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I’ve already ranted here once before about actor Stephen Baldwin’s brand of gnarly, extreme sports-themed Christianity, so I feel a little bit guilty about pointing out that the hip, high-class Salon magazine has a new profile on Baldwin–conveniently timed for the release of his memoir, “The Unusual Suspect.” In the article, Baldwin makes such enlightened comments as, “We must shut off our brains, and be led by what God tells our hearts.” He also says that he is not just a Jesus freak but a “Jesus Pyscho.”

The Salon article, which has a snarky tone and some rather obvious anti-Christian bias, does not simply criticize Baldwin (he’s just the easiest target), but other conservative evangelicals (Ryan Dobson, son of Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, also takes some heat) as well. The article point out that there are many well-known Christians who are enticing a significant number of teens to buy into a certain brand of the gospel through a flashy marketing approach in which the supposition is that teens can only find a relationship with Jesus through the latest clothing fad, cheesy slogan, or dazzling video; as an example, the article says, a Stephen Baldwin skateboarding/evangelical rally drew 40,000 kids while the X Games only drew 16,000 participants last year. Serious reflection on anything with spiritual substance is simply not a requirement in order to make God your “homey.”

I have no doubt that Mr.Baldwin has some good intentions hidden somewhere within all of his cheerleading for Jesus, but I wish he would simply stick to acting in some low-budget, well-crafted movies like the upcoming “Midnight Clear” where Jesus is revealed in a more authentic way.

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