August 23, 2011

The Truth About Stephen Baldwin

It Can’t Be Easy Being A Baldwin

Stephen Baldwin, the 44 year old Baldwin Brother, and reality television star, is a spokesman and advisor to the Faith and Family Values, Inc. family of companies. These companies include the Christian Values Network or CVN, CGBG, TFFVN, TJGN, etc.. The self-described “born-again” christian, is the youngest brother of the famed acting brothers, and holds some rather strong political views, as well as a belief that the Bible is inerrant - and that it is his duty to spread the word of God, and live by and for the word of God.

Carol and Alexander Baldwin had a large Irish Catholic family. The Baldwin’s were raised 35 miles east of Manhattan, on Long Island, in Massapequa, NY.Their 6 children Beth (1955), Alec (1958), Daniel (1960), Billy (1963), Jane (1965), and Stephen (1966), all graduated from Berner High School.

It’s impossible to read anything about Stephen Baldwin, without seeing a reference to his more famous and successful acting older brothers. Stephen was the youngest of 6. It had to be tough for Stephen growing up, and following his older siblings in school. I remember what my brother and sisters used to say about having to follow me, and it can place undue and unfair pressure on kids to compare them to a sibling.  I wonder if teachers still do that to kids, and say why can’t you be like your brother, or why aren’t you as smart as your sister. We all know intellectually that every student should be judged on their own merits, but life doesn’t always work out that way.

As I have researched the youngest Baldwin, I have a little more empathy for him. On the one hand I feel sorry for him, because I think that he probably has to work twice as hard to prove himself. And yet my sympathy cannot extend too far, because he’s so wrong, and works tirelessly to promote hate and intolerance.

Stephen Who?

The Faith and Family Values Inc. advisor and spokesman, Stephen Baldwin found God when he found sobriety. To his credit he has been clean and sober for over 22 years.

Like his best buddy Kevin McCullough, Stephen Baldwin’s statement’s and beliefs have been tirelessly chronicled.  If Stephen Baldwin was named Stephen Jones - he wouldn’t get the attention he does. TMZ wouldn’t be chronicling his every little gaffe, and he would be viewed as just another right-wing extremist. Because he uses the Baldwin name to promote his brand of politics and religion, his elder siblings have spoken out about the error in Stephen’s ways, and there is no doubt that Balwin lacks the talent and brains of his older brothers.

When Stephen was appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, Alec said on camera that "There's no one more full of crap than Stephen." I can’t help but agree.

In an interview with the Advocate, Alec was asked
"Are you aware of your brother Stephen’s recent rant against gay marriage on Howard Stern—after starring in Threesome, no less?

Well, in the modern political world, people like that -- whether or not I’m related to them -- only help us raise money. They want to ban gay marriage because those people are incapable of having a biological family—that’s their only argument—but what about a man and a woman who are infertile, or a man and a woman who choose not to procreate? You can ban gay marriage, but if you’re going to make it fair, then you have to ban marriage for everybody else who won’t produce children. But they never make it fair, and they just single out groups of people that they hate."
Brother Billy Baldwin spoke to Out magazine about his brother.
"My brother Stephen does not have a political bone in his body. He does not have any political experience or political education whatsoever. My father was a high school history and government teacher -- he was very sort of Kennedy-esque sitting around the dinner table. Stephen must have been smoking dope back then, because my brother Alec took it very seriously -- he went to university and studied political science and so did I. I interned on Capitol Hill, I worked on congressional staffs. But my brother Stephen becomes a Christian and the next thing you know he's stumping for Sam Brownback. And when Brownback got knocked out then he's stumping for Huckabee.

When I talked to him about Sam Brownback, I said, “Do you know his position on civil rights? Do you know it on human rights? Do you know it on gay rights? Do you know his position on global warming? Protecting and defending the environment? Do you know his position on public education?” He was in Iowa campaigning for Sam Brownback and he could not answer; he hadn't read one position paper. He hides behind the Word and whenever you confront him he'll hide behind some verse. He'll say, “All that really matters to me is that the Lord said blah blah blah blah” and he'll fill in the blank.

But I think my brother Stephen can no longer garner the type of attention that he once garnered as a performer. And I think that the only way he can get the sort of attention and to get that stroke to his ego is through, not his work as a Christian, but through his work as a political operative within the Christian political movement.

I think Stephen enjoys the juxtaposition of my brother Alec and me on one side and he on the other side and again the attention that might garner in the media that Baldwins are at war at the dinner table. I'm not saying he doesn't believe what he says. I just don't think that he fully understands. So I asked him, “Do you think a gay couple should be married? And if not, do you think they deserve access to the same rights on a federal level and state level that you do? And if you don't -- are they some lesser form? Why don't they deserve the same rights and privileges that you do?”
 [And he responds,] “Because God said and the Bible says that marriage is an institution that exists solely between a man and a woman blah blah blah,” and he falls behind that crap. And I said, “Well if you had a choice -- if you and your wife were to die and your kids were still young and you had a choice between your children being in foster care and potentially being physically and emotionally and sexually abused as opposed to being adopted by a loving, healthy, caring lesbian or gay couple, what would you rather have?” He couldn't really answer, and I said, “Thank God Dad isn't here on this earth right now, because he would be so devastated and so horrified.”
I don't love my brother any less, but I think he's very confused."

