Christian Song Oscar Nomination Drawing Criticism

The Academy of Motion Pictures has announced their nominations for the Academy Awards and one of those nominations is drawing criticism from liberals and members of the mainstream media.

In the category of Music: Original Score, one of the nominations has gone to Alone Yet Not Alone from the movie by the same name.  According to the movie’s webpage:

“Tracy Leininger Craven beautifully recaptures her family’s inspiring true story of faith and survival in the poignant new book, ALONE YET NOT ALONE: The Story of Barbara and Regina Leininger.”

“Craven weaves together the terrifying events Barbara and Regina Leininger, 12 and 9, experienced in 1755 after their family fled a tumultuous Germany to start a new life in Pennsylvania.”

“Exalting both the solemn and sweet times that defined her lineage, Craven delves into what it really means to have faith, even when you think God has turned His back on you. She emphasizes that it was that faith that kept her ancestors together when they were miles apart, and that same hope that stayed within their hearts long after they finally escaped to freedom.”

“Craven writes in the book, ‘It is my prayer that those reading this [story] will be encouraged to run the race of life with undaunted faith and endurance—drawing strength from the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.’”

As you can imagine, having a Christ centered film nominated for anything in Hollywood is unthinkable.  One person who found out that their song had not been nominated, and Alone Yet Not Alone was, was irate to say the least.  The Hollywood Reporter quoted the individual as saying:

“I can’t figure any of this s— out.”

The Hollywood Reporter went to question why so many other popular movie songs were snubbed for this song, saying:

“It is difficult to understand why ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ snagged an Oscar nomination over more acclaimed and high-profile competitors.  [They wonder how] a song that has been heard by virtually no one outside the branch from a film that hardly anyone has seen.”

The Wire labeled the song as the years worst ‘what the f—‘ song.  Boston Globe reporter Ty Burr referred to it as ‘the Oscar nomination that stinks to heaven.’  The LA Times printed, ‘Its inclusion is questionable, and evidence that strides still need to be made when it comes to the Oscar song field.’

Perhaps one of the most biased comments came from NewNowNext, a division of Viacom’s LGBT channel Logo TV that claimed the song had an anti-gay connection because it was endorsed by Christians like Rick Santorum and James Dobson.  They also demeaned the song by calling it ‘a clunky song from an obscure Christian movie score.’  Dan Avery of NewNowNext wrote, ‘It’s crammed with sappy Christian aphorisms, and over-produced to within an inch of its life.’

The theme song was sung by noted Christian Joni Eareckson Tada who has been a quadriplegic since she was 17.  She says she had no formal training in singing and that she only has about half of the normal lung capacity.  While recording the song, her husband reportedly had to push on her diaphragm to help her reach the high notes.  Listen for yourself and see if you think it’s clunky song.

After hearing of the Oscar nomination, Joni Eareckson Tada commented:

“I’m the least likely candidate to record a song for a movie; I’ll tell you that up front, so it’s amazing.  It’s amazing enough that a family-friendly movie with a Christian theme is nominated in any category for an Academy Award. Besides ‘The Blind Side,’ which was wonderful, it’s just not the norm.”

“This is such an out-of-left-field thing.  The God of the Bible delights in using ill-equipped, unskilled and untrained people in positions of great influence, everyone from Joseph to David. It’s all to show that it’s not by human prowess or brassiness, but all by God’s design. I don’t know if that’s what he’s doing here, but it’s worth giving pause and considering.”

If the critics are complaining about the movie being obscure or not seen by many, then what about all of the nominations in past years for movies that were just as obscure?  Numerous Oscar nominations have gone to movies that most people never heard of until the Academy nominated them and then all of a sudden everyone rushed out to see the movie for themselves.  Hopefully the same thing will happen with Alone Yet Not Alone and millions of Americans will rush out to see it and have their hearts touched not only about the family history but the Christian message that goes with it.  I know I’m planning on seeing the movie and encourage you to do likewise.