As an actor, you don’t need to be playing Jesus Christ in the most prominent religiously themed TV show in years to realize Hollywood’s taken a dark turn of late.
But, in the case of Jonathan Roumie, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
The 48-year-old actor, best known for his portrayal of the Savior in mega-hit streaming series “The Chosen,” used his speech at the 2023 March for Life last Friday to blast the entertainment industry for an “increasingly sinister” tone that’s led to “a sharp and disturbing increase in the darkness of the imagery being used in film, television, and music.”
“Let’s get to it: God is real!” Roumie said at the start of his speech.
“How do I know this? I’m not Him. I’m not the real Jesus, let’s just get that out of the way,” he quipped. “God is real, and He is completely in love with each and every one of you.
“How do I know this? Is it simply because my faith is the lens through which I view the whole of my reality? No. Is it because of the miracles that I have experienced in my own life and seen with my own eyes, for which my faith has been the catalyst? Again, no.”
Roumie instead credited cultivating his faith through practice.
“I’ve spent a lot of time dwelling in the realm of the Spirit through prayer, meditation and the sacraments of my faith,” he said. “Let me tell you, it changes you from the inside out — and that’s a good thing.
“But it can be scary because you begin to see the truth manifest itself in all areas of your life, like a veil that has been lifted, and you can’t unsee what you have seen.”
However, he warned that “just as God is real, Satan is also real, and I’m not talking about the simplistic cartoon of some dude with horns and a tail.
“I’m talking about the father of lies, the great deceiver, the diabolical slanderer who pushes you to doubt when you know in your heart the right thing to do,” Roumie said.
And while he noted that “life has triumphed” thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — a ruling made possible by pressure from pro-life groups, who Roumie said had taken on “the noblest and worthiest cause possible” — Satan “is not about to give up.”
And how is he working? Through big entertainment, of course.
“As an artist in the entertainment industry,” Roumie told the crowd, he’s noticed that in the past “several years, there’s been a sharp and disturbing increase in the darkness of the imagery being used in film, television and music.”
“The landscape has become increasingly sinister,” he said. “And, in some cases, even demonic in tone, more so than in previous years, sometimes subliminal, oftentimes overt … Witchcraft, demons, and even satanic elements are commonplace in mainstream programming. Many feature spiritually and psychologically disturbing content.
“And before you jump on me, no, I’m not specifically referencing a certain bespectacled wizard,” he added, referring to Harry Potter.
“I’m referring to the media, which is even more ominous, and I don’t need to name names,” the star continued. “You know it when you see it. … Media has become a portal to behavior and attitudes kids want to emulate that reject God, reject the light and reject ultimately all those aspects of community which give life.”
Instead of buying into it, Roumie called upon those in attendance to rebel against the norms being set by the media.
“They say we live in a post-Christian society. I reject that,” the actor said. “You can reject that. Change the culture by impacting the culture. Embrace that which is bigger than you.”
“Do not be afraid. Mute the noise of the popular and embrace the counterculture of Christ’s love and the message he offers you,” he continued.
“The road is wide which leads to destruction, and many will enter it,” he added. “So enter through the narrow gate, my dear friends.”
He closed by warning that Christians: “We are under an assault on our sense of virtue. We are enduring an affront to the innate holiness we are all imbued with and called to and an attack on the family structure and the sacredness of the gift of life.”
Thankfully, enough people seem to be pushing back through Christian counterculture. The fan-supported series, a historical drama that depicts the life of Jesus, has seen the first two episodes of its third season reach over 420 million views globally, according to Christian News Wire. Theatrical premieres of the new episodes have also brought in millions of dollars — something unthinkable for most Christian dramas just five or 10 years ago.
Hollywood is likely taking notice, even as it finds new depths of taste to plumb. Is it enough to get major studios to turn away from propagandizing and darkness? Don’t count on it — yet. The more people that wake up to the phenomenon Roumie discussed, the more difficult it will be for the entertainment industry to ignore the increasing number of people ignoring it.
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