Frustration with an all-white main cast in "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was voiced earlier this week in the hashtag campaign, #BoycottExodusMovie.
The Old Testament epic is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul as Joshua, John Turturro as Seti, Ben Kingsley as Nun and Sigourney Weaver as Tuya. Earlier this month, Entertainment Weekly released initial photos of the film release, which Twitter users quickly pointed out showed that while Moses, Pharaoh and other Egyptian royalty were played by white actors, black actors were cast as slaves.
This is not the first time that biblical films have been criticized for "whitewashing." In an op-ed for Sojourners last year, Ryan Herring noted that his initial excitement for "Noah" and "Exodus" turned to "disdain" after realizing that "not a single one of the leading roles in either movie was given to a person of Middle Eastern descent." more >>
Steve Green's new Bible museum, slated to open in Washington, D.C. in 2017, will reportedly contain religious artifacts that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the historian who helped Green, president of Hobby Lobby craft stores, find the artifacts, many of which are ancient manuscripts.
Green has been planning the building of the Bible museum for several years, purchasing a 400,000-square-foot-space for $50 million back in 2012. The building is located two blocks south of the National Mall.
The plan for the Bible museum began when Green started collecting ancient religious manuscripts, including papyri, Torahs and Bibles, from around the world, starting five years ago. Scott Carroll, a historian and archeaologist who helped Green in his collecting venture, told the New York Times in a recent interview that while Green initially spent $30 million when he purchased the artifacts, the total value of the historic pieces is now likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars. more >>
A federal judge this week threw out a lawsuit by a local atheist group against the Orange County school district in Florida. The atheist group had sued the district for censoring some of its reading materials meant to be distributed to students.
Senior Judge Kendall Sharpe wrote in his opinion that he decided to throw out the lawsuit due to a change in school policy. The local atheist group Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) had previously sued the Orange County school district, accusing it of discrimination and violation of free speech after it had refused to allow the atheist group to distribute certain books on school campuses.
The atheist group argued that because the World Changers of Florida evangelical group was able to distribute Bibles without censorship, it too should be allowed to distribute the books it chooses. The school had deemed one of the atheist group's books, entitled An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity In The Bible, as inappropriate. more >>
A recent poll suggests that a majority of Americans believe Jesus would have backed universal healthcare. According to a YouGov survey released earlier in July, 55 percent of respondents believe that Christ would have endorsed the issue.
Despite this majority, a slight minority of American Protestants believed that the Jesus they knew would have supported universal healthcare. Only 48 percent of Protestants suggested this, in contrast to the 57 percent of Catholics who argued that their religion's founder would have backed it.
Aside from Jesus, 46 percent of Protestants and 55 percent of Catholics themselves backed the policy. more >>
Recently, an ambassador for the United States was sworn in on a Kindle version of the Holy Bible, prompting some to question if that was an acceptable decision.
Suzi Levine, U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, was sworn in last month on a Kindle due to there not being a paper Bible immediately available.
G. Brooke Lester, assistant professor in Hebrew Bible and director for Emerging Pedagogies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, told The Christian Post that a swearing-in ceremony may prompt a question of symbolism. more >>
The University of Notre Dame has acquired the three-volume Bible of the first Roman Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States.
Notre Dame officially accepted the Bible of Father Stephen Badin, a native of France who was ordained in the United States in 1793.
Badin's Bible was delivered to the Indiana-based Catholic academic institution by the Sisters of Loretto of Nerinx, Kentucky, on Monday. more >>