exist?
Stars: Stephen Huszar, Jessica Sipos

Dashing Home for Christmas – Premieres Sunday, November 22 at 7 p.m. ET
Emily Nichols, a successful business consultant, has missed every family gathering this year, so getting home for Christmas is very important to her. But when a series of mishaps – from delayed public transportation to diverted flights and broken-down trains and finally, a lost wallet – put her holiday plans in jeopardy, she’s forced to find a way home with a fellow road warrior, Simon Allein. While Emily is more a Type A planner who hates disruptions and inconveniences, Simon is a go-with-the-flow type who sees the bright side to any misfortune. So, having to rely upon one another to get to their final destination tests their will, but also provides ample opportunity to get to know each other and, perhaps even, fall in love.
Stars: Paniz Zade, Adrian Spencer, Suzanne Cyr, Andrew Bushell

Christmas on the Range – Premieres Sunday, December 6 at 7 p.m. ET
All Kendall Riley wants for the holidays is to save her family’s ranch, but her longtime rival, small-town scrooge Brick McCree, has other plans in mind. When Brick’s son, Clint, comes back to town, he is immediately drawn to Kendall and offers a helping hand. As a romance starts to blossom, Kendall’s farm is sabotaged, leaving her to wonder about Clint’s true intentions.
Stars: Erin Cahill, Nicholas Gonzalez, A Martinez, Lindsay Wagner

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

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