Tuesday, May 29, 2007

United Methodists proclaim "Free Willy" as favorite movie

In a recent survey conducted by the Barna Group, members of various religious groups in the United States were asked to name their favorite movie of all time (to view all of the results, see below). Some of the favorites were expected, some were surprising, and one was downright shocking.

By far the most shocking result was United Methodist's choice of Free Willy as their favorite movie of all time. In case you missed it, Free Willy is not exactly considered a classic. Rather it is generally considered to be a kids' movie about a Killer Whale named "Willy" who gets trapped and needs to be freed by some children.

What, then, would cause thousands of Methodists to vote for Free Willy over classics such as Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, The Sound of Music, and Star Wars? Bishop Karen Sanders, head of the Northern California Conference of the UMC, said that most Methodists probably have not actually seen Free Willy. Rather, they were just voting based on the title of the movie.

According to Bishop Sanders, "We Methodists know that John Wesley preached a lot about people having free will. Since we are Wesley's followers, we hold up the free will of people as the greatest of his teachings. We focus so much of our thought on free will that when we were asked what our favorite movie is, the answer was obvious: Free Willy. We believe that even John Wesley himself would have loved the movie, or at least the title."

Bishop Sanders further stressed that United Methodists all had a free choice in what movie they selected. "We in leadership positions put no pressure on any of our laypeople. The common folk, out of their own wisdom and insight, chose Free Willy on their own. Any pressure from the outside would have been unfair."

Below are all of the results of the Barna movie survey:
Hindus - Gandhi
Buddhists - Seven Years in Tibet
Muslims - Flight 93
Jews - Schindler's List (Raiders of the Lost Ark was a close second)
Orthodox - My Big, Fat Greek Wedding
Catholics - The Passion of the Christ
Anglicans - The English Patient
Lutherans - Luther
Presbyterians - Chariots of Fire
Baptists - Super Size Me
Pentecostals - Dirty Dancing
Mormons - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Animists - Poltergeist
Unitarians - No preference (anything is good)
Native Americans - Dances with Wolves
Secular Humanists - Brokeback Mountain
Atheists - Contact
Scientology - Anything with Tom Cruise

1 comment:

Gary Brady said...

Bit late but (via TITB) I've found it and read it and laughed. Perhaps Grease should be mentioned as it might please the scientologists, the Pentecostals (with all that dancing) and the Orthodox!