Thursday, November 19, 2009

While Washington Debates, Hollywood Creates

As the health care debate heats up in Washington and pro-life and abortion advocacy groups take their sides, another story has been developing on the west coast - a story that may transcend what's taking place on Capitol Hill.

In fact, many in the media might be missing the forest despite the trees. And here's why.

Over the last several years, without the help or prompting of anyone in Washington, a new crop of pro-life films have emerged from Hollywood. Films that range in style and genre - from the off-beat comedy of "Juno" to the artfully-depicted drama of "Bella." Some intentionally and explicitly pro-life and others more incidental.

On November 17th, a new pro-life film, "Sarah's Choice," featuring Grammy Award winning artist Rebecca St. James, was officially released onto DVD and sales are already off the charts.

What does all this tell us?

Something exciting and positive is happening as more and more artists with pro-life values are seeking to have an impact in our culture through story-telling and film. They are recognizing the truth in the saying, "Give me the songs of a nation and it does not matter who writes its laws" (Damon of Athens).

Yes, what is happening in Washington with the health care bill is historically significant, but we can't lose sight of Who is in control and that nothing can trump His amazing work in other sectors of our society.

According to producer Jason Jones of "Bella" (2007), at least 90 babies have been saved after their parents watched his film. For those good souls investing in films like "Sarah's Choice" and "Bella," this has to be very gratifying.

And it isn't just the pro-life films that change lives. Every one of us can likely name a movie that has had a profound impact on our lives. In my life, the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy has encouraged me to continue to serve in the pro-life movement, even when times grow dark. Movies have a lasting impact and cannot be discounted by those of us in the pro-life movement.

Care Net has caught this vision and understands that in order to promote a culture a life in America we must reach out through art, entertainment and creative story-telling in film, radio, and TV. As an organization, we desire to encourage and celebrate the creation of positive, pro-life entertainment, particularly in film.

This is why we are so inspired by the new movie "Sarah's Choice", a film we wrote about here in September when Rebecca St. James made a special appearance at the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference. The film received a standing ovation from ministry leaders attending the conference from across the country. In fact, one pregnancy center director has said it's the best film he's seen since "The Passion of the Christ"!

On November 17th, I had the opportunity to attend the L.A. premiere of "Sarah's Choice" and share with those in attendance - actors, writers, directors, producers, songwriters and a host of other Hollywood types - about the work and ministry of Care Net and pregnancy centers across the country. There, in the heart of Hollywood at Warner Brother Studios, we bowed our heads and prayed for the message of Life and the Gospel to go out in the culture. Imagine that!

(The pic is of Rebecca St. James and me before the premier in Hollywood. She's a wonderful woman with a heart for God!)

"Sarah's Choice" promotes the compassionate message of Care Net's Inspire Life campaign in a powerful way. Rebecca St. James plays "Sarah," a professional working woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and wrestling with the thought of abortion. I won't spoil the movie for you, but I will say that as this movie is shared across the country, more people will understand that individuals in this situation need love, compassion, and support - the type of ministry freely given at pregnancy centers. In addition, many will see that abortion is not without its lifelong consequences but healing and forgiveness is possible.

[For individuals needing help with an unplanned pregnancy or healing from a past abortion, please contact the Option Line at 1-800-395-HELP.]

Many associated with this film, like actress Rebecca St. James, desire to see the film support ministries like Care Net and our network of 1,180 pregnancy centers across North America. Screening this film in local churches with the support of radio stations could be a great fundraising opportunity for pregnancy centers! Interested in finding out how? Stay tuned for more from Care Net. In the meantime, you can email me at

After the film screening in L.A., a number of filmmakers shared that they too were working on pro-life films and eager for Care Net and the pregnancy center movement at large, with our unique outlook on the abortion issue, to screen their films. Just think of the potential for impact in our culture with all these films coming out! And what a beautiful partnership between artists and filmmakers and ministry leaders for the good of our nation.

So, to wrap this up I say support this film and films like it. Buy it for your local pregnancy center and for Christmas gifts. Host a local screening!

And when you watch and worry about what may be going on in Washington, also remember that there is a bigger picture and a greater plan at work and it's all in His hands!


JulieSurfaceJohnson said...

Great post. I just ordered the film and can't wait to receive it!