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Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend
Produced by a Georgia church, “Courageous” opened in the number four slot last weekend.
October 4th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

(CNN)– A Baptist church in Albany, Georgia, is getting Hollywood's attention - the church, Sherwood Baptist, has developed a movie-production operation, and its latest offering opened last weekend as the Number Four top money-grossing film in the country.

The Christian-themed film, "Courageous," was developed in connection with TriStar, Sony, and Provident Films. It is meant to inspire fathers to not leave their families, to love their children, to not fail.

"Courageous," which opened in just 1,161 theaters this past weekend, depicts four police officers who share a commonality both as fathers and in their effort to become better ones. The movie and its characters, played by amateur actors and members of Sherwood Baptist are enveloped in various ways in a devastating tragedy.

According to boxoffice.com, which tracks movie response nationwide, put "Courageous" at the fourth position for the weekend with gross revenues of just over $9 million. The fifth- and sixth-place movies ("50/50" and "Dreamhouse") both opened at far more theaters but did not come close to the weekend box-office income of "Courageous."

"Courageous" takes on a timely topic - fatherhood.

The National Fatherhood Initiative, an organization dedicated to "educating and engaging fathers across the country," lists wide-ranging adverse affects that correlate to children growing up in fatherless households. Fatherless households are common in the United States, and there is no causal evidence linking fatherless households to increased suicide rates, incarcerations, aggression, behavioral disorders, delinquency, criminal activity, confused identities, low achievement, and criminal activity.

But the correlating evidence is so strong that in a country where the most recent census lists 24 million children - one in three - living apart from their biological fathers, it is remiss to discount it.

"No matter what your scenario is - you're single or married or whatnot - we want to really inspire and encourage men to see the value of their role as a dad," says Alex Kendrick, the co-writer, director, and actor who plays the character Adam Mitchell in "Courageous."

Kendrick, who co-writes with his brother Steven, says, "The reason we put it in a law enforcement setting was that, as you know, a motto from law enforcement is to serve and protect, and then we drew a correlation to what a father is supposed to do."

"We drew that correlation and said, 'Wouldn't it be interesting if we put this in the context of police officers who are also dads, and they may be heroic on the streets but it also takes courage to be a great dad - not just a good enough dad.'"

Ken Bevel, who plays Nathan Hayes, a sheriffs' deputy in the film, says that everyone has a dad and can relate to a fatherhood story. "We just pray that this movie resonates in the hearts of men and women and families across the globe," he says.

"If you go to Sherwood (Baptist Church) on any given day you will see a bunch of people that are in the movie," says Bevel, who played Kirk Cameron's fellow firefighter in "Fireproof," the last film from Sherwood Pictures.

"Our desire is not to become the next movie-making sensation or to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office," he says, "our desire is to see hearts changed and families touched."

Kendrick's character, Adam Mitchell, makes a general statement over grilled steaks to his fellow officers in the movie: "Half of the fathers in this country are already failing," he says, "and I don't want to be one of them."

The Christians at Sherwood Baptist Church, says Kendrick, "want especially men to walk out of the movie theater saying, "This movie makes me want to be a better dad and really a better man as a model and mentor to my children.'"

"You will see a difference and it will make a difference in our culture," he says.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Georgia • Movies • United States

soundoff (1,517 Responses)
  1. Colin

    "When the original 10 commandments came out hell had not been invented yet." As a believer, you don't see any issue with that statement, JW?

    October 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dan

      But it's true. The original Covenant of the Jewish faith didn't have Hell as Christians understand it. That's an idea that cropped up sometime later. They would refer to "Gehinnom", a valley outside of Jerusalem where worshippers of Moloch or Ba'al, old gods that probably predated the Abrahamic faith, would sacrifice one of their children by fire. In the Targums, the Aramaic paraphrase-translation of the old Hebrew Bible used the term in verses touching on resurrection, "second death", or the fate of the wicked.

      But there was no Hell in Hebrew cosmology at the time Moses produced the 10 Commandments. The Commandments are about faith in and love of God and His rule. They are not about obedience to the will of God.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Dan

      " They are not about obedience to the will of God. "

      No... how so...? I think many a 'believer' might argue that point with you.

      Curious...

