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TBN's “Behind the Scenes” Hosts Former Senator, Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum


DALLAS (July 19, 2013) — You never know who will show up on Behind the Scenes, Trinity Broadcasting Network's popular half-hour daily talk show that features Christian, civic, and government leaders, opinion molders, and notables from all walks of life.

 

Recently Behind the Scenes hosts Paul and Matthew Crouch welcomed former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who has taken his passion for a restored America into the cultural arena as the new CEO of EchoLight Studios, a family-friendly film company that is set to release its latest feature-length movie, a western entitled The Redemption of Henry Myers.

 

Joining the Crouches at TBN's Dallas studio, Mr. Santorum explained that his commitment to strengthening America's moral and spiritual foundations is a direct result of His own Christian faith — a faith he said was deeply impacted during his years as a Senator serving the state of Pennsylvania. First elected to Congress at age 32, as a lawmaker Mr. Santorum ultimately found himself confronted with issues that challenged his faith and required him to take a bold moral stand in the public arena.

 

Mr. Santorum explained that while he had been a Christian for years, going through all the motions, a relationship with Christ “wasn't the principle motivator in my life. I didn't have a personal and engaged faith.” In part through a Bible study led by the Rev. Lloyd John Ogilvie, the Senate Chaplain at the time, Mr. Santorum was challenged to make Christ the central theme of his life.

 

That renewed commitment to a vital faith impacted Senator Santorum's leadership on a number of legislative fronts, not the least of which concerned a crucial piece of legislation over the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion. “I had always been pro-life, but up to that time I had never uttered the politically poison word 'abortion,'” he recalled. “But I felt that in this case I should take the lead on pressing for a partial-birth abortion ban, and it changed my life.”

 

The commitment to protecting the unborn was destined to hit close to home for Mr. Santorum and his wife Karen. “We had eight children, and we are raising seven,” Mr. Santorum explained as he explained the heartbreaking loss of their newborn son Gabriel Michael shortly after the Senate fight over the late-term abortion issue.

 

“The first time I took to the Senate floor to lead the charge for the ban was September of 1996,” he said, recalling how “I poured my heart and soul out” in an effort to protect the unborn. He noted that one “pro-choice” Senator insisted late-term abortions were necessary for cases in which a baby would otherwise be born with severe disabilities.

 

In response, said Mr. Santorum, “I stood up on the floor of the Senate and explained that my wife was pregnant and that we would have our new baby in four months. I told them I didn't know if our child was healthy or not, but that didn't make our child any less precious. 'That's my son or daughter, no matter what happens,' I remember telling my Senate colleagues.”

 

A week later Senator Santorum's convictions were severely tested when the couple's doctor informed them that a sonogram had indicated their unborn child suffered from a defect that would almost certainly be fatal. “Your son is going to die,” the doctor told the devastated couple.

 

The Santorums secured in utero surgery for the baby that effectively repaired the defect, but a subsequent infection in Karen's system forced an early delivery, and ultimately took newborn Michael Gabriel's life. Mr. Santorum recalled that after holding and talking to their precious son for two hours, he and Karen placed Gabriel in the arms of Jesus. “He had a short life,” Mr. Santorum reflected, “but a life that knew only love.”

 

While he wrestled with his faith over the tragedy, Mr. Santorum came to understand that God had a larger reason in giving Gabriel to his family for only a short while. Ultimately part of that reason was revealed through Letters to Gabriel, a book authored by Karin Santorum that came from a daily journal she kept for her child as he struggled for life in her womb, and in the aftermath of his death. “I know this book has saved thousands of babies with disabilities whose mothers were going to abort but didn't,” said Mr. Santorum. “It's used at crisis pregnancy centers all over the country.” Of Gabriel's brief but impacting life he said: “I tell my other kids that if they can accomplish for the Lord what their little brother did in his short time on earth, they'll be great warriors for God.”

 

In June Rick Santorum became CEO of EchoLight Studios, and is now pouring his passion into helping produce and distribute high quality faith-and-family movies. “I think it was Aristotle who said, 'Give me the storytellers and I will control the country in a generation,'” he said, adding that “Jesus Himself demonstrated in the Gospels that telling impacting stories and being able to shape the moral imagination of people can powerfully impact the culture.”

 

Mr. Santorum noted that, with only a few significant exceptions, Christians and the Church have done a less-than-admirable job in recent years of impacting the culture through the arts. Recalling the architecture, art, and music of bygone eras, Santorum challenged: “Our culture went from the Church being the place where the best and highest forms of art were created, to the opposite.”

 

Through producing and distributing films with the highest production values that also entertain, inspire, and challenge viewers with relevant spiritual truths, EchoLight is hoping to help establish Christians and the Church as the leaders in producing quality movies that positively impact the culture. “Our goal is to bring a high standard of quality to Christian films — to entertain while at the same time tastefully presenting the truth about Jesus.”

 

TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch, a veteran producer whose big-screen films over the past twenty-plus years have helped to establish a high standard for faith-based cinema (China Cry, The Omega Code, Megiddo, One Night With the King), said that strategic partnerships are key to making that happen. “I was in Hollywood for twenty years,” he said, “and if I have one takeaway it's how important it is for all the good people and groups trying to make impacting faith-and-family movies to work together for that common goal.”

 

He noted that TBN has partnered with many producers over the years to get wide distribution and exposure for their movies and programs. “It's all for the sake of the Gospel, and to open a floodgate of good, quality faith-and-family movies and media that will challenge the status quo — that will boldly impact the culture.”

 

To find out more about the twenty-plus members of the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, log on to www.tbn.org.

 

Media Contact
Colby May, E-Mail: cmay@tbn.org; Tel: 972-313-9500




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