David Bruce

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with comments by David Bruce

I receive a lot of e-mail.  I am not able to post all the mail. I have included a good sampling, however.  If the subject is the same I might group the newer messages with similar older ones.  Also, my response may appear a few days after the original posting. I can't do HJ everyday.  You must include your "name" and e-mail address within your comment if you want it posted, otherwise it will not be posted (there is a privacy issue here and we respect that).  I do, however, encourage you to give your "name" and e-mail so others can respond to you personally.
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This page was last updated on August 18, 2001

THE LOGIC OF THE ENDING
Subject: Planet of the Apes
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001
From: Mark D.

After much discussion with those I saw POTA with, we still haven't figured out the logic of the ending. Gen. Thade must escape from his "prison" in the ship's wreckage where we had previously seen him, okay. But how does he get to earth? They were not on earth all along like the original (two moons in the sky on the ape planet). Does Thade follow Davidson back through the wormhole (but what does he use for a spaceship) and arrive in a time prior to Davidson's landing on earth? Is this Burton's joke on us as a final homage to the original? If you are carrying out the Davidson as Moses leading the Israelites analogy then is the ending a sort of Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai and seeing the golden calf? Mark D.

ENCOURAGEMENT
Subject: Gary_Busey
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001
From: BettyAnn

I was watching the profile on your life Monday night, 6 Aug 01, on the "E" station. The words you shared at the end of the biography, touched my heart. An interview with Howard Stern immediately followed your biography. I would not normally watch Howard's show because of my convictions, but you were going to be interviewed so I made an exception. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to be in your profession. There has to be a tremendous amount of pressure on actors and actresses. However, I know God has changed your life and will help you. I also know you love the Lord because I watched an interview with you on TBN. I say all that to say you are precious and don't need to cast your pearls before swine. Howard cannot relate to you or value what you have to share because he is desensitized by his sinful life. I'm not condemning Howard because I know if it weren't for the grace of our Lord Jesus, I would be in the same condition. I just don't want to see you settle for less than what God has for you, which is only good and uplifting. Your ability to remain in the movie industry as long as you have is commendable. I know God will open up new doors for you as you seek Him. You have been through such difficult times, e.g., fatal accidents, medical illnesses, broken relationships. Please don't get discouraged. Jesus is there with you. I just wanted you to know I have prayed for you all week and will continue to do so until I feel led to stop. Keep smiling, it is the valley's that make us truly enjoy the mountain tops.
Your Sister in Christ, Betty Ann

I SEEN YOU ON THE HOWARD STERN SHOW
Subject: Gary_Busey
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001
From: Rita-Jean Signore

Hello Gary,
I seen you on Howard Sterns' show last night. Were you ever into wrestling? I too am divorced 2 times. The Lords' been really doing a healing and He's been so faithful to me. I owe Him my life. I'm born-again, spirit-filled. Yes I speak in tongues, it's a gift you know? Did you receive your prayer language yet? I find you very attractive, I'm 41. I'm beautiful, not to sound conceited. I love the Lord & want to serve Him even if it means to be single for the rest of my days. I'd really love to meet you, but I guess that won't happen until we see each other in Heaven. I've had many encounters with the Lord, He's actually (now don't laugh) knocked on my door & one time He banged on it & was telling me to wake up!!! I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm Italian. I've been trying to write to you, but I had heard you & Tiani reconciled, so I backed off. I think it's important as Christians to be concerned with Gods' work & He'll eventually give us the desires of our hearts. If you ever come to Pittsburgh, look me up. ( I know that will never happen) I work Monday to Friday at the Prothonotarys' Office, Room 229, City-County Bldg. I live at 229 Hazel Rd, Penn Hills, PA. I enjoy your work. I'd like to see you do a leading man role. I loved The Buddy Holly Story, you have a good voice. We need to pray for Howard & his staff. I'll be lifting you up in prayer. If you can remember to pray for my father, Frank, he needs the Lord, BAD. It would be nice to hear from you, but you're probably too busy. Take Care and God Bless In His Love,
Rita-Jean Signore

GREAT SHOW
Subject: God_Devil_and_Bob
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001
From: Alex

