Almost on a daily basis of late, we’ve been receiving further confirmation for what we’ve already known — Hollywood is a cesspool of vice and corruption. From the Weinstein scandal to the growing pedophilia scandal, Hollywood is being revealed as an industry that should be steered clear of by anyone who desires to pursue God’s righteousness. The scandals aside, Hollywood’s product often violates the standards of righteousness demanded by God to begin with. One of the clearest examples in the past twenty years has been Boogie Nights starring Mark Wahlberg, who is a committed Roman Catholic. In fact, Wahlberg has admitted to praying to God and seeking forgiveness for his role in Boogie Nights.
Last week, while in Chicago to help Cardinal Blase Cupich in his efforts to bring younger people back to the Catholic Church, Wahlberg told Kim Janssen of the Chicago Tribune that “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I’ve made some poor choices in my past.”
Can Christians Watch Movies With Nude Scenes?
When Janssen asked the movie star if he had sought God’s forgiveness for any specific movies, Wahlberg admitted, “Boogie Nights is up there at the top of the list.”
For those who haven’t seen the movie (and I recommend that you don’t watch it), Boogie Nights was a sleeper hit in 1997. With a production budget of 15 million dollars, the story of the rise to fame of a young man during porn’s “Golden Age” made over 43 million dollars at the box office and was nominated for three Oscars. It also propelled Mark Wahlberg, who played the young porn actor, to A-list movie star status.
As you can imagine, the movie is filled with explicit nudity and sex. In fact, it’s been reported that the writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson cast actual porn actors for background work in Boogie Nights’ “fake” porn scenes. Originally, Anderson wanted the film to be rated NC-17, but the production company intervened for marketing reasons.
While I’m aware that many professing Christians twist themselves into all kinds of rhetorical and theological pretzels to justify watching movies like Boogie Nights, it’s about as obvious as obvious gets that the movie is out of bounds for followers of King Jesus.
If Christians shouldn’t watch movies like Boogie Nights, what about starring in them? That’s a question that Mark Wahlberg is confronted with as a reportedly devout Roman Catholic whose job is acting in movies. And that’s a question Wahlberg has realized that he failed to appropriately interact with in the past.
At the event with Cardinal Cupich, Wahlberg told the audience of more than 1,000 that he generally goes to bed by 7:30 p.m. so that he can have plenty of time to pray in the morning. Whether his stated bedtime was hyperbole or not, it’s admirable that Wahlberg recognizes his need to come before God’s throne through prayer.
By no means do Wahlberg and I agree on important aspects of theology, much less Christian ethics (same-sex marriage is an important point of disagreement). However, I appreciate Wahlberg’s humility and willingness to admit that he made a mistake in accepting a role in Boogie Nights. I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit he will continue to grow in his desire to honor and obey God in all areas, not just in the making of movies.
A Catholic student group at Georgetown University could be stripped of its funding for its belief in traditional marriage.Love Saxa, a group that advocates for marriage between a man and a woman, is under fire from LGBTQ groups on campus, PRIDE and Queer People of Color, according to The Hoya, Georgetown’s student publication. A pro-choice student senator filed a notice on September 25, arguing Love Saxa’s definition of marriage and relationships violates university standards by fostering hatred or intolerance.The notice, which would identify Love Saxa as a hate group, could strip Love Saxa of its funding and bar it from using campus facilities. The group receives $250 a year from the Georgetown, which is the country’s oldest Catholic university.Love Saxa petitioned for a delay because it was not given enough time to defend itself and had not seen the notice, according to the Catholic News Agency. A hearing, originally set for Monday, is now scheduled for Oct. 30.The controversy began last month, when the president of Love Saxa, Amelia Irvine, published an op-ed titled “Confessions of a College Virgin” in The Hoya, talking about abstinence before marriage and the group’s definition of marriage.Love Saxa currently receives $250 a year from the Georgetown, which is the country’s oldest Catholic university.“Love Saxa’s definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as we believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level – emotional, spiritual, physical and mental – directed toward caring for biological children. To us, marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults.”The student newspaper then targeted Love Saxa in an editorial titled “Defund Intolerance.”“Love Saxa does not deserve the benefit of university recognition” and “should be ineligible for any university benefits,” The Hoya wrote, claiming the group’s “mission advocates against equal rights for the LGBTQ community” and “fosters intolerance.”Love Saxa put out a statement condemning the Hoya’s actions as “intolerant of the values and beliefs” of Georgetown.“Love Saxa exists to promote healthy and loving relationships at Georgetown,” said Irvine. “Our definition of ‘healthy relationships’ and ‘sexual integrity’ is synonymous with those of the Catholic Church, and therefore those of Georgetown University. If the Hoya wishes to call Love Saxa a hate group, we anticipate that it will not be long until other traditional religious groups are labeled ‘hate groups’ as well.”The university released a statement that did not appear take sides — just yet.“As a Catholic and Jesuit institution, Georgetown listens deeply and discerningly to the plurality of voices that exist among our students, faculty, and staff and is committed to the care of each member of our community,” said a Georgetown University spokesperson. “As the students on the Student Activities Commission review the complaint regarding Saxa formally submitted by individual students on Oct. 22, we encourage all students to follow our community commitment to open dialogue and mutual respect.”Irvine is optimistic that the university will uphold the group’s right to exist, but issued a warning to her fellow classmates.“If we cannot safely advocate for beliefs synonymous with Catholic social teaching,” she said, “then no group at Georgetown can be certain of its security.”
