Actor Matthew McConaughey thanked God during his acceptance speech at the Oscars for best actor last week on ABC. He won the award for Best Actor in the movie "Dallas Buyers Club".
The native Texan said during his speech, "First off, I want to thank God because that's who I look up to. He's graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand."
McConaughey, 44, was one of the few actors to acknowledge God during the ceremony. The standard line is to thank managers, agents, colleagues, directors, parents, significant others and maybe a fourth grade teacher. But a reference to God set off a firestorm of reactions in the modern world of Twitter.
Tweets condemning McConaughey for bringing God into the glitzy Hollywood soiree soared throughout cyberspace for days following the Academy Awards last Sunday evening. One often-quoted tweet even cursed the Uvalde, Texas native for his audacity. Another tweet criticized the actor for not allowing him to watch the Oscars without having to hear God mentioned.
Was McConaughey's thank you an off the cuff remark or was it based on his beliefs?
Delving into his background, one can see he was raised in a Methodist home in Longview, Texas, according to an article in the Christian Post. His father played for the Green Bay Packers before owning a filling station. His parents named him after Matthew, who wrote the gospel in the New Testament. He has refused to shorten his first name to "Matt" out of respect for his namesake.
He is married to Camila Alves, a Brazilian model. She was raised a Catholic. Because of her church affiliation, they were married in a Catholic ceremony.
Marty Duren, a blogger to the Christian Post from Tennessee referred to a picture of Matthew McConaughey reading "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel while working out in 2007. Strobel, a journalist, started writing the book as an atheist, and concluded it as a believer. Strobel is a professor at Houston Baptist University.
Jonathan Witt has written that McConaughey and his wife have been seen in church together near their home in Austin as well as at the Cannes Film Festival while on vacation.
Matthew was not interested in joining his father's oil supply business and left Longview after graduating from high school to attend the University of Texas in the hopes of becoming a lawyer. Possibly his interests in that direction led to his outstanding portrayals of lawyers in the movies "A Time To Kill" and "The Lincoln Lawyer."
Bob Estrada, Wichita Falls attorney, said McConaughey's portrayal of lawyers in his movies was extraordinary. Estrada said, "He acts the way lawyers really act."
For his role in "The Dallas Buyers Club", Matthew lost 30 pounds to portray Dallas AIDS victim Ron Woodroof who is informed by a doctor he has only 30 days to live. When doctors refuse to give him AZT to fight the disease, he journeys to Mexico where he procures other drugs which actually prolong his life beyond what the doctor had predicted.
While some people may not have liked "hearing about God" during the Oscars it is still Matthew McConaughey's right in America today to express his thanks and belief in God when accepting the highest award for an actor at the Oscars. Many people said they were happy and got a blessing from hearing such a statement from such a successful man in today's Hollywood scene.
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