Jackie Robinson and Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey were not only strong Christians, their shared faith in Jesus Christ was the reason Rickey chose Robinson. Eric Metaxas laments the fact that Hollywood chose not to include this important dimension in the recent film 42:
Hollywood has been skittish about faith and religion since at least the late 1960s. Even when it’s almost impossible to avoid, filmmakers find a way. The Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line omitted the central role Christian faith played in how Cash overcame drug addiction. Even in 2007’s Amazing Grace, about British abolitionist William Wilberforce, the story of his conversion and the huge role faith played in his political efforts is essentially left out.
And now in 42, Hollywood’s done it again, check-swinging a bloop single past the infield when a fence-clearing clout — or at least extra bases — was easily possible.
Omitting the role of faith in this story does a serious disservice to history — and to the memories of Robinson and Rickey. But it’s also financially foolish. The recent megasuccess of The Bible miniseries and the cool $600 million earned by Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in 2004 are just two reasons why. The audience for faith-friendly films is huge and growing.
Which brings us back to another reason Rickey did what he did. He believed bringing African Americans onto the baseball field would bring them into the stands, too, and ticket sales would increase. Which is precisely what happened.
Read the whole thing.
HT: Sean McDowell