      Peace...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Dan

      According to doctrine, hel.l has actually always existed, christians just didn't come and understand what hel.l was until later. So regardless of where it pops in time and to what its mutated to in modern times, the whole point is that hel.l is always thought to have existed. the same way that christians will believe that the serpent in genesis was satan even though satan isn't introduced until the NT

      October 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Richard S Kaiser

    I laugably po0p on the uncontrollable gestations of my falatious bladder.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Name*dw

      your an idiot just like these hateful radical christian extremists. Please quit making all athiests look like bafoons. Your just making the christians point by making us all look like unintelligent.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • John Richardson

      The real Richard S Kaiser is a believer. I suspect this is a forged post.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  3. Name*dw

    Why are radical christian extremists always so hatefull and nasty towards anyone who chooses to use science, logic, rational thinking, and common sense versus indoctrination, self righteousness, and blind faith in a book written by men. its so ridiculous!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ray

      Helllloooo, dw – don't you know that you're going to burn in a lake of fire for that? Oh man – I'd hate to be you right now. But you can get out of it. How? I'm glad you asked!! For only 10 percent of your pay and forfeit all natural behavior. Oh – we also get to tell you how to live your life and judge you incessantly. Sound good? Good – leave your common sense at the door. We'll throw that away for you.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      I totally understand where you are coming from. And... i think that 'any' 'radical and extreme' person is going to be quite polarized and often self-righteous and even hostile in defending their 'beliefs,' as opposed to the more centrist or moderates as a 'generalization.' (IMHO).

      Peace...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Joke

      Guess you forgot to read before making that post. 95% of the hateful angry comments on these boards are from atheists. Good try though.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "95% of the hateful angry comments on these boards are from atheists."

      you obviously havent been on here long enough then.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Ray

    blindly pleading to a vacant sky is no way to go through life, son.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  5. steveinmo

    Uh, well Hippy, the fact I have a computer is no more a sign of me having money than you, so that's a non-sequitor argument. Yes, I have been in many of the situations you've just mentioned so yes I do have a bit of understanding, more in fact than you would believe or give credit, since you seem so caught up in continuing to relive your own misery, instead of looking beyond it and leaving it behind you. Yesterday was yesterday. As for me praying to my Lord, yes you are right about that and I'll continue to do that regardless of anything anyone says about it. And I fear he's about to show you just how much of a "retard" He isn't, so I truly pity you for feeling the way you do, and for wishing to take away people's hope. You sir, are a hatemonger, and I hope you have a change of heart, that this conversation might trouble you in your bed at night, that you might look for my Lord, instead of insisting on acting out as you are now.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Okay, this is twice the site has put one of my replies in the wrong place. This is a reply to Hippypoets insults he's too stupid to realize he's making at the bottom of this page (16).

      October 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @steveinmo

      Hey -Steveinmo...

      You Said to @Hippypoet... " As for me praying to my Lord, yes you are right about that and I'll continue to do that regardless of anything anyone says about it. And I fear he's about to show you just how much of a "retard" He isn't "

      I'm certainly happy for you that you have found contentment in whatever fashion works for you.

      However, I'm curious as to your comment about "fearing he's (god...?) about to show you just how much of a retard 'He' isn't. "

      What do you mean exactly...?

      Peace...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • hippypoet

      MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ALMIGHTY SUN SHINES UPON your ignorance and laughs at your sad existence and belief that some invisible "god" is your savior! let you not forget the SUN is owed your life for giving you everything!

      October 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Well, at least I know I'm talking to the real Hippypoet here, not the imposter in the newer posts.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  6. Richard S Kaiser

    Punch drunk and befuddled, the muddling of "holidaisciousness" performs the duties of vine-ripened agentive attritions. To care or not to care, for such should be the wisdoms of practicalities. Never ever befuddle. Always be for kinfolks. Declare seductively the essences of perpetual soundness. Leave behind nothing that negatively construes. Elevate nothing poised in the balance. Tippy toe onto the lavishness of Paganistic Hedonism. Christians need not apply. Neither atheism nor secularism should be the confidant toward "meloncholiacism's" wayward dynamics. Pegs and beanbags only. No more saturation in staked wantonness. Love therefore, all mannerisms of social indebtedness. Show upon the greedy, their posthumous affair. Death is but an end toward a new beginning. One ever does die yet are always reborn ever more and no less. Peace and prosperities toward all of Life and its' seeds.
    October 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

    The Reaper of Calvinism becomes non-secularists’ quandaries. The futilities of bemoaning abates are characterizations only. Reap therefore as the day is longing. Fulfill the charities common goodness. Elevate nothing nor no one person alone. The dictatorially affluent forgoes the influential beckoning of triteness. Bewildered and bemused are ever those obligated. Wildly’ musings are ever subjugated and of paramount prosperities. Suck upon the ladles of superiorities until the thirst quenches the spatulas’ tongues. Quit everything that is not of the folds. Rejoice ever and never wrangle with the bemoaned. Finalized upon every thrombosis’ “aforementionings” are as but daily periodicals. Keep your mouth as a shutter that pounds amidst the storminess of propagandism. Leave now and never ever be behind.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Can I please get you a dictionary for christmas?! PLEASE?! Anything that will make you actually write in clear, concise english, instead of the almost criminal acts against english in the paragraphs you type.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jason

      Somewhere a thesaurus is showering repeatedly for it will never feel clean again.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Jason

      So Unclean, bedraggled, befouled, besmirched, black, blurred, common, contaminated, corrupt, decayed, defiled, desecrated, dusty, evil, feculent, fetid, filthy, foul, grimy, impure, messy, muddy, nasty, polluted, profaned, putrescent, putrid, rancid, rank, rotten, sloppy, slovenly, smeared, smudged, soiled, sooty, sordid, spotted, squalid, stable, stained, stale, stinking, sullied, tainted, tarnished, unhealthful, vile ....

