A California Nightmare: Late-term Abortions with No Limits

California is potentially poised to sink into an unimaginable bad dream.

It is one in which politicians and lawmakers are presently taking delight at the thought of voters signing on to a ballot proposition this November, which would amend the California Constitution so abortions would have absolutely no limitations.

Feelings on the part of a lot of average everyday Californians who are aware of what is being proposed are those of shock and revulsion. But there is also a high degree of fear that too many of their fellow residents aren’t sharing their same feelings.

California’s Proposition 1 seeks to permit the lives of babies in the womb to be terminated right up to the moment of birth.

Abortion procedures would be allowed to be conducted during any stage of pregnancy, regardless of whether or not a mother’s life was in danger. Furthermore, abortions would be able to be carried out on infants who, in other more welcoming circumstances, would be duly capable of surviving outside of the womb.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced plans for a billboard campaign that is to be conducted in states where abortion is more restrictive.

Well, the billboard campaign appears to be moving ahead.

He reportedly plans to use a portion of his re-election campaign funds to buy billboard space in the states of Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.

Some life-denying billboards display a pro-abortion invitation of sorts, accompanied by a Bible verse from Mark 12:31, which reads: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”

The governor also took to Twitter to spread the unholy message, with several Republican governors being tagged, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves. His tweet read in part, “To any woman seeking an abortion in these anti-freedom states: CA will defend your right to make decisions about your health.”

Christians across the country who have been affected by the billboard messaging are understandably offended.

Thankfully, two prominent religious leaders have courageously entered the public square to help enlighten folks on issues relating to the matter.

John MacArthur, author, televangelist and pastor of a non-denominational Southern California mega-church, expressed concern over the governor’s soul and took him to task for “shamelessly” misquoting the Bible for political purposes.

The pastor pulled no punches in his open letter to the governor.

Utilizing passages from Scripture in his response, Pastor MacArthur noted that the governor had “…compounded the wickedness of that murderous campaign with a reprehensible act of gross blasphemy, quoting the very words of Jesus from Mark 12:31 as if you could somehow twist His meaning and arrogate His name in favor of butchering unborn infants.”

Pastor MacArthur’s letter additionally shed light on what he characterized as the “diabolical effect” of the governor’s policies that have tarnished the once-Golden State and contributed to “California’s epidemics of crime, homelessness, sexual perversions, and other malignant expressions of human misery that stem directly from corrupt public policy.”

The pastor concluded with assurances that prayers were forthcoming from “countless Christians nationwide.”

Another prominent California religious leader has also spoken out in defense of human life and against the life-destroying policies and politics that state leaders are pursuing.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been a consistent voice for the rights of the unborn. His Excellency recently spoke to the media and also penned a letter to the archdiocese, asking parishioners to vote “No” on Proposition 1.

In an interview, Archbishop Cordileone noted that the proposition, as written, “would seem to allow abortion in all nine months of pregnancy up to birth. But it ignores that once conception has taken place, reproduction has already happened.”

Under existing California law, there are no limitations on abortions performed during the first six months of pregnancy.

However, should Proposition 1 pass, the life-ending practice, currently permitted during the third trimester of pregnancy only if there is a threat to the life or health of the mother, would be expanded, thereby eliminating even the nominal safety provisions that are presently in place for pre-born babies who are in the womb for the full term.

With regard to the governor’s claim that he wants the state to be an “abortion sanctuary,” Archbishop Cordileone pointed out, “The irony is that a sanctuary is designed to protect life, whereas these measures harm it.”

His Excellency indicated that the anti-life policy being pushed by California “furthers the mentality that pregnancy is an inconvenience and that abortion is the only option a woman has.”

The archbishop further noted that the state appears to have an ample supply of taxpayer money to pay for abortions “but no money for crisis pregnancy centers, which can help a woman to have her child.”

Archbishop Cordileone asked those who are pushing abortion the following questions: “Why are you limiting a woman’s rights? If it is okay to have an abortion a day before a baby is born, why not the day after? Why not a month later, or six months or a year? Why can’t a young mother, after having a baby and raising that child for six months say, ‘I can’t do this. It is too hard,’ and be allowed to kill that child?”

