Full text and audio of The Chosen actor Jonathan Roumie’s speech at March for Life 2023 on January 20, 2023.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Jonathan Roumie – Actor
That was for everybody who couldn’t get a photo when I was here in the front, so I’m going to post that… now consider that a selfie, tag yourselves go nuts.
You’re ready to strap in for a minute here? I may go over, so hopefully you’ll bear with me. Give me some grace.
Well, let’s get to it.
God is real! How do I know this? Yeah… I’m not Him. I’m not the real Jesus. Let’s just get that out of the way… TV Jesus… real Jesus… TV Jesus…
God is real and He is completely in love with each and every one of you.
How do I know this? Is it simply because my faith is the lens through which I view the whole of my reality? No.
Is it because of the miracles that I have experienced in my own life and seen with my own eyes for which my faith has been the catalyst? Again, no.
God is real and He is completely in love with you, because you are all here today. History has been made; life has triumphed in an extraordinary way, and the Light of the world who is Jesus Christ, the Author of life. His light has burned so very brightly within each and every one of you irrespective of your specific beliefs, compelling you forward for one reason or another to stand together today and fight the noblest and worthiest cause possible, which is to allow the unborn the right to enter into the world and defeat those earthly forces that wish to destroy the very evidence of them.
You have chosen to journey to our nation’s capital today not only to mourn the 64 million children lost through abortion over the last 50 years, but to champion those yet to be born on the road to their own birth, made in the image of the Creator Himself and to testify to the miraculous sanctity of life itself as expressed in the divine poetry of Psalm 139: “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance. In Your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Having lived under a grim cloud of darkness for the last 50 years, the world has once again been given a glimmer of hope and I pray that with this recent step in protecting life, despite the grievous nature of what we’ve allowed, that God might still look upon us in His infinite mercy and see the hearts of those of us here in support of life today and say to us in this hour: ‘It is good’.
And It is good, but it is far from finished.
Newton’s law of motion says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This also applies to the spiritual realm. Having played the Son of God for the last three seasons on a television show, you may have heard of called The Chosen, I’ve spent a lot of time dwelling in the realm of spirit through prayer meditation and the sacraments of my faith, let me tell you: it changes you from the inside out and that’s a good thing.
But it can be scary because you see — you begin to see the truth manifest itself in all areas of your life like a veil that has been lifted and you can’t unsee what you have seen. God begins to give you glimpses of more of everything, inviting you to journey to go deeper with Him.
But just as God is real, Satan is also real. And I’m not talking about the simplistic cartoon of some dude with horns and a tail. I’m talking about the father of lies, the great deceiver, the diabolical slanderer who pushes you to doubt when you know in your heart the right thing to do. And he is not about to give up this fight either. In fact, he’s doubling down because guess what… his time is limited.
So he’s throwing everything that he has at the world and all of us in it and countless are being deceived as a result. But that’s his job; he wants your and my destruction. He wants us to believe that abortion does not harm us individually and as a society, so please I beg of you: pray for those who do not have the faith, the strength, the clarity of purpose that you here do.
People ask me: how do you try to emulate Jesus in your own life when playing Him?
Well, loving my enemies, praying for those who persecute me, and those who may protest me is the first place that I have to start. But remember my dear friends, we know how the story ends: God won. He won, and Christ reminds us that He is with us until the end of the age.
And that said we need to take a quick glance into the mirror of culture which communicates a few concerns about where we are as a society that I’d like to propose a couple of thoughts about for your consideration if I may.
I want to speak particularly to those of you here that identify with Gen Z and even Gen Alpha. Keep it up for Gen Z and Gen Alpha! You are in your formative years and at a moment in time when you have the power to change culture by impacting the culture through the raising of your powerful voices and voting with your conscience and your resources.
For some time now, we have been witnesses to a mounting polarity between light and dark. We’ve seen it manifest itself in many facets of culture. But I would like to address it as I see it as an artist in the entertainment industry.
In the last several years, there’s been a sharp and disturbing increase in the darkness of the imagery being used in film, television and music. The landscape has become increasingly sinister, and in some cases, even demonic in tone more so than in previous years, sometimes subliminal, oftentimes overt.
Storylines involving the occult, witchcraft, demons and even satanic elements are commonplace in mainstream programming; many feature spiritually and psychologically disturbing content.
And before you jump on me… no, I’m not specifically referencing a certain bespectacled wizard, though a few folks might disagree, but I’m referring to the media which is even more ominous. And I don’t need to name names. You know it when you see it.
The youngest of us, and the most vulnerable as well as those who are not grounded in a solid faith in God are susceptible to the influences of these images. Media has become a portal to behavior and attitudes kids want to emulate that reject God, reject the light, and reject ultimately all those aspects of community which give life.
