Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Last Ounce of Courage' Movie Review

Last Ounce of Courage 
Movie Review

          The film Last Ounce of Courage opened nationwide last Friday.  You may have seen it advertised on Fox News or promoted by Chuck Norris.
          The film begins with Thomas Revere saying goodbye to his parents and pregnant wife as he is sent overseas for a tour of duty.  While there, Thomas is killed in battle.  Back home, his grieving widow takes their infant son to Los Angeles to start over.
          Fast forward fourteen years.  Thomas’s widow Kari and teenage son Christian return to their small town, Mt. Columbus, where his father Bob is now the mayor.  On his first day, Christian is called into the principal’s office for bringing his Bible to school.  Frustrated, he asks his grandfather what his father died for, and why no one is fighting back as their freedoms are slowly taken away.
          Bob decides to do something about it, and the first thing he does is bring Christmas back to Mt. Columbus.  So angels, manger scenes and a giant Christmas tree at City Hall are erected, drawing fire from an unnamed national civil liberties organization.
          The rest of the movie follows the struggle between Bob and his family, who try to bring religious expression out of the shadows in their small town, and the larger government entities intent on enforcing a “separation of Church and state.”
          The film can seem a bit over the top at times.  Then you remember that we live in a time when the Ten Commandments have been pulled out of courthouses, there are lawsuits over the display of a cross or statue of Jesus, and students really are sometimes being told they can not display any religiosity in public schools.
          It is true that the film can be a bit cheesy and has a made-for-TV feel.  However, I don’t think the cinematography or even the script are really the point; the point is the message.
          We are seeing an erosion of our religious freedoms that we would never have believed possible just four years ago.  The HHS mandate is an affront to our basic liberties that has no place in a free society.  And still, many people are not getting involved in the many demonstrations and activities that are being coordinated.  Many Catholics will even, unbelievably, vote for the President’s reelection.  One can only guess what new “regulations” that would bring.
          Last Ounce of Courage will not be a blockbuster or win any awards, but it is worth a watch, if only as a reminder that if we do not stand up for our religious freedoms now, there will soon be none left to defend.
          One thing I particularly liked about the film was the way it captured the pain and sacrifice of military families who have lost a loved one.  After the credits, people are invited to check out the Web site