Unite the USA

September Edition: How to Take On Hollywood

Left to Right: Stacie Ruth & Carrie Beth
Responding to Natural Disasters

In recent weeks, many people have been hurt by natural disaster. It is heartbreaking to see how quickly so many lives have been tragically flipped upside down. Yet even the secular media have recognized that faith-based outreaches have far outpaced others. Indeed, ministries like Samaritan's Purse have been reaching out to victims of these natural disasters in Florida, Texas, and various islands in the Caribbean. We urge you to pray for those impacted by these events. Donate your time to help. Or, donate to a reputable ministry like Samaritan's Purse who are on the ground working to help. 

Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, diseases... All of these make us, as believers, to yearn even more strongly for our Savior's return. He will make all things right. Our loving, all-powerful Lord Jesus will keep His Word. 
 
Even during the worst of times, we must place our trust and faith in our Lord Jesus. Remember the words Jesus said in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

-Carrie and Stacie
 

   
Hollywood and America: How One Influences the Other
 
Zig Ziglar wisely said, "You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind." We believe that statement applies to the type of music and movies we put into our minds, too. If you put bad things in, bad things will come out. Agree? This month, let's assess entertainment and its role in America. 

Let's cover some FAQ's about entertainment in America:
 
Question: Does entertainment really influence people that much?
Answer: It's a fact that entertainment changes the brain, which changes people's choices, which changes people's lives, etc. If someone questions that fact, then ask the person this: If viewing or listening to entertainment did not influence people's choices, would the advertising industry spend literally billions of dollars per year? Think about that. Indeed, bad entertainment quickly morphs into entrapment and entrainment.  If your mind's filter is damaged by so much junk, it will no longer filter well and discern what is good and what is bad. It's that simple.

Question: So what is "bad" entertainment?
Answer: If it directly stimulates the imagination to function in an unhealthy direction, then it is not a good form of entertainment.
 
Question: Why does Hollywood produce unclean entertainment? 
Answer: There exist two major reasons: making money and changing the culture. The views of movie makers are promoted in what people view later. Sadly, it is also because many filmmakers are including extreme scenes in order to change the culture to fit their extreme beliefs and ways of thinking about the world. We slowly accept negative content to be normal. We're lulled to think those behaviors are OK because we keep seeing it in our favorite TV shows and movies. Friends, statistics back us up; it's a proven fact. Entertainment changes the tide of the culture and it's often done intentionally.
 
Question: So what do we do about it?
Answer: A lot. Today, we urge everyone (including ourselves) to analyze entertainment choices and prioritize high standards. If more people repented from making bad compromises on entertainment and became the majority of consumers, then the movies, Internet ads, music, and other media would be altered to suit the desires of the majority. We urge you to stop going to films with bad content; don't support them with your money.   

Question: Do you have any tips to still enjoy good entertainment?
Answer: Yes! There are still great ways we can have fun and enjoy entertainment!  For example, sites like www.PureFlix.com offer good movies and sites like 
VidAngel and ClearPlay largely remove negative content. Of course, enjoying the classics from Hollywood's Golden Era is always a great option. (Films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Sound of Music are still entertaining options to this day.) Another tip is to read detailed reviews about new and past movie releases on web sites like www.movieguide.org and www.pluggedin.com. (It's helpful to read about both positive and negative content before deciding to go to the theater.)

Now, this edition of Unite the USA includes an insightful article by Jerry Newcombe about the current situation in Hollywood. You will gain insight into the culture and what is happening in entertainment.

Isn't it exciting to focus on positive change and good entertainment that removes stress instead of adding it? We believe so. Now, friends, let's enjoy good entertainment!


God bless,
Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting
Sisters and founders of Unite the USAUnite the USA
 
   
Featured Quote
 
"He who controls the media controls the culture."
 
-Ted Baehr, founder of MoveGuide
This Month's Bible Verse

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." 
-Philippians 4:8 
Hollywood Loses Out by Often Ignoring
the Family and Faith Audience

By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.

Why was the Golden Era of Hollywood (as seen in the quality of movies) way back in the 1930s and 40s? It was because of the salt from the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, influencing the outcome of the content. So the writers had to be clever. The actors couldn't swear, yet they could act out their frustrations in such ways that the idea of swearing was conveyed.
 
From the 1930s until the 1960s, the Motion Picture Production Code, through influence of Catholic and Protestant leaders and offices they had in Hollywood, provided a type of salt--- keeping the movies from going too far. Dr. Ted Baehr, the go-to guy when it comes to movies from a biblical perspective, says they "worked behind the scenes to make sure that the movie industry represented the concerns of the vast majority of the public."
 
Two movies with Christian themes or sub-themes were the Movies-of-the-Year, respectively in 1965 and 1966, "The Sound of Music" and "A Man for All Season." Both were rated G. But then the church pulled out its influence in Hollywood; and by 1969, the first X-rated movie won the Oscar for best picture, "Midnight Cowboy."
 
