Chris Pratt has hit back at allegations that he is a member of an anti-LGBTQ+ church, saying he is “not a religious person”.
Pratt, who plays Star Lord in the MCU and has also landed starring roles in upcoming Mario and Garfield films, has been a controversial figure among some fans for some time. The biggest issue for many critics of Pratt is his supposed involvement with the Hillsong Church and the belief that he is anti-LGBTQ+ by association.
However, Pratt claims he has never attended Hillsong and does not know any members of that particular church.
“Religion has been oppressive as shit for a long time. I didn’t know I would become the face of religion when I’m not really a religious person,” Pratt explained in a recent interview with Men’s Health.
“I think there’s a distinction between being religious – adhering to man-made customs, often appropriating the fear reserved for what I believe to be a very real God – and using that to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is. The evil that is in the heart of every man has slipped on the back of religion and came with him.
Pratt added, “I’ve never been to Hillsong. I’ve never been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church.”
In 2019, actor Elliot Page called out Pratt after an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he was talking about religion.
“If you’re a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone just wonders why it’s not being addressed. Being anti-LGBTQ is a mistake, it There are no two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Period.
Pratt replied at the time: “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church that ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘sadly anti-LGBTQ’. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a man who believes that everyone has the right to love whoever they want without the judgment of their neighbor.”
Although neither Page nor Pratt mentioned his church by name, it was heard (and later confirmed to Men’s Health) that Pratt attends Zoe’s church. Although Zoe Church herself has remained fairly quiet on LGBTQ+ issues, reports suggest she has ties to Hillsong.
Speaking to Men’s Health to explain why it’s taken him so long to clarify which church he also belongs to, he said: “I’m gonna, like, throw a church under the bus? If it’s like the Baptist church from Westboro, it’s different.”