      October 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Dearest Mr. Chuckles,

      Need I not the English Dictioned manuscript. I forbode you to give alms to the poverty rather than me. I relish in brashness and conceitedness and will never be found in the delicacies of random gestations' accords unless to wantonly be found out. The highmindedness of luster and cunning will be of my allies. My needs are few and now bid I ardently for sparing augments only. The latter days of extremisms follies shall never dampen my spirited soul-being!

      October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Chuckles

      If you want to spar, you must do so in English, not your yoda-esque english that you are so apt to use. You might also want to look up the words you actually use because not only do you use ridiculous amounts of jargon that can't be found even in PHD Thesis papers, but you are a terrible misanthrope.

      When you have something of value to actually add and show that you can argue intelligently and cogently, only then will I engage in any sparring with you. Until then I will only make comments on your terrible, criminal use of english and hope that one day my 7th grade english teacher will track you down and run you over with her car.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I must object to you bismirching Yoda by comparing his language to this blowhard. Yoda is -way- more concise and clear than this...drivel.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      The most heartfelt and sincere of apologies, yoda does in fact deserve more respect. Do you think you can find it in your heart to forgive me?

      October 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Need I not the English Dictioned manuscript. I forbode you to give alms to the poverty rather than me. I relish in brashness and conceitedness and will never be found in the delicacies of random gestations' accords unless to wantonly be found out. The highmindedness of luster and cunning will be of my allies. My needs are few and now bid I ardently for sparing augments only. The latter days of extremisms follies shall never dampen my spirited soul-being!"

      It's why this person is known as a pseudo intelligence, especially with all the spelling errors too.. LOL

      October 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I'm a Christian. Accordingly, I'm required to forgive you even before you ask. But I'll get you next time, Gadget. Next time!

      October 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  7. Jason

    If you want a funny read, go check out the user comments on rotten tomatoes reviews that actually reviewed this film on its production values and not its message. Yes, many people are offended that movie critics actually rated the movie for its acting and directing rather than its message.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yah, the same was said by some critics of the Athiest movie at the begining of the summer.

      The problem is that people who make these types of movie that makers feel their message is or should be more important to a moviegoer than the acting. This is why most films that come out of Sundance often are horrible and die a horrible death in the theater box office. Often with fans of the movie's message almost always quoting that the message is the most important part also.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Richard S Kaiser

    GOD is my friend and I am proud to say so.
    I am HIS adopted into don't you know?
    GOD is ever patient upon the rest who lay low,
    Mired ever within the gleeming aglow.
    GOD keeps everything in memories summation,
    In the lands' deeply held- firmamentation.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hey I was just a skinny lad
      Never knew no good from bad
      But I knew love before I left my nursery
      Left alone with big fat Fanny
      She was such a naughty nanny
      Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me
      Hey hey!
      Fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round
      Fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round

      October 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • I'mGay

      My partner is my friend and I am proud to say so.
      I am HIS adopted into don't you know?
      My partner is ever patient upon the rest who lay low,
      Mired ever within the gleeming aglow.
      My partner keeps everything in memories summation,
      In the lands' deeply held- firmamentation.
      I’ll drink to that!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @I'mGay – your poem is gay. hehehe ...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lucifer, thank you. The words of St. Freddy Mercury are always welcome.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  9. Rob

    mc said:

    Rob – don't forget, Jesus loves me so much, he'll give me eternity in a lake of fire, regardless of how much good I do in this life, simply because I don't believe in some invisible legendary magical being. If using the brain "he" gave me I still can't connect the dots to believe in him, I'm doomed. Man, it's nice to be loved! Thanks jeebus!!!

    Rob responded:

    That's truly amazing "mc" ... you forgot to list "all that good you've done" or who you did it for; maybe God was asleep while you were being that great philanthropist person to humanity. As for the Holy God that you so irreverently surmised as being some invisible, legendary magical being; soon, you’ll get to state your case before Him; you’ll even get to call Him those very names to His face; oh yeah, my bad, I lied; that last part won’t happen; you’ll be too busy applying that suntan lotion with an SPF of 1 Trillion; but do say hi to the likes of Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, John Lennon, Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin, and the many that made similar and/or identical statements, and had similar thoughts and outlooks as you do, about the God you just disrespected herein to the global reading public. As for the brain He gave you; it isn’t that you can’t believe in Him; you just don’t want to; because if He exists (and He does); you would have to come to grips with that reality, and you would have to change your ways; your thinking; and, your life; and your inner rebelliousness simply doesn’t allow for that; but please, don’t blame Him for your lack; try in earnest to call upon Him; He will “rock your world”… but the “rebellious ones” will “always choose” to blame Him, rather than themselves; they never take any responsibility for their own choices.

