Hollywood “Woke?”

CLEANING OUT MY DRAFT FOLDER AND FOUND A FEW UNPUBLISHED GEMS. 

The irony is they (those opposed to Christian Values) will immediately shout from the highest level that we should not be judgmental against their views yet that is exactly what they are doing to us. Of course this could come as no surprise to the depravity of man knows no bounds and we are right to point out such in a way that does not bring disgrace to God.

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VOICES | 

Academy Awards: How did Hollywood get so ‘woke’?

Joaquin Phoenix gives a speech after winning best actor at the 2020 Academy Awards. | Screenshot: ABC

Why do so many members of the Hollywood elite espouse such radical, leftist causes? Why are they so pro-abortion, so pro-queer activism? Why are they so passionate about saving trees and caring for cows? How and why did Hollywood become so “woke”?

After Sunday’s Oscars, the Daily Mail ran this lengthy headline: “And the award for the most self-righteous Oscars acceptance speech goes to . . . Joaquin Phoenix lectures about animal rights, Brad Pitt slams impeachment trial and Obama documentary director urges ‘workers of the world to unite.’”

What? “Joaquin Phoenix launched a passionate speech about animal rights, veganism and Speciesism” while the director of an Obama documentary quoted Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto? The elite, the mega-rich, and the powerful called for the uprising of the oppressed working class?

Other tag lines in the Mail included:

  • Hair Love creator Matthew Cherry advocated for the Crown Act, a California law that prohibits discrimination based on hair style or texture, in his speech
  • American Factory co-director Julia Reichert – who is fighting terminal cancer – quoted from The Communist Manifesto
  • Janelle Monae opened the show by declaring herself a ‘proud’, ‘black queer artist telling stories’
  • Sigourney Weaver declared: ‘All women are superheroes’ when she presented an award

Yes, Hollywood has been “woke” for many years now, fashioning itself to be the prophetic voice of conscience. And, the truth be told, many in Hollywood are passionate about their causes, from animal rights to climate change, and from same-sex “marriage” to immigration.

In other words, for many of them (if not most; only God knows), this is not just a show. They truly believe they are in the right. They truly believe conservative religion is damaging people’s lives. They truly believe we are destroying the planet.

To quote Joaquin Phoenix at length, “I think whether we’re talking about gender and equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”

Not only so, but, “We go into the natural world and plunder it of its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and then steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable.”

So, pity the poor baby cow (after all, it is a living creature), but rip those human clumps of cells out of their mother’s wombs. This is the hypocrisy of Hollywood.

But this doesn’t the answer two fundamental questions. First, why is this segment of the population so outspoken about social and political issues? Why do they claim to care so much? Second, why have they taken up positions on the extreme left with issue after issue?

Obviously, we can only speak in general terms, since Hollywood is not a monolith. But perhaps the answer to the first question is simply this: Everyone in Hollywood is involved with producing movies. Most movies carry a message. So, the people involved see themselves as messengers.

The editor of a major newspaper once told me that many journalists see themselves as having a prophetic role. They do not just report the news. They challenge injustice. They seek to correct wrongs. Consequently, some of their writing will reflect a particular bias.

Perhaps, in the same way, as actors play certain roles and screenwriters produce the scripts and directors oversee the process, they feel they are playing a prophetic role in the society. They are telling stories that need to be told. They are making social statements. Consequently, they themselves have something to say. (For my response to this, see here.)

But how, then, did their message become so slanted? Why a quotation from Karl Marx? Why the concern about inseminating a cow?

This, in my view, is the result of taking up causes from a me-centered perspective. (I would say “man-centered,” but that uses the dreaded “m” word. To say “human-centered” doesn’t seem to cut it as well.) In other words, rather than seeing things from God’s perspective, they see things from an earthly perspective.

So, rather than see the meaning of marriage as God intended it for human flourishing and the well-being of society, they see the “injustice” of two women not being allowed to marry.

That also means that see animals as equal to humans (since humans are not uniquely created in the image of God). They even see trees as equal to humans (and even better than humans, since trees are noble creatures that never hurt anyone).

As to how these views became so dominant in Hollywood, this would seem to reflect a process similar to that in our universities. Specifically, after the counterculture shift of the 1960s, an increasing number of leftist intellectuals and artists and cultural influencers rose to the top. And they now hold positions of dominance, effectively silencing and suppressing those who dissent.

Interestingly, though, many “common people” – the proletariat, if you will – are not having it. As the Mail also reported, “while the well-heeled crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles applauded their speeches, their ‘lectures’ nauseated the audience at home.

“Many viewers took to Twitter to slam the stars as ‘hypocrites’ and called the event the ‘wokest Oscars ever’.”

Perhaps a little too “woke” for the tastes of many?

Personally, I can appreciate how gifted many of these actors and writers and cinematographers and directors are.

I can appreciate the sacrifices some of them make for their trade (in other words, their riches come with a price).

I can even appreciate their concern for the environment (within reason) and their compassion for animals (again, within reason).

But when wokeness means quoting Marx, celebrating queerness, and caring more for baby cows than for baby humans, then I have a simple message. Hollywood, you need a spiritual awakening. You are not yet truly woke.

When churches say no to the government

My response to this article is at the bottom of the page

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By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor

There is precedent in Scripture for godly people saying no to the governing authorities. There are times when, to use the words of Peter, “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). Is today one of those times?

One of the slogans of the American Revolution was, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Is our government being tyrannical when it forbids us to gather? Is this the right time to rebel, despite the Bible’s clear teaching that, generally speaking, we are called to obey the authorities? (See Romans 13.)

Let’s examine this from several angles.

First, are local authorities guilty of unconstitutional overreach and/or uneven enforcement of the laws?

