Matthew McConaughey has Matthew 6:22 engraved on his wedding ring.
The verse serves as a constant reminder that, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, you whole body will be full of light.”
Now the Oscar winner is calling out Hollywood for being hypocritical when it comes to religion — and he’s not pulling any punches.
Matthew McConaughey made headlines and created a stir in Hollywood in 2014 when he won Best Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club.
During his acceptance speech, McConaughey said that God “has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand.”
“He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates,” he said. “In the words of the late [British actor] Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you.’”
McConaughey, 50, is a rare Hollywood megastar who is open about his faith in an industry where it is generally considered taboo to be a Christian.
In an interview with popular podcast host Joe Rogan, McConaughey said he has seen other actors become nervous when he openly discusses his faith.
“I have had moments where I was on stage receiving an award in front of my peers in Hollywood, and there were people in the crowd that I have prayed with before dinners many times,” he said.
“When I thank God, I saw some of those people go to clap, but then notice that, ‘This could be a bad thing on my resume,’ and then [they] sit back on their hands.”
“I’ve seen people read the room and go, ‘That wouldn’t bode well for me in the future for getting a job or getting votes or what have you.’ I have seen that, I have witnessed that. I don’t judge them for it.”
As Hollywood has become increasingly liberal and fully immersed in national politics, McConaughey said celebrities in the movie and TV industry have moved so far left that many have become “illiberal.”
He called out Hollywood celebrities for using social media to participate in “cancel culture,” the growing trend of trying to verbally assault, shame, and demonize people for conflicting political and religious views.
“We’re making people persona non grata because of something they do that is right now deemed wrong or it’s the hot point in a hot topic right now,” he told Rogan.
“You can’t erase someone’s entire existence. Where the heck does some forgiveness go?”
Many Hollywood celebrities have become “condescending and patronizing to 50 percent of the world that need the empathy that the liberal side gives and should give.”
“To illegitimize someone because they say they are a believer is just so arrogant, and in some ways, hypocritical to me.”
McConaughey has often expressed his faith in media interviews. His interview with The Joe Rogan Experience attracted widespread attention in both religious circles and the mainstream media.
He told Rogan that his expressions of faith have not hindered his acting career.
“I have pretty much gone my own path … and figured a way out to what I was doing,” he said. “I haven’t noticed where it has gotten in my way of what I wanted to achieve in Hollywood.”
The Hollywood star, who lives in Austin, Texas, said “there are a lot of great truths” in the Bible that help him in his daily life and career.
“I know what to do with love your neighbor like yourself. I know what to do with Matthew 6:22, ‘If the eye be clear the whole body will be full of light.”
“… I do know what to do with some Proverbs that I can take into daily practice and say I felt my life, I felt improvement, I felt success in my relationships and … my career by following that, by treating others like I wanted to be treated.”
Though he admitted he does not know how to comprehend many of the miracles and supernatural moments in the Bible, he said, “I take the practical stuff and try to utilize it.”
“… There are philosophies and Proverbs and teachings that are very valid and very helpful that we could all be reminded of that I do find very useful.”
McConaughey married long-time girlfriend Camila Alves in 2012 and the couple have three children. He attributes his successful marriage to their faith.
He told GQ magazine in 2017 that the couple decided to get married after much spiritual reflection.
“We did a lot of reading and talked to a lot of people that had been divorced, a lot of people that had been happily married. We talked to our pastor.”
“I had to get to the point where I saw [getting married] as more than just the thing to do,” he said.
“I wanted to really want to.”
“In the end, our understanding was, ‘Let’s go make a covenant, with you, me, and God.’”
McConaughey and his family attend a non-denominational church in Texas that he says is “based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins, but many different denominations come in.”
“As soon as we had children, I was like, ‘You know what? That was important to my childhood.’”
“Even if it was just for the ritual of giving an hour and a half on Sunday to yourself, to pray and to think about others, even if you’re tired or whatever.”
“I noticed how much I missed it and needed it. It’s a time for me to take inventory of my last week, to look at what’s in the future and say my thank-yous and think about what I can work on to do better.”
In his GQ interview, McConaughey described God as “the prime moovah, “the waave maker,” and “somebody who can help answer my questions.”
“Someone who has a hand in all of this miracle we call life, which I believe is a miracle.”
McConaughey also told Rogan that he does not believe science and religion are incompatible.
“Science is the practical pursuit of God,” he said. “The two are not exclusive.”
“They dance together; they go together, belief and science. I never saw those as contradictions.”