“Laws need to be grounded in sound reasoning, that human life begins at conception and must be protected,” the archbishop explained.

Science has long settled the principle that at the moment of fertilization a new life is created, which has unique genetic attributes. Therefore, as the archbishop stated, “It can never be right to procure an abortion, just as it would never be right to kill a newborn baby.”

On a scriptural note, both Pastor MacArthur and Archbishop Cordileone reminded those who have ears to hear about a pagan entity from the Old Testament. Some of the ancient Israelites fell into the worship of false gods, which included sacrificing children to a pagan deity of a neighboring nation, Molech.

Pastor MacArthur invoked the Old Testament, writing that the governor had “used the name and the words of Christ to promote the credo of Molech (Leviticus 20:1–5).”

“It would be hard to imagine a greater sacrilege,” the pastor commented.

Archbishop Cordileone quoted Psalm 106: “They worshipped those nation’s false gods, till they found themselves entrapped, and sacrificed their own sons and their daughters to demons.”

His Excellency cited a passage from the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:21), “You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”

Best to heed our religious leaders’ words. If we don’t, California’s bad dream will become America’s nightmare.

Scott Baio and Wife Renee’s Reliance on Faith

Through the decades of the seventies, eighties, nineties and beyond, Scott Baio was riding the wave of fame in the TV and film world.

His Hollywood journey began when he landed the title character role in the children’s movie musical “Bugsy Malone,” which co-starred Jodie Foster.

But his career really caught fire in 1976. The then-16-year-old actor snagged the coveted role of Fonzie’s cousin Chachi Arcola on the blockbuster sitcom hit “Happy Days.”

Scott’s television run would continue on in the “Happy Days” spin-off “Joanie Loves Chachi,” and in yet another successful sitcom “Charles in Charge.”

The 1990s saw him portraying a doctor in the medical mystery drama series “Diagnosis: Murder,” as well as a young prosecutor in a classic made-for-TV “Perry Mason” movie.

In between takes, he guested on numerous other popular television shows including “Full House,” “Touched by an Angel,” and “The Nanny.”

In 2005 his career came full circle when he played lawyer Bob Loblaw in the TV series “Arrested Development,” a role that passed to him when Henry “Fonzie” Winkler bowed out. It also had “Happy Days” lead star Ron Howard at its helm as executive producer and narrator.

From 2012 to 2015, he starred in the Nickelodeon sitcom “See Dad Run.”

His charmed Hollywood path continues to this day. Present times find him touring the country with his one-man show, titled “How Did I Get Here?”

Interestingly, his most challenging role is one that has been playing out in real life – that of being an immensely devoted husband and father trying to cope with suffering that is being endured by those he loves the most.

Recently, Scott took to Twitter to share details of a personal struggle that he and his wife Renee have been forced to deal with.

Renee has to undergo a brain tumor scan every year. This is because after already having dealt with breast cancer a few years back, she then began to suffer from painful migraines.

Her doctors initially blamed the headaches on changes in hormone levels. But further tests sadly revealed that she had three meningioma brain tumors.

Fortunately, the tumors turned out not to be malignant. But despite their benign nature, they are nevertheless categorized as “tumors that grow on the outer casing of the brain.”

Scott explained that such tumors “can cause serious problems depending on the size of the tumor and the location.”

As a result of the medical condition, Renee has to see her neurologist regularly for anti-seizure and pain management medication, and for the monitoring of her health situation via regular MRI scans.

Like so many others who have faced similar circumstances, Scott instinctively knew that he would have to rise to the occasion in order to provide the much-needed strength and support his family required.

It was faith in God that allowed both Scott and Renee to deal with the extremely difficult situation.

On the day they received news of Renee’s diagnosis, Scott posted the following on Facebook:

“Renee has been down some rough roads in her life, yet each time with her strong faith in God, she comes through a better and stronger person. During this time we ask for your prayers and support. My wife is my rock. She refuses to even shed one tear, nor will she question God’s will. Renee, Bailey and I will get through this. . .”