    Finally, as for saying “He'll give me eternity in a lake of fire, regardless of how much good you do in this life, simply because I don't believe in some invisible, legendary magical being. That's also truly amazing "mc" … you’re both wrong and right. First, your wrong; God has never sent “anyone” to Hades (the Lake of Fire [Hell] will occur 1,000 years from now; after all the unrepentant and unbelieving people appear before the very God they chose not to believe in, at the great white throne judgment); all those that occupy Hades today, ever since the days of Adam and Eve, all “chose that place” for themselves, by their unwillingness to change from their sinful ways, and to accept Him, and His Gift of Pardon … that is exactly why ALL the people that are there today, went there, period. Second, you’re right; going to Heaven has never been about all the (self-righteous) good you, or anyone else does; it is only about the “Good” that Jesus did on the Cross 2000 years ago; your good deeds mean nothing to God as far as entering Heaven is concerned; those “good deeds” WILL establish your “spiritual abilities” in Heaven; or, lighten your load a bit in Hell, if you die unrepentant; but still, even on the best day there, Hell will be Hell. What God wants is your changed heart; you couldn’t afford to buy your way into God’s Heaven in a Gazillion eternities of good deeds; so that should make you rethink your “many good deeds” in light of whether they will get you into Heaven or not … they WON’T. Ask for His forgiveness, accept Him through His Son Jesus; choose this day to follow Him … or, choose not to; but please, don’t blame Him for “your choices” … I just gave you “His better choice for you.” Accept or reject … it isn’t Rocket Science.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      what drivel

      October 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Rob: False Dichotomy, among other fallacies that your post is overloaded with. Google it.

      And learn to use the Reply function. Thanks.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Alfonzo Muchanzo

    I'm signing off on these boards. It's clear that these boards are full of hate and vitriol. If one wants to find the truth in God then they'll research on their own. Opening your heart certainly doesn't happen here. Peace to all, Christians, atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc. I truly hope your life is filled with happiness. God bless.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Steve walks warily down the street,
      With the brim pulled way down low
      Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet,
      Machine guns ready to go
      Are you ready, Are you ready for this
      Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
      Out of the doorway the bullets rip
      To the sound of the beat
      Chorus

      Another one bites the dust
      Another one bites the dust
      And another one gone, and another one gone
      Another one bites the dust
      Hey, I'm gonna get you too
      Another one bites the dust

      October 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • BillBones

      Ahh, he was too drunk on the Jesus juice to be rational anyway. Next!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Braise the Lard!

      I'm signing off on these boards. It's clear that these boards are full of hate and vitriol.

      Welcome to the real world. What if Jesus had quit? What if he had not died for your sins? I'll tell you what. People would still be sacrificing sheep and goats. Don't sign off. Stay. We need you here. Don't do it for us, do it, for the animals.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Wylie

    I am puzzled by how they expect to reach their target audience. Are there dead beat dads who are willing to go to a movie that will be telling them how bad they are, or is it just preaching to the converted? Or will it be used as a choice, pay child support this month or sit through this movie every Sunday.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Peace2All

      I would guess some of the things you have mentioned. And... just the 'buzz' of the movie will be seeds for sermons in churches for who knows how long.

      Peace...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  12. Tom

    You people make no sense. Non at all

    October 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Seriously

      "You people make no sense. Non at all"

      Like your comment does, not at all! LOL!

      October 5, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Tom

      'Which' people are you referring to in regards to 'what' specifically...?

      Peace...

      October 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  13. Max Powers

    I'm an atheist, but I certainly support churches making their case. This movie seems to have more to do with ethics than morals. In Biblical times, most fathers wouldn't have passed today's "good father standards". Modern society has made much higher ethical standards for parents and I'm glad the church is supporting them. I haven't seen the movie, but if it reaches it's desired audience and helps dads see their value, good on 'em.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  14. Lady D

    @Chuckles – those hateful people you speak of are not truly who they say they are.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Chuckles

      Oh yes, the good ole "no true scotsman" argument is my favorite. If those people say they are christians but then act in a certain way that doesn't mesh with my version of christianity, then they aren't christians.

