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Hollywood’s Bias
townhall.com ^ | 3/01/04 | Joel Mowbray

Posted on 03/01/2004 1:39:04 AM PST by kattracks

With a five-day opening weekend gross of well over $100 million, Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” is shocking Hollywood in becoming a certified blockbuster.  Even as recently as this past week, the “experts” were predicting a total opening weekend take of $30 million—slightly more than it made on just the first day.

  Thus continues the strange odyssey of “The Passion.”

  Easily one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood was planning to write and direct a movie about the most famous and revered figure in history.  And the budget would be nothing: $25 million.  The average movie—not the average blockbuster, mind you—has a <I>marketing</I> budget north of $25 million.

  No one bit.

  Gibson had to personally finance “The Passion,” and then he had to contract with relatively obscure arthouse indie Newmarket Films to handle the distribution.

  Sure, Gibson was behind the camera and not in front of it.  But it was clear that the devout Catholic was pouring his heart and soul into the film, and any contract could have required Gibson to plug on the usual array of TV and print media outlets.

  And how could you not get media attention about a movie showing the death of Jesus?  Controversy sells tickets, certainly enough to cover a skimpy $25 million budget.

  Taking a broader view, “The Passion” was not just a smart business bet because of the specifics of the film—Gibson, the low cost, the inevitable controversy—but because religious films make money.

  Not that Hollywood has first-hand experience with religious movies.  Without the truly deep pockets of the major studios, the only overtly Christian movies to come out in the past few years have been low-budget cheapies with minimal star wattage. 

  The flicks may not have won critics’ hearts, but deprived Christian audiences made both “The Omega Code” and “Left Behind: The Movie” profitable.  The $8 million-budgeted “Omega” raked in $13 million at theaters (plus a bundle more in video rentals and sales), and though it was a dud at theaters, the $17-million “Left Behind” sold more than 3 million copies on DVD and VHS—a threshold even many hit films don’t reach.

  Another interesting case study comes from early 2002 with two non-religious movies, though one did explicitly keep it clean.  One starred PG-rated pop singer Mandy Moore, the other was the debut of Madonna’s protégé, Britney Spears.  Most industry analysts predicted “Crossroads,” boasting a scene where negligee-clad Spears jumps in excitement, would out-gross Moore’s family-friendly “A Walk to Remember.”  The experts were wrong.

  To see that there is an audience for entertainment that wears its Christianity on its sleeve, network television probably provides better examples.  Not that there are many, though.

  It seems only CBS has been willing to take the risk of airing overtly religious-themed programs.

  In a world where roughly 80 percent of new shows don’t get renewed to a second season, CBS scored a long-running success with Touched by an Angel and this season has an unlikely hit with Joan of Arcadia. 

  Touched, which outlasted even most hit shows by staying on for nine years, was CBS’s highest-rated drama for much of that time.  And Joan, a quirky show that most critics predicted would flop, has thrived despite being dumped into what is normally a deadly timeslot, Fridays at 8pm EST. 

  Religion is such a fringe element in entertainment that it’s easy to forget that Hollywood wasn’t always afraid to embrace faith. 

  Consider that two of the greatest Tinseltown classics are big-budget religious epics, one of which was “ripped from” the Bible.  “The Ten Commandments” raked in a then-staggering $65.5 million back in 1956—and nearly a half-century later, it still garners heavenly ratings for ABC every year on Easter Sunday.  Making slightly more at the box office was “Ben-Hur,” which grossed $74 million in 1959.

  In today’s dollars, ticket sales like that would translate to roughly $400 million apiece.  Given the graphic violence making it unsuitable for children (or even for repeat viewing for most adults), “The Passion” faces an uphill climb to reach such lofty heights.

  Already, though, Gibson’s gamble has been vindicated.  The $25 million budget was covered in the first-day gross of $26.6 million.

  Only the “experts” should be surprised.

©2003 Joel Mowbray

Contact Joel Mowbray | Read Mowbray's biography



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: joelmowbray; thepassion
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'PASSION' IS HEADED FOR HOLY $UNDAY ($100 million in its first five days)
1 posted on 03/01/2004 1:39:04 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks

I am loving this!


