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Church gets more drama than it bargained for in film
First time actress Persis Karen plays Annika in the movie 'Not Today.'
April 13th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Church gets more drama than it bargained for in film

By Alan Duke, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - When a film's credits list "prayer coordinator" before the hair/makeup and wardrobe teams, you might guess it is a faith-based production.

"Not Today," which premieres on 50 screens in 20 U.S. cities this weekend, was not funded by Hollywood investors, but with $1.6 million from the collection plate at Friends Church in Yorba Linda, California.

Still, the church couldn't avoid the controversies that seem routine in Hollywood productions — including a lawsuit over pay.

The idea for the film began during a trip to India where the church began building schools for the Dalit class - considered the lowest in India's caste system - in 2002. It's a project that fits Friends Church's Quaker tradition, said Creative Arts Pastor Brent Martz. President Richard Nixon's parents worshiped at the church, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

"Our hearts were totally ripped open for the Dalit people," Martz said. Social rules and poverty make their children vulnerable to human-trafficking in labor and sex.

Instead of a typical church fundraiser - perhaps a bake sale - Friends Church's leadership proposed a feature film shot on location on two sides of the globe and with a powerful message about the $32 billion world slave trade. Film profits will go toward the $20 million needed to build 200 schools for Dalit children.

Why a church would make a movie

"Media is the language of our culture, so what better way to communicate a story of a huge global tragedy like human trafficking than with a film," Martz said. "What better way to motivate a church audience that can sometimes be sheltered and not want to walk into situations or topics like human trafficking but with a story, a story that they can hear, that they would understand, that would compel them to get involved."

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The story is also about the power of faith and prayer in changing lives. More than coincidentally, making the movie changed the lives of those involved.

The cast includes veteran Hollywood actors John Schneider (TV's "Dukes of Hazard"), Cody Longo (Nickelodeon's "Hollywood Heights") and Cassie Scerbo (ABC Family's "Make It or Break It").

The 7-year-old sex slave

But the most memorable performance comes from Persis Karen, who played Annika, a 7-year-old girl sold into slavery in Hyderabad, India.

Like her character, Persis is in the Dalit class. But unlike Annika, she attends one of the 40 Friends Church schools. Until she was chosen for the role, Persis had never seen a movie or left her village, Martz said. "She grew from day to day during the shoot."

Persis, whose big brown eyes proved to be a powerful cinematic force, won the award for best breakout performance by an actress at the Monaco Charity Film Festival in 2012. She now aspires to be an actress.

Longo called her "my little angel."

Annika's story is not unusual. She and her father live on the streets of Hyderabad trying to survive by entertaining tourists with a ragged puppet and her songs. Her survival seems uncertain when they cross paths with Cade Welles, the 20-year-old played by Longo. He drives an orange Lamborghini back in Southern California but travels with friends to party in India.

But Welles' partying is interrupted by the reality of the Dalits' suffering and the horrors of the slave trade.

"Get a job, feed your own kid," Welles tells Annika's father when he asked for help for the starving child.

CNN Belief: The new Christian abolition movement

But back home, Welles' mother is praying "that God would get ahold of him and shake him up" during his trip. The power of her prayer is seen as Welles' eyes eventually open to Annika's suffering. He begins praying that he can find the child again so he can help her. He finds the father, only to learn he just sold his daughter.

"What kind of man buys a child," he said. "What kind of father sells his daughter?"

Her father said he had no other choice, and he believed Annika was on her way to work in a rich household, not a brothel in Mumbai.

When he calls home to his girlfriend, played by Cassie Scerbo, she tells him "You have to trust in God. Sometimes we have to be broken to be useful."

The rest of the film is a frantic search through the slums of several cities for Annika, punctuated by intense prayers and frustration.

A real change for the actors

John Schneider plays Welles' stepfather who is there to provide the crucial advice and help needed at the end. "I do believe that God will make a better way," he said.

"What makes this film so special is there's so much truth in it," Longo said. "The fact that we shot in the actual slums and actual brothels that had been raided before created this truth."

Cinematographer Abe Martinez and Director Jon Van Dyke review the footage in Hyderabad, India.

The lack of millions of dollars to build soundstage sets forced the production into the streets of India's slums for 21 days of shooting but guaranteed authenticity.

It also meant that Longo experienced the same thing his character did - traveling to India and being shocked by its reality.

"It changed my life," he said. "It took me from the bubble we live in. We become accustomed to this little bubble and nobody realizes until we get the opportunity to see what is going on elsewhere in the world."

