Fall from Grace or Abuse of Power
The headline of an article I recently read struck me as rather odd. The headline was “Harvey Weinstein Falls From Grace.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, grace is defined as “a state of sanctification enjoyed by divine assistance.” In other words, a gift from God.
Just who supposedly provided the Hollywood version of grace to Weinstein? Certainly not the women he is alleged to have sexually harassed or raped. Nor those who acknowledged having consensual sex with Weinstein so that they receive favorable treatment in their career. Nor would it have been Hollywood business associates who privately complained of his bullying tactics, but remained silent publicly.
Despite the open “secret” that Weinstein qualifies as a world class jerk, many in Hollywood stayed silent out of fear of negative repercussions to their aspirations. This is a perfect example of the abuse of power, where those in positions of authority intimidate others into submission and obedience.
Sadly, this behavior is not limited to Hollywood. On a different part of the political spectrum from left wing Hollywood is Fox News, where key employees were accused of sexual harassment. Numerous presidents, from JFK to LBJ to Bill Clinton, have been viewed as guilty of sexual improprieties in office.
Lord Acton once stated that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The afore mentioned harassment certainly qualifies as a corruption of power. Yet, many look the other way in the face of such behavior if it will help them achieve their personal goals.
Photos of Hillary Clinton smiling at or hugging Harvey Weinstein abound. Clearly, his money, connections, and support meant more to Hillary than the hypocrisy of befriending a serial abuser like Weinstein.
Yes, the lust for power is just as egregious as the abuse of power. It’s understandable, as well as quite easy, for someone to compromise standards of decency and moral principles to advance a career, but doing so doesn’t make it right.
Hopefully, the increasing willingness of those in Hollywood to reveal the decadence within their “artist” community will lead to needed changes in their culture. Hollywood has no moral authority to tell the rest of the country what they should think or how they should vote. Yet, sanctimonious lecturing is the norm from all too many in Hollywood. We could do without this self-righteous grandstanding.
What Hollywood (and much of America for that matter) needs is a good dose of repentance and forgiveness. Perhaps the black eye that Hollywood experiences right now will make them more open Perhaps the increasing demand for films such as “Same kind of Different as Me” will bring additional changes to Hollywood.
Opening hearts in the entertainment industry is where true grace comes in. To those willing to repent of sinful ways, and placing their trust in a higher power as opposed to the almighty dollar, they will become a new creation. 2Corinthians 5:17 tells us “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, the new has come into being.”
Those who place that trust will receive grace. It is a gift, not an entitlement or something that can be given through coercion or on a director’s casting couch.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. To most people, this seems like an incredibly difficult task. Yet the reward for following this command is eternal.
I am not saying that Hollywood, despite its corrosive culture, is our enemy. However, it would be following Jesus’ admonition to pray for them. Hopefully, we will be able to rejoice on the day that beneficial changes come to Hollywood, and marvel the true grace that is given.
to promoting family friendly entertainment.
Last weekend I saw the new movie release, “Same Kind of Different as Me.” The New York Times best-selling book includes story lines of infidelity, homelessness, racial reconciliation, and ultimately redemption through Jesus Christ.
Initially, when screenwriters and directors were approached to help with making the book a film, there was hesitation by some, for fear that “Christian films” don’t go over well with the Hollywood crowd. This is unfortunate, as often faith based films are quite popular and profitable due to a huge potential audience and relatively lean budgets.
Ultimately, Michael Carney took on the project. “God chased me down,” admitted Carney. “I wasn’t interested the first few times the book was sent to me because I didn’t want to make a cheesy Christian movie. But then I called up my dad, a pastor, after they sent me the book for the third time and asked him what he thought. He said, ‘It’s one of my favorite books. I bought 400 copies and gave them away. Didn’t I send you one?’ “
Caught not having read the book, Carney immediately did so and found that it could be very meaningful in today’s societal climate.
Written by Rich Sena
Previously published in the Boerne Star