How can men in power avoid crossing the line when it comes to sexual harassment? Actress Sarah Donnelly has some straightforward advice for these Hollywood gatekeepers: No touching “outside of a handshake,” and no quid pro quo innuendo. “Asking a woman out in an audition” is also a bad idea. “You’re going to make women really uncomfortable,” she told the New York Post. “Make no mistake: That makes you the bad guy.” Along with being an actor and film producer, Donnelly is a regular on ABC’s “What Would You Do?
When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn’t “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” but “What’s your sign?”“So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,” Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. “It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.”Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.An image from a market hosted by Catland, where customers can buy occult accessories.Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based “metaphysical boutique” Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and a “Spirit Seance.”“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”Co—Star, a new app for millennialsLike the existence of God, however, there’s no actual scientific proof. Astrology has been debunked by numerous academic studies, but Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co—Star said the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.How to invest in the future of health care“It’s very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,” she said. “There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.”Case in point: Co—Star’s servers were so overwhelmed by demand after it launched on October 12 that the app crashed three times in its first week.Astrology isn’t the only spiritual field overwhelmed by demand: Danielle Ayoka, the founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, said her customer base is growing exponentially. The self-described astrologer sells a “mystic box” subscription, which includes crystals, “reiki-infused bath salts,” and incense customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle for $14.99 a month. She says she’s seen 75% increase in her audience in the past year.“When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo,” she said. “Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded.”One Mystic Lipstick box, which is $14.99 a month.With this overwhelming demand comes a rise of products claiming metaphysical benefits, not all of which take the cultural context of the occult into account, notes Layne. Urban Outfitters sells sage, a product that has its roots in indigenous cleansing ceremonies, for $18 a pop and a crystal mobile for $32.Actress turned CEO Gwyneth Paltrow sells a variety of spiritual wares on her website, many of which are borrowed or “inspired” by other cultures. A jade egg that costs $66 has its roots in ancient Taoist practice. Her $85 “Goop Medicine Bag” is “inspired by the Shaman’s medicine bag from various indigenous traditions,” and a $59 Tarot card deck features “mystical artwork” that mirrors Native American patterns.But Layne, whose interest in Eastern medicine is rooted in her Taiwanese heritage, said white women are often able to profit from ancient practices that are not theirs to sell.“It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work,” Layne said. “There is a whole culture of white women who capitalize off of spirituality, but it all comes from people of color. People need to do their homework: being in touch with your spiritual side is a natural, human thing to do. To be able to connect yourself is essential to healing not only your own wounds, but healing together.”
Washington (CNN)Democratic mega-donor and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is spending what an aide says is “well over $10 million” on a national TV ad campaign Friday calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.The campaign is a bid by Steyer — who has not ruled out a run for office himself — to “demand that elected officials take a stand” on an issue Democratic leaders have so far largely avoided.Democratic megadonor Steyer mulls run for office amid ‘complete crisis'”A Republican Congress once impeached a president for far less. And today, people in Congress and his own administration know that this President is a clear and present danger who is mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons,” Steyer says in the ad, which largely features him speaking directly to the camera.The ads are running on broadcast stations in New York and California and nationally on cable television. Accompanying the TV ads is what a Steyer aide said is a seven-figure digital ad buy intended to get the minute-long spot a large audience online.Steyer is paying for the ads himself, and they are not part of his NextGen America political apparatus.
George W. Bush hinted Thursday at his dissatisfaction with Donald Trump, complaining in a New York City speech that ‘bullying and prejudice’ has become a caustic norm in American public life.At an event hosted by the George W. Bush Institute, the 43rd U.S. president rattled off a thinly veiled litany of complaints about the current commander-in-chief, focusing on both his tone and his isolationist policy choices.’Our young people need positive role models,’ he said. ‘Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children.”Bigotry seems emboldened’ in today’s America, Bush added. ‘Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.’Trump’s tenure has been marked by a seemingly endless stream of outraged posts on his Twitter account and a dramatic political polarization among U.S. voters as the truthfulness of his public statements is questioned daily.
The latest issue of Playboy features a transgender playmate, a first in the magazine’s 64-year history.Ines Rau poses fully nude in the November/December 2017 issue, which is also the first to hit newsstands following the death of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner.The 26-year-old model has been shot for the magazine before, however, this time around marks her debut as the first official transgender playmate, which means she will appear in a full pictorial and the iconic centrefold.