2 posted on 03/01/2004 1:41:27 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: kattracks

I know WE hold the same opinion and share the same joy.
3 posted on 03/01/2004 1:42:24 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: kattracks
Hollywood liberals prize their secular liberalism more than they prize the profit potential from a huge religious audience out there.
4 posted on 03/01/2004 1:45:26 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: onyx
Hollyweird just doesn't get it.........since 9/11, they have become totally unimportant.
5 posted on 03/01/2004 1:51:08 AM PST by Elkiejg (Clintons and Democrats have ruined America)
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To: Elkiejg

You're right and I hope Mel makes enough money to buy Hollywood.

6 posted on 03/01/2004 1:54:22 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: goldstategop
Yeah, Hollywierd really stands on principle < sarcasm > .

I mean, they'll even give up money as long as they stick to their principle of polluting the collective mind of the world with sick, twisted pornographic, meaningless cr*p.
7 posted on 03/01/2004 2:05:27 AM PST by little jeremiah (...men of intemperate minds can not be free. Their passions forge their fetters.)
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To: little jeremiah; Elkiejg; onyx
What were Hollywood's sinister reasons for demeaning The Passion of The Christ, making ridiculous claims that it it was anti-Semitic and too violent? The same Hollywood---the self-avowed adversary of Christianity---that produced an avalanche of films, TV and music demeaning Christians and trivializing Christian beliefs.

The answer is Hollywood is paranoid that it will lose its chokehold on American culture. It might even have to make films for Christians---the very people Hollywood disdains.

Let's be clear. Any and all attacks on The Passion film are attacks against Christians and will have important ramifications and serious repercussions.

America has learned to its grief that a culture devoid of Christian values is a dangerous wasteland of school killings, disturbed one-parent kids, crime waves of titanic proportions, schools teaching the destructive, terroristic NEA--PP'hood agenda, sexual license, younger and younger teen pregnancies, throw-away babies, abortion on demand including infanticide, and the homosexual takeover.

Fortunately for the welfare of America, Christians are finding renewed strength and spirit under the organizing influence of Mel Gibson's blockbuster film.

Americans voted with their tickets in atounding numbers. The take from the Passion's opening---Ash Wednesday thru the weekend---is nearing $120M. That's $120 million all-American Christian dollars.

The whole world knows now that Christians have the power. What they have not yet seen is what we will do with it.

8 posted on 03/01/2004 3:01:59 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
BTTT. God has blessed us and Mel Gibson.

Liz, you know Hollywood already hated Mel because he's a Republican.

Next year's Oscar nominations --- I predict they'll either ignore Mel and his film or nominate Mel and his film in every category and then make sure he and his film do not win one Oscar.






9 posted on 03/01/2004 3:09:48 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: Liz
America has learned to its grief that a culture devoid of Christian values is a dangerous wasteland of school killings, disturbed one-parent kids, crime waves of titanic proportions, schools teaching the destructive, terroristic NEA--PP'hood agenda, sexual license, younger and younger teen pregnancies, throw-away babies, abortion on demand including infanticide, and the homosexual takeover.

Well said!!! THIS is the legacy of the RATS and Clintons.

10 posted on 03/01/2004 3:13:52 AM PST by Elkiejg (Clintons and Democrats have ruined America)
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To: kattracks
Already, though, Gibson’s gamble has been vindicated. The $25 million budget was covered in the first-day gross of $26.6 million.

That's a bit misleading. Theaters get to keep about half of the gross and another ten percent goes for distribution. So Gibson sees about forty percent. Needless to say, after DVD sales and everything, Gibson will stand to make a few hundred million from this movie.

11 posted on 03/01/2004 3:28:40 AM PST by Always Right
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To: Elkiejg
Pass the word. Christians will no longer tolerate the corrupt Dim culture of the Clintons.
12 posted on 03/01/2004 3:29:03 AM PST by Liz
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To: onyx
Hollywood ignores this film at their extreme peril. Speaking of Oscars, here's my nominations:

Best Film: The Passion of The Christ,

Best actor: James Cazeveil as Jesus, Maia Morganstern as Mary,

Best Supporting Actors: Pilate, Simon of Cyrene, Claudia, Veronica, Mary Magdalene

Best Director Mel Gibson

Best adaption from the original

Best screenplay

Best costumes

Best lighting

Best original score

Best art direction

Best sound

Best film editing

Best cinematography

Best special visual effects

Best makeup

And as another FReeper suggested: Lifetime Achievement award for Mel Gibson for single handedly bringing faith to the hearts and minds of millions of people who may experience this message for the first time, or may experience a new 'awakening' of the spirit.
13 posted on 03/01/2004 3:33:14 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Only problem being that you are not a Christian.
14 posted on 03/01/2004 3:36:51 AM PST by dennisw (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”)
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To: kattracks
I know WE hold the same opinion and share the same joy.

