ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


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Bless the Child (2000), (R)
CAP Score: 35
CAP Influence Density: 1.84
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie

On July 26, 2000 the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry released a joint statement regarding the dangers of violence in entertainment. I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. An exceptionally important statement in the release that deserves your earnest attention is "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." [Emphasis is mine] Another statement in the report is "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed child psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the joint statement and our findings.

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.


*BLESS THE CHILD* (R) -- a huge mix of New Testament accuracy with counterfeitings to mislead.

Though I am by no means an expert in the Scriptures (is anyone?), even I felt mislead by teasings with righteous accurate portrayal of parts of the New Testament mixed intricately and skillfully(?) with counterfeitings of the Scriptures. If you are going to go to this movie, my suggestion is to read a book or two of the Gospel a time or two before you go. Note first that in comparison to the 33 comparative baseline database movies of the CAP analysis model, while *Bless the Child* is equivalent to G-rated movies in Sex/Homosexuality and PG-13 in Murder/Suicide, it is equivalent to R-rated movies in the four other Investigation Areas, especially Wanton Violence/Crime and (as if there would be any doubt) in Offense to God.

To the knowledgeable and solid in faith and trust in Jesus, the counterfeitings of the Scriptures in *Bless the Child* will be obvious and should pose no threat to their faith in Jesus. However, for they with undeveloped or underdeveloped grasp of the Mystery of the Gospel, this story of Christ as a child could and probably would give rise to confusion and even distortion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, for everyone this movie could poses a risk of leading to questioning of the Omniscience and Omnipotence and even the Wisdom of our Father.

Note that this is almost a line-by-line SPOILER format. So, if you do not want to know about the details of this movie, skip to the Findings/Scoring section.

At the beginning of the show a rather dark and sinister panning of a gargoyle statue painted the flavor of the picture. On a bus, Maggie O'Conner (Kim Basinger) met a grand black lady who spoke joyfully (portrayed almost as if in a happy trance -- another misleading power of the entertainment indsutry) to Maggie about the Star of Bethlehem that had appeared in the New York sky that hasn't been seen since Jesus' birth; that one is coming who will lead many to God. The lady asked O'Conner whether she believed in God. And in her politically correct way O'Conner replied she was not sure [James 2:19].

A drug addict mother Jenna O'Conner (Angela Bettis), sister of Maggie delivers her nine day old baby daughter, Cody O'Conner (later played by Holliston Coleman) to Maggie on Christmas Eve with the intent of seeking help. With the Star of Bethlehem above and the child appearing on Christmas Eve, the pointing was clear. As it turns out Jenna was only looking for a place to dump the unwanted baby whose father was unknown [Matt. 10:42; Matt. 18:6; Matt. 18:10; Mark 7:21-23.]. Here starts the counterfeitings of the Scriptures. Mary, mother of Jesus, was not a drug addict nor was she unmarried nor was she a practitioner of immoral sex out of wedlock nor was the baby Jesus a girl nor was Jesus nine days old on Christmas Eve. There was also a one-sided slugfest and hateful words exchanged in this portion of the movie [Lev. 19:17]. All these and many other cinematic signals throughout the show point to emulating the birth and life of Christ down to His battles with Satan later in the show, but Christ's battles with Satan were as an adult man, not a little girl.

For what purpose this next programming was injected was not revealed except maybe to add dimension to the plight of Maggie raising her sister's daughter. In a quiet social evening with a man in front of the tube, Maggie rushes to Cody when she starts banging her head against the wall as an autistic or Downs child might. The man displayed his ugly shallowness as he excused himself with some lie of convenience, clearly to avoid the "infirm" child [Matt. 18:10; Prov. 19:5].

Baby O'Conner, now the 6 year old Cody, is diagnosed as autistic. Conveniently, Maggie is a psychiatric nurse. As time goes on Maggie finds that Cody is much different; that she seems to be listening to something no one else can hear. Maggie is reluctantly satisfied with the diagnosis of autism, but autism does not enable the child to spin frisbees, toy cars, plastic snowflakes in a glass ball, dinner plates and toy cars, and later resurrecting a dead bird. While Jesus was said to have been studious and contemplative as a child, there is no word I can find of Him demonstrating any power as a child. And indeed Jesus raised the dead and healed the sick, but nowhere is there any word of Him doing so as a child. Poetic license, I guess. But still counterfeitings of the Truth.

Recommended by a staff psychiatrist, Maggie enrolls Cody in a special school--a Catholic school to which Maggie bunks "As long as it's not too religious." The connectivity of Cody going to a Catholic facility comes when one of the sisters, Sister Rosa (Lumi Cavazos) notices that Cody is special when Cody resurrects a dead bird, killed by flying into a window while others pass it off as the bird was just unconscious. Sister Rosa immediately cues on Cody's "power" of healing as a need to visit Reverend Grissom (Ian Holm) who has been researching the occult and has much experience with it. Why Cody, obviously portrayed as an agent or conduit of God's power, is taken to one who studies and combats occults was not revealed. Reverend Grissom said one thing I wonder whether the writers knew how accurate they were. Holm said (something to the effect): "One of Satan's greatest tricks is to convince people he doesn't exist." I was there once. I know. The adversary is masterful in generating ways to lead people to choose on their own to believe sin is relative, if it exists at all, and that God is not absolute: that the self is the one to determine right from wrong for the self.

