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'Soul Surfer' opens after fights over depicting faith
"Soul Surfer" is a feature film about Bethany Hamilton being attacked by a shark and getting back in the water
April 12th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

'Soul Surfer' opens after fights over depicting faith

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

"Soul Surfer," the feature film based on the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton being attacked by a shark and her journey back to surfing, opened last weekend in the fourth spot on the box office charts - partly a testament to its appealing family-friendly message and a marketing campaign that heavily targeted religious groups.

But even though Hamilton and her family's faith plays a key role in the film, many audiences would be surprised to learn that the question of how to show their religion in the film caused huge debate on set.

"I think to get anything in the film was a battle," said Sarah Hill, Hamilton's youth group leader at North Shore Christian Church, who was played by Carrie Underwood in the movie.

"Basically, what you're doing is you have all these people who want to make a movie about Bethany and they don't know the Lord and they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. For what we have in the movie it was such a battle."

In one scene, Hill's character is shown counseling Hamilton as she struggles with living as an amputee. She reads from Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "

The morning they went to shoot that scene, said Hill, who was on set often, "Twelve producers, me and the director were all sitting at the table and they all are just adamant about the Scripture not being in the movie. And they were saying at least let's not have the reference in it."

"For me it was a hill worth dying on to keep God in the movie," she said.

Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s father, said, “In my heart of hearts I wanted as many Christians as we could get to play parts in the movie. They just have a different spirit about them. ... Craig T. Nelson, who is a really strong Christian and goes to our church in Kauai, I called him and begged him to be in the movie.

“A lot of the producers didn’t want to go too overboard because they thought Christianity doesn’t always sell well,” Tom Hamilton said.

Kevin Sorbo, who plays Holt Blanchard, the father of Hamilton's best friend, said, "Sony (Pictures, the film's producer) was afraid to throw in the word Jesus. They said you can have God but not Jesus. They were worried about that.

"The studios, you can't really fight them," he said. "Hollywood screams for freedom of speech but only if you agree with them. It's a very two-faced industry."

Sorbo said Sony wanted to take out another scene in which Bethany Hamilton wakes up in the hospital. Her father, played by Dennis Quaid, is shown reading a Bible. He reads to her from Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

Tom Hamilton said the studio rented a house for the family during the filming so they could be on set every day.

“They changed the script a lot,” Hamilton said. “Dennis Quaid would come up to say, ‘Hey, this doesn’t sound right, we need a Scripture here.’ The script was in constant motion, it changed on the set even.”

“They listened to us. We had some pretty heated discussions. Everyone saw how passionate about it we were, getting the message we wanted out there,” he said.

Rich Peluso, the vice president of AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures, said the studio made no efforts to whitewash the Hamilton family's faith for the movie. He points out that Jesus is mentioned twice in the film and that the family's faith is central to the plot.

On set, he said, "There were certainly lots of discussions," specifically about the inclusion of Hill's character quoting Jeremiah.

"There were some that voiced the opinion that may have made it sound too faith-focused," Peluso said. "The counter-argument was, 'Well, if her character uses those words and doesn't attribute them to the Bible it seems like she's stealing them.' We came to the agreement the best thing to do was to use the Scripture there."

The biggest question the movie's producers were trying to determine was, "How do we have it come off (in a way) that is authentic to the family's faith and doesn't push it too far so that it appears to the viewer to be forced in?" he said. "We didn't want it to appear we were pushing in faith to appeal to the faith community."

The studio made a big push to attract faith leaders to the project, setting up screenings for pastors and ministry leaders. But it's hard to characterize "Soul Surfer" as a Christian movie.

Like the hit movie "The Blind Side," though, the characters in "Soul Surfer" are decidedly Christian.  The movie opens with Bethany Hamilton rushing into a beachside church service because the Sunday morning waves were just too good to pass up.

"It's not that it's a Christian movie, it's an American movie," Peluso said.

