A Medley of Matters

James P. Needham
Owensboro, Ky.

Pressures of Popularity

One of the most fantastic sensations in the entertainment world is the phenomenal success of Pat Boone. He has, no doubt received more write-ups in national magazines than any other current star of show business. Hardly a day passes without his being in the news in one way or another.

His religious "convictions" have been played up in almost every article I have read, and his "membership in the Church of Christ" has been well known, and greatly revered by thousands of brethren. The bulletin board of a Houston church was found "plastered" with sensational snap shots of him in his fancy garb! Many have been heard to say, "He is good advertisement for the church."

Pat's refusal to engage in those things expected of entertainment stars has been the cause of great comment, and has attracted widespread interest. Everywhere he has gone he has been questioned with reference to such action, and it seems that the pressure has become tremendous, and necessity has forced the invention of some very subtle and evasive answers which are quite different from those he formerly gave to the same questions. It is also rather clear that his practices have been altered to some degree. We quote below an article clipped from the Houston Post.

Three Frequent Questions Make Pat Boone Cringe

Hollywood - Three questions most frequently asked Pat Boone make him cringe.

They are: "Why did you give up the ministry?" "Why do you disapprove of dancing?" and "Why do you refuse to kiss your leading ladies?"

Pat's answers:

"First, I never planned to become a preacher. I have spoken from the pulpit of my church (Church of Christ) and led the song worship."

"If I disapprove of dancing, why would I dance? I do, you know, with my wife, Shirley. While my church discourages boys and girls from ballroom dancing, it does not forbid married couples from doing so.

"Now about that ono-kissing thing. Studio publicity men objected to the script of 'April Love' because it contained no kissing scenes for me, and they asked if the story could be changed to include some. I said no. However, I'm not opposed to kissing an actress if the scene is not promiscuous and if the girl is supposed to be my fiance or wife."


Pat's denial that he ever "planned to become a preacher" sort of contradicts, and fouls up some of his former publicity. I remember distinctly having read a lengthy article concerning him In TV Guide in which he was quoted as saving that his minister and some elders had convinced him that he could have a greater influence on young people by singing rock-'n-roll than he could by "becoming a minister." There is a skeleton in the closet somewhere !

Concerning his dancing, note the way he puts it: he plainly says he does not disapprove of dancing because he dances, then says he dances with his wife! Notice that he did not he dances ONLY with his wife. He may have meant that but he didn't say it. It would be interesting to know the facts - does he or does he not dance ONLY with his wife?

The classic of the whole affair is that "kissing thing"!! He has definitely changed on that. He refused to kiss his leading lady in April Love, but he wouldn't if he had it to do over; in fact I saw him kiss her on his TV program!! Now he thinks it is fine to kiss an actress, "if the scene is not promiscuous and if the girl is supposed to be my fiance or wife." This is quite a criterion of conduct for a father of four children who is supposed to be a Christian. It is alright to kiss mother man's wife just as long as you are playing like she is your fiance or wife!

Pat Boone, along with a few other church members who have made their ways to stardom, stand as living demonstrations of what Hollywood and show business in general will do for a Christian's convictions. Pat is rapidly moving toward apostasy, and if he follows the usual course of his predecessors he will ultimately sever all connections with the true church and profess no religion at all, or else join a church the Bible knows nothing about. Gail Storm is an example of what I am talking about. She was once a faithful Christian, and her family is very devout in the faith. But Hollywood made too many demands upon her faith and convictions; she was forced (as Pat will be) to either give up her conviction, or leave the worldly fame of stardom. She chose to do the former, and is now affiliated with the Christian Church. Usually, men want someone else to approve their practice other than themselves, and will obtain such approval if they have to change company to get it, provided, of course, they are not more interested in popularity than righteousness.

Soliciting Interference

Following is a paragraph from a letter received from the CHILDREN'S HOME operated by the Broadway church of Lubbock, Texas, and paid for in a large measure by contributions from various churches over the country.

"If the church where you worship is now sending a small contribution, see if a larger one cannot be sent. If no help is provided, won't you use your influence to see that one is included early in the new year?"

This letter appeared over the signature of Brother John B. White, Superintendent of the home, but I suppose it expresses the will and wishes of the eldership of the Broadway church. These brethren are certainly aware of the confusion and controversy now raging over the scripturalness of their project, and that many whole congregations are convinced that a contribution from the treasury of the church would not be right, but such knowledge did not prevent them from sending out thousands of letters urging individuals to "use your influence" to wiggle us into the budget where you worship."

There are hundreds of localities where the use of one's influence in trying to get a contribution for Broadway's project would cause confusion, and maybe division between brethren. This was known when the letters were mailed, yet they were sent out, nevertheless. And yet, in spite of all this, those of Broadway's persuasion have the audacity to accuse their opposition of causing division in the church! It is exceedingly evident who causes division in the church when brethren send out letters soliciting someone to interfere in the peaceful program of thousands of God's churches by pressing for a contribution to a human project.

Truth Magazine II:2, pp. 20-21
March 1958