The movie was shot in August and September of 2010, when "I was struggling at that point in my life a little bit with my faith and which direction to go," Longo said. "I feel like God placed this in my life at the perfect time, and he's also releasing it at an incredible time and at the perfect place.”

A split and a lawsuit

As the movie opened this weekend a lawsuit about the production and compensation was making its way through the courts. The film's director, Jon Van Dyke, filed a federal lawsuit alleging fraud by church leaders who he claims cheated him out of his pay.

In his lawsuit Van Dyke tells of internal bickering, cheating and outright fraud.

Director Jon Van Dyke and Persis Karen review steady cam footage – Mumbai, India.

Van Dyke was director of the Friends Church media department when he wrote the screenplay, but his boss, Creative Arts Pastor Brent Martz (you met him earlier in this story) threatened to fire him if he didn't give him 50% co-writer credit, the lawsuit said. "He had not made any copyrightable (or other substantive) contributions to the screenplay," it said.

The suit also contends Van Dyke has never been paid for directing the movie, a job he did while still the church's media director. He spent 10 weeks in India where most of the movie was shot on location. The suit demands either overtime pay or a share of the film's profits.

The profits are intended to fund hundreds of schools for the Dalit caste in India, according to Martz. Van Dyke's lawsuit claims the budget was "significantly inflated to include numerous illegitimate and improper expenses" in an effort to dilute profits.

When Van Dyke raised these concerns last August, "he was unceremoniously terminated," the suit said.

An attorney for the church responded to the suit in a statement to CNN.

"While we understand that members of the church body will have disagreements, I can say that we are sad that Jon chose to file a lawsuit," Friends' lawyer John Cone said.

"Friends Church offered Jon both mediation and binding arbitration to address his concerns. Jon and the church also signed an agreement in which they consented to resolve any disputes between them through binding arbitration. Nevertheless, we have faith in the judicial process. And if that is where this matter is resolved then we are confident that the court will make a fair and wise decision,” the statement said.

End Result

There is no doubt despite the lawsuit, the actors and crew - including Van Dyke and Martz - put a lot of hard work into the passion project.

As a film, it wanders into familiar territory other faith-based films find themselves in. Critics will likely call the film “preachy.”

And that is because it is. And that in many ways is the point.

The film carries a powerful message about the global slave trade and has a call to action for viewers to help fight it. The cast, script and production style should appeal to young adults looking for direction in their lives.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories,

While the suit carries on and viewers settle in for a healthy dose of “activismtainment” the church will be in prayer. That’s where the film's prayer coordinator comes in.

"For us at the church, having people praying from the very beginning of this project and even up to today and this opening weekend has been a huge part of it," Martz said. "We believe that God led us into making this film, and he's ultimately responsible for it, and so every bit of this journey has been covered through this prayer team, and they've been so faithful to pray for all us during the writing and during the production and during the post-production and now during the marketing and PR."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Christianity • Church • Courts • Movies • United States

soundoff (391 Responses)
  1. Bob saget

    Lol all you guys are going to hell. Damn . Sucks....

    April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Truthis

    You would think that people would be intelligent enough to see that religion is the biggest business in the world and controls most of the money. It is all about greed.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ron

      Where does their money come from?

      April 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  3. SDCinNS

    I'll certainly go see this movie. When did Hollywood ever address such an important topic?

    April 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well, Taken deals with the se-x trade.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  4. useless

    Organized religion is organized madness.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • mason

      "church leaders cheating someone out of their pay"...wow, what a surprise that is...they normally just cheat humans out of the ability to think...

      April 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • cm

      Well like you can bring anything to the table, Useless. Sounds like you don't like anything.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Melissa

    You know... I can handle the kissing butt to the republicans that cnn does sometimes. I can handle them not covering what many other networks are covering. I can handle all the opinion pieces. But I am really getting sick to death of the religious crap being on the front page. Unless there's a war or the followers are torturing people, the religious crap should NEVER be on the front page.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • alain

      And why not? Religion plays a big part in the world. I'm a liberal but you're obviously the crazy, Tea Party version of a liberal.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • cahoosier

      It's news, whether you like it or not. News media is supposed to address a wide range of issues of interest to their wide range of readers. I only have a problem with news content when it is one-sided or when a single subject dominates a general news outlet.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Savannah

      Then Why click the link? Talk about hypocritical and dumb!