In 2003, when a tiger shark attacked the 14-year-old Hamilton near Kauai, Hawaii, the story gripped the nation. Just three weeks after the attack, Hamilton was back in the water learning how to surf with one arm. A year later, she won a national surfing title.

Battles over how to portray religious themes in movies are becoming more common, as Hollywood becomes more open to addressing faith and marketing movies to religious audiences but worries about alienating nonreligious audiences or viewers from other traditions.

“After all the back and forth - and there’s always back and forth - it’s always best to err on the side of authenticity,” said Michael Flaherty, the president of Walden Media, which has helped produced the Chronicles of Narnia franchise and other Christian-themes movies.

“It actually is not in your commercial interest to secularize something like that, people will reject it,” he said of “Soul Surfer.” “People think they are making these decisions to broaden their audience but what they end up doing is narrowing it.”

But Flaherty said he thought “Soul Surfer” struck the right balance. “To see a movie where she wasn’t talking about her faith … it would have flopped,” he said. “It’s silly to narrow (the family’s faith). It’s like someone saying, ‘Let’s make a movie about Bethany but not talk about surfing.’”

Today, Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer. In 2010 she was ranked 23rd in the world. "The shy kid has gone on to have a legit pro surf career despite her massive physical impairment," Joel Patterson recently wrote in Surfer Magazine, "and, in the process, she's inspired uncountable people struggling against cruel twists of fate."

Hamilton has long been outspoken about her Christian faith and the positive role it played in her recovery.

"We work with a lot of films, but the Hamiltons have to live with this for the rest of their lives, so that balance was important to us," AFFIRM's Peluso said. "I think we threaded the needle after a lot of work."

Tom Hamilton said Peluso constantly went to bat for the family with the movie, adding, "There was some give and take, but everything that was very important for us to portray ended up in the movie. We were very happy over all with the movie. We just wanted the real story told.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Movies • United States

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soundoff (2,051 Responses)
  1. dandemain

    Keep your faith in your heart

    and out of my face.

    Thank you!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • the final word

      comments like this tell me you struggle with your non-belief. I'm guessing you had no problem seeing the Mohamed Ali movie, which gave a strong portrayal of his Muslim faith, because it isn't an issue with you. Soul Surfer is a great movie, sorry you chose not to see it.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Jamie...the other guy

      It is a movie, she used religion so it is fine by me. To all these Jesus this and God that ppl posting up....keep your sound waves out of my air

      April 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • mightyfudge

      Exactly. Your faith is a private deal between you and the deity of your choice. Please keep it that way.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Norman

      It's interesting that when non-Christians demand that Christian not impose their faith on others, the non-Christians (in making such statements) are guilty of demanding that others comply with their point of view. How hypocritical of the non-Christians.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Jose

      You dont want to see it, dont go to the movie. They have a right to freedom of speach as much as anyone else did. Think of your reaction if someone told you to "Keep your atheism in your mind and out of my face". There is room for civil discussion.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Richk

      You miss the point Norman. It's like smokers complaining about their rights. I have no problem with anyone smoking, as long as it doesn't infringe with my choice NOT to smoke. In other words, if you can do something without it affecting anyone else around you then go for it. Religion and preaching is the SAME thing. Most people cannot practice religion without getting on a soapbox and preaching to everyone around them.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Believer

      Like it or not, believe or not, We WILL ALL call on the name of God, when Jesus returns..
      If you believe then you willl call his name in love.
      If you don't you will call his name in fear and shame..

      Nuff said

      April 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • paul

      You don't have to see movie, right? It just so happens that this girls faith plays a huge part in her story and thats the point of the movie.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Mike

      dandemain,

      You're the one who decided to read this thread so you stuck it in your own face. This goes for any of you God haters and self proclaimed atheists and such. If you really can't stand the "stupidity" of the people of religious affiliations then don't come lurking. Next time you see any news headline with "God" in it just ignore it. Go to some other non religious news article and rants and post your thoughts and views there.

