Culture Clips: Stars & Spirituality

What does it take to break an addiction? Singer, actress and former Disney star Demi Lovato recently shared some thoughts on that subject on her Instagram account. Among other factors, she said that her relationship with God played an integral part in the process of breaking bad behavioral chains.

Lovato wrote, “So grateful. It’s been quite the journey. So many ups and downs. So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I’m so proud of myself but I couldn’t have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me. Feeling humbled and joyful today. Thank you guys for sticking by my side and believing in me.”

Lovato’s Instagram page currently features a “Twelve Steps” infographic noting that she’s been sober for five years now.

Commenting on Lovato’s candor, Relevant writer Brandon Peach says that we can learn some significant things from the star’s vulnerability. He writes, “In being ‘honest, open and willing’ to discuss addiction, we allow conversations to take place that destigmatize the disease and promote support rather than encouraging the suffering to remain in the shadows.”

And though the entertainment industry is sometimes characterized as a “godless” place, several other celebrities have been talking about the role their faith plays in their lives, including director Martin Scorsese. In a separate interview with Relevant, the director of Silence, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Last Temptation of Christ and Raging Bull talked about his faith. Scorsese said, “Where do I go to find the meaning of existence and the meaning of life? For me, it’s Christianity. That’s the real saving grace of our world, of our species really. Truth is within the behavior of the daily life of yourself. I know it has to be there. That’s where we get to compassion and love.”

Scorsese, a devout Catholic, also said that he’s drawn to tell sometimes graphic and vulgar stories set in the midst of characters’ deep brokenness and tragic choices. Regarding the violent gangster film Goodfellas, for instance, he says, “You see the tragedy of the people destroyed by it all. People say, ‘Semi-gangsters, who cares?’ Gamblers, hookers … the tragedy, the depth of every single person matters.”

Elsewhere, critically acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar (whose songs often include graphic and explicit content) told The New York Times that his next effort will focus on God: “We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”

And Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson continues to be outspoken about her spiritual journey and what’s it’s looked like for her to grow in her faith and trust of God.

Meanwhile, another former Disney entertainer, Selena Gomez, recently talked with Vogue magazine about her weariness with fame and social media. Fox News excerpted that interview, in which Gomez said, “Look, I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but—how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me.”

She also added, “As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out. It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like s— when I look at Instagram.”

And it turns out Selena Gomez isn’t the only one who sometimes feels bad after a social media binge. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh report that just two hours of social media engagement a day can double young adults’ feelings of relational isolation.

Don’t expect social media giants to ease off on options for connecting with others, though, just because it might make some users feel bad. Facebook’s latest update, for instance, makes it easier for smartphone users to take pictures and edit them—features that reportedly mimic similar capabilities on rival Snapchat. Among new functions will be the ability for users to privately share an image with one other user, as opposed to making pics visible to all of one’s Facebook friends.

“Our goal here is to give people more to do on Facebook,” said Facebook product manager Connor Hayes, “and that’s really been the main inspiration.”

Finally this week, news about fake news is now increasingly showing up in fictional stories. Specifically, The Atlantic reports that the controversial issue has now become one of scripted television’s hottest subjects, turning up in shows such as Homeland, Quantico and The Good Fight.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

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