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CULTURE DIGEST: 'R' movies make less money

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- R-rated movies continued to generate smaller profits for Hollywood last year, though the movie industry released 205 R-rated films compared to just 18 G-rated movies.

"Year in and year out, our statistics show that moviegoers prefer family friendly movies with positive Christian, wholesome, patriotic, conservative and traditional moral values," Ted Baehr, founder and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, said.

In 2011, R-rated movies averaged $10.8 million, compared to $12.6 million in 2010 and $14.9 million in 2009. But G-rated movies averaged $34.6 million last year compared to $56.6 million in 2010 and $19.9 million two years ago.

Not only do G-rated movies make three to five times more money than R-rated movies, they also surpass R-rated films on DVD and Blu-Ray, Baehr said, adding that PG movies also do better on average.

"Middle America wants to see, rent and buy entertaining movies with Christian, biblical values that they can show to their whole family," Baehr said in a news release Jan. 4. "They want to see good triumph over evil, justice to prevail, truth to defeat falsehood and purity to conquer lust. They reject movies with explicit, graphic sex and violence."

Baehr said Hollywood does not know how to market to the average American.

For more information, visit movieguide.org.

BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW RADIO LAUNCHES -- A two-hour radio program hosted by the publisher of WORLD magazine is being broadcast on 180 stations and is available by a free podcast subscription.

"The World and Everything in It" follows National Public Radio's long-form style, highlighting reports from WORLD's print media team and reviewing top news stories. The program also includes an analysis of political issues and news of the church.


"We bring a deeply unapologetic Christian worldview -- everything under the lordship of Christ," host Nick Eicher said.

WORLD magazine editor Mindy Belz and correspondents write and record in-depth news pieces, and editor in chief Marvin Olasky provides live-audience question-and-answer sessions with political leaders while others provide commentary and reviews.

For more information and to download programs, visit www.worldmag.com/podcast/worldandeverything.

PANEL URGES $50,000 FOR EUGENICS VICTIMS -- A governor-appointed task force has recommended North Carolina pay $50,000 apiece to people who were sterilized under the state's eugenics program.

The panel, established by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, voted Jan. 10 to compensate surviving victims of decisions by the North Carolina Eugenics Board, which endorsed the sterilization of about 7,600 people from 1929 to 1974, according to the Charlotte Observer. The recommendation awaits passage by the state legislature.

More than 30 states had compulsory sterilization laws in the 20th century, and it is estimated more than 60,000 Americans were sterilized under those programs. Those who were sterilized included people who were mentally impaired, poor, non-white and criminals.

If the task force's recommendation is enacted, North Carolina would become the first state to compensate victims, the Observer reported.

North Carolina estimates there are 1,500 to 2,000 sterilization victims still living, but only 72 have come forward and been confirmed, the newspaper reported.


According to the Observer, Laura Gerald, chairwoman of the task force, said the panel wanted to communicate: "We in North Carolina are people who pay for our mistakes."

EDITOR: RULE NEEDED TO PREVENT SEX-SELECTION ABORTIONS -- Canadian doctors should be barred from disclosing the gender of unborn children until they are at 30 weeks' gestation to prevent sex-selection abortions, according to an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Writing in the publication Jan. 16, interim editor in chief Rajendra Kale said the rule is needed to stop a trend in both Canada and the United States among some ethnic groups. He pointed to studies that showed Canadians from some Asian countries who already have daughters are aborting unborn females to ensure their next child is a male. Sex ratios that are "male-biased" also have been found among Asians in the United States, Kale wrote.

"Female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male to female ratio in some ethnic groups," Kale said.

"The sex of the fetus is medically irrelevant information (except when managing rare sex-linked illnesses) and does not affect care," he wrote. "Moreover, such information could in some instances facilitate female feticide. Therefore, doctors should be allowed to disclose this information only after about 30 weeks of pregnancy -- in other words, when an unquestioned abortion is all but impossible."


Kale said postponing the transmission of such information is "a small price to pay to save thousands of girls in Canada."

ROCKFORD, WACO ABORTION CLINICS CLOSE PERMANENTLY -- A Rockford, Ill., abortion clinic announced its permanent shutdown Jan. 13 after nearly four decades of business.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco, Texas, home of Baylor University, also has closed, it was reported Jan. 4.

The Northern Illinois Women's Center, which opened in 1973, had been closed since Sept. 30 when the state suspended the clinic's license for health and safety violations found during inspections in June and September.

The clinic received approval to reopen Jan. 4 if it paid a $9,750 fine, according to the Rockford Register Star. The clinic also would have faced immediate loss of its license if it violated certain regulations.

Clinic staff said the decision to close permanently was based on a lack of community support, the "political climate" regarding abortion and a problem with re-staffing, the Register Star reported.

The nearest abortion clinics are 70 miles away in the Chicago suburbs and Madison, Wis.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman said the Rockford clinic's closing was a "victory for life. This abortion mill operated outside the law under filthy conditions that made it a danger to the public. ... We are thankful that this 'house of horrors' will never reopen and are encouraged to watch the number of abortion clinics continue to fall."

The shutdown of the abortion clinic in Waco followed the state's decision last year to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, which is the country's leading abortion provider. The other Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco will continue to operate, according to LifeNews.com.


Nearly 17,000 unborn children were killed by abortion at Waco's Columbus Avenue Planned Parenthood from its opening in 1994 through 2010, a pro-life leader told LifeNews.

COUPLE HAS EIGHT CHILDREN IN ONE-CHILD CHINA -- A Chinese man and woman are parents to eight babies with the help of two surrogate mothers, shattering the boundaries of their country's coercive population control policy.

The four boys and four girls are the children of a couple in Guangzhou, the capital of south China's Guangdong province. According to the Guangzhou Daily, a government newspaper, the biological mother gave birth to two of the babies, while two surrogates carried three each, the Associated Press reported Dec. 30.

The babies were born in September and October 2010.

The communist country has had a population control program labeled the "one-child policy" for more than 30 years. China generally limits couples in urban areas to one child and those in rural areas to two, if the first is a girl. Parents in cities may have second babies if the husband and wife are both only children.

Penalties for violations of China's population control policy have included fines, arrests and the destruction of homes, as well as forced abortion -- even in the final trimester -- and sterilization. Infanticide, especially of females, also has been reported.

In addition, China adopted a law in 2001 that prohibits surrogacy procedures.

The couple, who spent nearly $160,000 to have the babies, has not been identified.


China's news media are referring to the mother as "octomom."

The story has intrigued China's citizens because it represents a rebellion against the country's population control policy, said Liang Zhongtang, a demography expert at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, AP reported.

"People are very interested in the policy these days and the need for changes to it," he said. "A lot of people think it should have been dropped a long time ago, or relaxed at least."

Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach and Washington bureau chief Tom Strode. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net


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