      Have a wonderful day.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Norman

      @Richk... I'm not missing the point. You're making my point. Smokers or non-smokers, Christians or non-Christians, any group that says another group is infringing on its rights and demands that the other group cease and desist is guilty of duplicitous behavior; that group places itself on the moral high ground and relegates the group it opposes to the lower place. It's a basic philosophical point: when one group calls on another group to stop imposing its viewpoint... the group is, in its proclamation, demanding that the other group give way to its own viewpoint. It is not logical to require of others what one does not require of herself.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • BrattySoul

      @dandemain, richk & mightyfudge

      So then, its ok for you to push your opinion against 'religion' upon all of us?
      I see.
      It's ok for you to go on about what you d0on't believe, and it isn't ok for those of faith to go on about what they believe.
      what a double standard!
      you ALL missed the point if you can just decide arbitrarily how it will be.
      None of you need to see this movie. Why should a story about a young woman's fight that includes her devout faith that she sttributes to her return to surfing bother you all so much that you don't want it 'pushed into your face'? So advertising this movie for those who want to see it, those who have faith, shouldn't be done? Because it 'offends' all of you atheists?
      BIG DEAL.
      BE OFFENDED.
      We Christians know that as long as you've been given the info and you reject Christ, then that is your perogative, AND we know that not everyone can be a Christian. As long as we exist, YOU have to deal with it. TOO BAD, SO SAD.
      Because we DO EXIST, we are here to stay, and we do not have to be 'politically correct' so we don't 'offend' you.
      You do not have to see this movie.
      No one wants you too.
      There is NOT ONE PERSON FORCING YOU to go see this movie and accept that there are we who believe in a God who will protect us and give us strength when we need Him the most.
      We wont be happy that you continue to reject Jesus Christ, however, we DO CARE that you wont accept a personal relationship with Christ.
      Try and cease telling us to stop utilizing our right to our freedom of religion AND speech.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • whysomad

      I love how any mentioning of Christianity is 'throwing it someone's face'. Why is it that when it's about Jesus, it's offensive? But if this was a movie about some armless girl's testament to Allah, that would make it ok with everyone. How come it's often brought up that Christianity was spread by the sword and the Crusades, but when the pope refers to Islam in the same manner, we try to coddle the muslims when they burn down churches and cathedrals in response. Yeah ok, so men in armor and horses used violence under the flag of christianity to further their causes. This was also many centuries ago. In present time, Hamas blows up buses carrying school children! I guess they were doing it in the name of Alfred Nobel, who invented it, and not Allah. Certainly no religious attachment there....

      April 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • God's Child

      Those who complain about there being 'too' much God or faith in this movie or there's too much about how faith works in their lives are forgetting at least one thing – Our FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. We also have the right of Freedom of Religion; but every time someone brings up Jesus, God, Faith, Belief system, then we are 'shoving' it down your throat! We as free Americans have the right to say what we want, especially if it includes God!

      People have the right to say what they want about their faith or their 'religion' etc because its their right to FREE SPEECH.

      Now those who are immature and just want a bandwagon to hook to – go ahead and make rude, incoherent, ignorant rants or remarks. In the end, it doesn't matter what I say – it matters what God says. Believe or don't – I've seen enough in my life time to know that He is here, there and everywhere and I'm always in the palms of His hands! (Oh call me crazy too! That's a favorite for those who don't believe) God loves you and so do I!

