Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – From someone who has seen a film from concept all the way to fruition, I know, my brother, of the trials, tribulations, and heartache that went into all that animation and to syncing all that stuff up. The fact that you did it independently just tells me there’s an awful lot of love that went into that work. What I want people to know first is, the film debuted in Chicago this week in theaters. Is it going anywhere else? Is it just going to go to video? Tell folks where they can find The Principle. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Rick DeLano is the writer and producer of The Principle, the film. I’m going to ask Rick, first of all, to tell us where you can view the film. Rick, great to have you and finally make your acquaintance. How are you?
Rick DeLano: I’m great. Thanks for having me on.
Mike: Absolutely. Thank you, number one, for allowing me to preview The Principle. It’s just wonderfully made. From someone who has seen a film from concept all the way to fruition, I know, my brother, of the trials, tribulations, and heartache that went into all that animation and to syncing all that stuff up. The fact that you did it independently just tells me there’s an awful lot of love that went into that work. What I want people to know first is, the film debuted in Chicago this week in theaters. Is it going anywhere else? Is it just going to go to video? Tell folks where they can find The Principle.
DeLano: Well, I can tell you that we have the number one single-screen debut in America last week. I can also tell you that the controversy surrounding this film is about to elevate it to a level of importance that I couldn’t have imagined. We were subjected to an attack by a very well-known left-wing hate group that tried to pressure the theater chain into pulling the film before its premier. They failed and we opened to, as I said, the largest single-screen debut gross in America last week. However, the pressure group has succeeded in preventing the film from being held over for a second week.
There’s a tremendous question of intellectual freedom on the table now. I’m giving you an exclusive here. Your listeners should be aware that there is a very dramatic attempt to prevent this film from being released through major chains. We’ll know today whether our previously-promised opening in Chicago in a larger theater will go forward. If it doesn’t, then I propose that we have a real problem here. You have seen the film. You know that the film is absolutely worthy of consideration by free intellects to make their own decision based on the evidence presented.
If this is prevented by a left-wing pressure group on the basis of hysterical anti-intellectual freedom intimidation and pressure, I intend to fight. This film deserves a hearing; it deserves consideration. I do not intend to sit back and allow the American public to be preeminently censored from examining this very astonishing evidence and very controversial evidence of a scientific nature that challenges the ruling paradigm that we are insignificant and nothing special in the universe. I wanted to let you know, Mike, they’re coming after this film with everything they’ve got. I want your audience to be aware that today is the day we find out whether the number one single-screen debut in America can be buried and kept out of theaters based on the political opposition of a particular pressure group.
Mike: I would be saddened — and perhaps a rosary is in order here, gentlemen. If you’re doing the daily rosary — I’m going to do one in about 40 minutes — that will be my indulgence. That’s what I’ll ask for. Let me just say to you that those pressure groups that you speak of, the fact that they wield such commercial and cultural power tells you what is at stake here. Let me play Rick DeLano here for just a moment. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, I’m going to tip you off to what is at stake here and why this film, The Principle, is going to change life. It’s going to change the way we have debates and discussions. I’ve seen it. I’m bearing witness right now, brothers and sisters, this is a moment you want to be a part of.
So what is at issue here is a 400-year-old theory put forward by famous Nicola Copernico. It has inspired astronomers and scientists and physicists as the basis for our view of the universe today. The theory was never really tested, and it was impossible to really test it until very recently. What Rick has done has gathered the scientists that tested it. Here’s the irony: they tested it to prove it, to put the final nail in Christ’s coffin and to try and keep him in hell, so that they could say: We’re not special. There’s nothing to this creation stuff. This is a bunch of mythology here, made up by Moses. All we are is us. That’s pretty much the view that the star of the film, Lawrence Krauss — when you watch the movie, you’ll see this. Lawrence Krauss just cannot be moved. Rick, he reminds me of the Albigensian heretics that were confronted by St. Dominic. Dominic would go: Okay, if I throw my paper in the fire and it doesn’t burn but yours burns, you’re wrong and I’m right. They threw the papers in the fires and Dominic’s didn’t burn. The Albigensian went: You’re still not right! That’s Lawrence Krauss.
