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Academy Disqualifies Joni Eareckson Tada's Oscar-Nominated Song from Christian Movie

(UPDATED) Tada hopes all the attention will 'extend the message and impact' of song from 'Alone Yet Not Alone,' once one of five Oscar candidates for best original song.
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Update: Tada tells CT:

While I can only imagine the disappointment of music writer Bruce Broughton and lyricist Dennis Spiegel in the rescinding of their Oscar nomination, it in no way detracts from either the song's beauty or its message. ...

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Displaying 1–27 of 27 comments

PJ Reeder

February 02, 2014  1:34pm

Audrey is right Justin--the word is "regardless." And who are you to say this is "disingenuous? You must be a mind reader but a poor one at that. Joni is an awesome person without malice-----why would you question her actions? Or the actions of the song writer? I am surprised with folks like you. God can use this big time. I hope He does! PJR

audrey ruth

February 02, 2014  6:16am

The word is "regardless" (no "ir" needed), and it would be nice if Kate Tracy had spelled Josh Duggar's name correctly. Yes, the Gospel CAN be furthered through disingenuous means. In the NT the Lord speaks of people who preached the Gospel out of wrong motives and says that that people were saved by hearing the Gospel even so. He is the only Righteous Judge who knows all hearts and everyone will ultimately answer to him. It is clear from this article that Joni and her husband did not use any disingenuous means. She sang the song out of a pure heart, out of a desire to glorify God. I've been hearing lots of reports that sound like the Gospel has indeed been furthered through this.

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Justin Lambert

January 31, 2014  1:34pm

Irregardless of the quality of the song, is the gospel really furthered through disingenuous means?

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audrey ruth

January 30, 2014  10:35pm

I don't think Joni was looking for worldly acclaim. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing/hearing her sing the song at YouTube, and it is a wonderful, powerful song. The fact that she was able to sing it at all is a miracle because of the limitations of her condition. A hearty AMEN to this: " At least the publicity will cause people to go see the film and may the Lord have greater glory as a result."

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Evelyn Sims

January 30, 2014  4:29pm

Didn't Jesus say that we don't need to look for worldly acclaim as does the 'World' for "verily they have their reward". At least the publicity will cause people to go see the film and may the Lord have greater glory as a result...?

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J. Randy Hall

January 30, 2014  3:08pm

How disappointing of the Motion Picture Academy. Do they think we are so naive as to believe that there is not "politicking" going on in regard to all categories of the Oscars? It seems to me that there is a prejudice at work in this action, but I do know against whom. It may be against the composer or the Christian content or something/someone else. I like to watch award shows, even though I must "hold my nose" at times when there are artists or songs or speeches that/who are disrespectful or profane. If the Motion Picture Academy does not restore "Alone, Yet Not Alone" to the award nominees on the basis of principle, fairness, and equity, I will refrain from watching the Oscars personally and will encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, the Motion Picture Academy will restore the song because it is the right thing to do. If not, perhaps knowing that people of faith are turning the channel or turning off the television set will help them rethink this action.

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David R Osborn

January 30, 2014  12:31pm

I checked the Boston.com article and found that that no evidence was provided for what was asserted. Here is the relevant quote: "Since the nominations in any craft category are voted for only by members in that branch -- everyone gets to vote on all the categories for the actual awards -- THERE CLEARLY WAS A CAMPAIGN on the part of someone or someones that did the trick and got enough votes to get the song over the hump, however big or small that hump may have been" (capitalization added). What is the proof of a campaign? The writer's opinion. Was the voting not anonymous? Was any arm twisting possible? No evidence was provided. The article suggests a prejudicial approach which considers the writers personal opinion as superior to those who voted for the song. I have no idea what the reality is for the selection but it is certainly not to be found in this article.

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Nance Wabshaw

January 30, 2014  12:26pm

This song will bless many regardless of the politics and inanity of Hollywood award shows. A brief look at the Grammys and you almost DON'T want to win in that venue!!

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Kyle King

January 30, 2014  12:15pm

Nice words. Love the woman. But musically and artistically not that great of a song. Just about every Coldplay song is better than this one. Still love Joni though!

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Richard Paschall

January 30, 2014  10:50am

I think the CT article is fair. However, putting the Boston Globe criticism in the same paragraph with the point that some critics did not like the Dobson endorsement implied that the Globe article criticized the same thing, which it did not. But, that is only one sentence in the entire article. The rest is totally accurate from what else I can find. I am very sorry that this song was removed from the nominations. It has really thoughtful lyrics, a compelling tune, and Joni did an admirable job in her vocal--very warm, very heartfelt. I knew that the words were coming from her heart. It's a great song and I hope to find the sheet music to sing it soon.

