By now you've probably heard that Fox is hedging its bets on the existence of a movie studio heaven (and hell) by producing up to 12 Christian/Family films a year for its new Fox Faith label, while at the same time still churning out such damnable offenses as Happy Hour and John Tucker Must Die. (Not to mention The Simpsons Movie, which is sure to flagrently display cartoon buttocks at every opportunity). So what sets a Fox Faith movie apart from Fox's usual drivel? This logo.
In order to earn that logo, a movie "has to have overt Christian Content or be derived from the work of a Christian author." But, don't worry: if the Christian Content isn't overt enough, Fox Faith has some handy "church resources" that you can download that will tell you exactly where you can find God in the movie. Take, for example,
Everyone's Hero. On the outside, this is a cartoon about a little boy named Irving, his friend (a talking baseball that is rather provocatively named "Screwie"), and his quest to return a magical bat to Babe Ruth. No apparent Jesus connection.
But the Bible Study guide for the movie (which you can download by clicking "Church Resources"
here) makes all kinds of biblical connections. For one thing, Screwie is a lot like Jesus:
Irving had forgotten the real reason he wanted to give the bat back to Babe Ruth until Screwie helps him remember the "big picture." Like Irving, it's important for us to stay focused on what is important in life and where we're heading and why…That's why it's important to have friends or family who will encourage us and remind us of our strengths and abilities. That someone may be a teacher who mentors us, or a parent who will listen…The best friend and encourager you will ever have is Jesus Christ.
And, for another thing, your relationship with God is a lot like baseball:
God says he made us in His image. He didn't make "foul balls." Even though we may have made some mistakes, we can still make "home runs" for Him. So, if you're sitting on the sidelines of life, afraid to get back in the game, remember that God has big plans for you…Keep your heart and mind focused on your Father above and remember that, unlike Screwie in the sandlot, you haven't been forgotten.
Uh, ok. So the metaphors got a little mixed up by the end of it, but the message is clear: you can read religion into any movie. Take, for example, the Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson working at CostCo movie, Employee Of The Month. Well, your relationship with God is a lot like working at a CostCo. God believes in "buying in bulk" when it comes to saving souls. Not only that, but He gives out "tasty free samples" of eternal salvation. All you have to do is look for them! Don't you want a "membership card" to God's kingdom? Like Cook, you too can be God's "employee of the month!" That was easy. Thank God (or, rather, Fox Faith) for giving us the ability (and Church Resources) to teach completely secular movies in Sunday school. Any others?