The two are fully united in their faith. Renee beautifully demonstrated how to “walk the walk” and provided words of advice on where to turn when help is needed the most.

“I will tell you my faith in God is greater than the fear of the unknown,” she said.

In speaking so openly, the couple hopes to spread knowledge about the medical condition and also provide assistance to those seeking help from a higher power.

“God does not challenge weak people – he has laid this upon me, and I’m not going to question it. If I can save one person along the way, I’m okay,” Renee said.

Scott shared that the hardest part of his wife’s diagnosis was trying to figure out how to break the news to their daughter.

“It was all about our kid,” Scott said, “…because she’s everything to us…”

Memories of their child’s medical history were front and center in Scott and Renee’s minds.

In 2007 Bailey came into the world five weeks premature. During a newborn screening test, she came up positive for a potentially deadly metabolic disorder called glutaric acidemia type 1 (GA-1).

The two thought they were going to lose their new little baby girl.

“Every time [Scott] would see a child, see a baby, he would just break down,” Renee said. “He’s a first-time father. He didn’t grow up with younger siblings. And it would just break him down…break us down. It was so tough to go through the holidays, our wedding…all the while knowing, our kid may die.”

Blessed news would be on the horizon. Further testing on baby Bailey revealed that the initial result had been a false positive.

The couple later started the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation to raise funds and awareness for children with metabolic disorders.

You can hear a lot more Scott stories and life lessons when you catch his one-man show “How Did I Get Here?” at a venue near you.

Should make for some Happy Days for attendees.

The Dangers of a Digitally Controlled Dollar

There’s a trend going on in the U.S., and for that matter in the whole wide world.

It’s one that people for the most part, both here and abroad, haven’t had the time or inclination of late to focus their energies on.

The trend is toward a completely cashless society.

There is good reason to be afraid. The timeline for its arrival is on an accelerated trajectory.

Recently in our own country, the Biden administration moved America closer to the death knell of physical money by its exploration and potential implementation of a government-created digital currency.

Ever since the advent of cryptocurrencies, government officials around the globe have longed to get in on the digital money action.

The best known crypto is Bitcoin, which was created in 2009 by a software engineer who used the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Numerous other digital coins followed, including the second-most popular, Ethereum.

The exchange of cryptos occurs on decentralized computer networks and takes place between individuals who use their virtual accounts.

Cryptocurrencies are shared on tamper-proof records known as “blockchains.”

As most folks are aware, computers and devices hold gobs of information in the form of data. A blockchain provides a specialized manner in which to hold data. It records information in a way that prohibits hacking or alteration.

Blockchain data are not contained within a central server, but instead are shared across a vast network of computer systems.

The Biden administration is pursuing something called a central bank digital currency (CBDC), also sometimes referred to as the “digital dollar.”

In March 2022 an executive order was issued, calling on federal agencies to research a number of topics that include the pros and cons of the digital dollar.

The Treasury, Justice Department, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other agencies were asked to contribute to the reports.

After the agencies came up with their reports, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen publicly cited a Treasury Department recommendation that the United States “advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC, so that the United States is prepared if CBDC is determined to be in the national interest.”

On the current necessity for digital dollars, Yellen explained, “Right now, some aspects of our current payment system are too slow or too expensive.”

So here we are on our way to a world in which everyday money will be held in the form of CBDCs.

According to the nonpartisan think tank Atlantic Council, 105 countries, representing more than 95 percent of global gross domestic product, are currently in the process or have already created a CBDC.

With regard to the inherent dangers of these developments, there is a whole lot to be concerned about.

CBDCs are very different from cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are private and untraceable. CBDCs are controlled by government.

Not only are CBDCs able to collect personally identifiable financial information and track the transactions of each and every individual, they are also programmable.

Programmable digital currency gives government leaders something they have never had before – the ability to limit or even stop altogether the purchases of all persons engaged in the digital currency’s use.

Money spent on things that for whatever reasons are deemed by government as “inappropriate” could be restricted, or said purchases could be totally halted.

How could a plan such as this be implemented? With the flick of a virtual switch.

