home
RSS
'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

« Previous entry
soundoff (2,051 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    Well... the main reason I'm not interested in this movie is the Christian message, so the producers have a point. That being said, I think they should have either gone all out on the religion and focused primarily in Christians or had almost none of it and made it for a wider audience. This middle ground may turn off both groups.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • RealityChecker

      "the main reason I'm not interested in this movie is the Christian message"

      Nice example of that "tolerance" you love to preach, but NEVER practice.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      A person is obligated to tolerate others but not tolerate a religion or belief system.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • W247

      That's too bad that you won't go see the movie, it sounds like she has an incredible story of survival, quite an adventure.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Laurie

    Well glad to read this, I WAS going to see it but not now. Whewww!!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  3. ProperVillain

    Nice to see Hollywood willing to edit history because they don't agree with the message. Something tells me if there was nudity involved in any way, shape, or form the producers and director would fight tooth and nail to keep a scene like that in. Heaven forbid they keep in some references to scriptures, our heads may catch fire in the theatre!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Jam

      It's a simple equation. Where the value of something is based on its ability to sell tickets: Sonya Balmores' breasts >> Jesus.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  4. SouthrnBlle

    I think it is incredible that people that don't believe in God get so awfully offended when someone mentions His name. If He is not real to you then why be so angry and opposed to the acknowledgement? There is no need for all of the hateful comments. If you don't believe then you just don't believe. It is still my heart's desire that everyone will know the soul freeing mercy that there is in Jesus and not having to do it all yourself or get everything right 100% of the time. Even if you don't believe what is there to lose in asking about Him or reading a little? If nothing turns up then you haven't lost anything. I will say this: He IS real, He IS alive and HE ALONE has brought me a POWERFULLY LONG WAY from where I used to be. To not acknowlege Him in my life would be the highest disrespect. There is power in name and blood of Jesus.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • pat

      THANKS FOR TELLING ME ABOUT hIM. I HOPE hE IS REAL.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Chuck L

      Looks like you just answered your own question.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • iamsmarter

      Pat. hE is real. hE just purchased a house right next door to me. Its pretty nice too. Not sure what hE does for a job but hE seems like hE makes alot of money.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  5. crazy much?

    I was considering seeing this movie until I read this article. There's nothing more sad than diminishing someone's inspirational example of strength, perseverance, and positive thinking by giving the credit to an imaginary friend.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Jam

      I agree.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Leave your preaching at the door. Your failure to practice what you preach is why you are irrelevant to the world.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Wake Up

      Turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. He is the only one that can save you.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • crazy much?

      @ Wake Up.... Please refer to your own screen name for guidance. You need it.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  6. citizenUSA

    With all the "stuff" Hollywood throws into movies I can't believe they're afraid of a name that so far only exists in literature. But believe that the almighty dollar has something to do with it. They want everyone to see the movie not just people who need the warm fuzzies they get from religion. So if it's perceived as a faith based movie you lose a lot of ticket buyers. Seems an odd thing though considering there are so many who live faith-based lives. Movies can bring very uplifting and inspirational messages that don't need to have religious conotations. Whatever the reason the girl had for going back surfing, to me it's just a matter of admiring the superior human spirit to overcome.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  7. pat

    An all-powerful, all-loving God made sharks that can tear off a little girls arm.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Mercy

      Nope. Natural selection produced them. Largely unchanged for millions of years, they are a testament to evolutionary pressure. In addition, it's only fair that they get one of us occasionally- we kill hundreds of thousands of them for food and sport. I'll root for the shark every time.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • W247

      "I'll root for the shark every time"
      So it makes you happy that her arm got bitten off? Wow, you are sadistic.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Linda

      No. Humans are built to be land dwellers not ocean dwellers so why would you think God created sharks to bite human arms off? Sharks are part of the OCEAN food chain they are also a necessary resident of the ocean and are considered one of the ocean's "cleaners". They help keep down the volumn of fish and other sea creatures and also prey on diseased or weak sea-animals. Every surfer assumes the risk of a shark attack when they enter waters where sharks are known to live. We have to respect the environment, not try to dominate it.

      April 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • walker

      She is alive isn't she. She also has a wonderful story to share. Do you have a story to share my friend? Christians have a story to share.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  8. Doug

    I have a question.... How does everyone feel about cannibalism?

