Which celebrity you should pray for is posed by the site ChristianAnswers.net who features a daily rotation of possible picks. For example today’s picks were comedian Ray Romano and Catherine L. Hughes, the founder of Radio One. Come back each day to the site and you’ll get a new selection. Yesterday I saw Anthony Hopkins listed.
This begs the question if celebrities are really in need of prayer? If anyone has the available resources to research the destination of their soul it would be people making more than a million bucks a year. I think I have to say that, while I can see the perspective of the faithful in praying for anyone who is an unbeliever, this seems to feed into a celebrity fan base of sorts–“Pray for your favorite celeb.” What if prayer groups in the future are based on individual celebrities like the” Brad Pitt Prayer Circle” or the “Save Lindsay Lohan’s Soul” Yahoo group. Maybe they even exist now and I haven’t found them.
And if one celebrity gets missed because they’re not as popular, does that mean they’re more likely to go to hell? I mean who is praying for B-movie star Bruce Campbell and his big chin?
If you look at the suggested prayer script on the same site, you’ll see that it is about inroads into Hollywood such as this paragraph and others like it: “Lord, bring media themes and products that communicate Your truth into the forefront. Guide people to create entertainment that encourages positive life choices that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.”
What Christians are looking for is their Hollywood Constantine. A producer or director so influential that they start a cavalcade of wholesome, God-inspired epics that will spawn knockoffs until the sinful movies we love so well are wiped out. Doubtful if that will ever happen. Their most recent savior Mel Gibson showed exactly what happens when a man is elevated to that status and then spirals downward as any celebrity drunk on fame + religion might eventually do. And I like Mel Gibson movies, mind you, his personal life is just a mess–but art has a history of messed up creative types.
At the bottom of the prayer scripting page there is a link called “What do celebrities believe about spiritual issues? Find out!” which leads to–surprise, surprise–a page authored by Ray Comfort of Way of the Master fame and “the banana is proof of God” fame. Ray goes into a convoluted speal on America’s Godly heritage including Passion of The Christ (does anybody get that maybe it was a hit because Mel did a damn good job of marketing a controversial version of the Jesus story–ooh, it’s R but we can see it because it’s a Christian R-rated film), Cecil B. DeMille (who deconstructed Biblical stories for sake of soap opera like elements) and a quote from James Madison (give me a God-quote from a founding father and I’ll find you another one that is unGodly).
Then Ray presents a list of Christian celebrities, holy Hollwood! Honestly, a weak list with people I’m aware of but certainly don’t spark the term “Celebrity.” It’s no surprise to me that there are Christians working in Hollywood. Very few, I would guess, are of Ray Comfort’s type–Biblical Literalists who want to shame you into believing. Fact is, I suspect that the American public is the same. I have no problem saying that the majority of Americans believe in God or even call themselves Christian, but when you start getting down to specifics then we have different types of God(s) and denominations/nondenominations of Christianity. It isn’t a unified front and obviously from box office sales quite a few of them don’t mind what’s rolling out each month from the Hollywood machine.