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Christian schism: Thank you Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars. —Veeoz 360 photo

Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars. —Veeoz 360 photo

While hunting down a photo of Matthew McConaughey on the net, I came across an intriguing blog with a post titled “Matthew McConaughey is not my Hero.” It was written by a lady named Melissa. Melissa is a Christian lady. A Very Christian Lady. Surely a lady much more Christian than the likes of myself could ever aspire to be. After the post went viral, she wrote a follow up post, which has also spread like wildfire.

Probably everything Melissa says now will go viral. She’ll develop her own flock as the new spokeslady for a special group of Christians, you know the only people who are going to be saved. But I digress.

The gist of Melissa’s original post is that during his Oscar acceptance speech, while Matthew McConaughey took a moment to thank God, Dallas Buyers Club — the film for which he won the award — went against her Christian standards, and therefore so does he.

She was upset to learn that some Christians were actually heartened by McConaughey’s shout out to the Lord at the Oscars, and warned them, “he is not the next great champion for Christianity.”

In her follow up, Melissa admitted she never saw Dallas Buyers Club. But why should she? She knows everything she needs to know in order to judge it and object to it thanks to the conservative religious watchdog group pluggedin.com. She writes:

According to pluggedin.com, Dallas Buyer’s Club opens with McConaughey’s character having sex with two girls at the same time in a rodeo stall.  That’s only the beginning of the explicit sexual content in the movie. In addition to the nudity, masturbation, and pornography, the film contains over 100 f-words and God’s name is used as a curse word over 20 times.

Wow, what a job someone must have at plugged.in.com, getting to watch movies all day and count the sex scenes and profanity references. I can do that, where do I send my résumé?

This is what McConaughey said in his Oscar speech. It was a little more than merely “thanking God,” as Melissa alluded to:

There are three things by my count I need each day — something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. First off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘When you got God you got a friend and that friend is you.’

Yep, some people actually found those words inspiring, how ’bout that.

What hurts me is not Melissa’s obvious distaste for Matthew McConaughey or Dallas Buyer’s Club, which I thought was a very good film.

For me, the real sin is perpetuating a schism among practicing Christians.

When I go to church, I like to think of all of us Christians as a family. It’s the one place where we are reminded to “do unto others,” and “turn the other cheek,” and so many other good, positive things. For years, a group from my church has trekked down to Appalachia to fix homes for Christian families in need. My daughter came home after one trip, thrilled to bits for putting up drywall for a family with children she grew to love. These are the kinds of things that bring Christians with diverse beliefs together.

Melissa’s condemnation divides Christians into us (saved, saved, saved) against them (porn-loving, profane, sinners).

And that’s not all right, all right, all right.

It’s truly unfortunate that prejudice can be fostered and dispensed under the guise of religion.

Dallas Buyers Club is a film about a hedonistic, selfish man (you could call him a sinner) who learns to have compassion and love for others in the face of the AIDS epidemic. The film actually has a positive Christian-like message to it.

But you’d have to watch it to get it.

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