      Sorry Lady, the only prerequisite to being a christian is being baptised and saying christ is your lord and savior and believing it, after that they are fully christian according to your doctrine. I will never believe that every single christian is a heartless monster intent on converting me or condeming me to hel.l, however it is terrifying to me when we have people like Perry, Romney, Bachman and Palin as potential candidates to hold the highest office in the country, and they reject basic science because it doesn't mesh with the bible, effectively stalling us.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  15. Lady D

    If you believe that God does not exist just look at yourself in the mirror. We all exist because He exists. If God didn't exist neither would we nor this world. Religion is totally wrong since there are so many. I don't have a religion but a relationship with God – I talk to him everyday just like I talk to my family/friends. That is what God wants – a relationship with you not your religion. If God was this hateful being wouldn't He just wipe us off this earth because we're not worshipping Him? It is your choice. I choose to because of what He sacraficed for us and when I die I want to be with Him, my family, and friends who are already with Him. There are alot of people who call themselves believers but they really aren't. We need to seek the truth ourselves -not because someone says so. Just because people let you down doesn't mean He will.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Chuckles

      You make me sad.....and a little frightened.

      So the proof you go off of that god exists is that you exists ipso facto god exists, and you also have daily discussions with god, presumabely in your head when you are alone. Seriously, just use your brain for a second to examine that behavior and ask yourself if you saw someone else on the street talking to themselves (without a bluetooth headset) and said they were speaking with zeus, how seriously would you take them?

      October 5, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Max Powers

      I'm not sure I follow your mirror argument. Also, when you look in the mirror, you see a "He"?

      October 5, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Fred1

      Well there’s no denying that the universe exists, and something may have caused it. Now show me solid evidence that a being like the one worshiped by Christians is that cause (hint, just because it says so in the bible is not solid evidence. Lots of religions claim the same thing for their god)

      October 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Lady D

      @Fred1 – http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/pg79691

      October 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Braise the Lard!

      If you believe that God does not exist just look at yourself in the mirror. We all exist because He exists. If God didn't exist neither would we nor this world.

      That's strange, that's the same argument I use only I use Ra in place of God.

      If you believe that Ra does not exist just look at yourself in the mirror. We all exist because He exists. If Ra didn't exist neither would we nor this world.

      You have to admit, if the sun didn't exist neither would we. One big difference between your god and the sun? I can see the sun, well, at least during the day anyway. So get out there and soak up some rays. If you get skin cancer then you know Ra is angry. Don't make Ra angry.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • What If

      Lady D,

      The next time you 'talk to "God"', do so while looking in the mirror. You will see who is doing all the talking on both sides of the 'conversation'.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  16. Kamarasune

    Number 4. That must have sent all the anti-Christians to ripping their hair out after trying to convince the nation that no one goes to church anymore lol.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Name*dw

      fourth place in an opening week for a novelty movie with a novety audience isnt that impressive. Once the crazy christian extremists are done watching there is no audience left. What counts is the long term tally. Non believers in this country is above 25%, the highest its ever been. Why?, because the younger generations are increasingly becoming less easy to indoctrinate with nonsensical supersticous garbage. If christians were indoctrinated with Dr. Suess as god and if you obey him you will spend eternity in a magical gumball land eating green eggs and ham then that is what christians would believe. Christians are just ignorant weak minded fools he believe anything thier churches say. Be a leader not a follower.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  17. steveinmo

    @Hippypoet & Invisible Friend, the only racists here are you!

    October 5, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • hippypoet

      i do not hate anyone – i stronghly dislike ignorance and stupidity.. which seems to pour out of your mouth like sh!t from my @ss.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  18. Alfonzo Muchanzo

    Why do atheists hate that which is good and that which promotes morals? Open your hearts, it's much better on the other side, let the hate go.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      there you go again with your asinine as.sumptions again. You want to know what this atheist thinks of you and your christian band of haters? Why do christians hate diversity, people and really anything outside their own narrow-minded view of the universe?

      October 5, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @chuckles – Well I don't hate anything of which you accused me of. I have friends of all race and s.exual preference. Nice try though.

      Also you accuse me of silly assumptions and then turn right around and accuse all Christians of even more ridiculous a.ssupmtions. Your hypocracy is laughable.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Seriously

      "Why do atheists hate that which is good and that which promotes morals?"

      Morals, like a woman has to marry her rapist, stone your children to death if they talk back to you, keep women in submissive roles, call people an abomination because of their sexuality. DUH!

      October 5, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Alfonzo

      You obviously missed the point of my hyperbole, clearly not all christians are the way I described and yet you as.sume that all atheists hate all that is good and which promotes morals and then turn around and say you have atheist friends? Really? Think about your initial comment for a second, do you really believe that all atheists are as you have written and if so, then my previous statement is just as valid.

      Thanks for playing.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @seriously – To quote you: "a woman has to marry her rapist, stone your children to death "

      Wow, I can't believe you actually said that and believe that you should do that kind of stuff.........If you can take stuff out of context then I'll do the same to you.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Seriously

      "Wow, I can't believe you actually said that and believe that you should do that kind of stuff.........If you can take stuff out of context then I'll do the same to you."

