A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter Ten – The Unraveling Begins

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Bert Perry's picture

Just out of curiosity, did BJU's theater program do things to warn of the signs one was getting into trouble in the way John mentions here?   This is a dismal picture which explains a lot of why it's tough for Christians to make good plays and movies; the process of getting a name as a talent just seems to be a gantlet of sin. (and never mind the casting couch, either)

All I can associate with here, really, is reading Kafka.  I read two of his works in the original German.  Oh, and I attended a party once where a real actress showed up, but it was pretty sedate.  Wine and sandwiches, no drugs or anything. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

I'm not sure that I understand your question about BJU's theatre program.

As far as making a name as a talent, while I do have negative opinions and concerns about the entertainment industry, I would caution not to draw too straight of a line from my life to that of all actors. Throughout my career, I did work with many Christians who politely yet faithfully stayed out of the "extra curricular" activities without it being a hindrance to their careers. I worked with many non-Christians who stayed out much of the "extra curricular" activities, for that matter. Debauchery was there if you wanted it, but if you didn't want it, that was fine with everyone, too.  

Bert Perry's picture

John, you read me about right.  Suffice it to say that my view of Hollywood is jaded by some things coming out of the Weinstein debacle, where people joked during Oscar shows that the female winners big reward was that they never had to pretend to like him any more--along with Maureen O'Hara's 1945 note that she'd almost quit the joint because of how often she'd been propositioned by a director or producer.  In a world where a ton of things are about connections, it also stands to reason that a certain number of parts might be won at parties like those you describe.

And in that light, I would guess that it would be important to give people a hint as to how to recognize the signs of a wayward soul in the director's chair, and that's what I'm asking about.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JD Miller's picture

John, I am curious about what attracted you to Marxism, PETA, and such political causes during that period of your life. 

John E.'s picture

Good question with a complicated answer. I may be pushing into this some during the next chapter. In short:

Part of it (a big part) was simply that the artists, writers,and thinkers that I had started consuming, even in high school, but especially while at BJU and directly afterwards, were almost exclusively progressives. It was what I was being taught. Plus, it was part of the overall package for the image that I wanted.

By the time of this current chapter, a big part of it was that I was finding a sense of personal salvation in my liberal activism. About a year after the main events of this chapter (10), I stood on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco and began to realize that progressivism might be a fraud. Leading up to that day, over the course of the previous year, many of my progressive companions had revealed themselves to be bigger legalists than anyone I had ever met within fundamentalism.