    April 12, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Mercy

      Somewhat in favor of it. Could be the answer to both the overpopulation problem and the world hunger problem.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  9. Eric

    Jesus asked God to forgive those that were persecuting them because "they know not what they do" in each of the gospels. Stephen did the same of his persecutors in Acts chapter 7. It is difficult to read these posts and realize how lost many in this nation truly are. This is indeed a polarizing topic in our country today as are many other items that seperate the left and the right.
    But for the Christians, Paul writes in Colossians 2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."
    This is not necessarily a movie that I would watch but due to the underlying Christian message, I probably will see it.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • ProperVillain

      With all due respect, seemingly hostile posts are not "persecution". Persecution is having you and your family rounded up, thrown in jail, and/or tortured and killed for your faith. Persecution is being forcebly removed from your home and relocated to a ghetto. American Christians have a very convoluted idea of "persecution". i don't know if it comes by an obsession with "end times" theology (which is probably completely wrong ) or what but it is time we (Christians) put on our big boy pants and realize that in this country we are not being persecuted. However, people may disagree with our views and that is fine. People may be hostile in their disagreement, so what? Are we so thin skinned that we're going to over react and label something as innocuous as hostile words "persecution"?

      April 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  10. sherrie0824

    You know, put all the myth references you want to into a film ... doesn't mean I have to watch it.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  11. WhyNot?

    I'm not deeply religious. I don't go to church and I would have a hard time saying which faith I even subscribe to. but I am crystal clear on how annoying Hollywood has become in trying to take out the story out of every story they tell in order to dilute them to the point where everyone will like any given movie to make the most money. I have news for you, Hollywood: If you just honored the freaking story, you would make more money with the audience it caters to and they will go back and back again b/c you didn't dilute it. Do you know how huge the religious market is? Look at Justin Beiber's film – they showed them praying and were unafraid and that movie excelled to the top spot. Stop being such weazels and honor the $#%%%%-ing story.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  12. Mitch

    I love Carrie Underwood!!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  13. Brenda

    sad sad sad, so many who deny Jesus. One day each and everyone on this forum will know for sure. God help those who stand before him without his son.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      can you show me a shred of proof that Jesus was even real?

      religion exists to divide the people and hold power over those who chose not to have faith in themselves

      he seems more like a fable.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Greg

      there are several references to Jesus outside of the Bible– for example, try looking up the writings of Josephus.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Toni

      Mycatsbreath... You ask if there is any proof that Jesus exists – Have you ever searched for it or do you expect it to be handed to you? There is more historical evidence of His birth, death, burial and resurection than there is that Lincoln was our 16th president. Look it up. The Truth is there.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Of course catbreath is ignorant of all the secular references to Jesus. His closed mind will keep him trapped in ignorance forever.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Okay, so those who don't know the super-sekret handshake, and believe the way you do, aren't getting into the clubhouse. Got it.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      strange, i can can find many many similarities between jesus and horus, which leads me to believe that jesus never existed at all and was just a rip off of something/one 2000 years before him.

      but hey, when i start my bakery, you can all have a free loaf. look me up: body of christ bakery, where we serve jesus on a daily basis.

      and, if carbs arent for you, check out my wine 🙂

      you honestly want me to believe that he walked on water rose from the dead?

      April 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Toni

      I do believe that He did walk on water – since He created everything and is all powerful – why wouldn't He be able to walk on water? If a lizard can do it why not God? And I know He is alive, because He changed my life.

      There is a great book by Lee Strobel it is called "Case for Christ" This is his story of going from athiest to faith. I would encourage anyone that is skeptical to check it out and double check the evidence he finds and see for yourself. You have nothing to lose if us believers are wrong and everthing to lose if we are right.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  14. SadieSadie

    I am so excited to see this movie. I am not surprised to find out that the studio want to remove the faith parts of this movie, its what Hollywood does best. I am glad that some stuff was able to stay in though otherwise it wouldn't be about Bethany, it would just be about some girl who had a similar story to Bethany.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  15. Stephanie

    If the movie was overly preachy, it wouldn't sell as many tickets. That would mean less money for Sony. That's Capitalism, NOT Athiesm.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Nord

      Agree completely. I'm perfectly okay with people expressing their religion as they want, but would not pay money to see a movie that evangelizes. That's MY freedom. Hollywood's reluctance is understandable.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • RealityChecker