I'm using this show with a group of young people, and it's the best outreach resource I've found!
Cheers, Alex

CHRISTMAS TREE
Subject: Christmas Tree-
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001
From: C T Blake FirstConsul@Earthdome.com

Hey guys. While both you and one of the respondants are making fun of the Roman holiday utilizing the pine tree and self-castration, it was, in fact, a quite notorious festival of the time. the holiday the writer was speaking of (I forgot to copy down his name) is the festival of Cybele and Attis, one of the many cults that were imported from the east into the western Roman Empire. Attis (who figures into the tree and castration) is also seen with connections to the Baccanalia. The long and short of the story (there's a pun there)- Attis is born of a princess, who becomes pregnant from picking up a pomagranate (an almond in other versions) formed from the blood of Acdestis (a hermaphrodite, castrated by Dionysus. I know. Just hang on, and it'll start making sense.)

The princes gives birth to Attis, who is left exposed to the winderness.

Acdestis's mom is Cybele, who takes care of baby Attis.

Upon growing up, Attis is attracted to the now-female Acdestis. King Midas (of gold fame) convinces Attis to marry his daughter instead.

For reasons not entirely clear, Cyele opposed the marriage, possibly due to some lost bit of the legend having to do with Attis being murdered if he got married.

Cybele breaks into the city, and Acdestis inflicts madness on the wedding party.

Attis flees the city and castrates himself at the base of a pine tree, flinging the part into the branches. He dies from this wound, and his blood created violets. The almond tree also grew from his grave.

The cult of the Cybele Earth Mother was brought into Rome during the Punic Wars. In that time, a priesthood of eunuchs around the cult of Attis, where one of the rites of entry was self castration, usually with glass or a sharpened stone.

Interestingly, it was against Roman law for a Roman citizen to castrate himself, so the claim of all those pissed off Roman wives is something of a misnomer. Romans could not become priests of the cult (most came from the subject peoples of Anatolia and Syria).

During the Festival of Cybele (April 4-10th), the priests of Attis would dress in feminine costume (wigs, jewelry, the whole bit-- imagine a drag queen parade and you're pretty close) which was the only time they could collect funds to support the Temple (they went door to door). Later, the date of March 24th would be added as the Day of Blood (this, associated with Cybele and Attis)

On March 22nd, a pine tree would be cut down, and would have the base bathed in blood. It would be carried through Rome and put in from of the Temple and DECORATED (flowers for the most part, but also colorful strips of cloth and small toys). On the 24th would be the day of the new priests removing their manhood, hence the Day of Blood.

It is thought that the process of blood baptism, as practiced by both the Cult of Attis & Cybele as well as Mithras might have been a way to forgo the castration process, and still be considered an initiate of Attis (Remember, the Roman ban.)

So you see, guys, just because it seems a bit far fetched or perhaps incomprehensible to you, this was a seriously taken faith, with its own rituals and symbols that ....with strong evidence, I think.... portions of the festival we co-opted by the later Christian Church. The story of Boniface is pure fiction, but a poor attempt to graft a christian spin on an appropriated ritual, much the same way we are now getting the "dyed Easter eggs are the blood of Christ dripping on a basket of eggs" -story. What rubbish.

and while we're on the subject-- how come nobody is mentioning the Germannic cults of the tree, winter decoration and what not- what happen to the Yule? Doesn't it make more sense that the native Yule story was absorbed into Christmas, than some wierd transport of the Boniface story to Germany?

Open up guys.
CT Blake
Nacogdoches, Texas
FirstConsul@Earthdome.com

PS- I wrote a couple of other e-mail, but may have missed putting the e-mail at the bottom. Consider this permission to copy and print those e-mails, with the above e-mail as mine.

