Amazing Grace: The Wilberforce(ful) Movie



Amazing Grace Your Business Blogger(R) with kith and kin were invited to a private pre-screening of Amazing Grace last February. The movie is about England’s Wilberforce and his fight to end slavery.

Slavery has still not been rid from our planet and is still practiced in China and sex slavery in Mexico.

The existence of slavery is beyond comprehension.

The movie is perfect. A must see, must DVD buy. However, our hosts from CRC Public Relations warned us that,

One thing to note: There is a brief scene or two that depict the brutality that was endured when slaves took the passage from Africa. However, in my opinion, it serves to awaken the senses and not to frighten. Just a thought.

Anyway, I hope that you and yours enjoy the film and I look forward to any feedback you may be able to offer!

The point of the movie Amazing Grace is that one human being does not own another. This is evil. Because each created person belongs to the Creator.

The movie’s relevance for today is not, I think, to call attention to the continued existence of slavery. This analogy is a little too easy. Contrary to the PR campaign against today’s slavery, I would suggest a more compelling analogy. The comparison should be between the Wilberforce fight against slavery, and today’s fight against abortion.

Slavery and Abortion are the taking of innocent life. The only difference is venue.


Thank you (foot)notes:

We were privileged to see the advance trailers Easter before last. See Wilberforce and Gapingvoid.

The Alert Student will remember that William Wilberforce had two goals on this side of Eternity. Wilberforce wrote on Sunday, October 28, 1787, in his journal:

“God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation Manners.”


Jamaican FlagAlert Readers will remember that slavery is a function of power. When the British were subduing the Scots, the captured Kilted were herded up by the hundreds and sold as slaves and shipped to the sugar plantations in the West Indies. Which may be the reason Scottish and Jamaican flags are somewhat similar. Both depict the Cross of St. Andrews.


Scottish FlagFreedom for All says,

As human beings we all have histories to tell and West Indian history is linked to hundreds of years of British (Scottish) history. There are many black people in the West Indies with Scottish surnames. For example, in Jamaica, there are more Scottish surnames such as Campbell, Grant, Graham, MacFarlane and Reid per square mile in Jamaica than they are in Scotland. Four of the National heroes of West Indian rebellions, who were hanged by the British, were: Sharpe, Gladstone, Bogle and Gordon. The name of the present Colonel of the famous Maroons warriors that won their freedom from the British in Jamaica during slavery is, Wallace Stirling…a very Scottish name. We are a part of the fabric of this country in many ways and no one can tell us to leave.

See Biblios for an interesting detail.

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Dear Jack Yoest,

My name is Luke Granlund, and I’m working on the Amazing Grace film campaign. We want to thank you for the interest you and your church have shown in the film and the upcoming Amazing Grace Sunday, celebrating the Bi-Centennial of the abolition of slavery. The hymn Amazing Grace was instrumental in the abolition movement two centuries ago, and we are thrilled that your church is taking a moment to commemorate February 18 and celebrate together with almost 3,000 churches worldwide.

As you might have heard, Amazing Grace is also the title of our film which releases February 23. The film chronicles the story of the British politician William Wilberforce, his pastor and mentor John Newton (the hymn writer), and the decades-long fight to overthrow the slave trades. We are hoping that churches across the US are inspired by the story of faith, tenacity, and redemption – and can use it as a door for continued dialogue on the topic of social justice in our day.

If you and your church are interested in supporting our film, we greatly encourage you to consider buying group tickets in advance. By supporting Amazing Grace, you are showing Hollywood that films of this caliber are important – and necessary. If you have any questions about the film, the movement, or about group sales, we would love to assist you through our toll-free number: 1-888-81-GRACE (888-814-7223).


Luke Granlund

Amazing Grace Group Sales Associate

The Lyrics of the Song

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)

That sav’d a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snare,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall profess, within the vail,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call’d me here below,

Will be for ever mine.


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6 Responses

  1. Its just a film. Stop milking it for political gain.

    Every time I see a blog mention this film, its for one of two reasons:

    – To make the claim that Christianity was directly responsible for the end of slavery, and all other religions and and non-religious encouraged it (never mind that christianity was dominent for quite a few centuries before any attempt was even made to end slavery, and that the pro-slavery faction argued based on the bible even more than the antis).

    – To compare some modern struggle to the right against slavery, in the hope of leeching a little of the emotional impact of a truely rightous cause. Ive see this done for abotion a few times, as well as for campaigns against homosexual marriage, and against secularism, and against european influence, and against terrorism, and against islam… oh, *everybody* wants to see themselves in the place of the abolitionists!

  2. Jack says:

    Suricou, yes, indeed, everyone sees themselves in the place of the abolitionists!

    Just as 100 years from now everyone will claim the pro-life position. No one then, I would predict, would want to side with an abortionist, as no one wants to be an abortionist or a feminist today.

    Slavery and Dead Babies make bad press.

    Thanks for commenting,


  3. Dead babies would, if there were really that many of them. The problem with the pro-life campaign is it goes too far – everyone agrees protectign babies is A Good Thing, but pro-life is determined to extend that even down to a freshly-fertilised, one-celled embryo that lacks all of the aspects that make humans worth protecting. And most annoyingly, the pro-life campaign is willing to allow harm to real people in order to defend those precious embryos.

    If the emphesis was on banning third-trimester abortions, I could understand. Second, I could understand. But the most vocal faction of pro-life is calling for a *total* ban – a quite rediculous position! A substantial number are even trying to get the ban without any health exemption, demonstrating that they would rather allow an adult women to *DIE* than allow her to undergo abortion.

  4. Jack says:

    Suricou, It looks like we may be able to agree that there should be no abortion in the third trimester and certainly no partial birth abortion.

    And you are getting to an important point in the abortion debate — on incrementalism.

    Wilberforce did this in eliminating slavery. The United States did this (until that pesky civil war with 600,000 casualties fixed the slavery problem).

    Not every one will agree that life begins at conception, but few will knowingly kill a baby at viability. Now around 22 weeks.



  5. Pat Patterson says:

    Getting back to the flag! It seems that the Scottish conncection is half right but from idea of a missionary from the Church of Scotland (another Anglican)to Jamaica during the period leading up to the flag’s adeoption in 1962. In fact the flag eventually picked, with green, yellow and black horizontal bands, was not the winner of a flag designing contest sponsored by the tabloid newspaper the Jamaica Star.

    Plus the saltire, the corner to corner X, was also used to describe the flag of St. Patrick. But we can’t have a bunch of Fenians claiming the idea for the flag of Jamaica.

  6. Pat Patterson says:

    That should read that the horizontally banded flag was the winner of the public design contest. But was not selected as the new Jamaican flag by the new government and the departing colonial administrators.