OK, sorry, but WTF is Chris Pratt talking about?!
The Jurassic World star is doing promo for his new Amazon Prime Video series The Terminal List, as well as the highly anticipated next Marvel Studios installment, Thor: Love And Thunder. But his press tour has now given us a plot twist no movie or TV show could match.
Chris Pratt, the most overtly Christian movie star we can think of — you know, barring “stars” like Kirk Cameron who make their own faith-based movies, we mean real movie stars — now says he’s “not a religious person.”
Yes, in a new interview with Men’s Health, he finally clarified his churchgoing habits, and it’s just shock after shock. As you may recall, a couple years back he became affiliated with Hillsong — a celeb-filled Christian church that gained infamy for its anti-LGBT leanings and endorsement of dangerous conversion therapy (and then a LOT of sex scandals). Chris was singled out, particularly by Elliot Page, as belonging to the harmful church.
While unabashed Hillsong devotee Justin Bieber led an A-lister exodus from the church and seemingly got forgiven by the masses, Chris did not announce he was leaving and has taken a bashing as a homophobe for the past couple years. However, he now says, he couldn’t leave Hillsong — because he never went there in the first place!
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church.”
WHAT?! Why didn’t he say that in the first place?! Chris says he didn’t want to “throw a church under the bus” by agreeing they were bad and distancing himself from them. Instead he released a statement talking about his unnamed church (which everyone assumed to be Hillsong), writing:
“Despite what the Bible says about divorce my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk.”
He added that he’d personally seen the church offer “love and support” to members “regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.” Folks didn’t buy it at the time. But he was talking about some other church!
Specifically, Chris revealed he usually attends the Zoe Church (another church that the Biebs goes to, apparently, which might have led to the confusion that Pratt went to Hillsong?). Unfortunately, that church too was founded by someone who seems to be anti-LGBT; Pastor Chad Veach executive produced a film in 2017 called The Heart Of Man about “sexual brokenness” — that includes infidelity, porn addiction, and yes, same sex attraction. Sigh. Heck, maybe THAT was the church Page was talking about in the first place!
Chris added that he sometimes goes to a Catholic church wife Katherine Schwarzenegger has been attending since she was a kid. However — and this is the really mind-boggling quote — he says church isn’t that big a thing to him! He told Men’s Health:
“I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”
Sorry, this is Chris Pratt we’re talking about here. His religiosity has been all too well-documented. Just look at his Instagram feed!
Oh, and remember when he went on that Daniel Fast? The 21-day crash diet inspired by the Bible? He revealed on social media all about doing it — and told Stephen Colbert he participated in that through his church! We’re talking about a man who erected a cross one Easter and shared the experience on social media.
How can this man say he’s not religious?! The MH interviewer asked about his MTV Movie & TV Awards speech in which he told the crowd of young people, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” What about that? The 43-year-old admits:
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody.”
He even says he understands why seeming overtly religious would bother people, noting that “religion has been oppressive as f**k for a long time.” Hear, hear! But Chris doesn’t think his obviously strong faith doesn’t necessarily make him “religious,” explaining:
“I think there’s a distinction between being religious — adhering to the customs created by man, oftentimes appropriating the awe reserved for who I believe is a very real God — and using it to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is. The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride.”
That’s a really valid way to look at things. After all, it’s not the belief that inherently causes so much harm but the structure used to dominate people through their beliefs. But isn’t that what he’s become the face of? By building a cross, wasn’t he literally erecting a symbol of the oppression? The cross is iconography of the church as a man-made structure and not whatever personal spirituality he’s trying to say he’s more about.
Not to mention it sounds like whatever spiritual journey he’s on he’s very much still going to church regularly. He can barely even go an interview without mentioning it! While speaking on the Pop Culture Spotlight With Jessica Shaw podcast, he shared another bombshell — he doesn’t like being called Chris! He confirmed:
“Yep. Pratt. CP. You know, CP. ‘Hey, CP.’ But no one calls me Chris. My friend, Chad. I went golfing with my friend, Chad, my pastor the other day and he was like, ‘No one calls you Chris? I’m gonna call you Chris. Alright, Chris. You’re up.’ And I was like, ‘No, it feels weird. It’s not my name. Don’t call me Chris.’”
Moving right past the part where no one calls him “Chris”… Note he mentions his friend and pastor Chad. Yeah, that guy. He’s hanging with the anti-LGBT “cool pastor” guy. So yes, if CP successfully made the distinction between personal faith and oppressive structures of “religion,” well, it seems like he’s still very much in that religious camp, whether he likes how it makes him look on social media or not.
[Image via The Late Late Show/YouTube/Chris Pratt/Instagram.]