Chris Pratt Denied Ever Attending The Controversial Hillsong Church And Insisted That He's Actually “Not A Religious Person”
The actor faced intense criticism last November over comments about his and Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt’s “healthy” baby, which some felt was disrespectful to his son, Jack, who has had health issues since birth.
Chris Pratt is taking a moment to reflect on his controversies, starting with the backlash around his “healthy daughter” comments.
You might remember that in November last year, Chris sparked a huge uproar over an Instagram post that many fans interpreted as a dig at his ex-wife, Anna Faris, and their 9-year-old son, Jack.
For a bit of context, Chris shared a lengthy Instagram caption in which he praised his current wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, for birthing their “gorgeous healthy daughter.”
It wasn’t long before a ton of fans began accusing the actor of shading his older son, Jack, who, in case you didn’t know, was born nine weeks prematurely and had to undergo numerous surgeries after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage at birth.
Both Anna and Chris have spoken at length about Jack’s health, with Anna writing in her memoir that the ordeal actually brought them closer together as a couple before they eventually separated in 2017.
Jack — who will turn 10 in August — is happy and healthy according to his parents, and only faces slight vision and leg muscle issues. Despite this, fans still felt the wording of Chris’s tribute was insensitive toward both Anna and Jack.
Now, reflecting on the backlash during an interview for a cover story with Men’s Health, Chris spoke candidly about what fans had deemed to be “a dig at his ex-wife,” telling the publication that he felt the reaction was “fucked up.”
“I said something like, ‘Find someone who looks at you the way my wife looks at me.’ And then I gave her some shit in the thing and said, ‘But I love you. I’m so thankful for my wife — she gave me a beautiful, healthy daughter,’” he recalled.
“And then a bunch of articles came out and said, ‘That’s so cringeworthy. I can’t believe Chris Pratt would thank her for a healthy daughter when his first child was born premature. That’s such a dig at his ex-wife,’” he added.
Going into more detail, the Guardians of the Galaxy star said that his worries about the whole thing center around the prospect of Jack ever reading the backlash, which he said has been “etched in digital stone.”
“That is fucked up,” he said of people’s interpretations of the comment. “My son’s gonna read that one day. He’s nine.”
Chris said that he “cried” about the situation at the time, adding: “It really fucking bothered me, dude. … I was like, I hate that these blessings in my life are — to the people close to me — a real burden.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chris also commented on another controversial aspect of his personal life: his religion — or lack thereof, it now seems.
Before we get into it, it’s probably worth noting that in recent years, Chris has become somewhat of a poster boy for Christianity in Hollywood, often posting about God on social media, talking about his beliefs publicly, and pledging to “live boldly in faith” with Katherine when they married.
The religious association is also thought to have largely stemmed from an acceptance speech he gave at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, in which he told viewers: “God is real, God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that; I do.”
With that being said, he now seems keen to clarify the public’s perception of him, telling the magazine that he is in fact “not a religious person.”
Referring back to his memorable MTV speech, Chris said he understood why some people may not have loved it, admitting that “religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time.”
“For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he added, before expressing his confusion at how that speech came to define his status as one of Hollywood’s more religious representatives.
“I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person,” he clarified. “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.”
Chris was also asked about the controversies that came with his evangelical image — more specifically, reports that he attended the controversial Hillsong Church, which many other young Christians in Hollywood were attached to before it became entangled in accusations of misconduct and anti-LGBTQ practices.
The assumptions that Chris ever attended Hillsong may have stemmed from the fact that in 2019, actor Elliot Page publicly called him out for being part of an “infamously anti-LGBTQ” church.
After Chris appeared on The Late Show and spoke about his faith, Elliot tweeted: “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed,” Elliot added.
At the time, Chris vehemently denied being involved with any anti-LGBTQ groups, saying that Elliot’s claims could not be “further from the truth.”
Now, in an attempt to separate himself from these claims once again, Chris refuted all reports that he was ever involved with Hillsong.
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church,” he said, instead confirming that he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively.
Zoe Church, which was founded by Chris’s friend, pastor Chad Veach, is popular with the likes of Selena Gomez and Justin and Hailey Bieber — all of whom were also associated with Hillsong prior to its downfall.