Is The Last of Us Anti-Christian? A Response to Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson Calls The Last of Us Anti-Christian, Sparks Debate

In the television comedy series The Office, Dwight Schrute, Assistant (to the) Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton Branch once said, “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ And if they would, I do not do that thing.” Unfortunately, it appears that actor Rainn Wilson did not heed the advice of the beloved character he portrayed on The Office based on his recent social media activity. In a tweet blasting Hollywood and the hit new TV series the Last of Us, the thrice Emmy-nominated Wilson wrote:

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“I do think there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood. As soon as the David character in ‘The Last of Us’ started reading from the Bible I knew that he was going to be a horrific villain. Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?”

The post went viral, generating 52.5 thousand likes as of this writing, and was promoted by outlets like Fox News, while sparking vociferous Twitter debate between the actor’s supporters and detractors. Wilson would proceed to add some clarifying tweets, as well as disavow Fox News, but ultimately the crux of his argument still remains intact.

As a big fan of both The Last of Us and Rainn Wilson, I strongly disagree with the actor’s claims that this excellent new show is somehow bigoted against Christians. So here I am, adding my voice to this pointless cacophony (knowing full well that no one on either side will change their mind), but will demonstrate exactly why The Last of Us is not anti-Christian. However, in the spirit of fairness, at the end of the article I will also play Devil’s Advocate (or is it Jesus’s Advocate in this case?) for Wilson’s argument that The Last of Us is anti-Christian.

Why The Last of Us is NOT Anti-Christian

To reiterate, as a big fan of Rainn Wilson, I was very surprised that such a brilliant, talented actor would make such an asinine argument that The Last of Us is somehow biased against Christians because of David, the cannibal preacher. I have to wonder whether Mr. Wilson even watched the entirety of the series’ eighth episode, “When We Are in Need”, because David’s very words refute the actor’s argument.

Late in “When We Are in Need” David reveals his charlatanic nature, showing himself to be someone who uses Christianity as a means to control his followers, while his true underlying ideology is a Darwinist amalgamation of violence, power, and Cordyceps worship. When Ellie asks David why he is telling her his true motives, the preacher states:

“Because you can handle it, the way the others can’t. They need ‘God.’ They need ‘heaven.’ They need a father. You don’t, you’re beyond that. I’m a shepherd surrounded by sheep, and all I want is an equal, a friend.”

Could they have made it any more blatantly obvious that David is not a Christian? What more would he possibly have to say or do to clarify this? Burn a Bible? Pull out a pitchfork and sing “Highway to Hell?”

All joking aside, David mocks two of the core tenets of Christianity: God and Heaven. He even goes as far as to call his followers “sheep.” Based on this episode, you could make a case that The Last of Us is actually pro-Christian, as David’s followers are not evil, they are his victims. It is also revealed that the vast majority of David’s group aren’t even aware they are eating people, as the cannibal preacher says “there are only a few of us that know,” when he is confronted about the grim reality by Ellie. Maybe you can call the cannibalism in The Last of Us cliché, but it is certainly not anti-Christian.

Related: The Last of Us Episodes Ranked

Is Hollywood Anti-Christian?

Along his fallacious critique of The Last of Us, Mr. Wilson also claimed that Hollywood has anti-Christian bias (without providing any examples). Using Hitchens’ Razor, “that which can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence,” in my best Dwight Schrute impression, I simply say: “False.” Although I am not a Hollywood insider like Rainn Wilson, there are plentiful examples of positive Christian characters in recent Hollywood media, too numerous to name in this article (go look it up for yourself).

Also, according to Pew Research, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the United States’ adult population is Christian. Hollywood is home to many Christ-worshipping writers, artists, performers, producers, distributors, financiers, crew members, etc. who are not in the business of alienating two-thirds of the country. Does this mean that there aren’t certain satirical Hollywood projects that Christians might take offense to? No, there are definitely some (isolated) examples of that. However, to act like Hollywood is some cabal of unanimous anti-Christian bigotry begins to descend into tinfoil hat, QAnon-esque territory, (which to his credit, Rainn Wilson is vehemently against based on his progressive-leaning Twitter account).

Devil’s Advocate

For argument’s sake, let’s pretend that Rainn Wilson is right and The Last of Us has anti-Christian bias… So what? If you don’t like The Last of Us, just watch another show. It’s not the only program on TV. We live in a unique time with an overabundance of media tailored and targeted to specific audiences. There are dozens of streaming services with thousands of movies and television shows (new and old) that appeal to the vast array of American sensibilities.

Furthermore, artists should be allowed to critique the many ideas, values, philosophies, and belief systems found in religions. Just because those artists might satirize a religion or create an “evil” character of a particular faith does not necessarily mean that they are painting with a broad brush about every adherent. Even if David was an evil, devout Christian in The Last of Us, it does not make all Christians evil, nor does it make them cannibals. Although I must admit, growing up as a Christian, I did consume a hefty amount of “the body of Christ” and drank Jesus’ tasty blood many times in church. Maybe this David guy was onto something…

Related: Resident Evil Games Ranked by Critic Scores

Final Thoughts

The most ironic fact about Rainn Wilson’s comments is that he is not even a Christian, but is a member of the “Baháʼí Faith.” Admittedly, I was only vaguely familiar with this religion prior to writing this article, but after some research, the Baháʼí Faith seems to be centered around a message of unity for all people and religions, which is undoubtedly admirable. Even though Rainn Wilson may have been trying to defend Christians from perceived bigotry, it is increasingly apparent that he chose the wrong target in The Last of Us, a show which is very clearly not anti-Christian.

On a personal note, I’ve been a fan of Rainn Wilson for a long time, not only for his performance as Dwight Schrute in The Office, but in many other projects, such as his leading roles in The Rocker and James Gunn’s Super, as well as his smaller parts in films like Juno, Galaxy Quest, Almost Famous, and numerous others. Also, his “Comedy Bang Bang” TV episode guest appearance was one of my favorites in the entire series. For those reading this, who might be unfamiliar with the work of Rainn Wilson, I strongly encourage you to take some time and watch the incredible movies and TV performances he’s given fans through the years as a member of the same Hollywood he now deems “anti-Christian.”

Despite his bad tweet, I’m still a big fan of Rainn Wilson and consider him to be arguably the most underrated actor of all-time. He should not be “cancelled” for his opinion, nor should he be forced to apologize. However, I think it’s only fair that after my many box office contributions to his films and countless hours spent on Netflix watching The Office, Rainn Wilson deserves to hear the truth from a loyal fan: “Dwight you ignorant s***, The Last of Us is not anti-Christian.”

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Author
Grant Testa
Grant Testa is a writer at Prima Games, who specializes in achievement hunting and horror gaming. He is also an avid comic book reader/collector, fantasy footballer, and rock music fanatic. Thousands who have been defeated by Grant in online multiplayer games have cried to themselves, wondering, "How did he get so good?! Why can't I be a gaming demigod like him?" They would probably be surprised to learn that Grant actually inherited his elite gaming skills from his mom, Joann Hansen, one of the speediest stenographers/typists in the nation, (and probably the world). Fun fact: he is also the son of the world’s first “let’s player” and comedy legend, Tim Testa.