COOL CHURCH
Subject: Newsletter 26
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001
From: Alaska Churches and Bible School

Kachmak Bay Christian
Center PO Box 995
Homer AK 99603
www.kbaychurch.org

Alaska Bible Institute
http://www.xyz.net/~abi/
P.O. Box 975 Homer, AK 99603
(907) 235-8648

AMERICA FOR THE AMERICANS!
Subject: American History X
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001
From: "Wolverine"

One of the most interesting movies I have seen lately (to have stayed until 3:00am watching it)! Actually watching this film has made me start a conflict of thoughts of my own in my head as of late. Although I have been a personal admirer of Nazis (you can't blame them of trying to conquest the world, just like Napolean or Alexander the Great did!) & not skinheads since I was a little boy, I just don't understand the point of the movie. I know the philosophy of the nazi's was basically Germany for the germans, & in this movie in some segments it suggests American for the americans, but I ask myself, can anybody really define who an american really is??? As a proud latin american I have always had to put up with this shit all my life. Just because my skin color is brown, I'm in a way looked down by white folks who think I might steal something from a store, or they think I'm an illegal alien(from planet mars or something) who should be reported to the police, or should I say the MIB!! I come from a heritage of people who have lived here far before any "white" immigrants got his greedy little hands on any of my ancester's land. But all of a sudden a white immigrant comes along, & stop & behold his an immediate typical "american" just because of his skin color. What if his skin color was brown & he would immigrate from latin america to the US??? He would probably be considered an alien or a "border hopper" just like it is expressed in your movie. If your a person that has never studied pre-colonial history, or just has a short memory & only cares about events of the past century, I think we "spics" should be considered the only "real" americans since we have heritage of both worlds & were not just some slave descendents who were kidnapped & brought here against their will or white immigrants who escaped political or religious repression, or justice during colonial times who just shouldn't be here in the first place. Bottom line I think america is a ticking time bomb & it will be very hard for all of the races to get along!

JUST A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY
Subject: Stigmata
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001
From: Guy

I thought this was a good film, etc etc. What really gets me is, as with the other films I've seen (eg Monty Python's Holy Grail) which involve "Aramaic", the wrong script is used. The alphabet used for the Aramaic gospel in Stigmata is Paleo-Hebrew, used by the Israelites before the exile (c. 587BC). First century Aramaic, like first century Hebrew and modern Hebrew, was written with the square script. I'm guessing that Paleo-Hebrew was used because square script would look too uninteresting, and be recognised by anyone Jewish or with any knowledge of Hebrew. But come on. Don't you think it's just a little bit naughty?
Guy Brandon, Magdalene College, Cambridge, CB3 OAG.

TOLKEIN'S WORKS AND NARNIA -THE END EFFECT
Subject: Lord of the Rings
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001
From: Jim

When I first read Narnia & watched Tolkein's animated lord of the rings (I was unsaved), I saw nothing about God in them. After I got saved, I saw that so much of it carried a bad spirit with it that I dropped it. In fact, I found there was the same spirit to the animated lord of the rings that tried to force you to stay glued to the set when something evil was coming up, just like in surprise bad scenes on TV (also something I learned to avoid as a newborn Christian - quickly I just dropped those sorts of shows). And I wondered what would posess a priest to write such a thing as lord of the rings.

I saw a little bit of the gospel in narnia after I got saved, but only after someone told me it was in there. I didn't feel very blessed reading those books either. Same with Tolkein, except... well... worse.

In Lord of the rings videos, the characters were so opposite of any sort of biblical theme that I couldn't watch it any more (it didn't agree with the Spirit of God).

Again, If there was any gospel content, I would have to be told about it to see it. Any gospel in it was still completely invisible to non-Christians, esp. if they don't even know for sure who God is (many don't). To the unsaved, it's an fascinating and often ugly story. The newer ones (judging from the pictures on this site) seem more demonic than before. I didn't really need to see that.

In fact, before I got saved, Tolkein's series I would associate with dungeons and dragons. It got my family started on rated R movies involving dragons, and more middle-earth-content material. I'd say from the end result, it had the opposite effect than what was intended. There is too much interest in anything demonic anyway - it looks like from newer pictures that things are going further downhill. :-( "PSA 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."
"TH1 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil."
"PHI 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
And weren't there verses about what to do with wizards and occult practices and the teachings of such in the O.T.?

