Abortion for minors, assisted suicide, movie ratings milestone, and Christian movies perform

Weekly Review

Abortions for Minors. The Obama Administration helped unaccompanied immigrant minors get abortions. According to emails disclosed in a federal case, a teenager in federal custody who became pregnant requested an abortion. The emails revealed federal authorities discussed taking the girl to New Mexico for the abortion, because that state did not have parental consent requirements. Margot Cleveland, reporting for The Federalist, wrote, “Girls were transported or transferred to other states to avoid parental notification laws. For instance, one email referenced the ‘need’ to drive a minor to San Antonio from another Texas-based shelter. In this email, the ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] representative added, “We had driven minors from El Paso to Albuquerque NM which is bigger distance from your program to San Antonio [in] order to get this procedure done.”

Forced to Kill? Hawaii has a new law allowing its citizens to commit assisted suicide. However, Catholic retirement centers prohibit assisted suicide in their facilities. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii is now challenging those Catholic institutions. The ACLU of Hawaii last week sent a demand letter to a Catholic-owned retirement home in Honolulu, saying it must allow non-Catholic residents of their facilities to commit assisted suicide.  The retirement home, Kahala Nui, had previously informed its residents it would not allow them to take advantage of a law that allows assisted suicide. The director of the facility, Wendy Wong, said she was reviewing the ACLU letter with its attorneys.

Rating Movies. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) started rating movies 50 years ago this week. The moving ratings came at a time when increasingly violent and sexually explicit movies were making their way into theatres. Activist groups and government officials threatened to ban or censor movies if the industry didn’t do something. A recent survey by the Nielsen organization found 91 percent of American parents are familiar or very familiar with the G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 classification system, and 95 percent think the rating system is helpful. MPAA CEO Charles Rivkin wrote in a statement, “We could point to many factors behind the ratings’ success. But the clearest one of all comes directly from its founding mission: to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents.” Perhaps, but a 2011 study of movie ratings over the years found some evidence of “ratings creep,” with PG-13 movies becoming increasingly violent.

Christian Movies Still Running. Speaking of movies, at least four Christian movies are still in theatrical release. Unbroken Path To Redemption, the story of Louie Zampirini, is still racking up sales. It recently went over the $6-million mark in ticket sales, and cracked Top 40 list of biggest Christian movies ever. (To hear my interviews with the director, and with Luke Zampirini, Louie’s son, click here.) A new release, “Indivisible,” based on the true story of a U.S. Army chaplain, will pass the $3-million mark this week, and this movie is also getting decent reviews. “Gosnell” is not in the Christian movie genre, but it has struck a chord with Christian audiences, and it continues to plug away at the box office, approaching the $4-million mark in ticket sales. These numbers aren’t blockbuster by any stretch of the imagination, but they are big enough to fuel a growing industry, and that’s a good sign.

Milestones. Billy Graham was born 100 years ago this week (Nov. 7, 1918.)….  The Dutch theologian, journalist, educator, and politician Abraham Kuyper died this week (Nov. 8) in 1920… It’s election day. Vote!


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