      Typical christian can't see the truth of the immorality of what is written in the book. Keep making excuses for your religion and your supposed god.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @chuckles – It's a generalization, did I say 100% do? And yes I do have atheist friends, in fact I live with one. Obviously nobody of any single kind fits into a single lump, generalizations are used everyday. You're laughable.

      Thanks for playin...

      October 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @seriously – Typical atheist, only sees his side. If you had a brain you would've realized that I was telling you that you were taking verses and pa.ssages out of context.

      Can't argue with stupid.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Alfonzo Muchanzo

      forget this loser, your an idiot alfonzo. smile for the SUN!

      October 5, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Alfonso

      Now your backtracking? Coward I say! if you didn't mean all atheists then maybe you should have said "why do some atheists?" or "why do atheists on this board....", really any clarifying word to show the generalizations that you clearly believe are as foolish as I would think and yet you still really think that atheists, or some atheists, or most atheists, or some unknowable amount of atheists hate something that is good and promoting good values, without being able to back up your statement or show in anyway how your idea of good is unbias and the "best good" out there.

      Also, stealing my sign-off line was a nice touch, next time I hope you get some original material though...

      And that's the way the cookie crumbles....

      October 5, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Seriously

      "Typical atheist, only sees his side. If you had a brain you would've realized that I was telling you that you were taking verses and pa.ssages out of context.

      Can't argue with stupid."

      LOL! Really so prove that it's out of context......28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      Hysterical.

      BTW chuckles, yes I was mocking you, but also I've said that line on here for months. But yes, you never saw me previously post it (maybe few weeks ago, maybe a month ago) and thought it was clever. Interesting. I know the truth and so do you, not that I expect you to admit to anything.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @seriously – the fact that you take two lines out of a whole book proves it's out of context. I can pick up any book on the shelves and take two lines and make it prove whatever my goal is. Do some research on your own if you really care, but it's obvious you have only one goal in mind. Later dude.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Alfonzo

      Precious, so instead of defending your point, or trying to show how your statement was somehow not ignorant you instead try to pathetically as.sert that you have signed off using "thanks for playing" for a month of so (Funny.....I don't see if on any of your other posts....) and ignore everything else completely. Bravo, Alfonzo, bravo sir.

      Also for your point to @seriously. Go ahead, pick up any book right now, read a line to me and show how this "out of context" line will in someway have any effect on me, unlike say, the Bible, which has used this line specifically to take a hardline against divorce for ages. Show how this line, put in context makes more sense and isn't as horrible as it sounds? Enlighten us all please.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Sue

      Alfonzo, part of the problem is that so many Christians claim that the bible is the infallible word of god. If it can be so easily taken out of context and so easily interpreted in contradictory ways, as you and others are demonstrating, then your omnipotent creature hasn't created a very effective book.

      One also has to ask why your god has no internet presence of his own. Me thinks your god is more than a little out of date, and rather obviously, simply doesn't exist.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • J.W

      Chuckles I imagine you looking like a young Jerry Seinfeld. Am I pretty close?

      October 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • J.W

      Why would God need to get on the internet?

      October 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "Why would God need to get on the internet?"

      LMAO – Because he can't. LOL!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      I have a pretty Jewish look about me (big nose, darkish hair and complextion) but I don't really think Seinfeld and I have a similar look. But I do appreciate the compliment (maybe.) that I have the same humor, or as we jews call it "umor

      October 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Sue

      J.W, one can similarly ask, why does your god need a book to get the details (in some cases in the bible, very gory details) of its message out? You would think that such a powerful creature would be able to do so without such crude means of communication as print. Such is not the case.

      The fact that your "god" cannot communicate by modern means, simply is one more indicator that your god is pure fiction. You may not have the courage to accept that yet, but it is clearly the case.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Seriously

      "@seriously – the fact that you take two lines out of a whole book proves it's out of context."

      LOL! So Alfonzo now go back and use that line on all the scriptures that have been posted on this blog by other Christians. It's what people do in your religion. 😉

      October 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • J.W

      Well there are many websites devoted to God in some way, so really he does have an internet presence.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I wonder what gods screenname would be? browsing history? what if his computer stops working? Does he just zap it to bits and then creates a new one or unplugs and replugs it back in like everyone else?

      These are the questions that keep me up at night.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • J.W

      Haven't you ever gotten a virus from going on a dirty website? Who do you think that is?

      October 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      I always thought it was cyber prosit.tutes...... are you saying god is giving out virtual STD's to people?

      October 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sue,

      The reason most Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God is because of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. "

      October 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Well there are many websites devoted to God in some way, so really he does have an internet presence."

      LOL! Wow that is men having a presence not a god. So there are many sites devoted to Santa Clause to which means he has a presence too, but it doesn't mean he's real. 😉

      October 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Sue

      J.W, nice try, but no. Those sites are obviously written by humans. That is what I am getting at. Show evidence your god actually doing the communicating directly, or you have no case.

