Bill Donohue

It is time for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to award an Oscar for Best Performance of Religiophobia. It would prove to be a very competitive field, and would have the benefit of raising awareness about Hollywood’s long suffering malady.

From all accounts, the movie with the most overtly religious theme that was nominated for an Oscar this year is “Poor Things”; it is in the running for Best Picture. It tells the story of a woman who was “created” by a scientist—its Frankenstein appeal is palpable—who raises her as his child. She refers to him as her father and as “my God.” Eventually, she turns on him, ultimately rejecting authority of any kind.

Movieguide, published by the Christian Film & Television Commission (I serve on its board of advisors), called “Poor Things” a “Marxist, humanist, socialist, feminist brand of hedonism and one of the most obscene, blasphemous, abhorrent, and disgusting movies ever released by a major Hollywood studio.”

This explains why the Academy nominated it for Best Picture.

Rob Reiner, more commonly known as “Meathead,” released a movie last month that demonstrates the pervasiveness of religiophobia in Hollywood.

“God and Country” is about an alleged threat to American democracy posed by so-called Christian nationalists. The Meathead would have the audience believe that we are on the verge of a theocratic takeover, though few outside of Hollywood and other secular subcultures pay any attention to this fable.

The film is based on the work of Katherine Stewart, an author who harbors a deep phobia about Christianity.

In 2021, she cited as evidence that Christian nationalists are “running the country” a quip by President Trump. He mentioned that the Covid crisis would wane by Easter. Because he didn’t say by “mid-April”—but instead dropped the nefarious “E-word”—this was all the proof this sage needed to declare this a Christian nationalist moment. I’m not making this up.

The Hollywood Reporter was so exercised by the movie that it said that Christian nationalism “bears an unfortunate similarity to the rise of Nazi Germany.” Thus does this noted publication trivialize what happened to Jews under Hitler. Shameless is too kind a word to describe this characterization.

As for the Meathead, he says Christian nationalism is out to make us a Christian nation, something the Founders rejected. It is true that the Founders did not want the establishment of a Christian nation, but it is also true that they recognized, and indeed applauded, the founding of a Christian-inspired nation. That is why there are four references to God in the Declaration of Independence.

Here’s the good news. “God and Country” is a bomb. It took in a whopping $38,415 in its first weekend—over four-days—playing in 85 theaters. As one movie critic put it, this means it averaged $451 per theater, a stunning achievement, even for the Meathead.

Time for Hollywood to award an Oscar for Best Performance for Religiophobia. Call it reparations to the faithful, especially Christians.

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