      April 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  2. freepalestine

    hollywood producers (zionists mostly) hate jesus and what he stands for.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  3. TheTrueHolyOne

    You fools there is a God. God is the Giant Flying Spaghetti Monster that obviously saved her with his noodly appendage.
    Jesus was actually a meatball that was birthed by Mary because The Flying Spaghetti Monster touched her with his' other' noodly appendage! In the Bible of the FSM 'there is but one true God' and 'he controls everything you do down to the smallest detail even though you have free will' . Divine words!!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  4. Augie

    Organized religion can be used to rationalize any point of view, including the slaughtering of people. In short, 809 million people have died in religious wars. That’s nearly a billion people. By comparison, 209 million have died in the name of Communism. Some 62 million died during World War II, civilian and military, on all sides. Conclusively, more people have died in the name of religion than in the name of Communism or Hitler, or the two combined times two.

    I have no plans to see this movie. Anytime someone wants to start pushing their religious beliefs over that of another I just tune out.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  5. Robert Blaine Burns

    Jerimiah 29:11 This story is confirmation of what people have been speaking to me. Even though I do not know her, her story was used in a mighty way for me and my growth.. Why waste energy on worrying if a person believes in God or not .. we should all focus on making this world a better place, because the way it's going we are heading in a downward spiral. God is for us and not against us. God wants to give you the best possible life you can have.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  6. God's Little Princess

    I pray that God comes into your life before it is too late Ben. You are in my prayers.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  7. PK

    Do I believe in God, yes, do I believe in organized religion, no. Religion has done more harm than good in the name of God. As one avaunt guard Catholic nun put it one day, there is only one God, and we all choose to honor in a different way whether we be of a Christian faith, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish etc. Do I believe in evolution, yes, do I believe in creationism, not as you would think, they really go hand in hand. That should set some people on their heads. Remember, when the Bible was interpreted by Christianity it was really for control over the masses and only certain people were educated enough to even read, let alone write and the people were told as opposed to being taught. We have evolved into a thinking questioning society. As for miracles, not really, when God decides, that's it no other decision, when God decides you should stay here a while longer, it means you have unfinished business. And the worst Christians of all faiths are the ones who carry it on their sleeves and shove it down other peoples throats, that is why we have church on Sunday and bible classes at said church. In other words, there is a place to learn religion. Your actions towards mankind should speak louder than any words and for the longest time it has been the other way around.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  8. Patricia Redstone

    I'm glad a Christian production company didn't get the rights to the story – they would have sentimentalized and disrespected the story by treating it as a "product" – Good storytelling keeps a distance from the pivot of emotion and never focuses on it. Draw too near and the story becomes maudlin and the whole project implodes. The very nature of Christianity is to go directly to the answer for everything: Jesus – and point at him and force others to look at him. In doing so, they reduce Jesus' own story and missionary purpose. Jesus was an example teacher. "Listen to me and look at my life but don't look at 'me' – BE like me, but don't draw attention to yourself through me." Most Christians do exactly the opposite. That's why most Christian films, including The Chronicles of Narnia were so maudlin and didactic. Too much disclosure makes for poor story-telling in the modern world. The real power is to take the risks that allow viewers to come into their own – find perspective and make new discoveries. Theologians call it Free Will.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  9. thepointis

    Folks, the point of the article is–the desire to "balance" good content with non-judgemental ideals. HA!!! Then why does SLoppywood SHOVE so many other social ideals down people's throats! GAY IS OK, Loose Living is OK, Do what you want to do because that's all the matters... Even if you disagree and think me a "right wing whatever"– you CANNOT deny that Hollywood displays an EXTREME bias and double standard by not wanting to "offend" non-Christians–but doing everything they can to Offend Christians. PLEASE!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  10. Franky

    Well, I read an article that it's predicted that religion will go extinct in 9 western countries in the coming years, Ireland being one of them surprisingly. And all can say is finally, it cracks me up that people think monotheism somehow makes more sense than having a patheon of gods. At some point someone believed that the sun was carried across the sky by some dude on a chariot? And today sense we've replaced this with a "GOD" that is "singular" and we can't see, that it makes more sensible? Religion is created for 3 purposes, to control people (used for good and bad), to explain what we can't yet explain, and to give people a sense of purpose to life and alleviate fear of death. That's the only existence for religion. 3000 years from now, just like we look at individuals who believe the sun moves across the sky on a chariot as being insane, the people who follow the dogma of religion today will be looked upon as insane. I mean some god needs to have a son to "release" you of your sins, so you can have a path to heaven? And another guy lived in whale, oh wait, a big fish? Do you people realize how stupid this stuff sounds?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  11. Debbie