      Yeah... just look at how Surf Ninjas didn't have one iota of Christiantiy in it. It made $4 million dollars!!!! Whereas, that Christianity focused movie Passion of the Christ only made $600 million. Good thing the studio took your advice and went with Surf Ninjas, otherwise they would have had a big tax bill.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  16. lobbyistgrl

    I cannot wait to see this movie! I don't consider myself a christian, but I don't get offended by people who are.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Russ

      I guess you're one of the few who want to see it really bad!!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Linda

      You should see it, it's great! I wasn't really interested in seeing it but my daughter really wanted to go. I'm so glad we went. Christian or not a christian you'll still appreciate the courage this young girl had and will feel for what her & her family went through. Besides, the scenery they show of Hawaii in this movie is breathtaking.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  17. Matt

    A lot of people think you have to use a hammer to get across a message, especially a religious one. But remember that when you shove something in someone's face, they are less apt to accept it. One day the right wing will figure this out.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Fuyuko

      Very true. And most people HAVE heard these messages before, so repeating them can get a little tiring.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Brenda

      LOL now that is funny, a progressive talking about shoving things down someone's throat. You're funny

      April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Jam

      Brenda –

      Would you characterize yourself as a regressive? Or do you think the world is as good as it's ever going to be?

      Otherwise, you're a progressive too.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • RealityChecker

      "But remember that when you shove something in someone's face, they are less apt to accept it."

      That must be why no sane people accept your claims.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Gabby

    It amazes me that the very people, who don't believe in GOD or Jesus, somehow find their way to stories/blogs which are related to faith. If you don't have the beliefs held by the character of the story why do you even care to comment??? Your comments do not change her beliefs or the storyline. Personally, I don't go around reading the atheist blog! Why? Because I don't care; it's not inline with my beliefs. I just don’t understand why most on the comments on the faith blog, always come from people who proclaim to have no faith. Why are you reading the blog, then?

    April 12, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Fuyuko

      People are free to do as they like. My question is why are you trying to control or censor other people's posting habits?

      April 12, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      what about faith in yourself over some sky fairy?

      honesty, there are many types of faith.

      did you think this blog was just going to be a big xtian circle jerk?

      April 12, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Brenda

      Thank you Gabby, never could figure that out...I mean why do those who say they don't believe spend so much time on something they don't believe in. Ok I don't believe in little green men from outer space...you think I would spend hours a day reading stories about them and then commenting on the stories, nope I'd see the article, think to myself not interested and go on about my business.
      Deep down inside they know God is real and without his son they are lost...but they can't face it and they want everyone else to stop believing so it's like who are they trying to convince us or themselves.
      Can't wait to see the nasty replies this will get, hate will do that to you so I'm ready go ahead I can take it, my Savior is stronger than a few nasty words 🙂

      April 12, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Is there an "atheist blog"? I've honestly never looked and it sounds dreadfully boring. Is there an "I don't believe in Santa Clause" blog? How the heck do you sit around talking about not believing in something? Atheism only exists in relation to belief. If there were no belief in gods the atheist would not even exist.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      so brenda, are you saying you need your savior to stand up for you because you arent strong enough to do so on your own?

      i like how you make the comparison of those who dont believe should just move along...isnt that like the pot calling the kettle black? i guess missions just had to be be built and the natives converted, huh?

      April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Hi Brenda,
      You can try to tell yourself its because deep down we believe. On the other hand you could try to imagine a reality based world exists out there and that there are people living in it that are seriously affected by the fantastical beliefs of the majority. Some of us read these boards to see what the believers are cooking up next and see how they think or simply light entertainment.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • MsB

      Ever heard of free speech. This is what it is - you don't have to agree or like what someone else says, but you cannot take away their right to say it!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Frank

      Actually, @catfood person that's the point ! We aren't strong enough on our own, that's why we are all so broken. We need God because he is greater than us and not broken. Thanks for making that point and have a great day!

      April 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Kay

      @Brenda – If it gives you comfort to believe in a god, go for it.

      But there are a ton of us who do *not* believe...who do not have imaginary friends...no matter what you say about us or want to believe about us. Deep down inside we do, indeed, think the whole thing is just as silly as we say it is publicly.

