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The Bible and Pop Culture

Which music-filled 1980s movie pits townspeople against each other over biblical interpretation?

Footloose (1984). Kevin Bacon stars as teenager Ren, who resists the conservative town’s ban on dancing. When defending dance in a town hall meeting, Ren cites the Bible: “Aren’t we told in Psalm 149—‘Praise ye oh Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise his name in the dance’?” Ren continues, “It was King David, King David who we read about in Samuel. And what did David do? What did David do? What did David do? [fumbles through pages of Bible looking for specific verse] ‘David danced before the Lord with all his might—leaping and dancing before the Lord.’ Leaping and dancing. Ecclesiastes assures us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh. A time to weep. A time to mourn. There is a time to dance. There was a time for this law, but not anymore. See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It’s the way it was in the beginning [holds up Bible]. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it should be now.”


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