'Son of God' Producer: Hollywood Has Many Quiet Christians

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 08:18 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Hollywood is getting back some of that old-time religion, thanks to its large but mostly silent community of devout Christians, says reality TV czar Mark Burnett, co-producer of the blockbuster movie "Son of God."

"I will tell you there's a lot of Christians who love Jesus, who love God in Hollywood," Burnett told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I've got news for everybody out there. Hey, the mass of Americans love family-friendly, love God. It's one nation under God. Get over it," he said Wednesday.

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Burnett, whose smash shows include "Shark Tank," "Survivor" and "The Voice," and his wife, "Touched by an Angel" star Roma Downey, produced the new movie, which depicts the life and death of Jesus Christ.

The movie, rated PG-13 for "intense and bloody depiction of the Crucifixion and some sequences of violence,'' opened last week in theaters across the nation. It is based on the hit History Channel series.

"Roma and I have become the very noisy Hollywood Christians, and we're very happy being in that position because it's our faith," Burnett said.

"This is a faith that millions of people have willingly died for, right? They could have saved themselves if they denied Jesus, but they didn't, and billions live for it," he said.

Downey said she and Burnett have been encouraged by the positive response to the movie.

"This has been more than a job for us. This has been a passion project for my husband and myself to be able to combine what we love to do with what we believe, and to do it together," she said.

"I had the privilege for a decade of bringing a message of God's love through 'Touched by an Angel.' [It's] the same intention here. We wanted to bring the message of the love of God through the life of Jesus to the big screen.

"The film is filled with mercy and grace, and we are getting such extraordinary feedback from hearts being opened and lives being touched by this," Downey said.

She said she is particularly gratified that families and school groups are flocking to  theaters.

"It's really beautiful to see that families are going together, parents and children are sharing the experience, schools are going, whole communities are going, entire churches are going," she said.

"The feedback is just that hearts are being opened. We know when hearts are open that grace can move in."

Burnett was delighted with the acceptance speech made by Matthew McConaughey, who won a best-actor Oscar for his portrayal of a Texas hustler afflicted with the AIDS virus in the R-rated drama "The Dallas Buyers Club."

“First off, I want to thank God because that’s who I look up to," McConaughey said at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday. "He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand.''

Burnett said of McConaughey's spiritual nod: "What a great thing to do!"

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.


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