Response: What? I do not think I understand the direction of your comment. Are you suggesting that people are eager to be demonic and join forces with Satanist? I do not think this is true. You seem to be drifting toward an extreme view. -David

BALANCE IS NECESSARY IN ALL OF LIFE
Subject: Newsletter 27
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001
From: George

In all aspects of life, people need to remain balanced.

There are those who avoid all contact with the "pagan" culture around them, feeling somehow that any involvement in it will taint their walk with God. This is not unlike the attitude of the pharisees in Jesus' time. It is also the group that will give anyone grief for integrating with the lost culture all around, insinuating for example that a pastor who visits a bar to relate better to forestry workers is corrupt for that reason alone.

The other extreme is those Christians who feel that they should blend in with society to feel more "connected" with the pagan culture. Their argument is that unless they become completely immersed with those around them they cannot effectively reach them. They wear their relationship with sinners as a badge of superiority over other Christians. They point to Jesus as their model for this kind of involvement.

Jesus, of course, spent a great deal of time with those who were lost. However, he never went to an extreme. Every moment of contact with prostitutes, drunkards, and other sinners was spent with a commitment to share with them the good news of God's love and forgiveness through Christ. It is inconceivable to imagine Jesus sitting in a darkened theater laughing with the audience over a sexually explicit joke. He only put himself in settings with sinners where he could intelligently engage them in ministry-related conversation.

Both extremes modern Christians take are completely wrong. One side does not reach out in love to a lost world. The other thinks that it reaches out merely by being close to sinners. Both viewpoints are misguided. Being close counts for nothing if Christ is not clearly and constantly presented to those we interact with.

Although I don't believe it is inherently wrong for a Christian to view an R-rated movie (there may be many reasons for being there such as reviewing the film), the Bible does tell us to guard our thoughts and to keep them pure. Watching such a movie for entertainment purposes is generally not appropriate in light of the Bible's commands regarding the behavior of saints (all believers in Christ). We are told that all things are allowed but not all things are beneficial (1Cor 6:12). With freedom comes responsibility. And we are both salt and light to the culture we live in. There must be something different about us in our attitudes and behavior. In most cases, making R-rated movies or enjoying them with the lost souls around us does not create the distinction we were called to portray, and therefore makes us traitors to the cause of Christ. If we are to be more like Christ, we must purify our thoughts (2Cor 7:1, James 4:8). Many motion pictures do not assist in this process, but work against it.

It appears that you (David Bruce) have been the victim of judgmental Christians who have unfairly attacked you with no love or grace in their hearts. I was deeply saddened to discover how they reacted to your ministry. But I urge you to be cautious in your response so that your pendulum doesn't sway to an extreme and make you worthy of their judgment.

Response: In all things modesty. You are right. -David

SOUND TRACK
Subject: Tender Mercies
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001
From: M.F.

I too am looking for a "Tender Mercies" (Robert Duvall) soundtrack if anyone knows how I can go about finding one (preferably on CD), please email me at: mfrancis001@earthlink.net Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to respond,
M.F.

NON CHRISTIAN SPEAKS UP
Subject: Newsletter_25
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001
From: CT Blake FirstConsul@Earthdome.com

Very interesting points. As someone who stands outside the Christian Community (but tries very hard not to oppose them!), maybe I can add some insight-

One of the big problems that drive wedges between Christians and the World (read, all the rest of us), is that need for Christians to make everything they touch a religious issue, or one seen only through the lens of the Christian prism. If you happen to be a devout Christian- this works for you. Not so great for the rest of us.

For instance- in your list of good Christian value films, I'd have to say at least 1/2 are REAL SLEEPERS. "The Robe?" Com'on, that was low budget schlock. Something not listed, however, I think does a great deal of justice to the issue of faith is a film like "13th Warrior". Granted, not a Christian in sight- the film surrounds the conflict between Islam & Norse belief systems. Still, both sides maintain their own points of view, can work together for a common goal, etc. Something I wish our culture could learn- in diversity is strength. The message of the "13th Warrior" is quite faithful (in the religious sense), I think, but because it falls outside of the Good Christian thing, it will be ignored.

