Experts Say There’s Growing ‘Anti-Christian Bias’ in Hollywood and Elsewhere
Actor Rainn Wilson, who famously played Dwight Schrute on “The Office,” recently criticized an episode in the HBO series “The Last of Us,” saying that “there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood.” The show, which is based on a video game released in early 2013, strings together themes of “love, hope, loss and the struggles of parentage against a backdrop of a collapsed society” in a post-apocalyptic world. Although Wilson does not claim a Christian faith, the tweet has made headlines for his boldness in calling out Hollywood.
The storyline of “The Last of Us” portrays David, the “cult’s disgusting leader,” as the villain. According to TV Insider, “The biggest and most notable difference to fans familiar with the source material would likely be David’s group’s overt emphasis on Christianity.” Wilson pointed to David’s character as an example of the anti-Christian bias that Hollywood continues to develop. “As soon as the David character in ‘The Last of Us’ started reading from the Bible I knew that he was going to be a horrific villain,” he tweeted. “Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?” Wilson’s take on Hollywood’s continual efforts to create content antithetical to Christian doctrine is not an isolated concern.
David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, expressed alarm at the rise of anti-Christian bias that has seeped into not only entertainment, but other industries and institutions as well. “Anti-Christian bias threatens the ability of believers to live out their faith in the public square,” he told The Washington Stand. “This concern lies behind the adoption of laws in the United States such as the First Amendment at the founding and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in the 1990s that acknowledge the fundamental right of Americans to be free to believe what they want to in terms of doctrine and theology and the freedom to order their lives according to their deepest religious convictions.”
Entertainment is not the only industry that appears to be working to silence Christian values and voices. A few weeks ago, an Arizona school board member expressed her opposition to hiring Christian teachers, saying that they pose a threat to LGBTQ students. Her bias against the student teachers from Arizona Christian University resulted in an canceled partnership between ACU and the Washington Elementary School District.
“Even though religious expression by students and teachers is allowed in public school, often children believe it’s against the rules for them to, for example, say the blessing before eating lunch,” Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at FRC, said in a comment to TWS. “No matter how much this is explained and defended, the children are picking up on the decidedly anti-religious atmosphere.” According to Kilgannon, “the tendency to accommodate decidedly unbiblical worldviews is undeniable” and creates misery that is “easy to see and dangerous for all children, believers, and unbelievers alike.”
As teachers are forced to decide between their religious convictions or careers, athletes are experiencing a similar situation. In early January, the New York Rangers refused to wear pride jerseys, “exposing the deep cracks that exist between players and the league’s woke agenda,” wrote TWS’s Suzanne Bowdey.
Issues pertaining to LGTBQ are not only affecting the professional level, but in high school sports as well. In late February, Mid Vermont Christian school’s girls basketball team decided to forfeit a tournament, due to a transgender-identifying player on the opposition’s team. “We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” said Vicky Fogg, head of MCVS.
According to Closson, employees are also facing the harsh reality of an anti-Christian bias in the workforce. “Recent examples of this bias are Jakob Kersey’s forced resignation from the police department because of a post on his private social media account pertaining to his views on marriage,” he said. “Honestly, that should be a wake-up call to all of us. If orthodox Christian views are not safe in southern Georgia, are they safe anywhere? Apparently, the answer is no.”
FRC’s Joseph Backholm argued that this should not be a surprise, as “Jesus promised us that we would experience anti-Christian bias.” He went on to suggest that believers respond accordingly. “Let’s just make sure the hostility we experience is because of who we represent, not because we’re jerks. And let’s do our part to create a culture where religious differences don’t determine what opportunities you have in life, which looks more likely all the time.”