The Miracle Theater, a faith-based production group, paid nearly $100,000 to run a full page ad titled "Christian Entertainers Say 'Enough Is Enough'" in USA Today to address blasphemous remarks made about Jesus by stand-up comic Kathy Griffin.
Griffin made the offensive remarks during her Emmy acceptance speech, Sept. 9.
The group of Christian entertainers were moved to take a bold stand for Christ. They said they can no longer tolerate Hollywood and the entertainment industry mocking Jesus Christ before the world.
The ad provided the following explanation at the top.
"This is in response to comments given by Kathy Griffin as she accepted her Emmy award. Ms. Griffin said in her speech that, 'A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.' She also said, 'S**k it, Jesus. This award is my god now!'" the ad read.
The ad, published Sept. 17, continues with the address, "Dear America," before presenting its plea.
"We are the actors, singers, dancers, crew and managers of The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We are proud to stand on stage every night and use our God-given talents to portray the life and the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We, along with thousands of other Christians in the entertainment industry, know our talents do come from God, and we take offense when His name is battered and bruised by people through the media."
"Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus was mocked and few stood up for Him. We at The Miracle Theater consider it an honor to stand for Jesus today. We may never win a national award. We may never be household names. We may never be seen in Hollywood. Although others may choose to use their national platform to slander our God, we are honored as professional entertainers to stand for Christ."
The ad drew nationwide publicity, and was shown by Larry King on his nightly CNN show the same day. Millions of viewers were exposed to the growing outrage.
Objecting to Griffin's slanderous words, an anti-defamation organization known as the Catholic League called for the TV academy to "denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment."
Responding to the Catholic League's request, Griffin issued a statement through her publicist saying her remarks were only supposed to be a joke.
"Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?" her statement read.
Griffin's taped speech was edited by E! Channel before it broadcasted the ceremony on Saturday.
The E! Channel fired Griffin in 2005 from her red-carpet commentator position for joking at the Golden Globe Awards that child actress Dakota Fanning had checked into rehab.
However, many Christians believe that Griffin stepped over the line this time with her latest slander against Jesus Christ.
Defending Jesus Christ and the Christian Faith
To let others join in their stand for Christ, the management and cast of The Miracle Theater have recently launched a "One Million for Christ" petition, which thousands have already signed.
"The name of Jesus Christ should not be mocked, nor should those who love Him be slandered for their beliefs," the petition reads. "It is time for people of faith around the country to stand firm against religious slander, bias and bigotry of all types, including Christianity."
The group's general manager, Russ Hollingsworth, said he could no longer stand by and watch his faith and God be singled out and slandered in the media.
"It seems like Christianity is the only religion that it's acceptable to persecute," Hollingsworth said. "It made my heart sick to see people in the audience at the Emmys laughing at Griffin's remarks. It should not be acceptable to mock anyone's faith. We have to start changing the hearts and minds of people on this subject!"
Hollingsworth asserts that slandering God should no longer be treated with tolerance or protected with the "freedom of speech.".
"We believe that every American has the right to worship freely and to speak freely," he said. "We believe, however, that as Christians, we should not accept mockery of our Lord quietly. When word reached our cast that a Hollywood celebrity had stood before TV cameras and said such vulgar things about Christ, they were moved to do something. It's just not okay anymore to mock Christians and Jesus with impunity."
At the bottom of the ad, a mission statement is presented, "The mission of The Miracle Theater is to present faith-based family entertainment through live theatrical productions revealing the person of Jesus Christ as The Living Word of God."
Sources: USA Today, The Associated Press, Texas Prototypes, The Miracle Theater
*Original publish date September 21, 2007.