Senate Chaplain Appears in ‘Monumental’

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:25am

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black got a few moments in the spotlight Tuesday when Kirk Cameron’s documentary, “Monumental,” was screened in 550 theaters across the land.

“When you look at the Roman Empire, the parallels of what is going on in America is absolutely frightening,” Black says in a segment that is featured prominently in the trailer for Cameron’s film, which the former “Growing Pains” actor bills as his attempt to “wake up America.”

Cameron, a father of six, says in the trailer that, “something is sick in the soul of our country.”

“As of now, Chaplain Black hasn’t seen the movie trailer, nor has he seen the movie or is aware of any of the movie’s content,” said Lisa Schultz, spokeswoman for the chaplain’s office. “He has not agreed to endorse the movie,” she added.

The quote Cameron used in the trailer is the chaplain’s paraphrase of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Feb. 4, 1968, “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, according to Schultz. She said that in the sermon, King referenced Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

“Like Dr. King, Chaplain Black sees real problems in the country,” Schultz told HOH. “However, he is also optimistic that our country can overcome them. To the degree that the quote in the movie trailer does not reflect the larger context, it might leave a false impression about his belief.”

In “Monumental,” Cameron “retraces” the journey of English and European religious pilgrims, who made their way to the new world partly in search of religious liberty. In addition to the “Growing Pains” oeuvre, Cameron has also starred in “Left Behind,” about the post-rapture world, “Fireproof,” about a religious firefighter, and the TV movie “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.”

Also featured in the trailer is Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is running for Senate and also says America is in bad shape.