Cal  Thomas

Culture is starving because too many with a worldview that differs from the prevailing one have withdrawn their nurturing influence. It doesn't help when such people are persuaded it is better to criticize institutions and their products, rather than going them one better.

How are academia, law, filmmaking or journalism improved when not enough believers in God become professors, lawyers, filmmakers or journalists? "Hollywood" does not suddenly begin making better movies when it is criticized for making bad ones.

There are a few trying to integrate faith with their creative gifts, but not nearly enough. Dr. Armand Nicholi of Harvard is one. Dr. Michael Guillen, a theoretical physicist and former ABC News science correspondent, is attempting to make his mark in a new book, "Can a Smart Person Believe in God?" One of my favorite contemporary artists, Ross Wilson of Northern Ireland, is another (go to www.rosswilsonartist.com for examples of his paintings and sculptures).

Another who has moved beyond cursing darkness to lighting candles is Micheal Flaherty, who heads Walden Media. Flaherty's company is releasing a delightful new movie, "Because of Winn-Dixie," next week. Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo, the film tells the story of a lonely girl who teams up with a dog to make friends among and between other lonely people in a small Florida town.

Just about every "value" you could want is in this film without being preachy (though the girl's father is a non-stereotypical preacher). The film stars two famous actresses, Eva Marie Saint and Cicely Tyson, and introduces the exquisitely cute AnnaSophia Robb as "Opal." The film's quality is first-class.

This is where the efforts of conservative Christians and those with traditional values should be directed. Light dispels darkness and good can overcome evil. But a light won't shine if it isn't lit and cursing the darkness illuminates nothing.

Might we please see less energy (and money) spent on criticizing what others are producing and more channeled into developing better lawyers, professors, philosophers, artists, journalists and filmmakers? This way produces results. Criticizing cartoon characters doesn't.


Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
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