Christianity has become straightjacketed into believing that...for some inexplicable reason.....some bizzare event happened somewhere around 1965, and the whole world suddenly became their enemy. Was it the hippies, the Beatle, Elvis? I'm not sure what it is that is the bottom of the believe structure, but suddenly all of them seemed to find fault and persecution beginning sometime in the 1970's. How on earth they were persecuted it unclear, but it is now a common belief in virtually every church.

Com'on folks. Persecution is being unable to have your belief system out in the public, which Christians of all kinds are quite allowed. Try being from a minority religion in this country (say, even a Muslim or Sikh), much less pagan, and you will really understand what persecution is.

From this point of view, it's no wonder that when we hear how things were so much better when you couldn't escape Christian preaching 24 hours a day, that outsiders might find this a bit incomprehensible. I went to Catholic school- aside from developing a true hated of the church (and Nuns in particular), I can't say it was a better education than the public school one I recieved, and in many way, it was inferior. Simply put, if the claim that "the World" is so bad, them what would be put in it's place, if these folks were given a chance? I shudder to think.

Your friend in the Wilderness
CT Blake FirstConsul@Earthdome.com
Nacogdoches, Texas

Response: Thank you so much for your thoughts. I so appreciate you. -David

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY
Subject: Newsletter_27
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001
From: C T Blake FirstConsul@Earthdome.com

Couldn't agree more. I personally have no idea what the attraction is to these paintings (maybe it's because I'm a kid from the age of Nixon, and non-Christian to boot), but they always struck me as souless, lifeless and dull. Kinda like the landscapes you see from the 18th Century- no people, no nothing that would connect you as the viewer to the painting.

I also have NO idea why anyone would have some sort of romantic connection to the Victorian Age-- a bloodier, more cruel and more pathetic age of suffering & excess we've hardly seen in our entire history as Humans. Yet there it is-- one painting after another, with some English cottage in the fields.
CT Blake FirstConsul@Earthdome.com
Nacogdoches, Texas

COOL CHURCH
Subject: Newsletter 26
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001
From: From the Gathering

Kudos David, kudos. I've enjoyed your site since shortly after it went up, and have a link to it from our church's website. We're one of those X and Y rated churches, reaching out to postmodern culture. We're located in Edmonton, Alberta, way up here in the Great White North of Canada. We came across your site when we had a movie-viewing small group. We watched a movie, discussed whether or not there was something spiritually true in the film, and then went to other Christian review sites for a good laugh. You came up on a search, and wow! What a breath of fresh air that was. I'm sorry to hear you got treated so crummy by that church community. Our slogan is "church for people who don't like church" so most of our people can identify with having their butt kicked by dangerous churches. Anyhow, we're called the Gathering. We're located at 15620 - 95 Avenue in the West End of Edmonton. Our website is http://plaza.powersurfr.com/thegathering and it features online experiences for people who don't live in Edmonton but still want to worship Christ online. We applaud your goal to have a Cyber Church. Keep up the good work, and GOD BLESS!

LINK TO THE ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Subject: JacobsLadder
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001
From: Florian T

For those who liked the movie, here is the link to the original screenplay, before it was considerably truncated for the final movie version.

http://home.online.no/~bhundlan/scripts/JacobsLadder.doc

The screenplay was much longer than the movie. There is also much more 'action'. It clearly reveals the story, leaving no doubt on what's happening. Unlike the movie, there are no 'other possible interpretations'. In the first scene, we are clearly showed that the soldiers are killing each other, thus taking off the ambiguity on the Vietnam attack.

Personally, I prefered the movie version. The original screenplay was just too explicit and too obvious. In a sense, I think the movie was more 'realistic'. In the screenplay, it is so obvious that Jacob's already dead that I just couldn't believe he didn't find out before the 'end'. The fact that everything is so obvious also reduces th suspense to zero. We are watching the story through the eyes of somebody who already knows, while the movie puts us at Jacob's level. Thus, in the movie, Jacob's feelings are much more powerful on us because we feel the same thing. But for those who thought the movie gave too little explanation, the screenplay will be more than enough. Still, there are some scenes I would have liked to see, like the one that shows Michael dead.

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