“WAS ‘MONUMENTAL’ MONUMENTAL?”
A large group of us went to see Kirk Cameron’s “Monumental” on the opening night. We walked in the theater just as he was welcoming the cameras into his home. As he went from room to room in his house, I began to get a little apprehensive – Are we about to watch a home movie…some cut-rate documentary with Kirk chatting from his living room? Just then, Kirk announced that before the movie he wanted us to meet some special guests—among them were William Kappen (a young musician), Alveda King (Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Kirk’s own grandfather who fought in WW2. To me, that was a monumental statement of how the movie crossed generational and racial lines. It was a great reminder that the message of ‘Monumental’ was for all Americans, regardless of age and race, who are concerned about the moral decline of our nation.
After a few introductory comments, Kirk announced that it was time for the movie. I looked around the theater; we were in the overflow auditorium and the place was almost packed. Later, I learned that it was “the largest one night event in NCM Fathom’s history.” That was monumental in itself! In fact, it is quite fascinating to me that movies like Fireproof and Courageous are scoring higher at Box Offices than all the big-budget flops. People assume that most Americans could care less about moral values. Nothing is further from the truth. Morality still matters in America. If anything, the success of ‘Monumental’ proves that the moral conscience of this nation is still alive.
The house lights went dim, the title faded on to the screen, the audio-video transitioned to HD standards—this was Hollywood quality, needless to say. For the next 90 minutes, Kirk took the audience on a fascinating journey into our nation’s past. As a student of history, the information was not new for me, but what made it very interesting were the visits to the historical sites, and interviews with historians and experts in the field. Unlike documentaries that are dull and dry, the information was presented in a “National Treasure” like style that was appealing to the younger audience. This was important for me, as our two teenagers were with us. My wife and I looked over time-to-time to see their reaction and they were into it! That was monumental! Contrary to what is often claimed, our younger generation does care about issues facing our nation. Frankly, we have failed to teach them the truth and model it.
At the end of the movie, as we made our way out, someone asked me, “What did you think about the movie?” I knew their reason for asking. They wanted to know what does someone like me—who came to this country from a foreign land—think about the Christian origins of the United States. “To be honest,” I replied, “I didn’t know any different.” Growing up overseas, we were taught that America was a Christian nation with a Christian beginning. We learned the history that is now revised or eradicated from secular textbooks in the schools and colleges all across the United States. Imagine my shock when I came here over twenty years ago and heard the debates over the separation of church and state, prayer in public schools, definition of marriage, etc. In fact, I found it ironic how people in America have used the benefits of Judeo-Christian principles—freedom, equality, and prosperity—and denied the very principles that brought them those benefits! That is a recipe for a monumental disaster.
I hope Kirk would make a sequel and trace the true history of the Founding Fathers of our nation. It just gets better and better!