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FIRST-PERSON: Hollywood goes to war — against us

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP)–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 Christian conservatives.

Although totalitarian and fascism are the words the film’s actors will toss around on the interview circuit, make no mistake — the movie’s blackhearted 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 homosexuals and Muslims –- and 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.

Generally, the liberal sees too much religion in politics these days, while the conservative sees not enough. That conflict began with the formulating of our Constitution. The war, however, is about to escalate. The combined media has one political objective – to get Republicans out and Democrats in. If they can somehow belittle followers of the Christian faith while doing so, all the better. And no, I’m not saying Democrats are bad, Republicans are good. I’m merely questioning why liberals are open to every viewpoint except that of the conservative.

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 are 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. Here are some good questions we will need to address. I humbly submit my responses, although I suspect that with a bit more effort, you will come up with more effective responses”

— “How do you Christians defend the Crusades?” A great many evils have been perpetuated throughout the centuries under the banner of Christianity. And not once were these deeds done in adherence to Christ’s teachings or example. Though battles have been fought against injustice, it has always been Christian compassion that healed the wounds of war.

— “How do you conservatives defend McCarthyism?” Many in 1950s America feared communism, but it was not an unfounded fear. That generation had just returned to a normal life after defeating an insidious regime bent on conquering the world. Nazism began as a political philosophy, one given uncensored exposition, one meant as a solution to the financial woes and the directionlessness of the Germans’ homeland. Soon, however, the Nazi movement spread and suddenly those who objected to it found themselves not just blacklisted, but incarcerated and/or eliminated. When judging the motives of the 1950s generation, one must consider what they had just endured.

It’s difficult to defend Joseph McCarthy. Though he may have been right, his methods seemed malicious and self-serving. Those who felt the outing of communists during that era was a threat to individual liberty have focused on McCarthy’s tactics rather than his arguments. To get an alternative view of “McCarthyism,” check out Ann Coulter’s book, “Treason.”

— “But how can you refute separation of church and state?” Name me a group that doesn’t have a lobby in Washington. Even atheists are given the right to be heard. Why shouldn’t Christians be given the same right as atheists? We propose and America votes. What’s threatening about that?

— “How can you support a hypocritical TV preacher?” We tend to circle the wagons when one of our own is attacked because the media is quick to convict. But when the truth is revealed, our leaders need to be held accountable. When we see a brother stumble, it should be a reminder that we need daily to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

— “How can Christians justify attending movies they say they object to?” Like everybody else, church members like to be entertained, but the gradual desensitizing of movie audiences has affected us Christians, as well. We need to be aware that the purchase of a movie ticket is considered acceptance to producers. And if we govern what we support at the box office, it is honoring to God, nurturing to loved ones, and a guidepost to those who scrutinize our walk.

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.
Phil Boatwright reviews films from a Christian perspective. For other reviews, visit his website at www.moviereporter.com.

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  • Phil Boatwright