Hollywood goes to war against us

4/5/2006

Commentary by Phil Boatwright

Set in a futuristic totalitarian society, V For Vendetta concerns a well-spoken masked vigilante single-handedly battling a corrupt bureaucracy by slitting the throats of its leaders and blowing up symbols of governmental power.

Dreary and humorless, it is a blend of George Orwell and The Matrix, 133 minutes of political pontificating interrupted by tons of graphic comic book carnage. What’s more, it’s a thinly disguised attack on the Religious Right.

Though totalitarian and fascism are the words the film’s actors will toss around on the interview circuit, make no mistake: The movie’s black-hearted characters are mostly religious and conservative folk.

The action takes place in England, now ruled by Tinseltown’s most dastardly of villains – the right-wing religious zealot. This resurrected Hitler is responsible for the extermination of gays and Muslims, not to mention gypsies, tramps and thieves.

Besides this fanatical leader, a bigot who issues venomous diatribes from a wall-size monitor, there’s also the hypocritical conservative TV pundit who insists that God must be a part of government, while at the same time profaning the Creator’s name. And let’s not forget the film’s two priests, one deceitful and crooked; the other displaying a perversity for little girls. No Christian or conservative is portrayed in a positive light. Indeed, not since Birth of a Nation has a film been so determined to belittle certain peoples.

The film gives a clear impression that the threats to the freedom of man are the adherence to Christian and conservative philosophies. It would seem that the socially acceptable pabulum spewing forth from this action-masked political parable is designed to indoctrinate viewers with the conviction that if these two belief systems were no more, the peoples of the world would at last find their utopian existence.

Certainly there are religious and conservative leaders who have succumbed to corruption, an insidious disease that can sneak into the soul of great and small. Within the past couple of decades we have seen the downfall of several political and religious renowns due to sexual dalliances. Others have made ludicrous statements that left the rest of us defending our social and religious stances. And still others have bloated up before our eyes from the fat of personal gluttony.

When greed, ego or lust enters the soul, it becomes the devil’s playground. The religious and non-religious can be easily infected.

But Hollywood can’t seem to grasp the fact that we don’t claim to be perfect, that we don’t see ourselves as superior to others. They seem to want to believe that underneath we are really hate-mongers and phonies.

So how should Christian conservatives respond to Hollywood’s biased agendas? First, we must respond with Christ’s love. When it comes to politics and religion, the chances of changing the opposition is slim. So we must not let debate escalate into conflict. Once they get us mad, they’ve won. We need to pray first. Loving those who don’t love us is best achieved after meditating upon Christ’s sacrifice and teaching.

Next we must prepare for the verbal battles. The same old questions will be brought up. Our replies should be informed and succinct.

One question often raised asks, “How can Christians justify attending movies they say they object to?”

My answer: Like everybody else, church members like to be entertained, but the gradual desensitizing of movie audiences has affected Christians as well. We need to be aware that the purchase of a movie ticket is considered acceptance to producers. So before we attend movies, we should be careful of what we are supporting.

To discern the media’s misconceptions and misdirections, we must be grounded in scriptural teaching. Along with guidance from thoughtful theologians who study the social and political landscape, we will gain foresight by personally studying scripture. We may lose social and political battles, and America may fall into ruin because of a rejection of God’s instructions, but, ultimately, the war is His. So will be the victory.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” — Proverbs 14:12.

Boatwright reviews films from a Christian perspective. For more information, go to his site at moviereporter.com.