      As @MarkinFL says, we read these blogs for light entertainment...or to see what xtians are up to now. After all, there are far too many efforts nowadays to force xtian beliefs down everyone's throats.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Gabby

      @Fuyuko, My comment makes no mention or even dares to censor or control someone else’s posting habits. I think my comment is very clear, if you can read, that is. In fact, my comment begs the question, "why do non-believers, atheists, etc, spend their time reading faith based blogs and articles, when, 9 times out of 10, they know they will not agree with the content, position, or premise (i.e. FAITH) of the article?”

      Like I said before, but will reiterate for you, “Personally, I don't go around reading the atheist blog! Why? Because I don't care; it's not inline with my beliefs. I just don’t understand why most of the comments on the faith blog, always come from people who proclaim to have no (Religious) faith. Why are you reading the blog, then?

      April 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      FRANK

      April 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • A jar of almonds

      Amen to that! In my experience, I have separated Atheists into two groups; Atheists who DON'T believe that God DOES exist, and Atheists who DO believe that God DOESN'T exist. I have no problems with the former, but the latter greatly annoy me.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      FRANK,

      have fun being broken, let me know when you get that fixed. i was in mass for my cousins baptism this past weekend and i really couldnt get past the irony of the priest telling everyone that they needed to experience life, and yet, the xtain/catholic religion does not allow for the full experience, and if somehow you experience something you arent supposed to, one must repent. and, it seems religion prepares one for the next life, not this one.

      you should try a life without religion, its quite pleasant and the people are more civil towards one another when difference are brought up because they dont refer back to what one book will allow them to do and not do.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • edn116

      It's a facade..They lirk and comment because deep deep down they know there has to be more to life than the here and now.
      Struggling with how billions of people could have it all wrong, and they have somehow figured it out.
      They are searching. It's built in to all humans by our creator.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      "you should try a life without religion"

      Does that cause you to eat cat food? Or does it cause you to spend an inordinate amount of time attacking other people's religious beliefs, all while whining about them trying to "force" their beliefs on you.

      Here's a hint. Spend less time trying to justify your own wavering beliefs by attacking Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or any other religion, and you will finally start practicing what you preach. Instead of making yourself look like an uninformed hypocrite.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Gabby

      @MsB, my comment definitely didn’t even come close to taking away someone’s rights, or their right to free speech! WOW, you’re really reaching for something that was not even in my comment. Chill out!

      April 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      REALITYCHECKER – your statement is quite hypocritical.

      and why would you say "it causes me to eat cat food"?

      a. it says My CATS BREATH, and

      b. its a simpson's reference to Ralph. someone about as real as jesus.

      but honestly, i come here for the entertainment. i love justification based on nothing but faith without fact.

      to one that may have never been introduced or has no idea of religion, you might sound pretty crazy talking about imaginary friends.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      you seem to imply that atheists should behave as you would, and question why people want to post to a faith blog implies that there is something wrong with doing so.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Frank

      @catfood (FYI I actually love the name) I won't give you my whole saga on how I've lived my life but I promise you I tried pretty much everything. In the end the truth was that I couldn't find "happiness" and the excitement of things just wore out. I'm not trying to convince you to be "saved" or anything crazy but how do you claim to be living life to the fullest if you aren't searching for your own truth? Trying to experience life to the fullest in my opinion doesn't mean doing the craziest things but finding out what really matters in life. Like I said before, I hope you have a good day and the name is funny.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Gabby

      @MarkinFL, to answer your question: yes, there are many atheist blogs; maybe you should pay them a visit. And yes, there are blogs that talk about not believing in Santa Claus. Furthermore, you asked, “How the heck do you sit around talking about not believing in something?” Well, you should be able to answer that question yourself, because that is exactly what you and your fellow non-believer are doing on this blog, duh!

      @Kay, if this is what you and MarkinFL do for light entertainment, you must have a rather boring existence. Sitting behind a computer, reading a religious blog, when you hold no religious beliefs, for light entertainment; WOW, you should really find something better to do with your time.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      FRANK,

      i do search for meaning in life, but probably in a different manner than yourself. you seem like one of the level headed ones out there which the fanatics give a bad name, and i commend you for that.

      have a good day there yourself!

      April 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • walker

      Gabby, let them make their comments, it will reveal the condition of their hearts.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Magic

      Gabby,
      "Ok I don't believe in little green men from outer space...you think I would spend hours a day reading stories about them and then commenting on the stories,..."

