Created: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:14:39 EST
Updated: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:14:39 EST
Studio adds "explanatory message" to Noah film
WASHINGTON (AP) — National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson is thanking Paramount Pictures for adding what he calls a "disclaimer" to advertising for its movie "Noah," starring Russell Crowe, which debuts in theaters March 28.
At Johnson's request, the studio is advising filmgoers that the movie "is inspired by the story of Noah," and that "artistic license has been taken." But Paramount says it believes that the "film is true to the essence, values, and integrity" of the story from the Bible's book of Genesis.
The NRB president, who previewed the film, praises its acting, production values, and faithfulness to the biblical story's main elements of sin, judgment and restoration.
Johnson warns, however, that the flood appears to be punishment for man's destruction of the environment, and that Noah wonders if his own family should be the last.
That said, Johnson thinks "Noah" is better than many of today's films, and he believes Christians can enjoy it, separate fact from fiction and "pass the popcorn."
267-a-13-(Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, in AP interview)-"God was judging"-Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, says the movie "Noah" puts a novel spin on why God flooded the world. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *267 (03/04/14)££ 00:13 "God was judging"
266-a-13-(Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, in AP interview)-"the human race"-Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, says there's much that's good in the film "Noah." (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *266 (03/04/14)££ 00:13 "the human race"
268-a-11-(Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, in AP interview)-"pass the popcorn"-Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, says he believes Christians can enjoy a less-than-perfect biblical movie. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *268 (03/04/14)££ 00:11 "pass the popcorn"
264-w-34-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson)--National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson is thanking Paramount Pictures for adding what he calls a "disclaimer" to advertising for its movie "Noah," which opens in theaters March 28. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *264 (03/04/14)££ 00:34
265-a-04-(Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, in AP interview)-"thing to do"-Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, says Paramount Pictures is advising filmgoers that its movie "Noah" is inspired by the Bible story but takes some artistic license. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *265 (03/04/14)££ 00:04 "thing to do"
NOAH'S ARK PARK
Noah's ark project in Ky. to move forward
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Christian ministry's long-stalled plans to build Noah's Ark in the hills of Kentucky have been revived.
Creation Museum founder Ken Ham says a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.
Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye earlier this month helped boost support for the project.
Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward.
The wooden ark is to have old-world details, such as wooden pegs instead of nails, straight-sawed timbers and plenty of animals — some alive, some robotic.
322-a-11-(Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, at news conference)-"he'll be saved"-Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, says the Noah's Ark Encounter will point people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *322 (03/04/14)££ 00:11 "he'll be saved"
321-a-06-(Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, at news conference)-"Ark Encounter project"-Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, says a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to start building a theme park featuring a full-size replica of Noah's Ark. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *321 (03/04/14)££ 00:06 "Ark Encounter project"
GERMAN HOME-SCHOOL FAMILY
German home-school family won't be deported
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney for a German couple who lost their bid for U.S. asylum to home-school their children says deportation proceedings against the family have been deferred indefinitely.
The development comes only a day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Uwe (OO-vuh) Romeike's (roh-MEYE-kahs) asylum appeal.
Michael Donnelly is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association. He said the group received a call from the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday morning. A statement from Romeike says he's happy the family will be allowed to stay.
Romeike had claimed in court that the family faced persecution in Germany, where most children are required to attend state-approved schools. The Christian family moved to Tennessee in 2008 after an escalating series of confrontations with German officials.
251-a-09-(Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, in AP interview)-"the government curriculum"-Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says the Romeike family fled to the U.S. in 2008. ((Romeike is pronounced roh-MEYE'-kah)) (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *251 (03/04/14)££ 00:09 "the government curriculum"
252-a-11-(Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, in AP interview)-"sisters in Christ"-Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says his organization offered legal help to the Romeike family. ((Romeike is pronounced roh-MEYE'-kah)) Updated: 03/04/2014-06:35:41 PM ET (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *252 (03/04/14)££ 00:11 "sisters in Christ"
234-a-09-(Michael Donnelly, attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, in AP interview)-"here in America"-Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, says a German home-school family that was denied asylum in the U.S. won't be deported. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *234 (03/04/14)££ 00:09 "here in America"
236-a-05-(Michael Donnelly, attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, in AP interview)-"their religious belief"-Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, says the family came to the U.S. because they didn't want their children forced to attend German public schools. (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *236 (03/04/14)££ 00:05 "their religious belief"
235-a-06-(Michael Donnelly, attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, in AP interview)-"parents are persecuted"-Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, says the Romeike family is relieved that they don't face deportation. ((Romeike is pronounced roh-MEYE'-kah)) (4 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *235 (03/04/14)££ 00:06 "parents are persecuted"
Group asks Supreme Court to allow California cross
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A veterans group has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a judge's order to remove a war memorial cross from a Southern California mountain.
