Ben Johnson

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Hollywood strips Christian song of Oscar nomination but celebrates pedophilia: Critic

Ben Johnson
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HOLLYWOOD, February 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A faith-themed film can lose its Oscar nomination for a common lobbying tactic, but celebrating – or possibly committing – pedophilia is no barrier to an Oscar nod, a prominent critic said today.

His remarks are part of the ongoing backlash against the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' decision to rescind the Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song to the faith-themed film Alone Yet Not Alone. That step, which Hollywood observers say is nearly unprecedented, has brought accusations of “faith-based bigotry,” howls of hypocrisy – and a petition drive from a pro-life group to restore the nomination, which has garnered at least one well-known signature.

Composers Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegal earned the nomination for the song about God's silent presence, which was sung by Joni Eareckson Tada. When Broughton sent an e-mail to friends asking them to consider his song, the Academy revoked the nomination.

Broughton, a former Academy governor, said, "The marketing abilities of the other companies before and after the nomination far outstrip anything that this song was able to benefit from.” But Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the e-mail may taint the purity of the awards process, giving the Christian film the appearance of an “unfair advantage.”

Now the pro-life ministry Artists for Life has posted a petition on Change.org asking the Academy to reverse its decision.

“Bruce Broughton has a long and distinguished career which deserves better treatment at the hands of the Motion Picture Academy,” said Albert Strong, the director of Artists for Life.

Among its signatories is Josh Duggar, the oldest son on the reality show 19 Kids and Counting and now the executive director of FRC Action, who signed yesterday afternoon. “This film is amazing! The Academy Awards got it right the first time,” he said. “They need to re-instate the nomination and stop the anti-Christian bias!”

Others, with weightier roles in the entertainment industry, share his concerns that Hollywood targeted the film because of its pro-Christian message.

Oscar award-winning producer Gerald Molen wrote a letter last week accusing the Academy of “faith-based bigotry” and reported that he understood “a rival film hired a private investigator to find dirt on the film in an attempt to discredit it.”

He said the practice of contacting Oscar voters on behalf of one's film – long engaged in by Hollywood bigshots like the Weinstein brothers – has been “a normal practice for a long, long time, and yet the Academy has suddenly discovered lobbying in the case of this one song?"

“Critics will pounce and accuse us of being out of touch and needlessly offending middle America by stripping this song – a song sung by a quadriplegic hero to evangelical Christians who has captured the imagination of the American people – of its nomination,” Molen wrote. In this Cinderella remake, the Academy is the wicked stepmother, he said.

Today, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League disputed the likelihood that a Christian film had an “unfair advantage” among Academy members.

“It would be nice to know if there is even one practicing Catholic among them,” he said.

Hollywood instead shows a bias against Christianity – but turns a blind eye to pedophilia, he said.

Philomena, a propaganda film strewn with lies about the Catholic Church, has won four nominations,” he said.

Meanwhile, he noted, Woody Allen is nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Blue Jasmine, although he has been graphically accused by his daughter, Dylan, of molesting her when she was seven years old – the latest in a series of such accusations.

The neurotic comedian headed up a petition drive to free Roman Polanski, who fled the United States after a 13-year-old girl said he drugged her and raped her. “It was signed by Stephen Frears, the director of "Philomena," Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, John Landis, Mike Nichols, Steven Soderberg, and many others,” Donohue said. Polanski won an Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist.

“Hollywood's moral compass is set,” he said. “It has infinitely more tolerance for celebrity child rapists than it does for Christianity, especially Catholicism.”

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Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of the pro-family Movieguide, told LifeSiteNews the Academy's action is a form of “hazing.”

Those associated with the film fall back on another Hollywood saying: All publicity is good publicity.

The woman who sang the song, Joni (pronounced “Johnny”) Eareckson Tada, told LifeSiteNews last week she hopes the revocation “will bring even further attention” to the film's positive message and the selfless work of her own ministry, Joni and Friends.

Alone Yet Not Alone opened for 21 days last year and earned only $134,000 – but the test run qualified it to seek an Oscar this year.

The movie will be released nationwide on Father's Day.

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