Near the end of the movie Tombstone, as Doc Holliday played by Val Kilmer lays dying in a hospital bed at the end of a life known best for rebellion, lawlessness, murder, gambling, hard- drinking, and womanizing. His best friend Wyatt Earp played by Kurt Russell enters in to the church-run hospital to find his dying friend receiving his last rites from a priest. The scene is dripping with irony as Doc struggles to tell his friend, “My hypocrisy knows no bounds.”
As a pastor I am quite used to hearing the word hypocrisy thrown around. Usually in a derogatory way to myself or fellow Christians. Who hasn’t heard or said, “I couldn’t be a Christian because they are all hypocrites.” Or try this one on for size,
I’m quite sure you didn’t hear anyone say, “I won’t watch the Golden Globes this year because of the hypocrisy.” And yet, there was plenty to go around if you were paying attention. Before I continue I need to properly define what hypocrisy is.
“I don’t go to church because of all the hypocrites.”
Hypocrisy refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask”—in other words, someone who pretends to be what he or she is not. Now, it is important to note that hypocrisy can take two different forms: 1) Professing belief in something and then acting in a manner contrary to that belief. And 2) Looking down on others when we ourselves are flawed. Or as Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” With that cleared up we can move on to last night’s Golden Globes and the speech by Oprah, where I believe we saw both forms of hypocrisy on display.
Now, to lay all my cards on the table I did not watch the Golden Globes live. I really don’t desire to waste the small amount of discretionary time that I do have on being preached to by Hollywood celebrities who climb out of large gas guzzling SUV’s about the evils of carbon emissions. You know who I’m talking about. The same celebrities who arrive protected by walls, ID’s, and guns but at the same time are vehemently against walls, ID’s, and guns in any other context. Before you write me off as just another right-wing Trump supporter, please understand I didn’t vote for our current President. That bit of hypocrisy aside, the theme of the night was protest. With all the actresses dressing in black as a sign of solidarity against workplace sexual assault and harassment. Hash tags and buzz words like #MeToo and #TIMESUP filled the air and social media timelines. All of this came to a crescendo when Oprah Winfrey gave the speech that mesmerized the audience in attendance and apparently the millions watching from home.
Oprah’s speech is what caught my attention. Everyone was talking about it. So out of morbid curiosity I watched it in its entirety. Her hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of her fellow Hollywood elites knows no bounds. Can we stop for a moment to recognize that if it weren’t for the brave women who blew the whistle on Weinstein and the culture of sexual abuse that surrounds Hollywood, the Golden Globes would have went on business as usual? The problem is the culture of sexual abuse and misogyny in Hollywood wasn’t a secret to those in Hollywood. Those who worked with Weinstein knew who he was and what he was about before the women started coming forward. The false protest that unfolded last night was a reaction to the Hollywood elite being caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Oprah’s emotional speech was nothing more than an early entry into the 2020 presidential campaign. NBC even said as much on Twitter before removing their tweet.
Oprah is not the solution. Oprah is part of the problem. Oprah and Harvey were pals. The picture of her kissing Harvey was taken at the 2014 Critics Choice Awards. Of course she will deny and distance herself from him. That is the popular thing to do in Hollywood right now. It is better for a select few to go down in flames than for all of Hollywood to burn. It was hard not to laugh cynically at the hypocrisy of Oprah as she stared into the camera and said, “I want all the girls to know there is a new day on the horizon.” Really? What will that day look like? Will it be led by you and your tight knit group of celebs who turned a blind eye to the good old days of the casting couch? The powerful preying on the powerless? Kadian Noble, a British actress has already claimed that Weinstein used Oprah and actress Naomi Campbell to seduce her. It is also curious that the women who came out publicly against Harvey Weinstein are claiming they were not invited to the Golden Globe Awards. Why would you want to keep these brave women away from such a momentous night? What happened to #MeToo?
I would also like to point out one other thing that Oprah said to the women who were watching
Excuse me? What exactly is “your truth?” Truth is not subjective. Truth is not based on your feelings or perspective. Truth is objective. Truth is absolute. I recognize that this claim is abominable to Oprah and those in her circles. That is why she has openly denied the exclusivity of Jesus Christ on many occasions. Because each of us possess our own truth. But therein lies the problem. It is the culture of moral relativism and of a subjective truth that evolves with time, and helps to create the very culture that the Hollywood celebrities claim they want to abolish. What if Harvey Weinstein believed that “his truth” was that these women owed him sexual favors in return for a part in one of his movies? Who can tell him that he is wrong? That after all was his truth, and he lived by it.
“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
You see it is only when we acknowledge that truth is not subjective but absolute, because it comes from a moral law giver that we can say that Harvey Weinstein, or anyone else who would sexually assault another human being is wrong. Without a moral law giver all truth is subjective and deteriorates into merely “your truth” and “my truth.” It is hypocritical to ask someone to hold to your understanding of truth without giving any reason for why I should abide by it in the first place. Again “your truth” is “your truth” and “my truth” is “my truth.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professing, lukewarm Christian, or a Hollywood celebrity. You have a heart problem. The problem is sin, and sin separates us from God. The prophet Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of his day: “The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’” (Isaiah 29:13). How is your heart? The Bible calls hypocrisy sin. The good news is Jesus Christ died for sinners. Please repent and place your trust in Him today. Until next time think biblically my friends.