Not that it went away, obvs, but there's a distinct sense of religious regeneration in the air: uplifting pastoral story 'Jesus Revolution' opens this week; and many of you will already know about the 'Love Your Enemies' Super Bowl commercial.
Popular comedic actor Kelsey Grammer ('Cheers', 'Frasier') plays a churchman whose faith is on thin ice in 'Jesus Revolution'. It's based upon the life of US pastor Chuck Smith (1927-2013), the sometimes controversial founder of what he called "just a Christian church", the Calvary Chapel movement which now embraces more than 1,000 churches.
The young hippie who breaks into the deteriorating scenario is played by Joel Courtney, known to many from Steven Spielberg's 'Super 8' and Netflix's 'The Kissing Booth'.
Whatever one's beliefs, the need to heal a 'dark and divided place' will surely strike a chord at a time when many are questioning their trust in fellow humans and struggling to find light in a persistently conflictive global landscape.
That's a message we might like to think we can all agree on, but it rubs up against social issues/attitudes both old and new, as reflected in the much-talked about 'Love Your Enemies' commercial which went out during the Super Bowl sports and advertising bonanza earlier this month.
Delivered by the Christian organisation He Gets Us, the campaign links the compassionate activism of religious figure Jesus Christ to difficult contemporary issues such as ongoing warfare, immigration, and artificial intelligence. Some critics pointed to the outlay of so much money for a religious message, while political figure Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) tweeted that the spot promotes 'fascism', without refining on that accusation.
He Gets Us itself says of this campaign:
"We see conflict all around us. We align ourselves on different sides of the fight in battles of politics, religion, justice, and too often, we let that conflict morph from a dignified defense of something good into a dehumanizing attack on the people we don’t agree with. It’s tearing us apart."
Hard to disagree...
Posted by Tree Elven on 23/02/2023
Keywords: Jesus Revolution trailer, Kelsey Grammer, Chuck Smith, Joel Courtney, Super Bowl commercials 2023, He Gets Us Love Your Enemies, Haven creative hub