Director John Lee Hancock has a way with inspirational, people-driven sports movies. The Rookie. The Blind Side. Great stuff. I had a chance to chat with him recently, and we discussed those hits, Hollywood’s view of sports flicks, Sandra Bullock’s Oscar and more. If you’d like to hear that interview, it will be on the March 25 episode of the Official Plugged In Podcast. But for now I thought I’d share an exchange that didn’t make it onto the show.
At one point I alluded to the fact that both The Rookie and The Blind Side are about real people—Jim Morris and the Tuohy family—who also are Christians. So I asked Hancock, “As you studied them in order to tell their stories, did anything strike you in terms of how their faith motivated them or shaped who they are?”
In both cases these are really, really great people, first and foremost. I think their faith kind of fortifies them to be the very best version of the person that they already are. It's not as though, if Leigh Anne Tuohy had been raised an atheist, she would have any less charitableness in her. It's in her nature. I think the fact that she's a Christian fortifies her and gives her the strength to do the things she would already do.
An interesting perspective. I’ve never met Leigh Anne Tuohy, but I suspect that, as a Christian, she might be inclined to redirect a little more of that high praise to God.
I realize Hancock’s comments were simply an attempt to honor the noble character of the people he’s worked with. I applaud that. Yet at the same time, his words echo a cultural assumption that faith in God is like a multivitamin—helpful if you need it, but unnecessary if you’re already living a “healthy” lifestyle.
It’s true that there are very kind, generous people in the world who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, suggesting that faith simply gives us a little extra momentum to do what human nature would lead us to do anyway doesn’t acknowledge our fallen nature. Nor does it account for God’s unique ability to transform us inside and out, which includes not only our behavior but also our motives.
It’s an issue worth pondering. What do you think?