    The movie is about this young lady and HER beliefs, when someone does a movie about any of you guys you can make yours known and argue for them, otherwise if you don't like it don't go see it.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  12. Jessie

    What better time to discuss this as Easter grows closer. Christ was born and died for everyone. The Bible is real and this girls life is a great example how faith in God can help you overcome anything. Through Christ all things are possible.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Jessie

      Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"

      April 13, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Fuyuko

      We don't actually know that Christ was born and died for everyone, though. This is just Christian's belief. It is also just as likely he was executed, and early christians put a pleasant spin on it so that they could make the event more noble. Also easter, was a Pagan holiday first.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  13. Renee

    Why is it such a big deal to have Christian beliefs and views in a movie? There are plenty of movies without them. There are plenty of movies that mock Christianity. There are plenty of movies with no moral fiber at all. What's one or two scriptures in a movie – in the true context of what actually happened in the story? It IS her story, right?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  14. Name*Tom

    It's fantastic to see a family wanting to share their faith and hope more will stand up and not be ashamed of the faith they have.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  15. Augie

    Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s father, said, “In my heart of hearts I wanted as many Christians as we could get to play parts in the movie. They just have a different spirit about them. ...

    Uh yeah, like the countless millions of people that Christians have killed over the past 2 thousand years in the name of their "god". I'm agnostic and I think anytime you purposely involve organized religion into the equation then it quickly screws things up.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • don

      Do you hold organized governments to that same standard? Do you speak out against our and other federal governments from getting involved in things like health care or any number of things? After all they've committed more murders, deaths and wrongs than any organized groups.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Augie

      @ don, I see little difference between organized religion and organized government. In today's world you can't have one without the other and politics is a central vein that runs through both of them. You can't even be a politician without "finding god" because of the religious/special interest groups filling your campaign coffers.

      April 13, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Stan Green

      Um, check your history books. Christians have not killed "countless millions," or even close.

      However, atheists have. The Soviet Union (atheists), Communist China (atheists), North Korea (atheists), Cambodia (atheists), Eastern bloc countries (atheist), and others murdered an estimated 170 million people. 170 MILLION murdered by atheists. I don't blame all atheists for this, but it's a historical fact. Things like the Crusades and Inquisition (which really were done in the name of Christianity but were hardly Christian) don't come remotely close to the number of people killed by atheist regimes.

      April 13, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Augie

      Sorry Stan, but you can't have one without the other. If you're going to label Stalin as an atheist, then the same argument applies to Pope Urban II who launched the Crusades and was a... wait for it... Christian.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Stan Green

      Augie,

      I say again, read your history books. Did the Crusades kill "countless millions," as you allege? Only "countless" because no one knows how many died, but many historians estimate about 1-9 million, and many of those were perpetrated BY MUSLIMS, who began the Crusades and destroyed an estimated 30,000 churches and synagogues. So a little historical perspective is needed.

      On the other hand, there's no dispute that atheists have murdered 170 million, at least, and did it within only about a 100 year time span in the 20th century. No bloodbath like it has ever been seen.

      So at worst, the score is: Atheists: 170 million recently murdered. "Christians" (and probably not true Christians, at that): Perhaps 1-5 million killed in a war started by Muslims attacking them. There is no comparison.

      Here's a compendium for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

      April 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Spencer

      I think this needs to be researched more the numbers can be conflicting.

      809 million people have died in religious wars. That’s nearly a billion people. (Note it says religious not explicitly chrisitanity)

      By comparison, 209 million have died in the name of Communism. Some 62 million died during World War II, civilian and military, on all sides. Conclusively, more people have died in the name of religion than in the name of Communism or Hitler, or the two combined times two.

