The world has taken another turn for the bizarre. CNSNews reported on Friday (hat tip to NB reader RJ) that a new family movie about football, “Facing the Giants,” has been given a “PG” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America apparently for having too much religious content.

Too much religious content? Are you kidding me?

This story appears to have first been reported by Terry Mattingly at the Scripps Howard News Service on Wednesday: “‘What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents,’ said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like ‘The Squid and the Whale.’"

Just what kind of “thematic elements” are present? The article elaborated:



Friday’s New York Times profile of NPR star Garrison Keillor (well, American Public Media, to be exact, but heard on many NPR stations) underlines how public broadcasting can be a very lucrative business. On the cusp of Keillor’s "Prairie Home Companion" movie coming out in a week, Times writer Joyce Wadler traveled to St.



Box Office Mojo estimates that the box office receipts for "The DaVinci Code" for this weekend will drop to $33.5 million, a 56.5 percent drop from last weekend's opening, and the biggest percentage drop among the top ten movies. One reason is the fourth-largest opening on record for "X-Men 3: The Last Stand," estimated to land $107 million.



Over at CNSNews.com, a project of the Media Research Center, they have some hot stuff today on the Jesus front. First, we're told the American Family Association is protesting a student-run, taxpayer-funded, newspaper at the University of Oregon for the publication of two cartoons, one showing Jesus in sexual arousal and the other showing him kissing another man.



In April I wrote about the opening of the Democrats' Election 2008 Talking Points Tour. It kicked off with Barack Obama preaching the certainty of fossil fuels heating up our planet while conveniently neglecting to mention what is heating up Mars and Jupiter.

The media has turned the tour up a notch with a twisted fascination over Al Gore, coverage excuse provided by his new movie on global warming that is certain man is heating the planet with SUV usage while conveniently neglecting to mention what is heating up Mars and Jupiter. Al ensures full media coverage by bringing the war into it.

"I also believe that after 9/11 if, in addition to rallying the country and wisely invading Afghanistan to pursue Osama bin Laden, that if the president of the United States had said 'Let's become independent of oil and coal', that people would have responded to that."

Yeah, we responded to that in the 70's. It would have been nice if he had done something about it when he was sipping iced tea with the Red Chinese. But Bill Clinton can't run for President again so he comes right out and says what other Democrats won't:

"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have...



After a couple days in which the only people offered the opportunity to comment on the controversy surrounding the Da Vinci Code were the movie's director and cast members, this morning's Today show finally gave an outside expert and Catholic officials their shot. The result was an oddly ambivalent reaction in which the movie was simultaneously praised as offering an opportunity to teach about the Church - and condemned as filled with lies.



When Mel Gibson introduced "The Passion of the Christ" into the public conversation, Hollywood had a lot to say about it. Now Hollywood is offering its response with the upcoming release of "The DaVinci Code," inviting commentary not on that movie, but on Hollywood itself.



It's not enough for "DaVinci Code" star Ian McKellen to make cracks about Bible disclaimers. MRC's Michael Chapman passed along that in an interview with Reuters, he took his wisecracks directly to the Catholic Church:



If "The Da Vinci Code" was already feeding the flames of controversy with its challenge to the basic tenets of Christianity, actor Ian McKellen managed to pour a refinery tank's worth of gasoline on the fire on this morning's 'Today' show, asserting that the Bible should carry a disclaimer saying that it is "fiction." Video: Wi



Today's starters-- Media: Reacting to Muhammed cartoon controversy, student newspaper prints offensive Jesus toons, nothing follows. Popular blog web presence provider Hosting Matters is down at the moment, taking a number of popular blogs down with it. Tonight is opening night of "Flight 93;" in it's scoring 94 percent positive in Rotten Tomatoes online reviews (HT Roger Simon.)

Politics:  Hillary Rodham Clinton polls better than Hillary Clinton, coinicdence or not? Howard Dean et al. start legal defense for accused "nonpartisan" CIA leaker Mary McCarthy. Jeff Goldstein has more. Dean Esmay asks readers for help with "overlooked news from Iraq" effort.

Misc: Quentin Tarantino to direct life of Jimi Hendrix movie. Pamela Anderson provides further proof that not just anyone can get an op-ed printed. France's Jacques Chirac wants to create European Google rival.


On Tuesday's edition of "Fresh Air," the daily one-hour interview show on National Public Radio, airing on hundreds of NPR affiliates across the country, host Terry Gross interviewed Paul Weitz, director of the new Bush-mocking movie "American Dreamz." Gross helped Weitz to explain his point that "dreams are sometimes delusions," like democracy in Iraq.