Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stallone on Faith: Down, Out, Up

By Rick Pearcey

What Gives Rocky Strength: "As a young person you tend to think that the world somewhat revolves around you, that you can recover from anything, that you tend to have this kind of vim and vigor and energy to take on the world on your own shoulders. Well, after you've been knocked down a few times and the world has shown you it's dark side, you realize that you need guidance, you need God's word, you need spiritual help and that's when your journey will begin.

"So I, as I get older, I realize how -- very much -- I rely upon Jesus, the word of God, and his support. . . . Rocky, in the last -- in Rocky Balboa -- has lost everything. And, we see him triumph, and the last thing that he hears before he enters the ring is Scripture and that's what gives him the strength.

"And people realize that he doesn't fight for money, he doesn't fight for glory. It's fighting for a purpose and fighting for a divine reason to show that through him, through the ability, the God-given ability that he has that he can show other people the way to be an example.

"You don't have to be the biggest, or the strongest or the fastest. But if you believe -- truly believe - you will find a way to win." . . .

What Hollywood Understands: "Hollywood is somewhat of an isolated community, and it is a money-driven community, and I wouldn't say faith is right up there at the forefront. . .

"[P]eople need to drive home that fact, and though it may sound mercenary and self-serving, if we are to continue to do films like Rocky, like The Passion, like films that you can take your family to it, and by the way you can show year after year after year because the theme never goes away, then we have to go out and support it.

"That's the only message they understand. And though they supposedly, you know, are very liberal, what rules here, unfortunately, is success and it doesn't matter in what form. Well, I think it does matter."

Beyond Rock Bottom: "It was right after, around 1980, and I -- my marriage was not good and I felt myself being seduced by all the temptations that Hollywood has to offer. And it's a very, very morally weakening situation because you are given the keys to the candy store, people will say yes when you're wrong, before you know it your morals and you're outlook on life is corrupted. . . .

"My career spiraled down,and every time when it was at its very bottom, I would end up writing a Rocky, and somehow the moral compass of Rocky tends to give me new life. But then again I would not find love, not find anything I can really hang my hat on, and I would just give myself in to the, again, to the kind of like lackadaisical, irresponsible, immature lifestyle that a lot of stars live. . . .

"I hit rock bottom after my second marriage, and I realized my career also was stagnant . . . I said this is where I really have to take a moral compass and point it in the right direction. And I started to bring Jesus into my life and I said, you came here, you made it by writing passionately, you made it by living in a sense 'in the moment,' and not worrying about money, and not worrying about what people thought of you and just writing what came from your heart or what was driven through your heart by a greater power, meaning God.

"And as soon as I did that and I started to really take into account what I had given away and what I could get if I just started to live the right life -- right away I met my wife, who is the greatest person on the planet, who's given me three kids, who I would die for in a second.

"And everything just fell into place once I stopped trying to do it my way and did it the right way, and asked for help and God gave me help. I can think of no other reason how it would turn around because it sure didn't come from lawyers, and it sure didn't come from agents, and it sure didn't come from friends."

The entire Sylvester Stallone interview with Infuze magazine is here.

Related Story:

Dr. Phil: Jesus Christ "The Foundation"

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.

Download Study: "Masterful" Anti-ID Fed Ruling Copied From ACLU

By Rick Pearcey

Press Release from Discovery Institute: "The key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on December 20 was copied nearly verbatim from a document written by ACLU lawyers, according to a study released today by scholars affiliated with the Discovery Institute.

"Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU's proposed 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling," said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture" . . . . More

The study can be downloaded here.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.

Fascism Is Back

By Rick Pearcey

"Fascism is back," Gene Edward Veith tell us in Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview. But the daily news makes this clear as well, with among other items, reports of a Holocaust-denying conference held under the auspices of an anti-Semitic government that says Israel should cease to exist.

Fascism "refuses to go away," says Veith. "Fifty years after World War II, it keeps intruding upon our attention in odd facts and disturbing news. . . .

"The lunatic fringe, of course, is always with us, but we are also being confronted by signs of fascism as a larger social movement. . . .

"The implosion of communism was a great victory for democracy, but the vacuum has been filled by an intense, violent ethnic nationalism and the revival of overt fascist movements that had been suppressed since World War II but are still very much alive. . . .

"Unsettling cultural trends are intensifying throughout the West: cynicism about democracy; a yearning for charismatic leadership; economic disaffection; moral skepticism; a cultural irrationalism that breaks out in acts of inexplicable violence."

Fascism Back in . . .
* Academic Circles: "Fascism is back in academia. A recent biography of the existentialist sage Martin Heidegger has uncovered his extensive involvement in the Nazi party. . .

"Far more disturbing . . . is the ideology that is coalescing . . . in today's intellectual establishment. Cultural determinism; the reduction of all social relationships to issues of sheer power; the idea the one's identity is centered in one's ethnicity or race; the rejection of the concept of the individual -- such ideas have become academic commonplaces.

"The project in contemporary thought of dismantling Western civilization and critiquing 'humanistic values' (such as liberty, reason, and objective moral principles) is not new. All of the ideas are direct echoes of the fascist theories of the 1930s."

* Pop Culture: "The popular culture is the most fertile breeding ground for fascism."

* Mass Politics: "Instead of rational analysis of issues and reasoned debate, our political discourse turns on image manipulation through or mass media. . . . This was Goebbels' dream."

* Morality: "Moral issues are today almost impossible to discuss in objective terms. . . . Morality is reduced to social utility or the assertion of the will. This was precisely the Nazi ethic."

What Is Fascism?
"Only five decades ago, the world was in the nightmare of war and Holocaust. We seem to have forgotten everything. Putting aside images of goose-stepping villains from the movies, does anyone remember exactly what the fascists believed?"

"We must know what fascism is so that we can recognize it when we see it. . . . Racism alone cannot explain the virulence of Nazi anti-Semitism. . . .

"The fascists aligned themselves not only against the Jews but against what the Jews contributed to Western civilization. A transcendent God, who reveals a transcendent moral law, was anathema to fascists. . . .

"Fascism was essentially a spiritual movement. It was a revolt against the Judeo-Christian tradition, that is to say, against the Bible.

"Some fascists believe that Christianity could be purged of its Jewish elements; other believed it should be completely replaced. Some advocated a syncretistic Christianity, revising the faith to make it accord with the new culture. . . .

"The fascist rebellion against transcendence restored the ancient pagan consciousness. With it came barbarism, a barbarism armed with modern technology and intellectual sophistication.

"The liquidation of the transcendent moral law and 'Jewish' conscience allowed the resurgence of the most primitive and destructive emotions."

Veith's book is as relevant today as when it was first published, in 1993.

-- Gene Edward Veith, Preface, Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.