We blogged earlier about Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas becoming a Christian. Now he tells his story in a book, which Anthony Sacramone reviews. From A Strange Review: ‘Crossbearer’ by Joe Eszterhas « Strange Herring
You know Joe Eszterhas. Well you know his films — or at the very least know of them: Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, Showgirls.
Yeah, that guy. Well after years and years of abusing his body with booze and smokes, he was found to have throat cancer — then found himself on the jagged, ragged edge himself. Know what he did? He cried out to God.
And got saved. Yep. Saved. His word. And in Crossbearer (St. Martin’s Press), he offers his confession, of a life of sex, drugs, rock n roll, crime, booze, and enough nicotine to put a neat little hole in his windpipe.
He tells of the years he and his Catholic Hungarian family spent as refugees fleeing the Nazis, about growing up in Cleveland, about his work as a journalist and some of the psychological tricks he’d play on the families of crime victims to arrange just the right photo op. How he used to roll the drunken homeless. How he used women. How he bullied his way through Hollywood and managed $3 million pay days. How he was basically just the kind of self-absorbed fundament you would expect a screenwriter of sex-and-violence melodramas to be.
And then he got saved. On a curb, in tears. Fearing for his life. Fearing he couldn’t kick his smoking and drinking addictions. Fearing his throat cancer would keep him from raising his kids. growing old with his wife, Naomi.
And then … for the first time since I was a boy … I opened my heart to God on that curb … and instead of turning His back on me, instead of saying, “Come on! Give me a break! Not you!” God entered my heart. And God saved me—from darkness. From death itself. God saved me … from me.
And so he went back to the Catholic Church, the church of his youth. He became a cross bearer, the layperson who carries the large wooden cross in procession at the opening of the liturgy — Rolling Stones T-shirt and all. . . .
Along the way the writer delivers his views on priestly celibacy, gay marriage, and various and sundry other social and political issues that put him closer to Michael Moore than Mel Gibson (although he is decidedly anti-abortion, except in the case of rape). But as far as the person of Jesus goes, his theology is catechism-worthy. He loves Christ, wants to be Christ in the world, wants to raise his four sons in Christ. He prays earnestly and frequently and received concrete answers to prayers. And he wants a chance to shout to his friends, enemies, colleagues, that Christ saved him and that Hollywood needs some serious reform.