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Hope Ferguson

January 30, 2014  10:43am

Caleb and Katherine, the CT article does explain the conflict of interest angle. In your rush to judge the mag and censure the writer, you must not have read the content of the article. I clicked on the boston globe link and found nothing much of substance different than what was explained in this piece, i.e., the composer's ties to the academy as leader of music division, etc.

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K. Smith

January 30, 2014  9:43am

To piggy back on what Katherine and Caleb has said, Christians in general should be hesitant about this movie given that it's heavily connected to Vision Forum. Just Google that particular group.

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Katherine Ray

January 25, 2014  7:44pm

Everyone should read the Boston Globe article that is referenced here in order to get an accurate picture of why this nomination is problematic. It has nothing to do with James Dobson. http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/blog/2014/01/the_oscar_nomin_1.html Shame on you, Christianity Today, for this misleading piece.

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Doranna Cooper

January 23, 2014  3:40pm

The media may not have known who Joni was when they first blasted the song's nomination. Disabled & abortion fighter & opposed to assisted death. If you are going to be politically correct then the media should be ashamed for blasting a disabled person. Problem is the liberal media get so riled up that they cannot thing rationally.

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Ted Hewlett

January 23, 2014  2:17pm

We note the on-going attempt to freeze out of public life all those who do not do obeisance to the pro-homosexuality agenda. Disagree with it and you are labelled a hatemonger-- a label that I am sure James Dobson does not deserve.

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Connie Bawcom

January 21, 2014  1:20pm

Absolutely breath-taking! Love the melody, love the words, and love Joni's prayer as she recognizes her weakness and places herself in the Arms of our Heavenly Father. Wouldn't we love to be there for Oscar night!!!!!

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Karen Rhodes

January 21, 2014  10:21am

Beautiful song, beautiful voice!

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audrey ruth

January 21, 2014  3:48am

Ah yes, Hollywood's latest controversy: Oscar nod for Christian movie song by Joni Eareckson Tada. Hollywood just loves to get all intolerant when it comes to Christians. I wonder if they see the hypocrisy? I doubt it. I'm tickled to see that ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ beat out Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Ray to have its title track performed at the Academy Awards. But oh, the horror! The film draws criticism for James Dobson's endorsement, along with Rick Santorum's and Josh Duggar's. (C'mon, guys, can't you spell the guy's name right?) I had not heard of Alone Yet Not Alone before now, but now I will be SURE to see it. And I don't usually watch the Academy Awards, but I may sit through as much as necessary in order to see this song performed. Hooray for Joni Eareckson Tada! I love that dear woman. BTW, what Christian movie drew an R rating? I clicked on the link, but didn't see a clue there.

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The Rev. Laina Wood Casillas

January 20, 2014  6:52pm

If it's a good song, this good that it's up for an oscar, in spite of Dobson Santorum etal.

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Rick Froman

January 20, 2014  1:41pm

My conclusion is that James Dobson just needs to endorse more movies and songs. If you include the PluggedIn website as a branch of Focus on the Family, that organization (do the critics consider it a hate group?) has endorsed many of these movies. Frozen got a 4/5, Mandela a 3.5/5, and Despicable Me 2 a 4/5. The 2/5 for Her probably would preclude an endorsement. I am sure Dobson would be happy to endorse Frozen and Despicable Me 2 (and their songs) and others. Do they really want to count something out for an award just because someone or some organization endorsed it?

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Roger Wayne Hicks

January 20, 2014  12:46pm

Wonderful song, wonderfully done.....in praise to our wonderful LORD. I praise God for Joni's faith to trust God for his enabling to sing this and to contribute to such a positive film.

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Rick Dalbey

January 20, 2014  12:37pm

Wow. I had no idea Joni could sing. What a testimony that song is. I can't wait to see it played at the Oscars.

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David Greenhalgh

January 20, 2014  12:21pm

Thank you... a beautiful gift.

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Belle Unruh

January 19, 2014  2:18am

I was moved by the music and the words. Joni's voice is beautiful.

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Sue Talley

January 18, 2014  2:47pm

When 9/11 happened, Joni Earickson sent her excellent books to Nyack College, NYC, and we were really suffering. Whatever "hay" politicians or reporters make of endorsements, Joni will always be a dear friend. Our professor, Willana Mack, sang in an Oscar-nominated song in "August Rush" a few years ago. Now another Nyack connection at the Oscars. Go Joni, and to God be the glory!

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WAYNE PEDERSON

January 17, 2014  9:28pm

I've never heard Joni sing more beautifully!

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Paul Allen

January 17, 2014  3:33pm

Beautiful song by a God-filled lady. To God be all the glory. Look out Hollywood.

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