Programmable currency has the capacity to have a built-in off switch. The government powers that be could then de-activate such digital currency and render it worthless, if they so choose.

Additionally, use of CBDCs would enable all shopping records to be stored in government databanks. Records could then be evaluated and measured against government created standards.

The stored data on purchases could also be used to establish a social credit system much like the one already in place in China.

Thankfully, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are paying attention to the issue and have submitted various pieces of legislation regarding cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

One championed by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, stands out.

Sen. Cruz has introduced legislation to prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDCs directly to individuals. The Texas senator’s bill is co-sponsored by Senators Braun, R-Indiana, and Grassley, R-Iowa.

The legislation prohibits the Federal Reserve from developing a direct-to-consumer CBDC, which could be used by the federal government as a financial surveillance tool, among other things.

Should the digital dollar arrive in our virtual wallets, the longstanding U.S. motto that has graced our coin and paper currency is unlikely to be visible.

But it will prove to be more important than ever.

The ‘Gospel’ According to Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough is the current co-host of the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” where wife Mika Brzezinski sits alongside him.

He used to be a Republican.

No, really, I’m serious. But let’s start with some background.

Joe’s early days garnered him a Catholic high school degree, a B.A. in

History and a Juris Doctor. This was seemingly preparation for what was to come.

From 1995 to 2001, he served under the GOP label as a U.S. congressman from the great state of Florida.

While in the House of Representatives, he was awarded a 95 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. He also signed on to then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s famed “Contract with America.”

Apparently, something major happened to Joe in the years that would follow, politically, personally and otherwise. And it has a lot of folks who once admired him trying to figure out what the heck went wrong.

I’m one of them. Joe and I go back to the days of “Conservative Chic.” Truly historic times.

Among other professional and personal interactions, I was a guest on his former prime time MSNBC show “Scarborough Country.”

Ideologically, a very different media figure is sitting in the host chair today, and now it looks like spiritually as well.

He seems to be able to act, speak and breathe very comfortably in a realm of irrationality.

There are many puzzling things about Joe 2.0. But rivaling for most disturbing is a recent one in which he appears to move from presenting questionable news to preaching questionable theology.

His current claim is that long ago Jesus Christ placed a sort of stamp of approval on abortion.

Using his platform on the “Morning Joe” show, he veered into what can aptly be described as a spiritual danger zone, twisting the Word of God to bolster a pro-abortion position.

Joe told his audience that since there is no biblical passage to point to in which Jesus explicitly mentions abortion, then ending a life in the womb must therefore be acceptable to the Lord.

He didn’t stop there, though. He went on to directly attack Christians, stating that those who believe their faith instructs their consciences to view abortion as a moral wrong are heretics.

As a former Southern Baptist, Joe evidently feels comfortable enough with his biblical expertise to take to the MSNBC pulpit regarding the content and meaning of the Gospels.

“Jesus never once talked about abortion,” he said. “Never once, and it was happening back in ancient times. It was happening during His time.”

Joe went on to charge Christian pro-lifers with “perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue” as well as accusing them of being guilty of “heresy.”

He wasn’t done yet. He asserted that pro-life individuals have “conveniently overlooked the parts of the New Testament where Jesus talks about taking care of the needy, taking care of those who are helpless, who live a hopeless life.”

Well here are a few Sunday school lessons that many of us, including Joe, might want to use to refresh our memories and maybe even update our consciences.

The Good Book is filled with passages that tell us just how precious each one of us is in God’s eyes.

— He tells us that He created each of us “in his own image.” (Genesis)

— He tells us that each “fruit of the womb” is a “gift” from above. And that He “knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms)

— He says that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah)

— He speaks the words of love to us, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

(Jesus quoted in the Gospel of John)

— He describes the feelings of joy present in pre-born life, “…the infant in my womb leapt for joy.” (from the Gospel of Luke: What Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist, says upon hearing the greeting of Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus.)

— He tells us that each one of us is His “temple” and that His “spirit dwells” in us. (1 Corinthians)

Guess it’s appropriate we end with a round of Jesus Loves Me.

Because He really does. From the moment of conception.

