Sunday, October 19, 2014

"70+ Celebrities Who Are Christians"

Christianity has apparently receded so far from the general consciousness in the English-speaking world that's list of 70+ Celebrities Who Are Christians requires a short description of this religion. If you were unaware of this obscure sect, our host, "Celebrity Lists" tells us, "A Christian is an individual who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ." Also, in case you don't know of any successful members of this upstart, fly-by-night operation, we are reassured that "Many famous actors, musicians, and athletes practice Christianity today." The more you know, huh?

We are told from the onset that "This list of celebrities who are Christians is loosely ranked by fame and popularity." So then who tops this list? Is it the most powerful man in the world, Barack Obama? Or maybe both titles should go to Vladimir Putin? Or, maybe Celebrity Lists has picked the most visible representative of the Christian faith, Pope Francis?

Nope, "Who is the most famous person who is a Christian? Tom Hanks tops this list. In 2012, Hanks appeared on posters promoting Orthodox Christianity in Russia." Well, that settles it, Tom Hanks is clearly the most famous Christian in the world.

All congratulations to Mr. Hanks. I am sure this is a very proud moment for him and his family and friends. I will take a brief pause to let everyone recover from what is no doubt an extremely emotional moment.

Everyone good? Eyes mopped up? Good. Moving on, we see that in addition to such valuable biographical information as place of birth and education, as well as the more superficial height, we are also treated to the category "Medical Conditions." Because what could be more relevant to Christianity connoisseurs than its practitioners medical conditions?

So, aside from having a bit of fun at the expense of the vast expanse of the internet that exists solely to draw page views, and thus ad dollars, what is my point? My point is, even though unnecessary exposition would  fit in with the eighth grade book report styling of this article, it still provides evidence of a recession of Christianity from the forefront of English-speaking culture.

It is a universal human trait that we presume our experiences are universal. Those on the American cultural right are likely to either be Christian, or at least see the Christian religion as an important ally. On the cultural left, no doubt, there is much the same dynamic, with the addition of a numerous group that sees Christianity as a great evil to be defeated in order to advance their agenda. However, one thing that most of the politically engaged of either persuasion would agree on is that Christianity is a force to be reckoned with.

But most of mankind is not politically engaged. And as this airy article shows, among those people, the ubiquity of Christianity and the Christian message is slipping. How we handle this moving forward may determine if we see a great apostasy or a great revival.

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