Charges Against the God Makers by the NCCJA ResponseEd Decker
With the release of the God Makers II movie, and in the wake of a tremendous positive response all the stops were pulled out by its detractors. Even before I arrived in Utah to premier the film, the NCCJ had issued a widely distributed news release attacking the film that went out over A/P wires. I mentioned it, in part, in January's UPDATE REPORT, which went out to about a third our mail list. Because of the inquiries we have had, we give you the full text of their criticism and our response.NCCJA STATEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND THE UTAH CHAPTER FOR RELEASE DECEMBER 10 AT 10:00 AM
A statement by Gillian Martin Sorensen, President of the National Conference, about God Makers II. [Contact Chris Bugbee (1-212-206-0006)] "Like its predecessor, God Makers II presents an intemperate polemic against the Mormon faith disguised as an objective documentary. Using a carefully selected mix of sensational and unsubstantiated first-person accounts, lurid allegations, and a highly subjective interpretation of Mormon teachings, God Makers II draws upon the incendiary arsenal of religious bigotry""Frank discussion of the truth claims of different faiths is a legitimate avenue of inter-religious dialogue," Sorensen acknowledged. "But, base appeals to fear and hatred have no place in such efforts, and must be condemned wherever they are encountered." "With its depiction of the Mormon Church as an evil empire founded upon sexual exploitation, predatory greed and Satanism," Sorensen said, "God Makers II carries the odious scent of unreasoning prejudice. Let the public beware."
"President Sorensen's statement reflects the feelings and has the endorsement of the Utah Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews," said presiding Co-Chair Ted Speros. "A statement of our mission is to promote understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolutions and education. God Makers II is an affront to religious understanding."
And Now The Truth:
What the AP report did not say was that this was the same group that claimed the very same things about the first movie, way back in 1984. At that time they claimed to have spent a major effort in researching the movie before they concluded it was "religious pornography".
Yet, the NCCJ failed then and now to contact either this office, any single participant or Jeremiah films for a single document to support an single statement. I would guess that their only input was the PR office at the Mormon Church in a blatant attempt to discredit this film.
They failed to identify over a dozen Mormons in the first study group, failed to mention that there wasn't a single orthodox Jew or conservative Christian on the team, then or now. They also failed to state who the Mormon members of their Board presently are, or how they had managed to get this Statement ready for release in Utah on December 10th, the day before I was to arrive there.
The Mormons can sit back and smile while this unorthodox group, led by Mormons within it, use it to do their cleanup work. The NCCJ news release and its authors are without merit! Who gave them the authority to judge what specific lines of doctrine separate any group from orthodoxy?
The one sad part of the matter is that several other ministries to Mormons took advantage of the moment and joined in with the NCCJ crowd to take some shots at the film and at us. We'll deal with that fully in The God Makers II book, which should be completed and at the publishers as you read this Newsletter! Co-authored with Caryl Matrisciana, who did the scripting for the movie, the book will fully document every aspect of the film! [done]
The fact is, the movie clearly stands on its own merit and is more than well documented. I read the NCCJ report and the negative, public statements by one of the other ministry leaders after each showing and took a vote on who was telling things straight, them or us.
By show of hands the film easily won by a ratio of 100 to 1. The people in Utah already know Christian fact from LDS fiction. They have to live with this dark side of Mormonism every day. The film was a welcome bit of reality. The other ‘ministry leaders’ looked like fools.
I wish you could have been with me in Utah as the movie was shown. The audience participation times were alive and positive. We had great response. Yes, the film is hard hitting and yes, the Mormons are less than thrilled. But this is not a witnessing tool for wooing Mormons. It is a film to warn the church! To warn a church that has gone back to sleep and is ignoring the ravening wolves among the flocks! It is time to wake that sleeping church once more to the shouts of danger!
(c) copyright 1998, 2009 Ed Decker, all rights reserved
Saints Alive In Jesus
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