Jason Aldean’s Wife Brittany Battles the Cancel Culture

Jason Aldean is an A-list country music singer, songwriter and record producer.

Twenty-seven singles from his 10 albums reached the top of the country charts.

Born in Macon, Georgia, his parents separated when he was only three years old. Summers were spent with dad in Homestead, Florida, where the future star first learned how to play the guitar.

By age 15 he had landed a gig in the house band at a Georgia nightspot. Greater things would be in store both professionally and personally. He’s still riding the wave of success on both fronts.

His latest album “Macon, Georgia” features the single “Trouble With a Heartbreak.” Another single has him teamed up with multi-crossover super star Carrie Underwood in “If I Didn’t Love You.” And his latest song “That’s What Tequila Does” helped make it a triple play, with all three tunes hitting the country chart’s high mark.

Jason is happily married to Brittany. She’s a devoted mom to their four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. She’s also the latest target of cancel culture’s woke warriors.

Brittany’s societal faux pas? She captioned an Instagram before-and-after makeup video with some comments about a chapter in her childhood.

“I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life,” she wrote.

Jason posted his approval with the following reply, along with a laughing emoji: “Lmao!! I’m glad they didn’t too, cause you and I wouldn’t have worked out.”

Left-wing bots on social media sprung into action, which resulted in Brittany being verbally assaulted. And some virtue signaling country artists piled on as well.

Winner of “The Voice” Cassadee Pope launched a tweet attack.

“You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their ‘tomboy phase’ to someone wanting to transition. Real nice,” Pope stated.

Brittany responded to Pope, clarifying her position using Instagram Story.

“Advocating for the genital mutilation of children under the disguise of love and calling it ‘gender-affirming care,’ is one of the worst evils,” she wrote. “I will always support my children and do what I can to protect their innocence. Love is protecting your child until they are mature enough as an adult to make their own life decisions.”

Singer Maren Morris slid into insult territory with her own Twitter slam.

“It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie,” Morris remarked.

Brittany responded to Morris via an Instagram post that included a new collection of conservative merchandise adorned with the words “Don’t Tread On Our Kids.”

“Instead of getting twisted about the twisting of my words, I’ve chosen to bring some good out of it. Introducing our NEW Barbie inspired line LIVE **Through this launch we will be giving back to and supporting @operationlightshine in effort to help fight child exploitation and human trafficking,” Brittany posted.

In a recent statement quoted by US Magazine, Brittany further discussed the safeguarding of children from those pushing questionable medications and medical procedures.

“I think I’m advocating for children. I think that children should not be allowed to make these life-changing decisions at such a young age. They are not mature enough,” she cautioned.

Jason and Brittany have drawn the ire of the politically correct crowd in the past.

In a previous marketing of merchandise, right-of-center political views were on display through comedic slogans that included the famed “Hidin’ From Biden.”

When the backlash kicked in, Jason again took to his Instagram account in defense of his wife.

Included with a picture of the singer’s silhouette in front of a giant American flag were the words: “I will never apologize for my beliefs or my love for my family and country.”

“This is the greatest country in the world and I want to keep it that way,” he added.

After one Instagram user commented, “If you thought Trump’s path for America was any better, you’re delusional!,” Jason gave this sage reply: “…We will teach our kids what we think is right and what we think is best for their future.”

Flash forward to the present. Jason now has to deal with the cancel culture muck on a business level. He has been unceremoniously let go by the PR firm that has represented him for 17 years.

Public relations company The GreenRoom has a roster that includes country artists Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett and Lady A.

The publicity firm’s co-owner Tyne Parrish released a spineless statement, seemingly trying to justify the company’s separation from Jason.

“We aren’t the best people for the gig anymore,” Parrish stated.

https://people.com/country/jason-aldean-publicity-firm-17-years-parts-ways-after-wife-brittany-transphobic-comments/

Looks like Nashville isn’t Nashville anymore.

Like so many other formerly balanced industries, institutions and ideologies, the country music capital has gone woke, and it feels as though the transformation happened overnight.

Many of our nation’s major corporations have flipped as well.

