Anthony Hopkins Said Religion Helped Him Fight His Alcoholism

This year, we have heard numerous stories of people being taken down for terrible words or actions that they committed in the past. Activists scour Twitter timelines looking for offensive tweets, or scorned former lovers come forward with obscene stories about abuse. In some cases, one's history provides clear examples of a pattern of behavior that the offender has no remorse for, but in other instances, the bad behavior stemmed from immaturity or an inner battle with one's own demons. 

For the former, having their pasts drudged up and met with mob pitchforks can be satisfying for the victims and a much-needed punishment to the offenders. But for the latter who've tried to atone for their sins, what is the point of revisiting these dark places? 

In the case of Anthony Hopkins, talking openly about his years of alcohol addiction can inspire others to overcome their own problems and remind us all that in this age of internet outrage the concept of forgiveness should not be forgotten. 

Last week, Hopkins, now 80, spoke in Los Angeles at the 11th annual conference for LEAP, which is a nonprofit dedicated to helping young people lead successful lives. Hopkins said that when he was younger, working in the theater, he constantly drank; and he said that when working he was nearly always hungover. 

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Hopkins told the conference that in 1975 he was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and he was in a very dark place. He said that at this meeting his life changed when a woman asked him why he didn't trust in God. He said that once that notion was stuck in his head, he lost the desire to drink. 

"I believe that we are capable of so much," Hopkins said to the students gathered at LEAP. "From my own life, I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that. We can talk ourselves into death or we can talk ourselves into the best life we've ever lived. None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny."

Some people are unaware that Alcoholics Anonymous was actually founded based on Christian principles, although it is not a religious organization. But the general idea that one can find peace and conquer their addictions by letting go of control and submitting oneself to a higher power has helped thousands of people in AA. Wanting to live a happier life is one of the most important steps to achieving it, but having faith is the extra component needed to unlock this life puzzle.

I really commend Hopkins for sharing his faith publicly. There was a joke in the recent season of Silicone Valley that said it was easier to live an alternative sexual lifestyle in the tech industry than it was to be a Christian; and in Hollywood, it's no different. 

But my hope is that those in Los Angeles and beyond will one day embrace religion like Hopkins did and that they will ignore the hatred spewed by certain "religious groups" that completely miss the mark regarding the teachings of Christ.