As the films got progressively dirtier, tens of millions of Americans left the theaters in droves.
Today, Sony is trying to offer consumers toned-down versions of movies that contain raunchy moments so that they will be more acceptable as family entertainment. And some in Hollywood are screaming bloody murder.
 
Hollywoodreporter.com (6/13/17) noted, "Sony's sanitized initiative faces growing opposition." For instance, they quoted film maker Judd Apatow, who said, "Shove the clean versions up your [expletive]!"
 
Obviously, I don't agree with Apatow. What a great idea. This could win back many potential viewers.
 
I asked Ted Baehr, who is the publisher of Movieguide, about this. He told me, "I can't recommend all of these movies, even if edited, due to dangerous or anti-Christian messages inherent in the story, so please still read the reviews. That said, Movieguide commends Sony for taking the step in the right direction of providing families with safe entertainment."
 
Indeed, some movies would need more than a few edits to make them acceptable to a family audience. They could not be redeemed for a redeemed audience by just a few edits. The television versions of certain films, which is essentially what Sony is offering, are still quite objectionable.
 
However, how many times have you seen a movie and realized you liked it, but you think, "Why did they have to have all that swearing in it?" Those who make such films seem to have no idea how offensive it is to millions of people to hear God's name used in vain, repeatedly no less. God Almighty has said He will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Jesus pointed out that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
 
I remember when I saw and enjoyed the Coen Brothers' wacky film (but I repeat myself), "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?," which includes a lot of classic Southern Gospel music. I saw it on an airplane and enjoyed it immensely.
 
Then I dragged my parents and wife to attend the film in a movie theater, and I was shocked. Where did all that needless swearing come from? The holy name of Jesus was misused, as if it means nothing---although the truth is, every beat of every one's heart is by the grace of Jesus.
 
Ted Baehr said on my  radio show recently: "We look at all the [swearing], the violence, the sex; and we say [to film executives], 'This is how much it costs you in the box office. For instance, there are no R-rated films in the top ten films last year. There are no films with the F-word. It just doesn't happen. And in the top 25 films, there are no films having [gratuitous] sex or violence."
 
Baehr adds, "We've got people that are voting at the box office for the good, the true, and the beautiful....The studios know it, and they like to make more money. But when you suggest taking out one F-word, because sometimes these movies have only one F-word or one bad scene, and they go bonkers....And this is incredible to me...that people confuse their artistic ability with the libertine license to poke their fingers into people's eyes."
 
I welcome what Sony is attempting to do, and I would hope producers would see the light. If nothing else, they could see greater financial profits and wider markets for their films.
 
Hey, Hollywood, stop ignoring the desires of "flyover country." You could have a lot more customers that way---plus you could help minimize the moral pollution that plagues our world.

About Jerry Newcombe
Dr. Jerry Newcombe serves as the co-host, a columnist, and a spokesperson for D. James Kennedy Ministries, founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy. Jerry has produced or co-produced more than 60 one hour television specials that have aired nationwide. Jerry is the author or co-author of twenty-five books, at least two of which have been bestsellers, George Washington's Sacred Fire (with Dr. Peter Lillback) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with Dr. Kennedy) and Doubting Thomas? The Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (with Mark Beliles). Jerry has appeared on numerous talk shows as a guest, including Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (4x), Janet Parshall's America, Point of View, the Moody radio network, TBN, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Channel, C-Span2's "Book Notes," etc. Jerry hosts a weekly radio program on Christian radio, "GraceFM," www.gracenetradio.com, Thursdays, 12-1 PM Eastern time. Jerry is happily married with two children and a grandchild. The Newcombe's reside in South Florida. Learn more about Dr. Newcombe at www.jerrynewcombe.com.  



 
 
 
 
Featured Founding Father
Benjamin Harrison V (April 5, 1726 - April 24, 1791), was a Founding Father of the United States and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He received his education at the College of William and Mary and later served as a representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses for Surry County, Virginia (1756-1758, 1785-1786), and Charles City County (1766-1776, 1787-1790). Harrison was a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1777 and he served as Virginia's fifth governor from 1781 to 1784. Interestingly, his direct descendants include two U.S. Presidents-his son William Henry Harrison and great-grandson Benjamin Harrison.
 
 

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Unite the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a new book by Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth Stoelting. It's a book that empowers patriots to make a big difference in the land we love. With 100+ ways to make a positive difference in America, Unite the USA is a must-have tool for patriots. Unite the USA will inspire and educate Americans to defend faith and freedom. (Important Note: All proceeds go to fund the mission of UnitetheUSA.org.) Order it here today!

 

In God We Still Trust 
an inspiring album dedicated to God and veterans
 by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
                             
                             
Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted about our God-given freedoms. All proceeds go to Unite the USA. Help promote faith and freedom in America. Your support is important and appreciated. ShopBuy or download a copy today.God bless you as you celebrate the red, white, and blue!

 

In God We Still Trust Video

Our country needs to turn to Jesus. Listen to "In God We Still Trust" for inspiration to keep "fighting the good fight". For hope and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".
 

 

 

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