Recently, I was honored to appear as a guest on my friend Larry King’s show on Ora TV/RTV, talking about my next movie "Persecuted" which hits theaters this summer. Larry and I have known each other for years and it was great to see him in action once again.
I was both pleased and surprised when he looked into the camera and bodily predicted that "Persecuted" was going to be a major hit.
I think he may be right and, as someone who has spent time in both Hollywood and Washington, I look forward to Americans getting a look at this triller that mixes religion and politics.
But even though the film hasn’t even been released yet, it’s already garnering criticism from some who scoff at the very notion that Christians in America today might be persecuted or that the kind of law that is passed in the film – one that demands that any pronouncements from a religious leader on TV must be balanced by the views of an opposing religion – could ever gain traction in the US.
I’m not so sure they’re right.
In 1949 the Federal Communication Commission introduced something called the fairness doctrine, which required every broadcaster to provide air time to those with differing views from their own.
For years political speech was stifled by this rule and yet it stood until the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Despite attempts to revive the fairness doctrine, freedom loving Americans have thwarted every effort, but trust me: even today there are many political leaders who would reinstate it if they could.
"Persecuted" is a political thriller, not a political campaign, but movies often say something about our society.
"Persecuted" imagines a world in which politicians essentially want to silence ministers by demanding that their messages about God be balanced by opposing points of view, and it deals with the plight of the nation’s most prominent televangelist who refuses to support the legislation, making him an enemy of the State – in this case the president of the United States and the Senate Majority Leader.
There’s no doubt about my politics, but in this movie the good guys aren’t all Republicans and the bad guys aren’t all Democrats. No, the good guys are those who love freedom and cherish the right to speak freely without any government interference.
I can’t tell you how it ends, but let’s just say there are a lot of chases and gun battles before right triumphs over wrong.
See you at the movies!
Fred Thompson has worked extensively in both Hollywood and Washington and is best known for his work as Arthur Branch on the TV series Law & Order and for having served in the U.S. Senate from 1994-2003. His next movie Persecuted opens in theaters across America July 18th. For more information go to: http://www.persecutedmovie.com/tickets and https://www.facebook.com/persecutedmovie