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Why Hollywood Hates Christianity By: Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 31, 2004


What do you get when you cross the village atheist with the village idiot? Saved -- the alleged comedy polluting theaters nationwide this weekend.

Recall the wailing and hand-wringing that accompanied the release of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, in February. Given the hysterical reaction to Gibson’s opus, you’d think Hollywood had suddenly become an adjunct of "The 700 Club." But The Passion was an aberration that never would have been made without the influence of its famous producer/director.

Saved is far more typical of the way the movie industry does religion these days. The teen sex comedy is politically correct, tedious, nasty and loaded with anti-Christian stereotypes.

The heroine, Mary, attends a Christian academy – American Eagle Christian High School – a combination of the Valley Girls’ school in "Clueless" and a parody of a revival meeting.

Mary learns her boyfriend has homosexual tendencies. Jesus comes to her in a vision – Jesus and Mary, get it? – and commands the good girl to do everything in her power to save the lad. She ends up pregnant and ostracized by the school’s Bible-belt Barbie in-crowd.

Mary joins the academy’s misfits, including a Jewish girl who claims she’s an ex-stripper – in modern movies, Jews are okay, as long as they’re safely secular – a skateboarder, and a wheelchair-bound cynic, played by a grownup Macauley Culkin, who would have been better off at home, alone.

Naturally, the outcasts are all swell kids, while the Christian students are portrayed as Nazi airheads.

What’s more interesting than this latest cinematic assault on Christianity, is the mind-set behind it: Not how, but why Hollywood hates the followers of Jesus.

Since at least the 1970s, Hollywood’s treatment of Christians has been only slightly more benevolent than al-Qaeda’s attitude toward Jews.

Gone are the kindly Barry Fitzgerald priest, the wise rabbi and the steadfast minister. In their place is a rogue’s gallery of lusting priests, sadistic nuns, perverted pastors and con-men TV evangelists – not to mention ordinary Christians (Catholic or evangelical) who are depicted as superstitious nitwits, malevolent hypocrites, or both.

Saved joins the Hollywood hit parade of blasphemy and slander, including:

· The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – wherein Jesus is given a fantasy sex life.

· Priest (1994) – a good, homosexual priest battles "repression" in his Church and heterosexual incest.

· Dogma (1999) – another reputed comedy, wherein an abortion clinic worker (the perfect heroine, from Hollywood’s perspective) and the great-grand-niece of Jesus (?) saves the world from destruction by fallen angels trying to enter a church to reenter Heaven. Don’t ask. When it comes to an opportunity to bash Christians, no plot is too ridiculous.

· The Magdalene Sisters (2003) – set in a convent school run by nuns who could pass as concentration-camp guards.

· The Order (2003) – teen heartthrob Heath Ledger battles yet another secret order within the Roman Catholic Church bent on no-good.

· Stigmata (1999) – the entire Roman Catholic Church is shown to be hiding the "real" Gospel, and a priest tries to murder its last true disciple.

· The Saint (1997) – frequently, anti-Christian characterizations bear little or no relation to a movie’s plot. They are gratuitous, but damaging nonetheless. This movie opens in a Far Eastern orphanage run by a brutal priest who beats and starves the children and is responsible for the death of one of his charges.

Along the same lines, but somewhat more restrained, there’s the paddle-wielding priest in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and the brother who thinks he’s Mike Tyson in Heaven Help Us (1985).

The above only skims the surface of Hollywood’s anti-Christian crusade. As they do in so many areas, movies shape popular attitudes and perceptions here as well. According to the Barna Group, the percentage of Americans who only attend religious services for holidays or on special occasions, increased from 21 percent in 1991 to 34 percent today.

When it comes to different denominations, Hollywood isn’t an equal-opportunity offender. Here’s a short lists of religious groups it wouldn’t dream of baiting: Unitarians, Presbyterians, members of any liberal, Protestant denomination, Cafeteria Catholics, Reform Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans and Moslems. (Producers and directors may be anti-religion, but they aren’t suicidal.)

Why are traditional Catholics, evangelicals and – to a lesser extent – Orthodox Jews, considered fair game?

Because the Hollywood Left (in other words, 98 percent of the self-styled artistic community) views them as the enemy – more even than the military (which occasionally come off well in action films) and corporate executives, and about on par with the CIA, Southern sheriffs, Republicans and companies bulldozing the Brazilian rainforest.

Hollywood hates authentic Christians, because Christianity is diametrically opposed to its worldview – a dogma reflected in the very deep thoughts of Michael Moore, Tim Robbins and Barbra (color me stupid) Streisand. It's based on the following tenets:

1) Sexual Liberation – the glorification of pre-marital sex (including adolescent experimentation), adultery, homosexuality, abortion and the sexualization of children. This may be contrasted with the Judeo-Christian ethic of sexual restraint/responsibility, and the sanctification of sex within marriage (raising the carnal to a spiritual plane).

2) A Live-for-the-Moment Ethos – the here-and-now is all there is, or as the beer commercial used to put it, "You only go around once; so grab all the gusto you can." This is opposed to the Christian emphasis on life eternal. Christians and religious Jews live not for the moment but for eternity. Hollywood’s seize-the-moment ethic must ultimately lead to a total rejection of the Ten Commandments and all biblical morality.

3) The Cult of Self – or to put it in the lingo of pop psychology: "self-actualization," really self-gratification. From this perspective, putting anything ahead of your own happiness is dumb, if not psychotic. Christianity and Judaism both teach that your life isn’t your own. It belongs to the One who gave you life.

4) Gender Sameness – the bizarre and amply refuted doctrine that men and women are psychologically identical, that gender roles are socially imposed, instead of reality-based. This dogma lies at the heart of liberalism’s push to radically remake the family. The worse invective the Left can hurl at the family (from its perspective) is "patriarchal" and "male-dominated."

5) Militant Secularism – the belief that religious expression should be confined to a white clapboard building, and that traditional faith should play no role in shaping our laws and institutions. Thus, someone who speaks of rights being "endowed by their Creator" (like the Founding Fathers) or saying that America is a nation "under God" (like Abraham Lincoln) becomes an enemy of democracy.

What really enrages the Hollywood Left is the realization that, more than any other group in our society, evangelical Christians – who now constitute the nation's largest identifiable voting bloc – stand in the way of its political agenda: abortion on demand, a contraceptive culture, erotic indoctrination masquerading as sex education, universal day care (the literal Nanny State), the complete societal blessing of gay marriage and hate-crimes legislation that criminalizes religious speech. By attacking Christians, Hollywood is advancing its agenda.

Actually, it is to the credit of Christians that Hollywood considers them the enemy. Similarly, Jews can take pride in the fact that, in the 20th century, both communists and Nazis hated them, as do Islamacists today.

Over the past 40 years, Hollywood has been primarily responsible for the rapid degeneration of our culture. Modern cinema is filled with violence, sadism, sex at its most animalistic, crudeness, nihilism and despair. If Hollywood wants to treat Christianity as the antithesis of all it holds dear, Christians should feel complimented.


Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.


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