Barbara Walters is the latest star to find herself sucked into the death spiral of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. An old video of Walters shutting down actor Corey Feldman when he spoke out about sex abuse in Hollywood on “The View” is recirculating with calls for Walters to apologize. Feldman, who has spoken publicly about the abuse he suffered along with fellow ‘80s star Corey Haim, appeared on “The View” in 2013 and did not shy away from speaking out about the powerful person in Hollywo
Anthony Scaramucci, the infamous, fiery, short-lived former White House communications director, is wooing glamorous Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, multiple sources tell Page Six — even as the couple deny they are an item. Page Six exclusively revealed on July 29 that the Mooch’s wife of three years, Deidre Ball, had filed for divorce while nine months pregnant. Scaramucci lasted 11 days in the DC job and was ousted by President Trump on July 31. The reason for his firing was said to be an expletive-
Emmajane Love, a former call girl-turned-relationship guru, decided to marry herself. The ceremony was carried out on a beach, where Love, carrying a handheld mirror, recited her vows to her own reflection.
Despite President Trump’s repeated accusations that the media pushes nothing but “fake news,” Americans are trusting the media more and the president less nearly nine months after he was sworn in, according to a new poll.The Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll of more than 14,300 people released Tuesday found that the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48 percent in September from 39 percent last November.The percentage of those who said they had “hardly any” confidence in the press dropped to 45 percent from 51 percent over the same period.Confidence in Trump — who has called the media “the enemy of the American people” and repeatedly disparaged individual reporters — moved in the opposite direction.The survey, which tracked confidence in major institutions every couple of months after the 2016 presidential election, found in late January that 52 percent of Americans had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the new president’s executive branch.That dropped to 51 percent in the May survey and to 48 percent in the latest poll.In comparison, 57 percent of Americans expressed similar levels of confidence in former Democratic President Barack Obama’s outgoing administration in November.The poll also found that the shift in trust was not simply a partisan reaction to a Republican president.From January to September, the percentage of people who had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the executive branch dropped 6 percentage points among Republicans and 3 points among Democrats.The percentage of those who expressed similar levels of confidence in the media rose 3 points this year among Republicans and 11 points among Democrats.Every president clashes with the news media, but Trump “has gone a step further in attacking the press and questioning their legitimacy,” Martha Kumar, a presidential historian, told Reuters.“What you’re seeing now is a gradual recognition of the importance of the press” at a time when people are still getting used to a new president whose campaign is under federal investigation for alleged collusion with Russia, Kumar said.Trump has denied any collusion occurred, calling the Russia probe “a hoax” and “fake news.”Kumar added that confidence in the press may be rising this year because news organizations have offered wildly different perspectives on Trump, satisfying people who like him as well as those who do not.“They’re not all watching and reading the same things,” she said. “They’re gravitating toward organizations they trust.”Ari Fleischer, former Republican President George W. Bush’s first press secretary, said any shift in the way people viewed the press and the president was likely the product of an oppositional relationship that both sides had pushed since the 2016 presidential campaign.“Trump throws fastballs directly at the press’ head. He does it almost every day,” Fleischer told Reuters.“This makes those who oppose Trump draw into the press,” elevating its stature among those who would otherwise not trust the media, he said.“But the press has played into it by the mistakes they’ve made, by missing the rise of Trump, by being too liberal,” Fleischer added. “They’ve helped create this environment.”The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the US.It collected a combined 14,328 responses from those polls, and the data has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 2 percentage points.
A gunman carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US history by opening fire at a Las Vegas outdoor music concert — killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 200 before being fatally shot, officials said.Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., unleashed a withering hail of bullets from an automatic weapon from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel as about 40,000 people were enjoying the music.Described as a “lone wolf” by Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, Paddock had a criminal past and was known to local law enforcement, NBC News reported.He had no known connection to terrorism and police have not called the shooting a terrorist attack, according to Lombardo.Modal TriggerUndated image of Stephen Paddock.Facebook“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static.”He added that “numerous firearms” had been located in the room he had occupied at his Mandalay Bay room, which a SWAT team broke into with a controlled explosion.The attack came during the last performances on the final night of the three-day Route 91 country music festival on a 15-acre lot on Las Vegas Boulevard across from Mandalay Bay.Authorities said they have located 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who was wanted as a person of interest in the massacre. She had been sitting in Paddock’s car before the attack, Lombardo said.He described her as an “associate.”Police also found two vehicles with Nevada license plates, a Hyundai Tucson and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, that they had been looking for after the rampage, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.Two off-duty police officers attending the concert were among the dead victims, Lombardo said. Two on-duty Las Vegas cops were wounded, one critically, he said.President Trump tweeted his “warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: “We are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials.”“All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers,” she added.