Forget Scientology. The new religion of the Left Coast is Hollywood
George Clooney presides over his congregation at the Academy Awards.
The Academy Awards exposed a faction of filmmakers who possess more zeal
than many Evangelicals. Led by the outspoken (and now Oscar-winning)
actor George Clooney, this congregation of artist-activists came
completely out of the closet during their Sunday evening service.
Early in the program, host Jon Stewart noted that Hollywood is sometimes
considered “out of touch with mainstream America…an atheistic pleasure
dome…a modern-day beachfront Sodom and Gomorrah…a moral black hole where
innocence is obliterated in an endless orgy of sexual gratification and
Clooney departed from the typical thank-you speech and admitted, “We are
a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while, I think.
It’s probably a good thing. We’re the ones who talk about AIDS when it
was just being whispered. And we talked about civil rights when it
wasn’t really popular… This group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an
Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters.
I’m proud to be a part of this Academy. I’m proud to be part of this
community. I’m proud to be out of touch.”
Isn’t it amazing to discover Hollywood’s desire to be recognized as the
champion of all worthy causes, the nation’s true source of healing and
the real cure for our social ills? This role used to be fulfilled by the
My own observation is that much of Hollywood tends to feed and motivate
the selfish, gratuitous, extreme and even perverse practices that
ultimately demand someone taking a stand for what really matters in
life. They have spent a fortune promoting many of the things that they
now seek credit for addressing. Talk about hypocrisy!
I will readily admit that the movie industry has occasionally done some
positive things with art. Giving the Gone with the Wind actress
an award for her stereotypical portrayal of the slave “Mammy” did
require courage back in 1939. Of course, Mrs. McDaniel and her husband
had to sit at the back table during those Academy Awards and it took
Hollywood 51 years to award another Oscar to a black woman. But
nevermind the details. They provide such leadership on racial issues
that they gave this year’s Best Song Oscar to the Three 6 Mafia for
It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp –an inspiration for any young black
Another Oscar went to screenwriter and producer Diana Ossana for her
adaptation of the gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain, who
declared in her acceptance speech that "the duty of art is to send light
in to the darkness of men's hearts."
That’s right, homosexuality equals light, heterosexuality equals
darkness. A passage straight out of the new Hollywood Bible.
Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning director of Brokeback, praised the
screenwriters who “taught us about all the gay men and women whose love
is denied by society."
Wait a second. I thought the conflict had to do with sex, not love. Aha!
Another passage from the First Church of Hollywood’s sacred text: Sex
equals love! That’s their story and, in the words of the Academy
President, Sid Ganis, "We are the salesmen of the story."
There was a time when Hollywood defended their more controversial films
with the argument that art merely reflected society. But in the New
Religion, the rules have changed. Paul Haggis, whose film Crash
won Best Picture, quoted Berthold Brecht, the early 20th century Marxist
playwright who was honored with the Stalin Peace Prize, when he said,
"Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to
The members of Father Clooney’s parish are hammering away. They are
happily out of touch with mainstream America, but if the Oscars are any
indication, their sermons are being proclaimed in theaters around the
country. I wonder if they even notice the drop-off at the box office.
The rest of us can only hope and pray for an increase in the brief and
glorious moments of film, when movies like Schindler’s List
caused us to search for the good in each of us, and Guess Who’s
Coming To Dinner
forced us to think honestly about how we treated each other, and The
Passion of the Christ helped us see the face of true love.
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 720
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE
Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host
of the television program, Life
Today; and author of The
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net
Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for
complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.