      April 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Science

      The facts............. Melissa

      Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122234.htm

      Does the RCC have any ? Bible thumpers too.

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
      Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

      Science

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      April 7th, 2012

      08:32 PM ET

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

      A wedge !

      April 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  6. FinnGoDo

    Anything "Christian missionary" is criminal. It's basically saying "here, we'll give you this school- but here's a pamphlet, and we now expect you to celebrate Christmas."

    On top of that, the people behind this production just sound greedy– as if making a film and getting gem were more the objective than the cause it was for.

    No hate.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • SDCinNS

      Insane response. I'll certainly go see this movie. Hollywood never does anything this meaningful.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Mathai

    Who ever is making this good effort is really appreciated and a couragious step. go go more deep into the dark side of the world and reveal to the entire globe. so many stupid brabarian systems exists, practised, followed in India should be stopped for the goodness of mankind. there are lot of illitrate leaders in India who exploit the poor people. let world's best offices do something for this issue.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  8. NSk

    Conversions by these so called "Saviors" have been rampant in my town in India. These missionaries work for gains for their churches, converting vulnerable poor population in India. I dont mind helping the poor as long as there is no hidden agenda behind these motives. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most churches (not all) and missionaries in India. They attract the poor by offering them clothes, money etc, then convert them to Christianity. But then they force them to go to a separate church which is only for the converted people. This itself is a differentiation that is created and for these poor people, they end up neither on this side of the river nor the other. And these unworthy people talk about the class/caste system in India, where as they themselves are creating a new differentiated class in India with their so called heling hands. I am saying this because I have witnessed this myself. I request all people here to object to these propaganda with hidden agenda that affects the social culture, heritage of a poor community. Help them with no intention of personal motives or gains. But not with these type of so called social work which is so menial.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Indian

      Utter crap...im an indian..and this forcable conversion theory was bought by our political parties and Hindu fundamentalists to undermine the work of all these missioneries...everyone wants to get into christian schools but they want to criticise and paint them as monsters later.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Param Sibal

      I agree with you! @Indian, you need to stop obsessing over Hindus and so called Hindu politicians. All that the so called Hindu politicians have been saying and doing is to focus on development and India-first agenda, but of course that goes against caste and voetbank politics. Last I checked Francois Gautier is neither Indian nor Hindu, and after seeing rampant forced conversion he was forced to write extensively about it. I'm also from India and personally know people who are exploited because of their poverty and illiteracy.There is dalit abuse in India, but for you to overlook and negate the rampant abuse by organized religion under the guise of missionaries in absurd to say the least. My driver once even brought anti-Hindu fliers being distributed in his neighborhood by the nuns. Can you imagine the ruckus if that were done about Islam or Christianity? The whole idea that secularism means berating Hindus and berating any and all notions of nationalism is what you exhibit here, and that's the tragedy of India. It is not surprising though. Many people have done research on the colonized parts of they world that generate disdain for their own culture, language, religion etc. It is not unique to India but yes, most common there. McCauley developed a whole education system after all around the same mindset and purpose.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • scorp

      @Indian..they ur living in ur shell and dont nothing whats happening outside. not only India but they do conversions acrros the globe. My friend here in US was offered a 100% if she converts to christian, by her converted uncle who is now father at the church..So sir, this is very real!!

      April 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Savannah

      You cannot deny that this is a problem, it is on your doorstep, my question to you is "what are YOU doing about it?" my experience of India is that the local population will do nothing because most of them just don't give a damn.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • NSk

      @ Savannah, Thank you for your concern. There have been many pro-active steps taken against these forcible conversions in my town. All of these are related to education and helping the poor get opportunities. But, we neither give out free money for personal gains nor do we publicize it for personal praise. Again, my request to all is that please dont exploit the poor because of the vulnerability and if you really like to help them, dont ask anything back from them for your help. Dont convert them and destroy their beliefs and culture. Dont impose one's faith or religion on others. That goes to all people who follow their faith and religion.

