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ANTI-CHRISTIAN THEMES AND INITIATIVES

Since at least the 1970s, the vast majority of Hollywood films dealing with Christians and their faith have portrayed them in a harshly negative light. For the most part, characters such as kindly priests and steadfast ministers have disappeared from American cinema, supplanted by what the author Don Feder has called “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.” Examples of films that feature such characters are legion.

Films such as The Last Temptation of Christ (1988); Priest (1994); DogmaStigmata (1999); (1999); The Magdalene Sisters (2003); The Order (2003); and Saved (2004) explicitly portray religion as violent, hypocritical, sexually abusive, and psychologically inhumane.

Notably, filmmakers generally have nothing unkind to say or suggest about Christianity's leftist denominations – Unitarian, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, etc.  Rather, their ridicule is aimed only at traditional Catholics and evangelicals, whose conservative values are diametrically at odds with those of the Hollywood left. Columnist Don Feder has identified some of these major points of conflict:

  •  Hollywood's glorification of pre-marital sex (including adolescent experimentation), adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and the sexualization of children stands in a stark contrast to the Judeo-Christian ethic of sexual restraint/responsibility, and the sanctification of sex within marriage.
  • Hollywood's "live-for-the-moment" ethos fundamentally rejects the Christian emphasis on living not for immediate gratification but rather with an eye to eternity.Hollywood's emphasis on perpetual self-indulgence is antithetical to the Christian teaching that one's life is not one's own but instead belongs to the Creator.
  • Hollywood's “gender-sameness” dogma, which holds that men and women are psychologically identical and that gender roles are socially imposed, lies at the heart of leftism's push to radically remake the so-called "patriarchal" and "male-dominated" family that traditional Christianity embraces.
  • Hollywood's belief that religious expression should be confined to churches, and that traditional faith should play no role in shaping America's laws and institutions, is incompatible with religious notions about people being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” or of America being a nation "under God."

The Hollywood left understands that conservative Christians – whose evangelical groups now constitute America's largest identifiable voting bloc – represent a major obstacle to the realization of its political and social agendas. To delegitimize and neutralize the political clout of these Christians, the entertainment industry has cast them in the most negative light possible -- a religious bigotry that would be condemned if it were practiced elsewhere in our social life.

RESOURCES:

Why Hollywood Hates Christianity
By Don Feder
May 31, 2004

Anti-Christian Crusade
By Raymond Ibrahim
November 30, 2007

Understanding Hollywood: Deconstructing Christianity
By Edmund Connelly
Spring 2009

Hollywood's Four-Letter Word: GOD
By L. Brent Bozell III
December 29, 2006

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