How often have we seen Hollywood celebrities praised as courageous for "coming out" and admitting they're gay? Isn't it far more courageous for people to profess their Christian faith?
Hollywood is not a tolerant city. Dominated by activist leftists, it is a culture hostile to dissenting views. We see it in its work product. Most movies and television shows are laced with political messages and politically correct symbolism. The heroes almost always are liberal and promote "progressive" values and causes, and conservatives are depicted as morally degenerate hayseeds or villains. Christians are especially singled out as backward, close-minded crackpots. Sure, there are notable exceptions, such as the TV series "Blue Bloods," which involves a traditional Catholic family of cops that meets weekly for dinner with prayer and conversation that promotes biblical virtues.
It's doubtful that there's much of a stigma attached to people who come out as being gay in the Hollywood culture, given the extent to which it showcases and celebrates the gay lifestyle. It seems you can't watch any TV show these days without an actual or suggested gay sex scene — as if the show's writers and producers are on a mission to portray homosexuality as more prominent than heterosexuality.
This is certainly their prerogative, of course, as it is mine to notice they are proselytizing and sermonizing the way they do on so many other social and political issues, from the glories of abortion rights to the evils of all things Trump to the intolerance and hatefulness of Christianity.
This is why it is refreshing when an actor in this environment, such as Chris Pratt, publicly identifies himself as a Christian — the modern equivalent of branding oneself with Hester Prynne's scarlet letter. It is almost guaranteed to bring one into disrepute and ridicule, not to mention that it opens the door to being blacklisted by today's leftist McCarthyites.
Last year, Pratt committed secular heresy with his remarks when receiving the Generation Award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. "God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do." Once he opened up about his faith, the left began to sling its arrows. On Christmas Day, TV Guide published an article on the popular actor, titled "How to Love Chris Pratt Without Hating Yourself."
After listing some of Pratt's many professional accomplishments and acknowledging his meteoric ascent, the author lamented, "And yet: despite all this, Pratt remains the most complicated and divisive of the (many famous young actors named Chris). When you take a deeper look at Pratt the man and not necessarily Pratt the actor, some of the shine wears off. Although he can be as funny offscreen as he is on ... it's impossible to ignore some problematic aspects of his life offscreen." Though the writer didn't directly attack Pratt's Christianity, she ticked off a series of silly non-sins for which he should be shamed, such as his hunting habits, an allegedly insensitive Instagram post about raising lambs to eat them, giving away the family's cat before having children, and another Instagram post that supposedly offended the hearing-impaired community because he told his followers to "turn up the volume" and not just "read the subtitles."
Many readers viewed this as an obvious anti-Christian hit piece, and it probably was. But one thing it was for sure — a display of liberal intolerance and sanctimonious political correctness. Apart from the sniping criticisms of Pratt, the suggestion that you can't love Pratt without hating yourself is far more revealing about the writer and the leftist mindset than it is about Pratt.
Actress Ellen Page, an outspoken Christian critic, laid into Pratt on Twitter for saying that he'd taken part in a fast with his church and discussing his spiritual side during his appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." Page tweeted, "Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?"
Pratt quickly responded on Instagram, "It has recently been suggested that i belong to a church which 'hates a certain group of people' and is 'infamously anti-LGBTQ'. Nothing could be further from the truth." He said his church opens its "doors to absolutely everyone."
Twitter trolls also attacked Pratt for praying (and asking his followers to pray) for comedian Kevin Smith after he had a massive heart attack. One attacker tweeted, "Doctors and nurses save lives not prayer." Another said, "Great now I won't enjoy your films as much knowing you're a Jesus nut." These are the "loving" types who savage Christianity for not being loving.
The Washington Post's Drew Goins vilified Pratt in an op-ed for attending his church. Goins didn't seriously dispute Pratt's assertion that his church welcomes all people but faulted him and the church because they don't affirmatively reject traditional Christian orthodoxy by declaring that homosexual behavior is not sinful.
Under cover of false tolerance, leftist activists will eventually ensure that certain biblical passages are deemed hate speech and that affirming one's belief in the inspiration of Scripture is an admission of hatefulness.
Attacks on Christianity and Christians have grown exponentially since I wrote my book "Persecution," which documented this phenomenon 15 years ago. It is laughable to deny that it is going on, and it is sad that more people don't stand up against it.
Kudos to actors such as Chris Pratt, who are courageous enough and true enough to their faith to refuse to deny Christ, choosing instead to openly profess their belief in him despite the professional risk to their careers.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.