      Oh that mean old evidence thing. It's tough for you Christians, isn't it. You've never overcome it.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • J.W

      Well God did not actually sit there and write the Bible by hand. It was inspired by God. He did not have to actually write it.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @ All

      Let me first get this out of the way, but I identify as an atheist (or technically jewish atheist....technicalities) keep this in mind when reading my next comment.

      god (at least the god in the bible) never really had a presence even when he was most active, at most only a few people were able to see and speak to him. The only time I can honestly think were huge masses of people actually saw "god" was the pillar of fire in the exodus story, so it does stand to reason that he wouldn't just pick up a computer, write in "I am" and go posting over the internet (the most anonymous place there is) and start preaching his own word. It isn't his MO. One could argue JW's point correctly as a christian that of course god has a presence on the itnernet and his word is being spread because of all the sites devoted to god and replicating the bible to be downloaded and read digitally.

      I think we can all agree, that if god were to ever reveal himself and actually prove his existance, the internet is probably the worst idea ever.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Well God did not actually sit there and write the Bible by hand. It was inspired by God. He did not have to actually write it."

      The books about Santa Clause were inspired by Santa so that must mean he's real too! Oh...I better see if I am on the naughty list now. LOL!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • J.W

      So do you have a bible of Santa Claus Seriously? If not that was a stupid argument. And by the way Santa Claus was based off of a real person.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      methinks god is still using AOL dial-up.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Lucifer

      Is that why it's taken him so long to log-on?

      We all know that broadband is a sin, so I guess it makes sense.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Seriously

      "So do you have a bible of Santa Claus Seriously? If not that was a stupid argument. And by the way Santa Claus was based off of a real person."

      Supposedly so was Jesus so my argument can still be valid. Oh and just for fun try moving the n in Santa to the end of the name and what do you get? LOL! So do you have any Santa's in your house? 😉

      October 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • J.W

      Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas. There is probably a history of his life but there is not a bible devoted to him.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas. There is probably a history of his life but there is not a bible devoted to him."

      Christians loose all logic when making excuses – dude get a dictionary man! Bible has another definition "any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable" LMAO!

      October 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • J.W

      Seriously you have not come up with a logical argument yet. Do you have any writings of Santa Claus that fit the definition of the word bible? If not then you argument still makes no sense.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Serously

      "Seriously you have not come up with a logical argument yet. Do you have any writings of Santa Claus that fit the definition of the word bible? If not then you argument still makes no sense."

      The definition of bible is a book if you look at the complete definition and not just a piece of it. Oh I forgot that's what Christians do just take piece of something to fit their arguments. LOL!

      Santa Claus by Rod Green,
      Autobiography of Santa Claus, The by Jeff Guinn
      Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank
      The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus by Tim Slover (
      Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerald Bowler
      The Book of Santa Claus by Vicky Howard
      Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years by Phyllis Siefker
      Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission (15th Anniversary Edition) by Robert Sullivan
      The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Janeen R. Adil
      The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus by Eric Harvey,
      The Santa Claus Book by Alden Perkes

      October 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Sue

      J.W, similarly others here can claim that your "arguments" don't consist of logic. Claim, counterclaim, but by and large the non-religious side has evidence-based reasoning on their side. And statistics; the reality is that your religion is in steep decline worldwide, despite frenetic effors by desperate bible thumpers. It will eventually go the way of other mythologies, just a curiosity of history. A supersti-tion with no support in evidence.

      So, evidence for the existence and divinity of your particular sky creature please. You have shown none so far.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Sue

      DamianKnight,
      re your post "The reason most Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God is because of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. " "
      -that's just circular reasoning on your part. But as for "righteousness", I suppose you'd rather I didn't bring up Leviticus, nor the nasty bits in the new testament either. Tough for your lot when all the horror is there in writing, isn't it.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • J.W

      Seriously, so by your reasoning almost any book could be considered a bible. And Sue I would like to see one of your posts in which you have used logic, facts, statistics, or anything besides your own opinion

      October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Sue

      J. W, nice try at dodging. Now, evidence please.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • uhhhh

      "Seriously, so by your reasoning almost any book could be considered a bible."

      You do realize the bible is made up of a collection of books, so you could create a bible of Santa Claus from the list provided. Try to remember that those collection of books in the bible are also based more on opinions and not facts. The mystical things that are made up about Jesus is the same type of made up mystical things that were made up and transformed into Santa Claus. The real Santa never did all of the things that are now written about just like the real Jesus never did the mystical things written in the Bible. It's time to grow up and stop believing in make believe mystical people.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • J.W

      But that does not mean that I can just take a collection of any random books and say this is the Bible. For something to be a bible it has to be something either religious or something that you live by.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • uhhhh

      "For something to be a bible it has to be something either religious or something that you live by."