      April 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  9. PJ

    This sounds like a slum dog millionaire movie. Use the poor to make money! This one goes beyond money, this one includes conversion and fooling the believers into giving money. Looking at church's history in the past and recent one, most of its "martyrs" are fabricated. Now here we go again! Now, fabrication through movies.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Russman

      Yes, I noticed that no one is filling a lawsuit on behalf of the hundreds of poor ppl who appeared in the movie. Even a dollar would be immense riches for them, but this is about perfumed rich chrisitians, all fat and self-satisfied, being able to look down on the poor in a foreign country and make empty preachy noises about the human trafficking to be found in India while ignoring any and all crimes by their own church, by their own religion, or by themselves in committing business fraud to make more money.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • cahoosier

      Ask yourself, "Will the world be better with more extremist views and hostility towards others with whom I disagree?" If not, then why feed into that.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  10. darknesstolightpoems

    Really people? leave it to the comment section to bring out every negative aspect of the things that are good in the world!!
    I get that some people don't like Christians. I get that. many of us have been hypocrital and backstabbing. But there are the few Chrisitans that truly love others and treat others like JESUS.. the problem that you have isn't with Jesus, it is with Christians who have misreprented Him. This is a beautiful story of people who saw oppression and wanted to do something about it.. these people have true love in their hearts. If you can find beef with that, then who is the hypocrite?
    If you get a chance, go to http://www.fellowshipofthemartyrs.com and read the Apology to the World letter.. it's an apology for the way the Christians have treated you. Much love going out to EVERYONE today.. the haters and the athiests and the Christans.. love all you guys!!!

    April 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Apology not accepted! Christians have not changed. They are more hateful now, than ever.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Russman

      It is impossible to represent or misrepresent an imaginary deity.
      You are engaging in the "No True Scotsman" fallacy as regards your belief and that of others.
      .
      To be historically plausible in "representing Jesus", you would have to engage in religious fraud, openly espouse communism, and travel from town to town scamming innocent people along the way for food and money.
      Your god is imaginary and so is your "Jesus" that you have in your head. No one could possible "represent" your imaginary nonsense to your satisfaction, you worthless piece of cow turd.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • NSk

      Hrishi, I totally agree with you.. Conversions by these so called "Saviors" have been rampant in my town in India. These missionaries work for gains for their churches, converting vulnerable poor population in India. I dont mind helping the poor as long as there is no hidden agenda behind these motives. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most churches (not all) and missionaries in India. They attract the poor by offering them clothes, money etc, then convert them to Christianity. But then they force them to go to a separate church which is only for the converted people. This itself is a differentiation that is created and for these poor people, they end up neither on this side of the river nor the other. And these unworthy people talk about the class/caste system in India, where as they themselves are creating a new differentiated class in India with their so called heling hands. I am saying this because I have witnessed this myself. I request all people here to object to these propaganda with hidden agenda that affects the social culture, heritage of a poor community. Help them with no intention of personal motives or gains. But not with these type of so called social work of conversions which is so menial.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  11. Ari for Peace

    Christians go to church and don't learn how visualize multiple options in the mind, evaluate options, and select the best option. In other words, Christians aren't taught to make decisions for themselves; they are taught to do god's will.

    Sounds like god is in the business of human trafficking, huh?

    How about teach Dalit's how to correct problems (problem solving) which will show them "the way" that's right with "the truth" to "the life" that's greatest? Any Christian know or recognize "the way, the truth, and the life"?

    April 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Sue

      That was a sweeping generalization, the favorite tool of bigots and haters.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • FinnGoDo

      Sue- that's the opposite of biggot.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  12. faith

    we love dorothy

    here's why:

    she thinks she is a scholar. (if she thinks, it is wrong.)

    April 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  13. Hrishi

    Utter Nonsense. Christian Church has been focusing and amplifying Negative aspects of other religions. Especially Hindu's. There is hardly anything called "Dalits" any more in India, for your kind information.
    Secondly, Churches, have been Converting and Baptizing "Dalits" and "Poor" class people for centuries . This strategy is well known in India. Infact i had been to this church social service in a No mans land. First they call them for Food, then give them clothes. And then start preaching Bible.
    The only thing those people care is Food and Clothes and Shelter, and with strong monitory backing from West, these Churches can provide them.
    This is just a fraud and vicious land grabbing by taking advantage of people's poverty.

    April 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Mark

      Child sacrifices occurred while on my mission in India, how dare you try to marginalize something that brings this to light.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Udhav

      Church has only one agenda – CONVERT !
      I think the only reason why this guy in the movie wants to save that little girl is to hand her over to the pope. Yes, I am talking about that child molesting white robed guy.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jhnkon

      Mark, How dare you criminal engaged in these conversions.