Explain to the audience, if you will, who the stars of The Principle are, and what is — it’s obviously you or someone — doing the interviewing and of the exploratory process. It’s a never-ending, or from the start to the end of the film it’s an interrogatory. Someone is asking provocative questions and the stars are answering them in their own words and are allowed to say whatever they want. Explain that part of it.
DeLano: Well, that was our intention. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that we must present the arguments of our adversaries in the best possible light because it is incumbent upon us, since we have the truth, to go the extra mile toward the achievement of a true intellectual debate. There is no ground upon which the modern dominant worldview is more secure and more confident than in the Copernican principle. It is the foundational assumption of our view of the world. It states very simply that Earth is not in any special or central location in the cosmos. That is the great creation story of the modern world. Of course, there’s another creation story that puts us directly in the center, and that comes from scripture and tradition.
What is interesting is this question of our place in the cosmos is the greatest scientific detective story in history. The last two great scientific revolutions revolved precisely around this question. The Copernican revolution moved Earth from the center. Relativity essentially had to say that there are no centers, or that everything is the center; take it as you wish. But each of these revolutions was based on experimental evidence concerning our place in the cosmos.
The film The Principle brings to the public the astonishing new observations of the cosmos on its very largest scales, which show absolutely unpredicted evidence of an alignment, of an orientation of the largest visible structures in our universe with our local neighborhood. This is so amazing that it has been essentially — they’ve known about it for about 10 or 12 years now, but they haven’t been able to believe their eyes. They’ve sent up three missions now because they were quite convinced that these alignments had to be a mistake. We now know they’re not a mistake. Reasonable people can disagree about what these alignments might mean, but there is no doubt, no basis for any scientific doubt now that these alignments exist. This evidence is quite unwelcome. That is why we are seeing such a tremendous attempt to prevent this film from achieving a wide release.
Mike: The Copernican principle is at the foundational level of the theory that holds — and this is best expressed, again, by Professor Lawrence Krauss. Krauss has a book out, A Universe from Nothing. Folks, the priest that did the homily that I played for you yesterday about the Big Bang, he also did a follow-up one. The entire homily was about Krauss’s book. He bought the book and he read it and quoted from it. In your movie, Krauss boasts and brags about: Once we wrap our minds around the concept of nothing and that nothing is everything, then we can see how there was no god and there was nothing needed to create this other than nothing. Rick, just saying that and transcribing it is ridiculous. It defies all logic. It defies reason that we’ve all been taught. But he says it with certainty, doesn’t he?
DeLano: It’s a fallacy of equivocation. It’s really nothing more than that. We know what nothing is. When you have a scientist of great repute and great influence saying nothing is not really nothing, that right there tells you everything you need to know. I will tell you this, it’s been very interesting. When we were in Chicago last week at the premier showings, the audiences would actually laugh at that moment in the film.
Mike: It’s funny.
DeLano: We let these people speak for themselves. Look, we’re paying for all this stuff. Our kids are being indoctrinated by the worldview of the dominant culture. It is vitally important that we Christians intellectually reengage here, because they are in deep trouble. They have big problems in their observations. The commitment to this Copernican principle has let them ultimately to insist that they can redefine the meaning of words to save their theories. I think that this is important and we need to be exposed to this. We need to intellectually consider the implications of a fallacy of equivocation at the basis of one of the most famous books by a scientist in our culture right now. It’s truly interesting.
Mike: It is interesting. Rick DeLano is the producer and writer of the film The Principle. I have so much more for you, but let’s just get back to the original question. If the left-wing pressure group is successful today despite our efforts to implore — don’t anger momma. Do not anger Blessed Mother. If enough of us call on momma, she will not abandon her children. Woe to those who cross her. Let’s just say that we’re too late to the rampart to call on our Blessed Mother today and the group is successful in preventing the theatrical release. You said you’re going to fight it. Is there an interim step where people can then watch The Principle, or will they try to keep you off of Vimeo and Google and Netflix and what have you?
