The Oscar Worldview
Identity and intersectionality politics has won a hollow victory. Tweets surfaced from circa 2011 by comedian Kevin Hart. The tweets disparaged the homosexual community, which caused the Oscars committee to communicate to Hart that if he issued a public apology, he could continue as host of the Oscars.
Instead, Hart chose to step down. His rationale is that he is a different person in 2018 than he was in 2011, and providing some coerced, obligatory apology is not in anyone’s best interest. Hart’s decision was not atonement enough for Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. Griffin Tweeted, “You have a rare opportunity to take responsibility, teach people in this moment, & send a message to LGBTQ youth that they matter & deserve dignity and respect. You say you’ve grown. Show us. Make amends for hurtful things you’ve said & affirm LGBTQ people.”
The irony of a marginalized people group calling out another marginalized people group is not lost on the masses. Many respondents to Chad’s tweet queried as to what more could Kevin Hart do? How can Hart atone? What can wash away Kevin’s sins?
As many are scratching their heads trying to make sense of King’s demands on Hart, a great conundrum still faces the Oscars: who will be the high priest of 2019’s Oscars?
In their collective work, Understanding the Times, Myers and Nobel, define a worldview as “a pattern of ideas, beliefs, convictions, and habits that help us make sense of God, the world and our relationship to God and the world.” A worldview is religious in nature and everyone has a worldview, even those who are atheists or not traditionally religious hold values and beliefs similar to the religious. Progressivism is a worldview because it has a pattern of ideas, beliefs, convictions, and habits. There are progressives who ascribe to a deity and others that do not, but lack of a deity does not relieve the religious element. Progressives use their worldview to make sense of the world around them in order to develop practices to live out their values.
Progressive ideas, beliefs, and convictions may sound familiar: when they go low, we go high. A woman’s right to choose. Universal healthcare is a human right. Open borders. Millions will die. Real socialism has never been tried. Common sense gun control. Hate speech is not free speech. Fascist anti-fascism.
For progressivism to make sense of the world and its relationship with a deity, the Marxist worldview is a great start. Marx and Engels embraced Darwinian evolution, which dispensed of a deity and created the belief that humanity is linearly evolving into a more enlightened people. The first step to a better world is “God is dead” and “we are his murderers,” which opened the door for subjective instead of objective morality. Progressivism follows suit with communist and evolutionary ideologies, yet makes room for a deity as long as that deity is not insulting or contradictory to a rival deity. Much of this ideology culminated in the Humanist Manifestos of 1933, 1973, and 2003. Also, many religions hold there is a dark or evil force challenging the journey to eternal peace. For progressives, Donald Trump is that evil force who ushered in the American apocalypse with the defeat to the heir of Utopia.
As far as convictions and habits, these beliefs seem to be carried out via marches, constant denouncements of Trump, condemnations of racism to anyone who disagrees with progressivism, ANTIFA violence, disruptions of college campus assemblies, virtue signaling on social media, and the list could go on. Another place the progressive worldview is showcased is in the religious observance of the annual Oscars and its deity: the golden Oscar. The elite of Hollywood gather to worship and sacrifice to the Oscar, similar to the pagan elite of antiquity who came to sacrifice to Dagon or Mithras. The wealthy get the best worship experiences.
Remember, a worldview aids the worldview holder in making sense out of the world. If one reads through the transcript of Jimmy Kimmel’s 2018 Oscar monologue, one will see Kimmel, serving as high priest at the Oscar’s church service, makes sense of the world at various points. He denounces the misogyny of Hollywood (the Hollywood everyone is there to celebrate). He neglects to confess the sins of his former show in which he paraded scantily clad women on trampolines so their bouncing breasts would keep ratings high, and he praises the inclusivity of the Oscars while also condemning the lack of inclusivity. After a quick jab at America’s Founding Fathers, he brings everyone’s attention to Saint Streep, the patron saint of Hollywood progressivism. In 2017, high priest Kimmel used the progressive worldview to make sense of the world by asking Streep to stand for applause while he contrasted her saintliness to the dark forces of Donald and Ivanka Trump. Finally, Kimmel informs everyone the platform (or pulpit) is a place for the winners of awards to champion and communicate the progressive worldview to America.
To deny that progressivism is a religion is to ignore its worldview and religious elements. The Oscars committee has a challenge on its hands to ensure progressive America is reminded of all it believes. Now that Kevin Hart is no longer the high priest of the Oscars, the committee must find a worthy high priest to preach the progressive worldview’s beliefs, habits, convictions, and ideas. The committee must find a high priest who will make sense out of the world, and discern the forces of evil working against progressivism.