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Fox Gets Faith

What, exactly, does Garfield the Movie have to do with Christianity?

Fox has just launched a new boutique label titled FoxFaith, which, according to their website, features “Family and Christian films everyone can enjoy.” Such a statement automatically throws up a red flag and has my cynicism running at warp speed. And browsing their catalog certainly didn’t alleviate that.

Seriously, can someone tell me just what, exactly, such films as The Grapes of Wrath, My Friend Flicka, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Strawberry Shortcake: Adventures on Ice Cream, and Garfield the Movie have to do with Christianity? It’s depressing and frustrating to see yet another example of Christianity and “values” (whatever the heck that word happens to mean today) simply being equated with whatever can pass for “family-safe” entertainment.

Ideally, this would be a great thing. But call me cynical, I have a sinking feeling that it’s just going to churn out yet another batch of films that are cleaned up, sanitized, and pass some “God quotient” test so as to be palatable to conservative, evangelical Christians. Another batch of films where artistic merit, creativity, and depth are passed over in favor of not having any swear words, any potentially disturbing material, any darkness, any honest depictions of human brokenness, etc. You know, “wholesome” stuff.

Christianity is not “family safe”, nor should “Christian” art be passed off only as such. Of course, “Christian” art needs to focus on whatever is good and true and lovely. But at the same time, it also needs to take an honest accounting of human brokenness, evil, injustice, and all of the other nasty things that permeate this life. But somehow I doubt that such art will be coming from the gates of FoxFaith, though I would love to be proven wrong.

More info in this L.A. Times article.

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