So where do we go to at least get our unique and legendary all-American country music back?

Kudos to Jason and Brittany for helping to lead the way.

Here’s hoping that other courageous country loving artists follow suit.

Shia LaBeouf’s Faith Enhancing Film Role

Shia LaBeouf is a changed man. And it looks as though the spiritual prep for his latest movie role deserves a lot of the credit.

Playing the lead in the upcoming biopic “Padre Pio” appears to have guided the actor toward a new commitment to Christianity.

The film relays the real life story of one of the most beloved Catholic priests and humanitarian figures, an individual who within Catholicism has been given the designation of “Saint.”

Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan Capuchin friar who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and has been venerated in the Roman Catholic Church ever since.

He was known around the globe for manifestations that many believe could only have emanated from above.

Over the course of his lifetime in shepherding his flock, he exhibited numerous supernatural phenomena and miraculous occurrences, including the marks of stigmata (wounds on the body that correspond to those suffered by the crucified Christ), visions, healings, and the ability to bi-locate and prophesy.

The Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina is located in the Province of Foggia, Italy, the southern Italian region (Puglia), where much of the filming of the “Padre Pio” movie took place.

Shia accepted the starring role of the film in the summer of 2021 and immediately arranged to spend time with a group of Capuchin Franciscan friars who resided in Northern California.

Traveling later to Rome, he went to stay at a monastery in southern Italy, the same locale in which the movie had initially been filmed. He even chose to sleep in the same bed where Padre Pio had rested his head.

In a recent conversation with Bishop Robert Barron, Shia revealed how he was led to become a Catholic Christian.

Referring to the time spent at the California monastery, he said, “When I walked into this, my life was on fire.”

The “fire” of which he spoke related to the personal tribulation he was going through, not only dealing with feelings of shame and depression, but even thoughts of ending it all. This was because back in 2020 his former girlfriend had sued him, accusing him of sexual assault.

In the aftermath of the debilitating experience, Shia parted with his agency and made the decision to take time off from his career.

He described a moment where serious suicidal thoughts were flooding his mind.

“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” he said. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened.”

He also described the depth of emotion that had overtaken him.

“Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go…,” he said.

He came to a point where his past actions made him feel as though he wasn’t worthy of being loved by God or of being received into a faith community.

He would soon be in for a blessed surprise. Living with the friars, he got to experience the love and support his heart and soul were aching for.

As Shia interacted with the friars and immersed himself in the Bible, he felt an “invite” to “let go” of obstacles.

Learning about the gifts of repentance, redemption and forgiveness convinced him of that all-important truth – in God’s eyes he is, as we all are, precious, worthy, and yes, loved beyond measure.

“It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, ‘Oh, that gives me hope,’” he explained. “I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission.”

A transformational event in Shia’s personal journey was experiencing the Catholic Mass in its traditional Latin form.

“While we were practicing Latin Mass, I was having genuine emotional experiences,” he said.

Shia thought he had taken on the “Padre Pio” movie part for career reasons. However, he eventually came to realize that the Ultimate Director was working on a most beautiful subplot.

“I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously,” he said. “The reach-out had happened. I was already there, I had nowhere to go. This was the last stop on the train. There was nowhere else to go—in every sense.”

No doubt Shia’s spiritual path has been a unique one. His mother is Jewish and his father is a Christian. Both a bar mitzvah and a baptism graced his childhood.

As his first religious denomination, he chose his mother’s Jewish faith. Then in 2004 he shared that he had a “personal relationship with God that happens to work within the confines of Judaism.”

He later discovered his father’s Christian conviction while filming a movie. He said in an interview in 2014, “I found God doing [the film] Fury. I became a Christian man. Brad [Pitt] was really instrumental in guiding my head through this.”

In June of 2022, while at a park in Pasadena, California, he was seen reuniting with his estranged father, where the two read from Bibles as they sat next to one another.

Shia sees his religious pilgrimage as analogous to his method acting approach.

“I like to be immersive,” he said. “I like all immersive experiences, not just acting. That’s probably why I like Catholicism as well. I like adventure, and that requires full immersion.”