"Ditto"
15 posted on 03/01/2004 3:42:53 AM PST by garylmoore (Now I know: It is as it was)
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To: Liz
"throw-away babies, abortion on demand including infanticide".

Amen to that. On Friday, one of the front page headlines in the Louisville "Communist" Journal was: "Fetal Homocide Bill Threatens Abortion Rights".

16 posted on 03/01/2004 4:13:03 AM PST by anoldafvet (Medals don't equal morals, just look at John f'n Kerry)
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To: dennisw; Liz
Only problem being that you are not a Christian.

And you just exposed the problem non-Christians have with Christians.

17 posted on 03/01/2004 6:00:21 AM PST by Rennes Templar
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To: StonyBurk; RJayneJ
Nominated for Quote of the Day:

What the ungodly seem to be most upset about is people are going to see this movie even though the dividers and gossip-mongers amongst us loudly proclaimed doom should any see it. What upsets them seems to be that a more accurate vision of Christ has been produced by Mel Gibson - than their queer Christ -- and people can actually discern the real--from the story - the good from the wicked -- and the good is prevailing without the help from Hollyweirds Oscar.

18 posted on 03/01/2004 6:01:11 AM PST by Liz
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To: anoldafvet
On Friday, one of the front page headlines in the Louisville "Communist" Journal was: "Fetal Homocide Bill Threatens Abortion Rights".

They use homicide and abortion in the same sentence and don't see the implications. Mind-boggling.

19 posted on 03/01/2004 6:04:31 AM PST by Liz
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To: Just mythoughts; Libloather; AlbionGirl
..... What the ungodly seem to be most upset about is people are going to see (The Passion) even though the dividers and gossip-mongers amongst us loudly proclaimed doom should any see it...

Clearly, in the current (and future) post-Passion era, the ungodly "dividers" and "gossip-mongers" are tearing off their disguises, daring to publicly revile Christians. Their small voices pipe up every now and then, oozing words of derision and criticism. Their biggest fear has come true--Christians are taking back the culture.

Seems the only way they "tolerate" Christians is if we let them walk all over us. To that end the "dividers" have fomented a climate of Christian intolerance and created corrupt laws of discrimination and exclusion to marginalize and trivialize Christians.

20 posted on 03/01/2004 6:56:49 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
This so true and Christ did tell us about those who sit in the seat of Moses ---- the lawgiver.

The ADL who claims to hold the key of David, have shown they are liars. Hollywood is 99% trash, and too many Christians have helped pave the bricks for their stars in their religion of "we are gods".
21 posted on 03/01/2004 7:03:26 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Liz; SJackson
Let's be clear. Any and all attacks on The Passion film are attacks against Christians and will have important ramifications and serious repercussions.

It is incendiary, superficial and immature comments like this that have poisoned the atmosphere around this film.

I don't think Jesus would approve. :) He was a Jew, after all....

People from both sides have used the film to promote agendas which have nothing to do with the film itself.

22 posted on 03/01/2004 7:04:40 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: dennisw
BTTT. :))
23 posted on 03/01/2004 7:05:18 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: Just mythoughts
One of the reasons Hollywood goes on the offensive with poltical rants is to distract attention from their own contributions to 9-11. They serve up Sex & Violence to a world audience, then wonder why the fundamentalists hate us. If your neighbors showered you with filth everyday, you'd be ticked too. Here in America, we're immune to a little T&A on the silver screen - can you imagine what its like to be offended by less than that (from overseas).
24 posted on 03/01/2004 7:08:27 AM PST by Fenris6
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To: Fenris6
"One of the reasons Hollywood goes on the offensive with poltical rants is to distract attention from their own contributions to 9-11."

Thinking about this and exactly what it means, Clintons policy of "EQUALIZE ALL NATIONS" Hollywood seems to be the cap stone of their religion. Control of the political, economic, education, and religion give them total control.

