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'christian' ENTERTAINMENT!

According to an article in Sunday's "Knoxville News-Sentinel," a recent trend has "made Christian entertainment a multibillion-dollar industry that spreads the Good Word with all the zeal and hoopla of a marketing campaign for a Hollywood blockbuster." The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, (in the Gatlinburg tourist area), has established itself as "one of the largest faith-based enertainment venues in the United States." The area is becoming known for such entertainment. One Broadway-style musical that opened in the area is called "Fixin' to Rain." It "resets the story of Noah and the Ark in Depression-era Appalachia" and the "animals are cutie-pie puppets."

Now, The Miracle Theater is coming out with "The Miracle," which aims to "present the Life of Christ as a Broadway-style spectacular. The new world of Christian entertainment doesn't eschew the secular; it assimilates it." The production incorporates "singing, dancing, flying angels, flashy costumes, special effects and a true ascension." According to director Linda Nell Cooper (who comes from Jerry Falwell's Liberty College, though her work has been entirely secular until five years ago), "The role of Lucifer is just as large as the role of Jesus in this show." He is rarely offstage. "Dressed in silver body armor, adorned with articulate white wings, brandishing a broadsword, Lucifer would be at home among the superpowered warrior mutants of the 'X-Men movies."