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Opinion

August 21, 2013

House of Burgess: 'Seaver Fever' strikes Kokomo

Kirk Cameron wants to save your marriage.

As it turned out, I only had the opportunity to ask Kirk Cameron one question Saturday, but I think I made it count.

The occasion was his Love Worth Fighting For Tour, sponsored by Moody Radio, The Love Shirts and evangelical nonprofits Crown Financial Services and Feed the Hungry. The actor was joined by musician Warren Barfield, whose song “Love Is Not a Fight” was featured in Cameron’s 2008 movie “Fireproof.”

At around 4:15 p.m. when the V.I.P. Q&A session began at First Church of the Nazarene, Cameron appeared on stage in jeans and a red T-shirt with the words “MY WIFE ROCKS.” He told us in “Fireproof” his wife of 22 years, Chelsea Noble, appears as an uncredited photo double for his on-screen spouse (Erin Betha) in a scene where the characters embrace.

“I don’t kiss women who aren’t my wife,” he said.

Right before the end of the session, he acknowledged me.

“So, you were an atheist until your late teens, when you converted,” I said. “Most people probably, at least initially, know you from ‘Growing Pains.’ … If you had had the faith you have now from the beginning, would you still have been on the show?”

Pause.

“I feel so bad about what I’m going to say, because I know you guys love ‘Growing Pains’ so much,” he said. “I have standards today that I did not have [then.] … My kids have never seen an episode of ‘Growing Pains.’”

Later, he told me he knew I wrote for the newspaper because my question was too thoughtful and I had immediately written down what he said. Perhaps the fact his character’s mother, Maggie Seaver (Joanna Kerns), was a journalist contributed to his intuition. That, I thought, was that.

But when he re-emerged at 6:22 p.m. to a standing ovation from a packed house of mostly couples, I knew differently. Cellphones emerged en masse, flashing. No sooner had he high-fived every male in the front row, Cameron was back on the dais — his natural habitat. He said he knew the women wouldn’t be able to concentrate until he provided relief from what he called “Seaver Fever.”

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