I have observed God subtly but radically being removed from popular culture over the last couple of decades, replaced with some of the most corruptive images and ideologies for young hearts and minds. And any of us who profess any kind of faith are branded as fundamental or condemned for their beliefs with the assertions of the religiosity of a Pharisee.
This is completely contrary to what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and follow His teachings. If only the rest of the world actually took the time to explore what it means to follow Jesus’s heart. Yes, there are always individual exceptions unfortunately, but for the majority of believers God is love and true love gives way to life, not death.
They say we live in a post-Christian society. I reject that. You can reject that. Change the culture by impacting the culture. Embrace that which is bigger than you — He who gave you abundant life and He who has called you by name; do not be afraid. Mute the noise of the popular and embrace the counterculture of Christ’s love, and the message He offers you: The road is wide which leads to destruction and many will enter it. So enter through the narrow gate, my dear friends, for therein lies the kingdom of heaven.
Social media sites rife with images of hypersexuality, predominantly young women who are — some of them who are major influencers give the youngest of our digitally consuming generation the impression that that is how you’re supposed to look, that this is how you’re supposed to think and feel and act, to get what you want, to get who you want, to be what you’re supposed to be, as if some fantasy of aesthetic perfection is the road to happiness. It is not!
Your imperfections were perfectly designed by God in heaven, as if by objectifying yourself you will somehow be empowered… that is an empty lie of the enemy.
The only way to empower yourself is to believe in the greatness of who you are: flaws and all, the gifts you bring into this world that God freely gave you, the uniqueness of your precious life and to share them with one another. That is your legacy. That is your power; that is who you are meant to be, and that is how you will change the world.
Do not let mainstream media’s shallow depictions of sexuality and sexual irresponsibility deceive you into thinking that such an approach to love and relationships is without consequences; it isn’t. And this is part of the systemic issue that brings us here today.
I know how difficult it can be to think differently, to swim against the current, to choose life in a culture that celebrates death.
You know standing here saying these things to you now is neither the obvious career choice nor an easy decision for me, because I’ve never set foot in this arena before publicly.
But ultimately I had no choice. This guy made me do it. And I’m a better man for it.
A few years ago, I made a commitment to follow the promptings of the Spirit and I stand by and it’s why I’m here today. So I’ll leave you with a few final thoughts.
We are under an assault on our sense of virtue. We’re enduring an affront to the innate holiness we are all imbued with, and called to, and an attack on the family structure and the sacredness of the gift of life.
But as ones created in the image and likeness of God who is Himself love, we are charged to be the standard bearers who defend and preserve the dignity of every human, but especially the most vulnerable which begins with the initial stages of life and continues throughout the entire cycle from conception through that phase we all aim to enter into our golden years, followed by the final stages of our earthly existence.
Nannies and pop-pops, every one of us if we are called to it, how can you make a difference?
Number one, pray the rosary. St. Padre Pio said the greatest weapon against the devil we have is the rosary. Try it! See for yourself. I don’t need to sell it. God doesn’t need me to sell anything.
Secondly, examine and expose the areas of darkness in your world, in your community, in your immediate society that need your light and bring it everywhere you go. Change the culture by impacting the culture. Raise your voice; vote with your resources – financial, spiritual, and temporal.
My commitment to impacting the culture as an artist is to pray. I get to continue participating in telling stories like The Chosen and my upcoming film Jesus Revolution that shine a light on the struggles and successes of the human condition, stories that uphold human dignity and reveal God’s truth, an infinite love for His people, despite our inherent flaws, and we are also very beautifully flawed, perhaps myself most of all.
But we are not alone. He has lived as one of us and that brings us into communion with Him. By honoring the life that God gave you, by bringing your gifts to the world with love and compassion, you will be creating an environment of holiness which the most impressionable in our society will draw their examples from, and to help rewire the attitudes of society’s collective consciousness, steering it back towards the preservation and value of life, restoring respect for faith, and true religious tolerance, and healing some of our beloved nation’s wounds in the process, while hopefully planting us more deeply within God’s grace.
It’s been an honor to be with you here. Thank you for inviting me. God bless you.
For Further Reading:
- Mindset Is More Important Than Strategy: Preston Pugmire (Transcript)
- How I Visualised My Dreams Into Reality: Maria Rahajeng (Transcript)
- The Power of Unconventional Thinking: David McWilliams (Transcript)
- What I’ve Learned From My 3 Trillion Closest Friends: Robin Shields-Cutler (Transcript)
- Think Like a 4 Year Old, The Cure to Writer’s Block: Austin Martino (Transcript)