Chris Pratt recently responded to criticism that he attends a church that promotes hate against the LGBTQ community. In a post on his Instagram story, the actor said,
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
Pratt describes how supportive and welcoming his church was to him after his divorce from actress Anna Faris. “They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.”
Pratt goes on to say that while his faith is important to him, it is his values that define him, not a particular church or group of people. His primary value is love. Referring to Jesus’ commandment that his followers are to love one another, Pratt writes, “This is what guides me in my life. He is a God of Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness. Hate has no place in my or this world.”
While Pratt’s post mainly emphasizes loving and supporting all people, he does appear to take the position that there is nothing wrong with being gay and acting on that identity: “I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”
It All Started on Colbert
Pratt’s comments come in response to a challenge on Twitter from actress Ellen Page, herself reacting to Pratt’s recent interview with Stephen Colbert. In the interview, Pratt mentioned his church several times, explaining how he recently did the Daniel Fast. When Colbert asked Pratt if, as a celebrity, he ever felt similar to Daniel in the lions’ den, Pratt said that he did, and went on to mention a quote that he’d heard in church that encouraged him.
Page, who is a lesbian and outspoken about LGBTQ rights, posted on Twitter saying, “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too? https://t.co/meg8m69FeF
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 8, 2019
Chris Pratt attends Zoe Church, a megachurch in Los Angeles that other high-profile celebrities, such as Justin and Hailey Bieber, have been known to attend.
It’s not clear why Page claimed that Zoe Church was “infamously anti lgbtq,” nor is it clear what the church’s exact position on LGBTQ issues is. Right now, critics mainly seem to be relying on comments Chad Veach, the church’s pastor, made to the New York Times that Zoe Church was modeled after Hillsong. Because Hillsong’s founder, Brian Houston, has stated that he is against gay marriage, perhaps Page is assuming that Zoe Church is as well.
Page herself had appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert only a week before Pratt did. During her interview, she described the pressures, misogyny and discrimination she has faced in the entertainment industry, both as a female and as someone wrestling with her sexual identity. When Colbert asked what she would say if she could talk to her younger self, Page responded that she would give her a hug and tell her that kind of behavior is not OK and that she’s not alone.
Page tweeted about Pratt’s interview a couple more times, saying it’s not surprising that someone would wonder why a famous actor would align himself with an institution that promotes hate.