Even Sheryl Lee Ralph Weighed in on Rainn Wilson’s Nonsensical ‘Anti-Christian Bias’ Tweet
I guess you got the attention you ordered
Did you hear that sigh? That was me, seeing this tweet from Rainn Wilson:
OK, I need to come clean. I had to give up on The Last of Us. It’s too scary, and my not-so-hidden secret is that I think a zombie apocalypse could happen in real life and it’s too much for me to handle (and YES, I know they’re not called zombies in the show but those are ZOMBIES, OK?!) I do know, however, that David is a bad dude who does bad things because I read the recaps of the show on this very site because I’m not pop culture illiterate.
Do you know what else I know? A fascist Christian majority on the Supreme Court decided to strip away my (and the majority of Americans’) bodily autonomy less than a year ago. I also know I had to stand up, every damn day for 12 years and pledge allegiance to “one nation, under God,” and one time in second grade, a kid decided not to do that for his own religious reasons, and he was ostracized by my teacher and some classmates. (My mom pulled me out of that class, thankfully.) I know there’s a drag ban in Tennessee that I’m sure is passed by Christian, God-fearing people who want nothing more than to control someone else’s freedom of expression. My point is, for many people, hate, control, intolerance and Christianity goes hand in hand. Especially when you throw white men in the mix.
Sure, some people like Wilson might want to see the positive portrayal of religion, but for many people, someone else’s religion is used to control our existence, and we have no say in the matter.
I’m not the only one who thinks this; many people responded pretty negatively to Wilson’s Tweet!
Having a white male Christian character can be shorthand for horror. The Last of Us used this to chilling effect. Not every show goes that route, as some people pointed out in their own replies:
First and foremost, there is Baby Billy from The Righteous Gemstones:
Now, Baby Billy is a scammer, moron, and probably not what Wilson has in mind as a positive embodiment of Christian ideals. Still, he is a damn good character and very well acted and as a bonus, not a cannibal, so I think Wilson should take this as a win. Also, he’s half responsible for this ear-worm and should be celebrated for that alone:
Here’s a less morally ambiguous Christian character, Father Paul, who attempted to embody positive Christian love. Although if you watched Midnight Mass, you’d know he’s responsible (inadvertently) for a lot of people’s death. At least his intentions were decent?
There’s also the Hot Priest from Fleabag, don’t forget him! He’s a good guy!
Then, of course, there is Ms. Barbara Howard from Abbott Elementary. Who is a “teacher not preacher” as Sheryl Lee Ralph, who portrays Ms. Howard, points out. She never shoves her religion down anyone’s throat, is always kind, and leads by example. I love Ms. Howard.
So yes, Rainn Wilson, there are positive portrayals of Christians in Hollywood … but TWIST! That’s not what you really care about is it, because I took at look at your Twitter header pic, which is promoting your new book “Soul Boom” and you’ve recently Tweeted in support of it as well:
What is “Soul Boom” about exactly? Well, let’s head over to that paragon of capitalism, Amazon, to grab a description, shall we?
In this book, Rainn Wilson explores the possibility and hope for a spiritual revolution, a “Soul Boom,” to find a healing transformation on both a personal and global level
For Wilson, this is a serious and essential pursuit, but he brings great humor and his own unique perspective to the conversation. He feels that, culturally, we’ve discounted spirituality—faith and the sacred—and we need profound healing and a unifying understanding of the world that the great spiritual traditions provide.
Oh my god, you’re just trying to drum up faux outrage in order to sell your dumb book about spirituality, which comes out next month, aren’t you, Rainn Wilson!? I simply cannot. Wilson is now playing “Gotcha” out there, reminding the world that he’s not Christian and pointing out the harm Christian evangelists have done on the world, so what was the point of his original Tweet, exactly?
OK, and? You think there’s a bias to a demographic and the original tweet inevitably got picked up by Fox News, the most aggrieved of news sources, and now you think your original message got misconstrued. Were you born yesterday sir? You know how this works! His thread continued:
So, basically, he’s got Christian friends (who are always nice to him, I bet!) so he doesn’t like the trope of bad Christians in media. Well, there you have it. Nothing to see here, folks.
I still think this whole tempest in a teacup is Wilson trying to sell his book. The timing is just too suspect and as a grizzled geriatric millennial, I’ve spent my entire adulthood on the internet. I know manufactured outrage bait when I see it, even if I can’t help myself for falling for it at the same time. I am, after all, only human.
(featured image: NBC)
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