It seems to me that we could all use an immersive experience in faith these days.

“Padre Pio” is scheduled to premiere at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

Woke Hollywood Passes on Pro-life Film despite Top Name Involvement

Kendrick brothers Alex, Stephen, and Shannon have been the creative forces behind many a faith-based box-office hit, including the successful “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” “Overcomer,” and “War Room.”

“War Room” was actually the No. 1 movie in the country on the second weekend of its release. It was also one of highest-grossing Christian films ever made.

The Kendrick brothers recently teamed up with actor Kirk Cameron to produce “Lifemark,” a movie that deals with some of the most central and poignant themes of our times – relationships, forgiveness, and the film’s primary focus, adoption.

Inspired by a true story, a movie such as this would typically have had Hollywood studio executives competing for the project.

It goes a long way to prove that these are anything but normal times.

Alex is one of the executive producers, as are Stephen and Shannon. But Alex has also co-written the film, and he has an acting part in it as well.

The adoption storyline is particularly meaningful for the Kendricks and Cameron.

Stephen Kendrick and his wife welcomed a daughter from China via adoption.

Cameron’s wife Chelsea was adopted by her parents, and four of Kirk and Chelsea’s six children were also adopted.

For those who haven’t yet noticed, contemporary Hollywood has given itself an extreme makeover in both form and substance.

All of this seems to have happened fairly quickly and also quite craftily. It went from “The Entertainment Capital of the World” to “The Woke Capital of the World,” with the end result being that the largest and most powerful entertainment companies are now haplessly out of touch with the beliefs, attitudes, and values of a large portion of their customer base.

Consequently, despite the viable track records of “Lifemark”’s filmmakers, both its star and its executive producer revealed that Hollywood studios, even those that had worked with the Kendrick brothers in the past, rejected the distribution of the film and did so because of the movie’s pro-life message.

Lead actor Cameron called the rebuff by Hollywood studios “good old-fashion cowardice.”

“Even the so-called faith divisions of studios would rather pass from tens of millions of dollars and support horror, violence, and drag queen movies than risk doing anything that celebrates life,”

Cameron said.

According to Alex, the studios stated that they were not releasing the film because they were “scared of the response,’”

Alex additionally revealed the following: “Several of the studios that have courted us in the past, and wanted us to go with them as distributors, they all turned down this film.”

The studios apparently wanted something else, anything else but this film.

Alex added, “We said, ‘Well, we cannot be ashamed or afraid to share the truth regarding this subject, to share a true story.’ It’s hard to argue with a true story.”

Still, the lack of independent thought displayed by a sizable number of Hollywood executives makes it seem as though they are impervious to the truth.

Fortunately, Fathom Events, a distribution company, was able to make a rational business decision and is going to arrange to have the film displayed in more than 1,400 theaters.

Alex acknowledges that the subject matter of “Lifemark” is a sensitive one.

“It’s become a political battleground in our country,” he remarked, adding, “We are acknowledging both sides, we’re acknowledging the difficult decision to choose to place your baby for adoption, but it is the better decision.”

“This whole path is not always easy. It is often difficult, but it is beautiful. And so this true story was a perfect example of showing how it could go…,” he said.

The movie project began with a telephone call.

While still in the process of wrapping up a previous film, the Kendricks received an unexpected call from Cameron, who had just watched what he described as “one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I’ve ever seen.”

The documentary was titled “I Lived on Parker Avenue,” and it dealt with the story upon which the “Lifemark” film is based.

The plotline centers around a teenage boy who is contacted by his birth mother, a woman who eighteen years prior had chosen adoption over abortion for her then-tiny son.

Alex believes that the movie can play a role in informing and educating people.

“We’re hopeful that churches, crisis pregnancy centers, ministries, all jump on this as a real-life tool to reach people… who are trying to determine ‘is this baby worth saving?’” Alex explained.

His objective in making and promoting this movie project is “to change the heart of the nation.”

To this end, the desire on the part of the filmmakers is for life itself to be ultimately viewed as “precious, beautiful, and worth protecting.”

“Lifemark” is set to make its mark in theaters nationwide on Sept. 9.