I now understand Rev. Jackson's years of ranting institutional racism. Jesse wanted in on the action and he used their method of operation victimhood. Their religion is communism and they are the "gods".
25 posted on 03/01/2004 7:14:56 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Fenris6
Bin Laden attacked America because of bad movies? That's a bit simplistic, don't you think?

What passes for art in some Islamic countries is TV series' based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They don't have delicate artistic sensibilities. :) Do you seriously think the US is to blame for 9-11? I'm all for cleaning up the culture, but the blame for 9-11 rests with the perversion known as radical Islam.

26 posted on 03/01/2004 7:18:29 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: onyx
I hope that Mr. Gibson enters the political arena.
27 posted on 03/01/2004 7:21:01 AM PST by macrahanish #1
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To: Liz; veronica
Let's be clear. Any and all attacks on The Passion film are attacks against Christians and will have important ramifications and serious repercussions.

The whole world knows now that Christians have the power. What they have not yet seen is what we will do with it.

Powerful stuff liz, your take on what the films about is fascinating. You make Christians sound like pretty nasty, vindictive critters.

Veronica, be nice to liz, wouldn’t want to get accused of trying to get her banned would you?

28 posted on 03/01/2004 7:22:06 AM PST by SJackson (The Passion: Where were all the palestinians?)
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To: dennisw
I think it's interesting that everyone was so well-behaved at the Oscars last night. I think the Janet Jackson episode scared everyone straight. Janet has a paid a mighty price for her prank at the Super Bowl. Lena Horne fired her from the ABC TV movie about Horne's life. The project is off. Bad news for Janet, who is a marginal talent at best, and hoped to take off as an actress. Hollywood is on notice. From that event, from the CBS Reagan debacle. There is a price to pay for going over the line.
29 posted on 03/01/2004 7:27:31 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: veronica
veronica, I don't think Jesus would approve. :) He was a Jew, after all.... Which Jesus are you talking about?

The first one on the scene of the one that follows?

Funny how you twist" "Let's be clear. Any and all attacks on The Passion film are attacks against Christians and will have important ramifications and serious repercussions."

INTO

"It is incendiary, superficial and immature comments like this that have poisoned the atmosphere around this film."


Are you a scriputre lawyer?
30 posted on 03/01/2004 7:30:34 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
This so true and Christ did tell us about those who sit in the seat of Moses ---- the lawgiver. The ADL who claims to hold the key of David, have shown they are liars. Hollywood is 99% trash, and too many Christians have helped pave the bricks for their stars in their religion of "we are gods".

I passed up the Oscar garbage. Who wants to see a bunch of botoxed, siliconed, viagraed, anorexic neurotics? John Basedow's 6-pack abs infomercial is more entertaining than a bunch of warped, half-dressed Hollyweirdos. Only God knows what they lowered themselves to do in order to walk the red carpet.

31 posted on 03/01/2004 7:31:43 AM PST by Liz
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To: veronica
Bin Laden attacked America because of bad movies? That's a bit simplistic, don't you think?

Yes, because thats not what I'm saying. :)

Hollywood has contributed greatly to the world's perception that America is decadent.

Better?

32 posted on 03/01/2004 7:34:22 AM PST by Fenris6
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To: Liz
I didn't watch it either, I do not understand the "worship" of Oscar.
33 posted on 03/01/2004 7:35:41 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: SJackson
I fail to understand how a review of The Passion by a Christian for instance, could be intepreted as anti-Christian. Maybe I'm dense. :) Is it possible that people of good will can disagree, especially about art, and even about religion, without zealots or haters screaming "get a rope"? I hope it is. :) Otherwise we are no better than the cretins who attacked us on 9-11.
34 posted on 03/01/2004 7:35:56 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: Just mythoughts
I didn't watch it either, I do not understand the "worship" of Oscar.

I find it exceedingly amusing, and ironic to say the least, that some folks here who spit vitriol at Hollywood, are slavishly tracking the box office of The Passion with the fervor of a William Morris agent, and predicting which Oscars The Passion will win like a reporter for Access Hollywood.

Mel Gibson has had a long and illustrious career in the movies. He's as Hollywood as it gets. And that's a good thing. If he didn't have Hollywood wired, he'd be preaching his beliefs in some tiny venue, reaching few.