In some cases, the answer is yes. This happened in Greensboro, North Carolina, where pro-life workers were arrested for praying outside of an abortion clinic.

As announced on April 3, “Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Thursday to the city of Greensboro on behalf of pro-life advocates whom police arrested for engaging in peaceful prayer outside an abortion facility. As the letter explains, the arrests should not have occurred because the pro-life volunteers, who are members of the Christian ministry Love Life, were in compliance with a Guilford County emergency proclamation related to the coronavirus crisis.”

North Carolina’s Governor Cooper had determined that abortion clinics provide “essential services” and so should remain open. Love Life believes that, as long as babies are being killed in the womb, they should be there to offer an alternative. So, several workers, with their attorney, showed up at the clinic, following the states safety guidelines to a tee. Their arrest was unjust. The pro-lifers did the right thing.

A second, closely related question is this: Do churches provide “essential services”? In that case, should any of their activities be shut down?

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne felt that the state of Florida was being inconsistent in its application of the law, allowing crowded stores to remain open but forcing churches to close. (He also felt this violated the next question we’ll ask, namely, is the government acting tyrannically?)

Getting national attention, Howard-Browne called for his church to meet, yet went to extreme measures to follow safety guidelines. (For his detailed statement, explaining the lengths to which the church went to preserve safety, see here.)

He was subsequently arrested, but after Liberty Counsel threatened the state with a federal lawsuit, Florida Governor De Santis changed the state’s policy. De Santis recognized the church as providing an essential service, and he lifted the ban on meetings, also dropping all charges against Pastor Howard-Browne.

Was this a good outcome, a bad outcome, or a mixed outcome? I respect Howard-Browne’s determination, his forcing the issue of unjust laws, and the measures that he took to comply with safety guidelines.

On the other hand, it is not essential for the church to gather in a building on a Sunday morning to be the church.  Churches can provide essential services to the community (such as providing food for the hungry) outside of large, corporate gatherings. They should be allowed to function as such, in conformity with safety guidelines.

After all, if gun stores or abortion clinics or liquor stores are allowed to remain open in some states, providing alleged essential services, why not church buildings? (Again, I’m not speaking about public gatherings; I’m speaking about providing other services.)

This, then, leads to the third, and larger question: is the federal government restricting our most fundamental liberties? If so, are we setting a dangerous precedent for the future if we surrender those liberties now, even briefly?

Pastor Cary Gordon of Iowa has provided eloquent reasons to push back, arguing that “we are able to use this opportunity to stand together against the statist abuse of power that is so tempting for those in positions of authority when they are compelled by emergencies and fears to act beyond the limits placed directly against them by the Constitution of the United States.”

He defied the state’s order not to gather but had his congregants stay in their cars in the parking lots, listening to a sermon through an FM frequency on their radio. Like Howard-Browne, he felt it was essential that he push back against a dangerous government precedent.

Did he do the right thing? I do respect why he did what he did, which is part of his larger, Christian worldview. Gordon is a clear-headed, Constitutional thinker, and his full letter should be read carefully. And he, too, went out of his way to preserve the safety of his flock.

Yet there is a fourth question that, in my view, trumps the question of our liberties, namely, what do practical wisdom and sacrificial love require of us now? What is our highest calling? Personally, I believe we should gladly restrict our liberties, for the moment, to save the lives of others.

When it comes to our public gatherings, that has been my position all along. (I explain this at greater length in my forthcoming book When the World Stops: Words of Faith, Hope, and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis, now due out April 21.) We recognize that the federal government has not singled us out for persecution, any more than bars or restaurants or sports venues have been singled out. All are restricted from public gatherings. Plus, in President Trump, we have a strong advocate for our religious liberties.

Again, when local authorities go too far, we push back and speak out (as with the case of New York City Mayor de Blasio’s overreach; Pastor Howard-Browne felt the need to do this in Florida as well, since the law allowed for 42 paragraphs of exemptions, excluding churches).

But, as a general principle during this intensive, short season, I believe we should not be gathering together based on principles of wisdom and love. Bishop Joseph Mattera has provided 9 biblically-based reasons not to assemble as churches at this time. I believe he offers sound wisdom.

Other churches felt it was fine to go on with their activities, but have paid the price, like the church in Washington state that held choir practice as usual on March 9. As of March 29, dozens of members had COVID-19 and two were dead. (For a tragic parallel with some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel, see here.)

Across America, missionaries, bishops, pastors, and elders have died from the virus. Were they all lacking in faith? Were they any different than the leaders or congregants in other churches across the nation?

We simply cannot guarantee that, when we meet together in large groups, we will not contract and spread this super contagious and highly-deadly virus, perhaps sealing the deaths of others in the process. Does Jesus want us to do this in our zeal to preserve “our rights”?

We must also realize that the vast majority of our congregations cannot spend $100,000 installing air purifiers, as Rodney Howard-Browne did. Nor can we enforce social distancing guidelines if our church buildings are filled with worshipers.

And what happens if any of these churches that meet together during this season become hotbeds of infection? What if they become chief carriers of the virus? The world will have two words to describe those choices: selfish and stupid.

Worse still are the leaders who disparagingly mock other Christians who feel it is right to follow the government’s guidelines. May God forgive them for calling us “sissies” and “pansies.”

Again, I realize there are complex issues involved, and I respect pastors like Rodney Howard-Browne and Cary Gordon who have different perspectives. But I believe the law of love trumps other concerns and should be preeminent in our thinking today.


Here is my response to this post: 

While Acts 5:29 applies to all situations so does the WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD, less we forget the remainder of God’s Word Romans 13:1-2 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 for example. Unless the government is imposing illegal, immoral or unethical regulations upon us (The Church) we are according to God’s Word to obey those appointed by God in authority.