In Satanic observance of Black Easter, an occult [2 Chr. 33:6; Luke 4:8] named the New Dawn with a front of being a "rehabilitation" service headed by Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell), the street punk membership go on a killing spree, killing all children they can find born on December 16, 1993, the day the Star of Bethlehem appeared in the New York sky -- shades of Herod [Matt. 2:13-16] but six years and nine days old instead of two years old. And for a similar reason -- but instead of just to kill as was Herod's horror, to find to either convert or kill if conversion was unsuccessful. Mixed with this was Jenna and Stark got married. I wonder why? Jenna was just a street junkie who came to Stark as a "client." That she was the mother of the child he sought I supposed could have been important to the plot. Jenna, all cleaned up now but NOT rehabilitated (Stark later injects her with drugs), returned to Maggie wanting her daughter back. Failing to get her, Stark abducts Cody from Maggie. To give the viewer information about why Cody was abducted, here is where the story of kids all over New York being kidnapped and killed was told. And here is where John Travis (Jimmy Smits) enters as FBI Special Agent who specializes in occult murders.

In a connective subplot, Cheri (Christina Ricci), a member of the New Dawn appears to Maggie in the hospital for treatment for illegal drug use. Cheri spills the beans about Janet ... er ... Jenna being part of the occult Cheri is trying to warn Maggie about but is murdered for her unselfishness ....... And so goes the movie.

There is a lot more to the movie and in the end Cody is saved from the clutches of Stark and his brood by O'Conner and Travis with the help of three holy illuminances (God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?) but enough is enough. I will mention, though, that there are some portrayals of angelic presences such as Travis praying to the Lord for someone to give him encouragement then the janitor tells him "A good man is never alone." And in a car wreck, while dangling over the edge of a bridge a stranger appears to save Maggie's life then disappears inexplicably.

This movie may be a danger to those with undeveloped or underdeveloped faith in accepting the power of God in that it presents "ammunition" to question if God is so powerful why were the evil ones not defeated easily and quickly. This movie also presents a ton of rational-sounding argumentation against God's sovereignty. For example, Stark says to Cody "Do you love God? [Yes] Well, maybe that's because you think you're supposed to" plus many claims about God abandoning people and being fake like the Easter Bunny plus several "cool cliches" that cleverly address humanism and contemporary elevation of the self over God, never denying Him but always trying to cheapen Him -- just like Satan wants. In a scene where Stark incants a street dweller to commit suicide, Stark says "...or maybe his release (suicide) is his only true salvation." Stark espouses just before he ignites the gasoline on the street dweller "If God loves His children He will stop this." Stark also says to Maggie as she aims a firearm at him "Feel that hate. Feels good doesn't it? Something that feels that good can't be wrong." Other dangers to righteous thinking include expressions such as "There is no god but you" and "Do what you will" which is from the Satanic Bible: "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law."


  • (KJV) 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
  • James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
  • Matt. 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
  • Matt. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
  • Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality... All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.
  • Lev. 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
  • Prov. 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
  • 2 Chr. 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
  • Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  • Matt. 2:13-16 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men."


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Bless the Child (2000) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • dark impressions during intro
  • slap to the face
  • abandoning a child
  • child banging head against wall
  • several abductions, both child and adult
  • body of murdered child with evil branding
  • gore of branding on a child
  • imagery of red-eyed rats attacking a human and threatening a child
  • portrayal of manifestation of a dream
  • threats to intimidate
  • graphic blow to the head
  • near death by runover by a subway train
  • story of killing kids
  • threats with firearms
  • attempted murder
  • "...or maybe his release (suicide) is his only true salvation"
  • animal brutality
  • tempting a child to jump off a bridge
  • adult threatening a child by holding her over a bridge railing
  • traffic dangers
  • traffic fatality
  • attempted vehicular homicide
  • "Join us if you want to live" to a child
  • beating
  • knife to the neck of a child
  • threat of a child's life to force her to bow to Satan
  • gunfire to kill
  • graphic police killings
  • structure fire dangers
  • graphic imagery, one of rats melding to form either a demon or Satan

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • nine uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • two uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • hatred of others because of personal shortcomings
  • expecting favors just because of relationship
  • taking without asking first
  • lies
  • shallowness at "infirmities" of a child
  • child arrogance against fair authority
  • deadbeat mother expecting to get her daughter back after six years
  • "Feel that hate. Feels good doesn't it? Something that feels that good can't be wrong."
  • facial piercings

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • admission of sexual immorality
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drugging to abduct
  • drug paraphernalia
  • drug addiction
  • drinking
  • smoking
  • booze with drugs
  • drug consumption

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • "I'm not sure I believe"
  • excusing sin with sin
  • impressions of evil presence
  • evil tattoos and other symbolism of evil
  • imagery of "magic" by a child
  • story of Satanism with glorification of Satan
  • statue of Mary crying
  • candles igniting and shaking by the "power" of a child
  • glorification of an occult and its effects
  • "There is no god but you"
  • story of evil powers to manipulate for selfish/evil gains
  • speaking to knowing the future
  • imagery of floating demons lusting over a beating murder
  • much imagery of evil and demons
  • "Do what you will"
  • "Do you love God? [Yes] Well, maybe that's because you think you're supposed to"
  • claims about God abandoning people and being fake like the Easter Bunny
  • humanism and contemporary elevation of the self over God
  • incant to force a street dweller to commit suicide
  • "...or maybe his release (suicide) is his only true salvation"
  • "Feel that hate. Feels good doesn't it? Something that feels that good can't be wrong."
  • speaking of service to Satan
  • "If God loves His children He will stop this"
  • imagery of rats melding to form Satan or a demon
  • foretelling by a child
  • mockery of the reality of Satan using kids to attack Jesus (reference: CAP Special report-001 "Investigation Area Scoring and Trend" from "ATTITUDE! In Perspective" on the CAP home page at

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • beating murder
  • murder by incineration
  • murder by knitting needles to the eyes
  • vehicular homicide

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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