Miracles from Heaven

One of our wonderful Year 11 students who has almost finished her time at Thomas Knyvett College has emailed to let us know there’s a great film to revise Religious Studies Unit 1 Section 1 ‘Believing in God’ called Miracles from Heaven.  Apparently it shows evil and suffering, miracles as well as unanswered prayers. Could this be a good revision film to watch for Year 10 students before Thursday?

On IMDb it says: MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.

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Jane the Virgin – TV for GCSE RS

Thank you to Year 11 students for sharing the name of a TV series, Jane the Virgin, which is available on Netflix and all about a Catholic virgin who gets accidently artificially inseminated with a baby! Sounds far-fetched but with 7.8 on IMDb it is making a lot of people laugh.

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You can catch the main actress Gina Rodriguez talking about the TV show on Ellen or some clips from the series on YouTube.

Sorry we can’t ban everything that offends you

Julie Bindel argues in a Guardian video why we can’t ban everything that offends you or we are left with such strong censorship that we won’t achieve anything constructive in Britain. She refers to historical movements like civil rights and feminism which if they’d been curtailed and banned for offending people would not have made such progress.

Knowing a variety of arguments for freedom of speech and being able to talk about and do things which offend some people in society, is hugely important for Unit 1 of the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies. There might be questions in each section about whether the media should be allowed to criticise religious beliefs and practises. So why not branch out from the old arguments that religion is out-of-date, we live in a multicultural society, debate allows us to think about the options, and since issues affect us all we should be able to hear about the arguments, and pick up some new ones from this video. It’s only 1 minute and 46 seconds long!

Million Dollar Baby

This is a great film for GCSE Religious Studies (Year 11) students to watch about how Maggie wants her boxing coach and friend Frankie Dunn to help her die as she is paralysed  – thereby performing euthanasia which is against the law.

A summary of the film: Frankie Dunn has trained and managed some incredible fighters during a lifetime spent in the ring. The most important lesson he teaches his boxers is the one that rules life: above all, always protect yourself. In the wake of a painful estrangement from his daughter, Frankie has been unwilling to let himself get close to anyone for a very long time. His only friend, Scrap, an ex-boxer who looks after Frankie’s gym, knows that beneath his gruff exterior is a man who has been seeking, for the past 25 years, the forgiveness that somehow continues to elude him. Then Maggie Fitzgerald walks into his gym… Maggie Fitzgerald, a poor thirty-one year old waitress from the very lower classes and with a dysfunctional loser family, decides to make a difference through boxing. She convinces the experienced hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn to coach her and be her manager, with the support of his old partner Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, who sees her potential as a boxer. Frankie has a problematical relationship with his daughter, and practically adopts Maggie along her career.

Actor wants his mum to be allowed to die as she has ‘no quality of life’

John Hannah, a Scottish actor famous for his part in Four Weddings and a Funeral, has said he wants his eighty-four year old mother who’d in a nursing home with dementia to be allowed to die.

John Hannah

‘She really doesn’t want to be here,’ says Hannah, 53.

‘Maybe there comes a time when you are done with that natural cycle. I am hoping, by the time we get to that age, there will be an assisted exit programme. My mum’s got no quality of life whatsoever. I don’t know if she knows who we are when we go in. But if someone said you can let her go now, my sisters and I, we would say, yes, do that. She can’t say it now — now the dementia has developed.’

You can read more of this article about assisted suicide (euthanasia) on the Daily Mail.

Otherwise he is the famous scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral when John’s character reads the poem by W H Auden called Stop the Clock at his lover’s funeral. Apologies for the swear word in the opening sentence.

The Rapture

The word rapture does not appear in the Bible, but it is a term frequently used to mean the Second Coming of Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven, and the disciples watched as He rose into the sky. The Bible says, “While they [the disciples] watched, He [Jesus] was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men [angels] stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’ ” (Acts 1:9-11). One point stands out in these verses: that the Jesus who returns to Earth the second time is the very same Jesus who lived here on Earth with us and went back to heaven following His resurrection.

In this episode of the Simpsons Homer thinks he’s received a sign from God to say when the Rapture will be… but was he right? Moreover does the TV clip promote belief in God or mock it? GCSE Unit 1 Section 1 can have questions about TV affecting belief in God.