      We need GLOBAL FIGHT Against these CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY CRIMINALS, LIER and THUGHS

      April 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • NSk

      Hrishi, I totally agree with you.. Conversions by these so called "Saviors" have been rampant in my town in India. These missionaries work for gains for their churches, converting vulnerable poor population in India. I dont mind helping the poor as long as there is no hidden agenda behind these motives. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most churches (not all) and missionaries in India. They attract the poor by offering them clothes, money etc, then convert them to Christianity. But then they force them to go to a separate church which is only for the converted people. This itself is a differentiation that is created and for these poor people, they end up neither on this side of the river nor the other. And these unworthy people talk about the class/caste system in India, where as they themselves are creating a new differentiated class in India with their so called heling hands. I am saying this because I have witnessed this myself. I request all people here to object to these propaganda with hidden agenda that affects the social culture, heritage of a poor community. Help them with no intention of personal motives or gains. But not with these type of so called social work which is so menial.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • DMR

      The fact that entire ethnic communities are so starved of resources that they would quote "convert for food" makes you wonder who is in the wrong – the smug hindus who complain about conversions but do nothing to alleviate suffering or the Christians who are actually feeding the poor. As an atheist who grew up in India in a brahmin setting, I have to say – neither hindus nor muslims/christians have a lock on what people are allowed to believe. In the market of ideas, both are foundering worldwide, but hindus seem to not get the plot at all. Instead of openly discussing issues and solutions, people like Hrishi and Udhav are more intent on shooting the messenger.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  14. rosethornne

    Religion is a scam created by greedy people to control weak vulnerable people.

    April 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  15. Sanjaya

    Religion is not the way for humanitarian act. It should come through conscience without any ulterior motives.
    Religion and its repercussions; http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2013/others/guestcolumn/mar/guest_columns_02.php

    April 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  16. Noaction atheist

    To all who complains about these christian agenda about forced conversion,etc.... what are we atheist doing about human trafficking then? Is there an atheistic organization that we can join to make an impact on this issue?

    April 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Ari for Peace

      Human Trafficking is a main belief explicitiy state in the Buddhist – Right Livelihood of the Noble Eightfold Path. Law Enforcement that atheists pay for goes after Human Trafficking.

      Christians go to church and don't learn how visualize multiple options in the mind, evaluate options, and select the best option. In other words, Christians aren't taught to make decisions for themselves; they are taught to do god's will.

      Sounds like god is in the business of human trafficking, huh?

      April 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Just Tad

      Any humanist group in the country! The atheist community is growing fast and there are plenty of great groups the help the less fortunate. A big problem we have are those few bad eggs that give a bad example of what atheist's believe or do.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • NSk

      Is there no human trafficking in the US? or any other developed country? Every country has human trafficking and they are not associated with the religion. BUt these missionaries and churches bring the religious color to it by converting them for their personal gains which are very obvious. Open your eyes and mind and face the reality, my friend....

      April 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Troy

      No – atheists generally only care about themselves and their own pleasure.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Troy

      Yes NSK – if I want to make it rich the first think that comes to mind is to become a missionary. Are you really this dumb?

      April 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  17. halfbakedlunatic

    'god' is an idiotic idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded. Anything done in the name of 'religion' is immediately suspect.

    April 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Troy

      You have no answers to any of the big questions of life, and you mock those that believe in something bigger than themselves. I pity your sad, pathetic, jaded, unhappy view.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  18. OldSchool

    I would really be curious to find out what exactly they teach in these schools that they are building, I suspect it is heavy on the prosthelytizing...

    April 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Sue

      They are taught to read, write and that God loves them and they of great value, unlike what they were told before the Christians came to help.

      April 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • G to the T

      That's the carrot Sue – you forgot the stick – Obey or BURN!

      April 16, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  19. SAAB

    okay what about South American immigrants right here in the US? Are we treating them fairly? What happened to your compassion? How 'bout making movies on them?

    April 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • kidkopf

      What does your comment have to do with this story? Of course there are other people being oppressed and in need of help. That is not the point here. This is about a movie that is trying to show the desperation of the Dalit of India.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Patiat

      Come back now...back on topic, please.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  20. whoblackmailspeople

    Money for the Killing Machine, not for People: Obama’s Betrayal of Social Security
    - Dave Lindorff, Common Dreams, April 14, 2013

    What’s wrong with the Obama administration’s proposal to change the way Social Security checks are adjusted for inflation from using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to instead using something called a “chained” CPI?

    Let’s start with the fundamental problem: Social Security is not a cause of the federal budget deficit, and will not be for years, even if nothing is done to raise more revenue for the program

    April 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Patiat

      Come back now...back on topic, please.

      April 14, 2013 at 12:43 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.