Tom Hanks will play Mister Rogers in Sony TriStar Pictures’ You Are My Friend, the studio announced this week. The film focuses on a life-changing encounter journalist Tom Junod had with Fred Rogers, the peace-loving star of the children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Rogers—who was an ordained minister in the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, which later merged to form the liberal mainline Presbyterian Church (USA), but never pastored a church—hosted the show from 1968 to 2001. He died in 2003. PBS plans to air a 50th anniversary tribute to the show on March 6. —L.L.
A new song by rapper Eminem and pop star Ed Sheeran talks about the remorse a father feels after his girlfriend has an abortion.
The single “River” off Eminem’s new album, Revival, tells of a man who took advantage of an emotionally unstable woman and made her get an abortion when she became pregnant. The lyrics, not suitable for tender ears, include laments such as, “Didn’t really wanna abort,” “Well, little one, I’m sorry,” and, “Why do I do this dirt that I do?”
The song acknowledges the sin and pain of abortion and refers to the victim as an unborn baby, not just a fetus or clump of cells. It is not the only offering from Eminem’s new album to acknowledge the existence and power of God.
In “Walk on Water,” the rapper seems to be telling his fans not to consider him a god or expect miracles from him. “God’s given me all this, still I feel no different regardless. … I’m not God-sent,” he says.
Eminem is not the only rapper to explore theology in his music of late. Tyler Huckabee observed in The Washington Post earlier this week that hip-hop is having a God moment. Now that the God moment has reached a rapper as preeminent as Eminem, maybe the moment will last, and the conviction expressed in rap songs will lead to something even greater: repentance. —L.L.