Friday, May 05, 2017

Christian Film Censorship?

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The Christian film industry has made some great advances.  Last year's "Resurrection of Gavin Stone" was a winner.  The story was not hokey, the acting was very good, it got to spend some time in regular theaters.  Granted, it had a little help from WWE Studios (Yes, the wrestling WWE), and the film wasn't in theaters as long as mainstream films usually are, but overall, its foray into crossover land was not a bad journey.

The next step in faith-based entertainment is a 3-D movie, Bravery: On Wings Like Eagles, designed to attract Millennials and younger generations to the Christian message.  However, as they work to get the project going, the producers are reporting online sabotage against them.

Interestingly enough, the attacks by forces determined to stop the film are reinforcing the whole argument of the film that persecution exists, and will likely get worse.

Bravery is set in the future world, a place and time where Christians are persecuted for their faith, and subject to public humiliation and executions, government sponsored monitoring and exposure, and a society determined to actively destroy Christians.  Producers Kathy Amidon and Proe Graphique (a pseudonym, since he is in the film industry) say the story was inspired by many of their real-life experiences on social media.

The pair of producers are no strangers to attacks by non-Christian activists, first encountering freedom of speech attacks against them when they created Tea Party Fire Ants. Their Twitter Campaign successfully created congressional support for a number of important bills.  Their grassroots campaigning included a massive Twitter campaign in which they used volunteers to tweet at members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor HR 36, the bill establishing a House committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) told the group their efforts played a key role in getting more than 150 Republican co-sponsors, which led to the launching of the committee.

Success, however sweet, also normally emboldens the forces against such conservative messages.  What happens is the opposition becomes more dangerous, and the fight becomes more difficult.  While, from the opposition's side of the game, the goal is to silence any conservative Christian opinion, we must not stray from the frontlines of battle because it got more difficult.

As with every situation where the enemies of Christianity and conservatism pulls out even bigger guns, in the case of Amidon and Graphique their Twitter accounts became targeted by the left-wing organization Truthy.  Truthy targeted for termination a number of conservative and Tea Party social media accounts, filing complaints about them to get them banned. Amidon and Graphique’s Twitter accounts were deleted and they were forced to create new ones, starting over from scratch to build up followers again. Eventually, they were “shadow banned” (although their accounts were still accessible, interactions with them dropped drastically because their posts were being hidden).

In addition to social media attacks, the pair of producers have also been hit with death threats, alleged hacking of their personal computers, and possibly targets of secret monitoring software.

As a result of the attacks, the effort to promote and fund-raise for Bravery has been very difficult, and virtually nonexistent.  They believe Facebook and YouTube are muting their posts, GoFundMe shut their fundraising page down (with the false accusation that they were raising money for an improper legal purpose — and by the time GoFundMe put it back up, it was largely too late; the window for a wave of fundraising had shut, as all their radio show appearances had ended).

While the page is up and running, again, the funds currently fall way short of the much-needed goal.

That does not mean all is lost.  We can help get this thing the traction it needs.  The Christian Church, in history, grew the most during persecution, and persecution is a call for all of us to leap into action.

Check out Bravery.  The film has professional production teams and strategies behind it.  The trailer is again available... for the time-being. 

Let's help this project get where it needs to go.

Contribute HERE if you can.

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