[Marxism] An update on "Amazing Grace"
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 19 15:18:50 MST 2007
I just discovered that the production company behind the film, Bristol Bay
Productions, has launched something called the "Amazing Change Campaign"
that intends to fund and promote Christian missionary work in troubled
areas in Africa (Uganda, etc.) in the spirit of William Wilberforce.
When I discovered the Christian connection, I did a little more
investigation and learned that Bristol Bay is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Walden Media, the production company responsible for the Christian film
"The Chronicles of Narnia".
Walden's CEO is one Philip Anschutz, an evangelical Christian billionaire
who has funded organizations that oppose abortion and gay rights. Last year
Anschutz got into a bit of a scandal trying to launch a gambling casino
[perfect--just perfect] in London's Millennium Dome, which inspired this
report in the July 7, 2006 Independent:
The Christian tycoon who wants to ban gay marriage; Deputy PM Under Fire
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
John Prescott's genial host in Colorado is a billionaire conservative who
has used his vast wealth and influence to promote his Christian viewpoint,
to rally against gay marriage and fund an organisation that questions the
theory of evolution. He has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars
to Republican candidates.
The Deputy Prime Minister claims he spent only two-and-half hours with
Philip Anschutz over the entire July weekend he spent at his 35,000-acre
ranch, Eagle's Nest, an hour from Denver. Mr Prescott said he went to
satisfy an ambition to see a working cattle ranch - stirred by watching
Westerns as a boy - and to talk with sugar-beet farmers about the state of
But if the MP for Hull East had time to dig a little he might have asked Mr
Anschutz about Amendment 2, an ultimately failed ballot initiative he
funded to overturn state laws that protected gay rights. The measure was
ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1996.
He might also have asked Mr Anschutz about the Discovery Institute, a
"think-tank" he funds in Seattle that criticises Darwin's theory of
evolution and argues for the involvement of a "supernatural" actor in the
development of living things.
Critics accuse it of offering little more than a new spin on creationism
and the institute was recently caught up in a notorious lawsuit about the
teaching of creationism in schools. And over dinner at the ranch, complete
with its own golf-course and formerly owned by the beer magnate Peter
Coors, Mr Prescott could have raised the topic of the Media Research
Council, a Washington-based group that attacks the liberal media and which,
in 2003, was responsible for half of the complaints received by the Federal
Communications Commission about alleged indecency on television.
The wealth of Mr Anschutz, 67, is huge and his interests are vast. Born in
Kansas, he inherited his father's land and oil businesses before expanding
His empire includes sports teams - he owns the Los Angeles Lakers
basketball team' a cinema chain' a film production company that has
produced such films as Ray and The Chronicles ofNarnia' oil' railroads'
telecommunications and newspapers.
Forbes lists him as the 28th richest person in the US with a net worth of
$7.2bn (pounds 4bn) but, in 2002, Fortune called him the "greediest executive".
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