DeLano: I promise you this much, Mike. If in fact — and I don’t think it’ll happen. Honestly, my expectation is we are going to be able to announce major theatrical bookings today.
DeLano: If, on the other hand, these bookings are deprived of the opportunity to bring our films to public, I will promise you this much: I will instantly have the most important film in the world. The issue at this point goes far beyond even the Copernican principle. It now becomes an issue of intellectual freedom. I intend to fight, fight, fight. I will bring this film to the world, if necessary, directly through the internet. I will not allow this to stand. Whether you agree or whether you disagree with any of the various views expressed in The Principle, the idea that it should be kept from view because it offends the sensibilities of a particular group is unacceptable. I intend to go to the public and I intend to say: Please, stand with me for intellectual freedom. I will fight it with everything I have.
Mike: I will post a link where you can watch the trailer for The Principle. Many of you already have. As a matter of fact, Rick, I was alerted to The Principle and the trailer about nine months or so ago by a listener. I didn’t even know you guys were working on it. Somebody said: Mike, you gotta see this. You had an extended trailer, I think five or six minutes long. I didn’t get it all. Now that I’ve seen it, now I get it all. That leads me to my next question here. If you would just explain this part of The Principle to the audience, one of the other things that Rick has done here and that you and the director have, I guess, decided to do is, there is no conclusion that is reached, which is why I don’t understand why anyone would oppose this. It is left to the viewer to discern, isn’t it?
DeLano: Exactly. The important thing I want to achieve with this film is to get Christians, and others, to re-engage in an honest intellectual debate. What is astonishing here is that the film is so good that the opposition is not willing to let the marketplace of ideas have its say on the film. They want to prevent it from being seen. I think they want to prevent it from being seen because they have seen it, too. We have shown this film widely to reviewers, to theater owners, to chains, and they know how good it is. We opened in Chicago last week with the biggest single-screen debut in America and the audiences were applauding it.
Mike: With good reason.
DeLano: Yeah, it’s a good film.
Mike: It is.
DeLano: It’s the first film to ever examine the foundational assumption of reality that underlies the modern world. Think about that. Nobody ever bothered to make a film examining that. Consequently, it’s threatening a lot of people. We simply can’t allow the few to censor us.
Mike: What I really don’t understand, what really perplexes me and troubles my soul greatly is — how can I say this and try to keep my vow of humility? I’ve studied a lot. I was marveling at the science and the history of Christianity and of the Renaissance and then of the Enlightenment that was presented to me. Of course, I’m a footnoter, so I’m looking all this up and it’s all correct. It’s being related to me by some of the most famous physicists on the planet. I always blow the pronunciation of his name, Michio Kaku. He’s the most amiable guy. You can’t help but like him. I don’t know what his predisposition is. In one scene he’s going: Yeah, we’ve got a major problem here and I’m going to have to find a new job. Then in the other scene he’s going: Yeah, but I’m not surrendering to principle. He’s hard to read. Lawrence Krauss, I got him, I read him. Michio is a little more difficult. What was he like to work with?
DeLano: Well, Michio is a little more nuanced than Lawrence. Michio has never explicitly denied the existence of God. He’s struggling with it.
Mike: You can tell he’s struggling with it.
DeLano: Yes, he is. I love that. I love showing in the film the wide range of views. We’re in a point of tremendous confusion in our picture of the universe. Things are about to change big time. I love having been able to document this moment directly through the words of the leading physicists out there. They are perplexed as they have ever been by this new evidence. I really think that the confusion, the cognitive dissonance that is expressed in some of the views in the film, it’s a crucially important thing for the average Joe out there to understand. We are often presented with these blanket statements: The universe is this old and has this much dark matter and this much dark energy. As if these things are facts. They’re not facts. They are theoretical suppositions that are introduced to try to make the Einstein equation fit the data. There are big problems facing our present cosmological view of reality. These are crucially important issues. At the end of the day, our place in the cosmos is a fundamentally important basis upon which to construct our view of reality.
End Mike Church Show Transcript