      "a publication that is preeminent especially in authoritativeness or wide readership "

      I have a book I swear by it's call the BBQ Bible! I love that book! http://www.barbecuebible.com/

      Dude it doesn't have to be religious and Santa is also known as saint Nicholas. It does have a religious connotation.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sue

      J.W, evidence please. You avoiding the subject isn't helping your case.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I used to call my Bill James Baseball Abstract "the Bible". They stopped publishing them in the 80s and now I follow hockey, anyway, but in my opinion any book that gives you the information you want can be considered a bible. I have a horse racing "Bible", too, but it was published in the 60s and could really use a new testament.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  19. Alfonzo Muchanzo

    It's a shame that a movie which promotes good morals receives so much hate. What's wrong with wanting a better society for all?

    "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you" John 15:18-19

    October 5, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Sue

      A better society for all is a very worthy goal, but it is not going to be arrived at until we leave behind obviously false religious fictions such as the Christian tales.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  20. Colin

    Harken to my word and mock me not! I bring you the 10 Commandments for the 21st Century (thunder rolls, lightning flashes, and a beautiful, nubile young virgin throws herself at me. Actually, make that two virgins – and a promiscuous hottie).

    I. THOU SHALT NOT have false gods before me. All Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, and Sheiks shall forthwith abandon their faith and culture and adopt the Christian god.

    II. THOU SHALT NOT blaspheme and shall worship me always. Even though I created the entire Universe and its 200,000,000,000 galaxies, each with 100,000,000,000 stars and planets, about 13,700,000,000 years ago, I need constant attention from h.omo sapiens or I will have a temper tantrum and drown them (again).

    III. THOU ART under constant supervision by me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I monitor your thoughts, too. I do so simultaneously for the other 6,000,000,000 living h.omo sapiens. If you displease me, I will burn you for all eternity.

    IV. THOU SHALT not think for thy self. Thou shalt blindly accept what thou hast been taught as a child and shalt value blind belief in me above all other traits. Eschew thinking for oneself – it is dangerous. Thy brain is merely to be used for praying and keeping thy ears apart.

    V. ACCEPTETH always circular reasoning. Believe in God because it is written in the Bible and believe the Bible because it says it is written by God.

    VI. THINKETH that I read your mind and hear your prayers and intervene to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to suit your whims.

    VII. THOU SHALT not covert thy neighbor’s wife, unless she is a virgin, then it is ok to r.ape her. If she is British, I will count it as penance. Women can covert they neighbor’s husband all they want.

    VIII. THOU SHALT link a belief in me to morality. Thou shalt not realize that one can abandon the supernatural beliefs of Christianity without abandoning its morality.

    IX. THOU SHALT burn in hell if thou does not accept these rules. I shall provide absolutely no evidence of my existence then demand blind belief in me. Those who are naturally skeptical have breached my commandment about not using their brain and I shall burn them for all eternity, even if they are otherwise fine people – because I love them so.

    X. ACCEPTETH that there are 10 commandments here, even though there are only nine, because I say so. If one has true faith in me, one will accept that 10 is 9 and 9 is 10, and then that three gods are one and one god is three and that there was no Adam and Eve but that I sent my son to save humans from Eve’s original sin, that I am all powerful and loving, but send a good percentage of the 100,000 human beings who die every day to the hell I created and maintain. Blatant contradictions are merely meant to test one’s faith.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL

      October 5, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • J.W

      I have just gotten to number two so far, but you said God will drown us again. He promised never to drown all of us again. That is why we have boats now.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • J.W

      We do not need to live only to worship God. The Bible says we must do our duties on earth while we are here.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • J.W

      It only talks about ra.ping virgins early in the OT. No Christian follows Mosaic law anymore.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • J.W

      When the original 10 commandments came out hell had not been invented yet

      October 5, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Fred1

      @J.W.:” No Christian follows Mosaic law anymore”

      Jesus said to follow the law of the old testament ALL OF IT. He also said the most difficult path is the one that leads to heaven. Pretending that you are no longer bound by the law of the Old Testament is the easy path to hell

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."Matthew 5:17-19

      "Heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter of the Law does." Luke 16:17 (CEV)

      What part of “UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR” don’t you understand? That doesn’t mean just until the resurrection (that is the easy path to hell).
      "You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Matthew 7:13-14

      October 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • J.W

      Jesus himself contradicted some of the law of the OT. One of those being basically stoning people to death. To this Jesus said to love our enemies. When Jesus was rebuked by not following the Jewish laws of clean and unclean food, he referred to these as 'traditions of men.' Jesus did reference the 10 commandments however and said that those should still be followed.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sue

      Colin, thanks for that great original post. I saved it for later reference (after I stopped chuckling). Very good.

      October 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
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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.