The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association on Tuesday asked the nation's highest court to allow the 43-foot cross to remain atop the mountain in San Diego. In December, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said it must go.
The veterans group— and the U.S. Department of Justice — already have asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule the judge.
The group says it hopes appealing straight to the Supreme Court will hasten resolution of a legal dispute that began in 1989 over whether the Korean War memorial site represents an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity on public property.
Miss. House panel advances religious practice bill
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi House panel has changed and passed a bill that says state and local government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices.
Supporters say the bill would reinforce Constitution's religious rights and could have practical applications, such as helping churches that encounter problems with local zoning rules. Opponents worry, however, that the bill is vaguely worded and could lead to discrimination against gays or other groups.
Senate Bill 2681 is called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It passed the House Judiciary B Committee and goes the full House for debate in coming days.
The original version of the bill, which passed the Mississippi Senate on Jan. 31, was similar to a measure that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last week.
Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson said that by limiting the Mississippi bill to government action and excluding private action, it's different from the Arizona bill.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BILL
Oklahoma House passes 'merry Christmas Bill'
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has approved legislation that would permit public school students, teachers and other school staff members to greet each other with traditional phrases like merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy holidays.
The House voted 73-10 for the measure Monday and sent it to the state Senate.
The bill says public schools can display scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations on school property providing they include more than one religion or one religion and at least one secular symbol.
Republican state Rep. Bobby Cleveland authored the bill and says the legislation will protect Oklahoma schools from lawsuits over religious-based holiday displays.
Opponents say such displays are already allowed. A proposal to include Kwanzaa, a celebration that honors African heritage, was tabled.
Militants kill 11 people in their homes in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Officials say Islamic militants have burned 11 people to death inside their homes in northeastern Nigeria, where frequent attacks have claimed at least 130 lives in the past five days alone.
Nigerian Senator Ahmed Zannah says Monday's attack on Jakana village in Borno state occurred about 6 miles from a village where 39 people were slaughtered on Saturday.
Violence has escalated in recent weeks in three northeastern Nigerian states that have been under emergency rule for over nine months.
Officials and residents blame the attacks on Boko Haram, an Islamic insurgent group that has killed thousands of people in the past four and a half years.
Zannah said Tuesday that residents in Jakana had been warned of an attack, and many there and in neighboring villages had fled into the bush before the gunfire began. The victims, he says, were all too old to flee.
Vatican official against Uganda's anti-gay law
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — A Vatican cardinal has criticized Uganda's anti-gay law and has called for the repeal of its severe penalties.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Tuesday that "homosexuals are not criminals" and shouldn't be sentenced to up to life in prison.
Speaking to reporters in Bratislava, where he attended a conference on the Catholic Church and human rights, Turkson said the Vatican also wants the international community to keep providing aid.
Uganda has been hit with substantial aid cuts in reaction to its law. The World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan for Uganda's health systems.
Berlusconi's publishing house launches pope weekly
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has appeared on many magazine covers. Now he's got a magazine all to himself.
The Mondadori publishing house said Tuesday it's launching a new magazine entirely devoted to the weekly doings, sayings, gestures and activities of the 265th pontiff.
"My Pope," at 70 cents an issue, hits newsstands Wednesday, and each week will include a free pull-out poster with one of Francis' more memorable quotes from the previous seven days.
Editor Aldo Vitali said Francis' election a year ago has generated new interest in the papacy and the moral and ethical themes that will be highlighted.