Lena Dunham attends The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast at Milk Studios on December 9, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Lena Dunham’s Weight Loss And the Idol of American Politics

On Monday, in an interview with Howard Stern, actress and prominent Hillary Clinton supporter Lena Dunham revealed that in response to Donald J. Trump’s win in the 2016 Presidential election she had lost weight.

“Donald Trump became president and I stopped being able to eat food,” Dunham said. “Everyone’s been asking like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Try soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness and you, too, will lose weight.’”

This is in stark contrast to her feelings following Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012. At that time Dunham tweeted, “woke up with a different set of emotions than the usual hunger & anxiety: pride in our country and hope for its future.”

Dunham’s weight loss admission comes a month after she told listeners of her “Women of the Hour” podcast that she regrets the fact that she has personally never had an abortion. In Dunham’s view this limited her ability to advocate for abortion rights and mitigate what she perceives is the stigma surrounding abortion. She was later pressed to apologize for the comment.

Taken together, these headlines provide an important glimpse into Dunham’s worldview (shared by the majority of liberal secular elites). Four years ago Dunham was elated with the U.S. presidential election results—she was proud and hopeful. Now, in the short span of four years, Dunham’s pride and hope has been replaced with “soul-crushing pain, devastation, and hopelessness.”

For the last eight years Dunham and liberal activists have mocked, criticized, and sought to marginalize Americans guided by religious convictions on issues like abortion and “same sex marriage.” But now, activists who championed the LGBT revolution—rigorously advocating for “same-sex marriage” and a plethora of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) protections—find themselves momentarily on the outside of political power. This has prompted an absolute temper tantrum on the left.

This response has been revealing. Despite years of insisting that religion and morality have no place in politics, President Trump’s election has demonstrated that the left in fact does have a worldview with guiding moral principles. Further, it is evident that many secular elites have attached near religious devotion to politics and political advocacy.

For Lena Dunham it is clear that politics is a means for achieving a level of fulfillment and meaning. What happens in the political arena is so important for Dunham that it effects her physical health: in 2012 she was proud and hopeful; in 2017 she is despondent to the point of not wanting to eat.

Christian theologian John Calvin once said that the human heart is a perpetual factory of idols. He said that if a person is not worshipping the triune God of the Bible, they will inevitably find something else to worship. Unfortunately, for Lena Dunham, it is clear that her idol is the unpredictable and transitory idol of American politics, something that will inevitably disappoint anyone who places their faith in it.

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David Closson

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