      April 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  16. Gary

    "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you'"... I suppose this would have been said prior to the shark eating her arm.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Solomon

      Yes, it most certainly would have been said. To believers we cling to our only hope who is Christ. In this world of sin, we can still have joy in the Living God (even when all of you deny Him). We have freedom to be His even in times of pain and grief and not a slave to the pain of this world. This movie is just another example of the joy we have in Christ. Losing an arm to a shark – ok. We all will lose much more than that – we will all die. It's real – admit it and its due to the sin we humans brought into this world. But we have a hope – Jesus – who died that all who believe in Him will live and rise again on the Last Day when He returns. That is our hope. Those who deny this reject the greatest gift and in doing so reject the Giver of the gift – God. I'm sorry that I you will be separated from God and His people for eternity.

      April 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  17. Joe P

    You know, it's always the same thing with people of "faith", all they really want to do is shove it down your throat and force others to champion their cause. If I am paying to make a movie I, and only I, will have final cut on the content. This is what turns people off on religion, the constant drum beat, who are you guys trying to convince? Others? Or maybe yourselves.
    If the family wanted a religion based movie they should have raised the money and produced it themselves! Bet your still going to take those compensation and royality checks, praise the lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Pat in IL

      Do you feel the same way about movies that are all about gang violence, etc.? Are those movies trying to cram a point of view down your throat, too?

      April 13, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • iTzLogical

      It's a "true" story...not fiction. Unless the truth isn't good enough for you? I am sure some director can give you the truth you are looking for.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • don

      Somehow I doubt you'd hold a non-Christian (or faith) movie to such standards.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Renee C.

      If the movie they make is about her life and she happens to be openly religious, why not fight for who you are to be accurately portrayed? If you don't want to make a "christian" movie..then don't do a movie based on a girl who is out-spoken about her faith. If you don't want to have Christianity "shoved" down your throats don't watch it don't support it. Religion in it and of itself is nothing more than a choice. If you choose to be Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish or an Atheist it's your business. Movies are made all the time that go against what I believe as a Christian woman. I don't get on blogs and blast them. I just simply don't go. If you don't like what's being portrayed whether its pro-christian or anti just don't support it. But don't blame the family for wanting their say in how Hollywood would portray them

      April 13, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  18. JoeSense

    When everyone stops believing in omnisicent invisible beings that people can talk to telepathically and realize its their own sub concious answering them the world will be a much better place.Religion is nothing more then a fallback control mechanism for people when other forms of control fail to work. It is a way to deal with dying some day since the mind cannot comprehend the end since it is the unknown so an opposing force must be created to counterbalance that fear hence a god and judgement. Wake up it is the 21st century not the 1st I thought we got over fire and other magical things by now!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  19. Joe Sense

    When everyone stops believing in omnisicent invisible beings that people can talk to telepathically and realize its their own sub concious answering them the world will be a much better place.Religion is nothing more then a fallback control mechanism for people when other forms of control fail to work. It is a way to deal with dying some day since the mind cannot comprehend the end since it is the unknown so an opposing force must be created to counterbalance that fear hence a god and judgement. Wake up it is the 21st century not the 1st I thought we got over fire and other "magical" things by now!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • don

      A fanciful explanation that holds less water than the alternative explanation to life than God.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  20. Tom

    Does anyone else think that this "controversey" is just a publicity stunt by the studio to create headlines about the movie?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Charles

      NO WAY! I mean, you can clearly see how she's a person of faith, no piercings or tattoos on her exposed chest!

      April 13, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • don

      Exposed chest???? I assume you are referring to the above pic – seems your looking for a reason to blast anything you can. Wonder why?

      April 13, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Beebs

      Well it's not working then, because I am definitely not going to see this movie just because of the religious aspects.

      April 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.