Monday, June 2, 2008

Behind Every Successful Man

I'm skeptical about this, but for what it's worth NewsMax is reporting that:

An untold story lies behind Hillary Clinton's determination to remain in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination - the possible revelation of a shocking recording of rival Barack Obama's wife Michelle.

That's the word from longtime political analyst Roger J. Stone Jr., who writes on his The StoneZONE Web site that the recording purportedly documents Michelle Obama making racist comments in a speech.

According to Stone, Hillary aides are in a race with Republicans to get their hands on the offensive recording.

"On the heels of Michelle Obama's quote that she 'has never been proud of her country' until now, the new controversy could turn the contest upside down, but its more likely" to benefit "John McCain than to boost Hillary Clinton to the nomination - if the alleged recording exists," Stone writes.

He also asserts that Mark Penn, Clinton's former chief campaign strategist, has told sources that the bombshell "could come this week."

Wouldn't that spice things up.

If the tape exists, and the Republicans get it, they'll no doubt sit on it until Obama wraps up the nomination at the convention. If they use it now it might propel Sen. Clinton to the nomination and thus not help the GOP at all. That's why Hillary needs to get her hands on it before the Republicans do. If it exists at all.


Denzel on Faith

BeliefNet has a list of the twelve most powerful Hollywood actors and actresses who count themselves as Christians. Some on the list may surprise you. They also have an interesting interview with Denzel Washington, part of which we highlight here:

What role does Jesus play in your own life?

I was raised in the church. My father was a minister for 60 years. And I've been a member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ for, now, about 27 years, since I've been out here in Los Angeles.

I open the film (The Great Debaters) with a prayer and end it with praise. The spiritual aspects of the film weren't even necessarily in the screenplay. But I added those. It was my desire to start the film with a prayer.

Why was it so important to put spirituality in it?

Because spirituality is important in every aspect of my life. I mean, that's why I'm here. That's what I've been blessed to do.

When I was about 20 years old, when I first started acting, I was sitting in my mother's beauty shop. And a woman just kept looking at me. I was looking in the mirror, and I saw her across the room. And she said, "Someone give me a piece of paper." And she wrote down a prophecy. She said that I would speak to millions of people, and I would travel the world and preach to millions of people. And I didn't know what she was talking about. But this was March 27th, 1975, 32 years ago now, almost 33 years ago.

So my work has been my ministry. In fact, I asked my pastor, years ago, "Do you think I should become a minister or a preacher? And he says, "Well, that's what you're doing already." And he felt, as I feel, that that's what she was talking about back then.

I've always understood why I've been blessed to be put in this situation. And I'm more than happy to take advantage of it and to preach, if you will, about what God has done in my life.

How did being the son of a pastor help you prepare for this career?

I don't know. When I was young, actually, it was an obligation. You had to go. It wasn't necessarily what I wanted to do. But I lived in church morning, noon, night, weekends, Sundays, every day. So there was a time, between that time and as a young adult, where I moved away from the church because I was obligated to go. And I just found my way back, maybe 30 years ago, at 27--30 years ago, when I came out here.

How would you describe the role of prayer in your life today?

Even this film--every major decision I made, I made through prayer, about who I was picking to be in it, what it was I was trying to say, praying that the film was saying the right thing and that it would reach the right people. It's every aspect of it. Every aspect of it. It's how I start every day, and it's how I end every day.

I was especially interested in what Washington had to say about his participation in the movie Training Day. Read the interview to get his thoughts on playing the vile character he portrays in TD.

Meanwhile, my friend Jason nominates Bella for our list of films which offer positive portrayals of Christianity and/or Christians. Another movie we might give honorable mention is Manna from Heaven.


Ten Myths about Divorce

Throughout the last several decades, though perhaps not so much lately, we've often heard each of the following claims about divorce, and a lot of people, apparently, have come to believe them. A 2002 Harvard study, however, has shown each of them to be wrong. Maybe that's why enthusiasm for these notions seems to waned somewhat in recent years.

Here are the "ten myths" about divorce:

  • Because people learn from their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages.
  • Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing.
  • Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by it, but by and large these problems are not long lasting and the children recover relatively quickly.
  • Having a child together will help a couple to improve marital satisfaction and prevent a divorce.
  • Following divorce, the woman's standard of living plummets by seventy three percent while that of the man's improves by forty two percent.
  • When parents don't get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together.
  • Because they are more cautious in entering marital relationships and also have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in their own marriages as those from intact homes.
  • Following divorce, the children involved are better off in step-families than in single-parent families.
  • Being very unhappy at certain points in a marriage is a good sign that the marriage will eventually end in divorce.
  • It is usually men who initiate divorce proceedings.

There's an explanation of why each of these commonly held beliefs is wrong at the link.

In the same vein the prologue to this book also makes for fascinating reading.

Finally, a friend of mine tells me that there's another Harvard study, though I was unable to find it, which shows that weddings held in a church service have a divorce rate of one out of fifty marriages, but marriages in which the couple attends church every week, reads the Bible and prays together have a divorce rate of one out of 1,105. If that's accurate it's pretty astonishing.

It would be interesting to know what the divorce rate is for couples joined in a civil ceremony.