[Marxism] An update on "Amazing Grace"

Louis Proyect 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 
their industry.

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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