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National Editorials & Columns

Hollywood turns to imams for script approval

Once upon a time, I actually covered Hollywood.

One of the things I discovered and wrote about in those days was the amazing story of how the movie industry had partnered with churches in America on its film projects.

In fact, until the mid-1960s, virtually no movie was released by Hollywood without script approval from offices established by the Catholic Church and the National Council of Churches.

When the National Council of Churches was taken over by “progressives,” the institution lost interest in bringing some semblance of morality to the Big Screen. Soon, the Catholic Church did, too.

In other words, it wasn’t Hollywood that abandoned the church; it was the church that abandoned Hollywood — leaving the critical cultural institution to dive deeper and deeper into the moral abyss.

All that’s history now. In fact, there’s something of a rebirth of interest by Hollywood in what the church thinks, thanks to Christians like Ted Baehr and his Christian Film and Television Commission.

The relationship between Hollywood and the church has always been built upon mutual interest. Since the church represents millions of potential ticket buyers for movies, Hollywood wanted to be sure its interests and values were represented. Likewise, the church has an interest in being salt and light in the world — and Hollywood represents an important institution in that world.

But just last week, it was reported that some in Hollywood are turning to another institution for moral advice and script approval — Islam.

According to a report in the International Herald Tribune, some filmmakers are “terrified of inciting further retribution against America over a string of new films.”

“At least one fearful studio has asked an Islamic cleric to vet its script,” said the report. “Senior executives at another studio have entered into intense briefing sessions with U.S. State Department officials to minimize or expunge any content which otherwise might be viewed as offensive.”

The report continued: “Filmmakers are worried that fundamentalists could target cinemas where their films are playing, with one admitting: ‘We are even asking if we dare release anything on this subject.’”

Already, other Muslim pressure groups have formed to make their views known to the producers of TV shows with regard to how Muslims are portrayed.

That’s why it is so unusual for you to see Muslim terrorists on TV or in movies, even though most organized terrorism in the world is conducted and carried out by Islamists.

Once America’s entertainment industry worked cooperatively with American churches to produce what was known as “the Golden Age of Hollywood,” from 1933 through 1965. That’s why you never have to worry about movies your kids or grandchildren watch if they were made during that time period.

Today, however, Hollywood is living in a climate of fear over the rise of violent Islam. The entertainment industry in America has no fear of criticizing Christians or even mocking God. But they do fear portraying Muslims in anything less than a positive light.

Think about that when you hear those shrill voices from Hollywood attacking American institutions. Why do they do it? Because they have nothing to fear.

Think about that when you hear those shrill Hollywood voices attacking conservatives and Republicans. Why do they do it? Because they have nothing to fear.

Think about that when you hear those shrill Hollywood voices attacking Judeo-Christian values and God Himself. Why do they do it? Because they think they have nothing to fear.

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