Actor Chris Pratt is turning heads with recent comments he made about religion and public perception, proclaiming in a new Men’s Health interview, “I’m not a religious person.”
He speculated that some of the anti-religious animosity he has struggled with emerged after a 2018 speech at the MTV Movie & TV Awards during which he openly discussed God and encouraged young people to cling to Him.
“God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you,” Pratt said during his speech while accepting the Generation Award. “Believe that; I do.”
The actor reflected on that moment in his interview with Men’s Health, wondering if he actually touched anyone. He also reportedly now understands why people responded so negatively.
“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 said. “Religion has been oppressive as [expletive] for a long time.”
Pratt continued, “I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.” “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,” Pratt told Men’s Health. “The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed (grabbed) onto the back of religion and come along for the ride.”
It should be noted Pratt has often discussed his faith, telling Esquire in 2014 about how he first encountered Jesus. Here’s what he said at the time:
“In Maui, about four weeks before I was discovered to go to California, I was hanging with my buddy. I wasn’t quite old enough to drink, so we got somebody to go in and buy us some alcohol. This guy came by and was like, ‘What are you doing tonight?’ I was like, ‘Oh, I dunno. I was just gonna wait out here, my friends are gonna buy me a bottle of Carlo Rossi and a sixer of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. So he’s like, ‘Will you fornicate tonight?’ I was like, ‘I hope so.’ ‘And drugs and drinking?’ It’s like, ‘Most likely, yeah. Probably all three of those things. I mean, at least two of them, possibly all three.’ He was like, ‘I stopped because Jesus told me to stop and talk to you. He said to tell you you’re destined for great things.’ My friends came out, and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go with this guy.’ I gave my soul to Jesus within, like, two days. I was stuffing envelopes for his organization, Jews for Jesus. I’m not even sure, at that age—I was nineteen years old—I knew what Jewish was.”
One of the more personal issues Pratt spoke on was claims from some critics he was somehow insulting his first wife, Anna Faris, last fall when he took to Instagram to compliment his new wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger.
For context, in November 2021, Pratt shared an Instagram photo of Schwarzenegger lovingly gazing at him and showered praise upon her in the text.
What most reasonable people would view as a comical, loving ode to his wife was dubbed by a Salon writer as a “bizarre early birthday post.” The writer went on to explain how “many viewed this as an ableist (fostering discrimination against disabled people) slight toward his first wife, actor Anna Faris, and the son they share, who was born premature and is disabled.”
These claims, which were bizarre at the time, have hurt Pratt. “I’m like, that is [expletive] up. My son’s gonna read that one day. He’s nine. And it’s etched in digital stone,” he told Men’s Health. “It really [expletive] bothered me, dude. I cried about it. I was like, I hate that these blessings in my life are — to the people close to me — a real burden.”
It appears from this and other interviews that Chris Pratt is struggling with giving up his life totally to God. “I’ve been broke-broke, dude,” he says. “And I think early on in my career it was so important to me. It’s like, Don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget who you are. And part of me is struggling with who I am maybe not being who I was.”
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:13-17
All of us struggle with the flesh but in this Scripture, Paul makes it clear that we need to be led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell a believer’s Spirit to be his counsellor, comforter, and teacher. Chris Pratt, like all of us, needs to be concerned that he does not grieve the Holy Spirit or quench His work in his life.