Showing posts from July, 2014

A Candid Conversation about Objectifying Actors

In recent online discussions related to Hollywood’s secret rape culture , I’ve come into contact with some delightfully likeminded individuals like E. Stephen Burnett , Editor at Speculative Faith . While we may not see eye to eye on all the related issues, we are still, as Stephen has said, “allied on what really matters.” Because the pornification of mainstream entertainment involves principles and practices that really do matter, I wanted to share a recent conversation I had with Stephen. Or, more honestly, this is a conversation in which Stephen said a lot of great things, and I wanted to share them with my audience. I’m still mulling over some of what he said, and my approach to questionable entertainment may still likely differ from his own. Nevertheless, I genuinely appreciate the integrity of his beliefs: how he desires to apply Biblical wisdom to controversial topics like this, and how his convictions have encouraged and challenged me. Below is a segment of our online co

The Problem with Telling People to “Do What You Love”

Like most kids, I wanted to be a variety of things while growing up: painter, firefighter, carpenter, and astronaut (although the movie Space Camp cured me of that desire). After developing an interest in cinematography in my pre-teen years, I pursued schooling in the visual arts. God has graciously blessed my efforts. I’ve been involved in media in some form or capacity ever since officially entering the workforce. I’ve participated in video and film production, photography, radio, and social media (to name a few)—and I’ve loved (most) every minute of it. “Do what you love” is a cultural mantra I haven’t really questioned. After all, it’s worked for me. Well, a few days ago, I read a challenging blog post by Gene Edward Veith entitled “Unfulfilling work as vocation.” In the article, he lists some random thoughts about the Christian doctrine of vocation. His insights, and the articles he links to, have continued to germinate in my mind. The ultimate question I’ve had to

How to Tell if You’re Treating Actors Like Whores

The conversation I overheard took place between three Christian men. Maybe that’s why I found it so disturbing. Their words revealed a flippant attitude toward sexual manipulation—in this case, of underage girls. What’s worse, it was excused on the grounds of entertainment. The shocking callousness has stayed with me to this day. The topic? A popular television series they had all been watching. Here’s what I heard them say. (The names I’ve used are not real.) LEO: I’ve watched the first 5 seasons. I attempted to start season 6 the other day, but I just couldn’t take it. I made it only twenty minutes into the first episode before the hyper-sexualization of everything, including 15-year-old girls, did me in. So Nate, give me your best judgment: is there enough of a payoff in terms of storyline development to make another go at it worthwhile? NATE: Orson would be the best judge of that. I stopped during season three. ORSON: The finale of the latest season is, for me, qu

Two Popular Myths About the United States

I don’t normally get political because that’s not what this blog is about. But because we’ll be celebrating our nation’s independence this week, I wanted to honor the occasion by looking at two common misconceptions about the U.S. government. Here they are: There is a constitutional separation of church and state Faith-based concepts should be kept out of the public realm Let’s see if I can address these highly controversial topics in the least controversial way possible. 1. There is a constitutional separation of church and state The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a “separation of church and state”—at least, not in the sense the phrase is understood today. In fact, that particular phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution. So where did the wording come from? We find it in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association . This group of Baptists was concerned about a potential restriction on their freedom to pursue religion as they saw