Crusader Against Porn

In a Lower Hudson blog post, Chris Serico in suburbarazzi wrote:

"Stephen Baldwin says he hearts Huckabee, rejects gay marriage and no longer photographs porn patrons.

Baldwin made the statements while calling into the Howard Stern show to promote his appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice,” hosted by Westchester real estate maven Donald Trump. Baldwin, who is the conservative yang to brother Alec’s liberal yin, said he’d ban gay marriage if he were president:
“I don’t believe that gay marriage is in line with God’s Word, which is found in the Bible. So, what I think doesn’t matter; what I believe is what’s in the Bible and the Bible says that gay marriage is not acceptable.”

Stephen Baldwin also told Stern he stopped taking photos of the license plates belonging to patrons of an adult entertainment store in Nyack. (“I’m done with that.”) Baldwin once threatened to track down the identities of the vehicle owners and publish the names in full-page newspaper ads.”

This statement about the Bible gives me pause, because the Bible says absolutely NOTHING about gay marriage. There isn’t one word. Does he really read the Bible? That’s a big LIE!

Big Brothers and Big Brother, Oh my!

In 2010 the youngest Baldwin appeared in the UK reality show, Celebrity Big Brother with fellow Yanks Ivana Trump, Heidi Fleiss, and Mark Andrews (Sisqó).

The Daily Mail reported that:
“Stephen Baldwin has asked to swap beds with another housemate because he fears ‘cougar’ Ivana Trump could try to sleep with him.

Cougar is a U.S. term used to refer to older women who hunt for younger men.

The married actor said he was concerned that the divorcee would ‘get lonely in the night’ and look to his neighbouring bed for company.

Fearing the worst, devout Christian Baldwin told Big Brother: 'There’s a disease in the US called sleep cougar syndrome'.”
Sleep cougar syndrome? Wow. Pretty pathetic.

In an interview with Christian Today they asked
"To celebrate 21 years of sobriety, Big Brother decided to treat you with a tarts and vicars themed party, clearly set up to rile you. What was really going through your mind that night?

Stephen: I think it kind of backfired on Big Brother because I didn’t get it. I thought, if they are poking fun at me, it’s some kind of custom that I don’t understand. There are times when my lack of intelligence plays to my advantage!"
British reporter Miranda Sawyer of the Observer, interviewed Stephen and wrote:

"Actually, Stephen – Stevie B, as he refers to himself – is convinced that he saw the devil while he was in Big Brother, working from within two of the housemates. (He won't tell me which, though I'd guess at mild Nicola T and dimbo Dane Bowers, both remarkably undemonic.) Whatever, the devil popped up and Stevie B spotted the ­little rascal.

"Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways," he says seriously. "For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no ­reason. That's not just an emotion. That's a demon."

Stephen tried to talk about this with other housemates, but they didn't seem that bothered that some of their members were possessed. So he consulted with God, and came to this conclusion: the Holy Spirit is allowing Stephen to see certain things… "BUT! If I mentioned it, it would destroy my credibility in the house. Satan would be using my knowledge that he exists against me! I can't reveal the truth! This," muses Stephen, "is gnarly warfare."

Opportunities kept coming: he did a tour of churches, hooked up with Kevin McCullough and started his radio show, wrote two books, set up an outreach service to help members of the US armed forces. Over the past few years, however, he says he's tried to calm down and listen to the Lord more – and this, weirdly, has led him to do a series of reality shows in the US, including I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, which he hated, and Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, which he enjoyed.

Stephen got £150,000 for the show. Which sounds a lot, but he went bankrupt last year, owing $824,488.36 in unpaid mortgage and an unspecified amount, believed to be over $2m, to the IRS: "I didn't plan for a rainy day. I didn't know the Jesus freak thing was on the horizon!" A casting director told him recently that he'd been put up for three different films, but each time, the director said no, specifically because Stephen can't keep quiet about his faith. Anyway, he tells me, he can't do the films he used to, because of the gratuitous violence, bad language and sex. If he were offered The Usual Suspects today – which is unlikely – he would have to say no.

Stephen is a remarkably likable man, I think.

But then, the day after, we speak again on the phone and I ask him what he'd do if one of his girls came out as a lesbian and the other became a stripper. "Jesus or no Jesus, if my kid started working in a strip club, I'd beat her ass," he hoots. "Now, the other question is interesting and culturally relevant. I have two or three very dear friends who are homosexual and they know I'm born again and we have an understanding that we're just not going there…"

I'm not surprised. For the next 20 minutes, we have an intense discussion – argument, really – during which Stephen reveals that he's all for gay men who, through their faith, reject their homosexuality and get married: "To turn away from that lifestyle is astonishing." Yes, Stephen, it is. And he's definitely not for gay marriage.

What about civil partnerships, I ask wearily.

"I believe that the family unit has fundamentally been the most positive thing for society and I don't believe that any minority has the right to create changes that impact on the majority. That's really the only issue for me."

And so Stephen and I part company, both feeling disappointed in each other. It's a shame, but it's one of those things. You can really like someone, but when you disagree so decisively on the way you should treat others, you can never really be friends. Honestly, what is it about American born-again Christians that makes them so intolerant? ­Whatever happened to loving thy ­neighbour?"
What is it about American born-again Christians that makes them so intolerant Miranda? I wish I knew the answer. Love thy neighbor indeed.