      If the believers in little green men from outer space were making the laws and public policies, levying taxes and otherwise affecting the course of your life, I'll just bet you would make an appearance on those blogs.

      Left unchecked and unchallenged, your beliefs could cause damage. We have to keep an eye on you.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  19. Arun

    If they want to portray this girl as she is then you'd have to include her beliefs as well, whether you agree with them or not. It's not much of a 'story' if you strip out parts of her character that you don't agree with. The producers probably don't want the movie to come off as "preachy", which is understandable, but neutering their star does the same thing – you're just "preaching" another viewpoint.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Fuyuko

      The issue is, they want to make money. And unless they are selling the film to a strictly christian audience too much religiousness will alienate those who do not share these beliefs.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • RealityChecker

      "The issue is, they want to make money"

      Really? You mean a lot of money? Like $600 million? That's how much Passion of the Christ made, and only a deranged lunatic would claim that movie didn't have a lot of Christianity in it. So much for the ignorant belief that to make money, they need to make it less about Christianity and more about "Surf Ninjas" which made a whopping $4 million.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  20. Spencer Storer

    I love how Sarah Hill claims none of the people working on the film had a relationship with the lord. How does she know? I will say the saving grace is knowing Sarah has met the "lord". How is he Sarah? Nice guy? Say hi to Santa Claus too!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • geauxLSUtigers

      She was apparently saying that because actions speak louder than words. If you are more worried about how much money the movie would make, that's not the point that Christians want to get across.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Fuyuko

      of course the producers are in it to make money. they are not evangelists. If the point of the film was to be evangelical, sell the film to a Christian label.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • petra88

      Yes-he IS a nice "guy"; I met Jesus 20 years ago-he is a person, and He literally changed my life. He is real, He's alive, and he loves you.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • geauxLSUtigers

      @ Fuyuko – don't you think the producers already knew what they were getting into? Uh, yeah!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • MsLearning

      It must be hard being so bitter, Spencer. People are allowed to believe whatever they want.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Jam

      Hate to break it to you, Petra, but he's dead.

      Twice.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Kay

      Hey @Jam – LOL. I literally *did* laugh out loud when I read your comment. I'm still chuckling over it. Good one!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Kyle

      You sound like a great American Spencer. By your comment I see the compassion, kindness, and thoughtfulness you have for other people. Aren’t we are all created equally. Don’t we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion? You sound like the kind a person that everyone longs to know!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • eldono

      Petra, when you say you met Jesus 20 years ago, it might be useful to explain to people what you mean. What happened? Where was it? It must have been a special moment for you. Could you please share it?

      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Bass51z

      Spencer, she didn't say NONE of the people knew the Lord, she referred to many individuals surrounding them exhibiting a desire to keep the scripture out of the movie by saying "You have _ALL_ these people who want to make the movie..."

      Also, you've made your choice about your belief in God – don't rag on others because they've made a choice contrary to your own. The point of Christianity is to let people know that the option is there to change their life by walking with God. If you've turned away from that, it's your own choice, you don't have to force your belief on others.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • John Dale

      Want to buy a bridge Petra?

      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Jam

      I aim to please.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • RealityChecker

      You just revealed why no one will ever see a movie about some kook named Spencer Storer. Because his ignorance is not worth knowing anything more about.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Toni

      JAM – hate to break it to you.. He is Alive and is coming again soon. I know Him personally and you can too. There is more evidence to prove His death, burial and resurection than there is evidence that Lincoln was our 16th president. Investigate it – the Truth is there.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Jam

      Toni –

      "The truth is OUT there". You forgot the out. That's the tagline for the X-Files.

      If zombie Jesus is coming to eat my brains, I don't really want to get to know him.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Toni

      Jam – The Truth is there. I did not leave "OUT" out. lol! And I doubt very much that Jesus would want to eat your brains... eww... He is not a zombie... Aparently you didn't do any research. You are just assuming that there isn't any truth to the Bible or that Jesus exists. Jesus changed the world. Prove me wrong... I dare you to try 😉

      April 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Toni

      There is a great book by Lee Strobel it is called "Case for Christ" This is his story of going from athiest to faith. I would encourage anyone that is skeptical to check it out and double check the evidence he finds and see for yourself. You have nothing to lose if us believers are wrong and everthing to lose if we are right.

      April 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
« Previous entry
Advertisement
About this blog

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.