According to this article at Salon.com, yes. You know Stephen Baldwin, the dumbest and least successful of the Baldwin brothers (though I did like him in The Usual Suspects). He’s now an evangelist and you’ve got to see him perform (and yes, that is exactly what evangelism is, a performance). And now, presidential advisor:
These days, Baldwin not only has the ear of young boys who cleave to his fundamentalist reading of the Bible, and whatever skein of celebrity still clings to his Jesus T-shirts. He has been named a cultural advisor to President Bush, a formidable follow-up to his invitation to speak at the Republican National Convention, where he announced proudly from the podium, “I’m here because of my faith.”
No Stephen, you were there for your shrinking but apparently still existing celebrity cache`. And he has a new book out, with some seriously funny stuff in it:
Now Baldwin has released a memoir, “The Unusual Suspect,” a reference to the one critically acclaimed film for which he’s known. The book, the “Gospel according to Stevie B.,” is part testimonial and part evangelical manifesto, a cocktail of anti-intellectualism and a biblical interpretation that would have Jesus spinning in his grave, had he stayed there. Baldwin preaches that free will is a lie of Satan — we must shut off our brains, he says, and be led by what God tells our hearts. Furthermore, he writes, efforts to end global poverty and violence are just the sort of “stupid arrogance” that incur God’s wrath, which we’ll be feeling any day now in the coming apocalypse. I suppose when the star of “Bio-Dome” is advising the president and converting kids by the thousands to his gnarly brand of faith, the end is, indeed, nigh.
The Unusual Suspect” features an open letter to Bono, lambasting him for lobbying for debt relief for developing countries instead of preaching the gospel on MTV. Bono must be in league with Satan, whom Baldwin spends a lot of time thinking about. “I am smart enough to know that Satan is alive and well today,” he writes. “Satan has all kinds of power, and he is able to control the minds of anyone whose mind isn’t controlled by God.” Baldwin’s theology — and criticism of secularists and Christian poseurs like Bono — is written with remarkable confidence for someone who can only recite six of the Ten Commandments and four of the Twelve Apostles.
The link there is to an interview that shows you just how vapid this guy is. I mean, he’s blank as a fart. When asked if he can name the seven deadly sins he replies, “Dude, I’m totally clueless.” Yeah. We knew that. Then there’s this exchange:
Radar: We did a little homework. Which deadly sin have you been most guilty of in your life?
SB: Wow. What’s sloth?
Radar: Total laziness.
SB: Hold on, I have a dictionary right here. I carry one because now I’m getting into ministry and I gotta know what I’m talking about. So let’s look it up and be little Poindexters. Here it is: Slow-moving nocturnal mammal. Dude, that’s it.
I don’t think the dictionary is gonna help. I like this part:
After his rebirth, Baldwin saw everything in a new light, including his career. His “Usual Suspect” costars were speeding toward Oscar-anointed careers. But God had bigger plans for Baldwin, like starring in “Bio-Dome” with Pauly Shore. The stoner comedy offered Baldwin the chance to utter sacred lines like, “When we’re not saving the environment, we’re thinkin’ of you, naked, thigh deep in tofu.”
“God wanted me to make it,” Baldwin writes. “One of the reasons kids will listen to me today is because they recognize me from the movies. But not just any movie. One movie: ‘Bio-Dome.'” God had also instructed Baldwin to play Barney Rubble in “Viva Rock Vegas,” and told him to turn down the part of Jennifer Garner’s love interest in “Alias.” The deity apparently makes a lousy manager.
Man, if your goal in life is to convince fans of Biodome of anything, you need to aim higher. And I love his sales pitch:
Baldwin — a slightly different figure than the one you may remember from his slimmer, blonder days — jogged out onstage, his Jesus T-shirt billowing, his hair slicked across his scalp and down the back of his thick neck. “Yeah, yeah!” he yelled over the music. “There’s a new Jesus in town, and that’s what he sounds like! Are you ready to get gnarly?”