Jesus in Hollywood

We’re long-time fans of Barbara Nicolosi‘s smart Christian movies-and-culture blog, Church of the Masses, so we’re delighted to see Barbara and her movie-exec training program, Act One, getting press in unexpected places (Details) and from reliable cheerleaders (the conservative Christian World magazine). But we’re happiest to see Act One profiled by The Revealer‘s new West Coast managing editor, Sarah Price Brown, in The Washington Post.

We’ll tell you more about Sarah tomorrow. But lest we go easy on ourselves — or Barbara Nicolosi — a few questions for Act One and the reporters who profile it. Foremost among them: What do you mean by “Christian”? What do you mean by “people of faith”? Over the 20th century, Barbara tells Sarah, “Hollywood became a place where people of faith would not go.” That, of course, simply isn’t true. Rather, we suspect, Barbara means that people of a certain kind of faith frowned upon Hollywood — even as they continued to make its movies successful. So how do we report on Barbara’s perspective without reifying it? Why should reporters take her word for what Hollywood execs believe or don’t believe? Should reporters push her harder on Act One’s emphasis on Christians as a persecuted minority in Hollywood? What does Act One — run by a former nun, embraced by many protestants — tell us about a new Catholic/evangelical cultural alliance?

Too many questions for the space allotted Act One in the Post and Details, but questions that ought to be asked if we’re to explore the changing religious topography of Hollywood. Barbara’s pretty tough — she can handle ’em.