On Wednesday, Jan. 1, actor and filmmaker Ron Howard opened up the New Year by telling the world that Hollywood views President Trump as a “morally bankrupt” human being who is “hustling” the American people. Thus, Mr. Howard shocked all of us by suggesting something we find quite surprising: Hollywood actually cares about virtue. Tinseltown thinks immorality is a bad thing.
Now stop and think about this.
This moralizing comes from a leader of an industry that, for decades, has lectured all of us rubes in heartland America about our beliefs in traditional morality being backward and prudish.
This is the club that, for years, has shouted, “who are you to judge?” when conservative Christians have objected to the sexualization of our children.
This is the superior class that has told us drag queen story hours are a good idea for preschoolers.
These are the “smarter-than-thous” who have preached to us, over and over again, that “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you.”
These are the wise aristocrats who continue to chastise all of us ignorant peasants for wanting to cling to our God and our guns.
These are the people who believe middle schoolers are better off knowing more about condoms than the U.S. Constitution.
These are the oligarchs who believe socialism, in spite of 100 million dead at its hand, is a moral good.
These are the pedagogues who lecture the world about fossil fuels while they fly in their private jets. They demand we redistribute our wealth while they hoard their own. They protest the principles of the United States while they bow to the power of China. They claim to be feminists while they deny the fact of the female. They march for MeToo while accusing women who want their own bathrooms and their own sports of being bigots.
They expose themselves on their red carpets while they bemoan the objectification of women. They claim that “black lives matter” while they enslave generations of African-Americans to government largesse. They lament homeless children at our borders while they celebrate the killing of infants in their clinics. They tell us walls are evil while they live in their gated communities.
These are the folks who, to quote their high priest, Barack Obama, believe they are “the ones we’ve been waiting for and they are the change we seek.”
They celebrate sodomy, normalize dysphoria, demean women and abuse our kids. They encourage 10-year-old boys to pretend they are girls. Their teachers instruct primary school students in the techniques of masturbation. Their magazines coach teenage girls how to engage in anal sex. They cheer at the loss of innocence. They champion debauchery. They mock fidelity. They malign virtue while the practice vice.
And yet, Ron Howard presumes to lecture us about morality.
In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis shared that as he looked at the various cultures that spanned the course of human history, he couldn’t avoid the evidence of a common moral code that crossed the boundaries of time, geography, race, gender and even religion.
Lewis concluded that people, by and large, have an intuitive sense of some underlying moral assumptions from tribe to tribe and from age to age. He also noted that proof of a “universal moral code” is that everyone seems to have a common reaction of indignation when its rules are violated.
Genesis tells us that what distinguishes man from the rest of creation is that God “breathed” moral awareness and conscience into us. He didn’t breathe this into a tree, a rock or a cow. We are not like a chemical compound, a pig or a mule. We function at a higher level. We have an endowed understanding of the moral ramifications of our choices and behavior. We are not mindless bacteria. We are not amoral animals. Even the most lost among us are created in “the image of God.”
Ron Howard’s sudden concern about Donald Trump’s morality proves the points above. Even Hollywood, with its reprobate mind, still has a faint wisp of a conscience.
But, what Mr. Howard and his fellow elites apparently don’t understand is that the more they flail against the “immorality” of Donald Trump, the more they expose themselves to be little more than a parade of “wannabe” emperors with no clothes. For decades they have marched through our culture, naked as a jaybird, while apparently thinking they are dressed in the finest attire. And now they presume to tell us that they are our moral exemplars?
Yes, Ron Howard, there is such a thing as morality, and I am glad you admit it. But the huckster here is not so much Donald Trump as it is you and your peers. For years you have sold a nation the snake oil of sin, and this has cost you all credibility. Millions of us care little about what you think. You can take your traveling medicine show elsewhere.
• Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).