The Empathy Machine
Jason Jones

Filmmaker Jason Jones on Helping the Vulnerable to Carry the Cross

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This week I had the luxury of guest-hosting for Eric Metaxas’ radio show. That meant I could talk to people whom I normally wouldn’t get hold of — drawn by a wide national audience. So I sent Eric’s staff to track down some fairly prominent people. David Daleiden was the first person I chose to interview. But I also used one of the time slots for someone I talk to every week, sometimes every day: filmmaker and activist Jason Jones.

Jason is a regular Stream columnist who co-authored with me the 2014 book The Race to Save Our Century. He talked about several provocative topics. He recounted for Eric’s audience the story of what spurred him into the fight for human rights in the first place: Losing his unborn child, as a teenage dad, to a coerced abortion.

That loss still haunts him, he said. But it also drives him to think pretty deeply about the blind spots in our culture — the willful or careless neglect of the truly vulnerable.

People pretend that they want to stand “in solidarity” with the weak.

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, & “Little Boy”

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Filmmaker and human rights activist Jason Jones reflects on the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the powerful treatment of those events, along with American wartime racism, in the neglected classic film Little Boy.

Mixed Martial Arts

Do Mixed Martial Arts Strip Human Dignity? Does Football?

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Father Mike Schmitz, a popular online commentator for Ascension press, offered a provocative critique of mixed martial arts (MMA), suggesting that as a sport it undermines human dignity. That it demeans people as images of God. So we shouldn’t watch it. Here’s his video editorial:

As an author and activist concerned with human dignity– see my 2014 book, The Race to Save Our Century — this intrigued me. Because, you see, I am also an MMA enthusiast. I don’t just watch it. I take part in it. So here’s my response to Fr. Mike:

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obama

Filming the Wasteland That’s Obama’s Legacy in Iraq

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We often look back with shame at the Holocaust. We remember especially stories of Jews who fled Nazi Europe, whom America turned away — and who ended up dying in camps.

Who are the most persecuted peoples on earth today? And what is America’s responsibility towards them? Why does Barack Obama carry the lifelong honor of a Nobel Peace Prize? Does he deserve it?

This documentary will ask these uncomfortable questions, and answer them in the stories of Christians and Yazidis persecuted by ISIS after President Obama pulled out U.S. troops and left Iraq in chaos. Our guides through this landscape of oppression, violence, and resistance will be an American filmmaker, a Swedish heart surgeon and a young Yazidi girl who was kidnapped by members of ISIS. Now they are campaigning to have a former U.S. president’s Nobel Peace Prize revoked.

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