Is The Lord of The Rings trash? It won 11 Oscars...:)

35 posted on 03/01/2004 7:44:13 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: Just mythoughts
As one Freeper posted, "Critics who made no comment upon the violence of putrid offerings of Hollywood suddenly are repelled by the violence of The Passion....It's easy for someone watching this play out to conclude that critics of the movie are anti-Christian......"

More than that, Hollyweirdos, the ADL, and the rest of the ragtag cadre of naysayers raging against the film, think they have the right to tell Christians what they should believe. They really think Christians are going to allow this.

36 posted on 03/01/2004 7:47:41 AM PST by Liz
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To: veronica; Poohbah
I've seen "Return of the King" in theaters six times. Each time I got my money's worth.
37 posted on 03/01/2004 7:48:40 AM PST by hchutch (Why did the Nazgul bother running from Arwen's flash flood? They only managed to die tired.)
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To: Liz
Seems the only way they "tolerate" Christians is if we let them walk all over us. To that end the "dividers" have fomented a climate of Christian intolerance and created corrupt laws of discrimination and exclusion to marginalize and trivialize Christians.

Perhaps now would be a good time to start a campaign to put the "Christ" back in "Christmas" and stop all this "Happy Holidays' BULLCR*P!

38 posted on 03/01/2004 7:51:53 AM PST by albee
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To: albee
If the homo's can ignore state law in CA, why can't we?

Time for a rosary and nativity scene in every public square. They take em down, we put em back up.
39 posted on 03/01/2004 7:54:11 AM PST by Fenris6
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To: hchutch
I guess I'm going to have to finally give in and rent LOTR to see just what all the fuss is about.
40 posted on 03/01/2004 7:54:17 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Liz
I passed up the Oscar garbage. Who wants to see a bunch of botoxed, siliconed, viagraed, anorexic neurotics? John Basedow's 6-pack abs infomercial is more entertaining than a bunch of warped, half-dressed Hollyweirdos. Only God knows what they lowered themselves to do in order to walk the red carpet.

Well, I enjoy entertainment, but it sounds like a wise move for you to avoid it.... Someone as vitriolic as yourself probably wouldn't get the jokes.

41 posted on 03/01/2004 7:54:46 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: SJackson; Liz; dennisw

(Private joke..:))

42 posted on 03/01/2004 7:55:03 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: veronica
veronica I have made that very point. However, Christians have learned what gives Hollywood its power to fund the lying liberal communists. $$$$$$$$$$$$

They are beginning to wake up and realize that everytime they spend their dollars on Hollywood trash it helps fund another liberal liar.....

Hollywood is a house of abomination and they just got a wake up call, because of a theft of a script, and an organized effort to do the very thing to Christians they were accusing Christians of doing.

They got caught!

43 posted on 03/01/2004 7:58:29 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: veronica
And the final icing on the cake, in my opinion, would be rid the airways of Howard Stern.
44 posted on 03/01/2004 8:00:52 AM PST by Hildy
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To: Liz
What we are seeing here is the face of FEAR, these liberal lying communists, practicing their religion 'we are gods', accusing others of doing exactly what they are professional at, GOT CAUGHT!


What is next is called a DIVERSION! NEED to deceive.....

Note in Matthew 24 Christ first warning is DO NOT BE DECEIVED, when asked what would be the SIGN of his return.

45 posted on 03/01/2004 8:03:57 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: veronica
sex change?
46 posted on 03/01/2004 8:04:25 AM PST by SJackson (The Passion: Where were all the palestinians?)
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To: HairOfTheDog
Yeah, I guess you have to be a real "tolerant and compassionate" liberal......maybe even a (sob) "victim".......and also coked up and sedated with valium and vodka to get the Hollywarped in jokes.
47 posted on 03/01/2004 8:06:07 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
Oh lighten up for cryin out loud.

Not all laughter is evil.

You sound so bitter it is you who seems twisted, not people who had a good time watching entertainment last night.
48 posted on 03/01/2004 8:08:52 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: Just mythoughts
Woah there. Signs of the coming? It was just an awards show.

They do them every year!

49 posted on 03/01/2004 8:10:51 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: Liz
Get this Liz, a bunch of lying perverts stick their finger in Christians eye, and they expect Christians to turn the other cheek.

50 posted on 03/01/2004 8:11:56 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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