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"I read from the Bible every day..."
As TheBlaze recently highlighted, Republicans are a rarity in Hollywood, however they aren't the only underrepresented group in the entertainment industry. Christians, too, are an uncommon breed among Tinseltown's successful singers, actors and entertainers. But if one looks hard enough, he or she will be able to find unique performers who embrace Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.
Below, find 10 of the most fascinating actors, singers and comedians who call themselves Christians. Typically, an individual falling under this category has a strong stated belief that Jesus Christ is God's son and that he died the the sins of humanity. The following Hollywood elite fit this category:
Kristin Chenoweth is a popular actress and singer who's known for her humor and talent. In recent months, she sparked controversy after a television show she starred in, "Good Christian Belles" (GCB), was accused of being anti-Christian. Following its short run, the program was cancelled earlier this year.
Chenoweth has publicly made her Christian views known. "I'm a Christian, I think that's pretty well known, and I would never do anything that I think crossed the line," she said earlier this year of her participation in GCB.
The actress, while being openly Christian, has also sparked controversy among social conservatives for being a proponent of gay rights.
When it comes to pinpointing Chenoweth's polar opposite -- at least when it comes to same-sex marriage -- actor Kirk Cameron comes to mind. The outspoken evangelical, known for his starring role in "Growing Pains," now makes documentaries and stars in a plethora of faith-based films.
In contrast to Chenoweth, Cameron has found himself the focus of angst among gay activists, particularly after he voiced opposition to same-sex marriage earlier this year.
In the faith world, the actor is revered for his work in the family-friendly film industry. In March, Cameron told TheBlaze in detail about his transformation from atheism to Christianity years ago. “I can’t breathe without God,” he said of his current relationship with the Almighty.
Actress Jane Fonda is many things to many people. During Vietnam, she was an outspoken activist against the war (she was even nicknamed "Hanoi Jane"). To this day, many still harbor negative views as a result of her allegedly anti-American activities decades ago.
Fonda, who grew up an atheist, considers herself an outspoken feminist -- keeping in line with her penchant for activism.
On the faith front, the actress grew up an atheist, but now considers herself -- though not in the traditional sense -- a Christian. Take, for instance, some comments she gave in a 2005 interview with Beliefnet about her then-new-found faith:
"I think it has a spiritual element. I think feminism is about the spirit. I think feminism is another way of teaching what Jesus taught, that we are all full human beings with the right to have our humanity seen and respected. That is what feminism is, and that's what Jesus taught.
I just think that for too long-not in the beginning, not at all in the beginning; it was very faith-based in the beginning, the women's movement. It's become secular and I think that that's beginning to shift and I think it needs to shift."
While she has made it clear that she doesn't want to be associated with the more conservative themes that accompany born-again Christianity, her penchant for Jesus Christ -- at least from a historical sense -- is evident.
Brian Welch of Korn
When it comes to Korn, a popular heavy-metal band, Christianity isn't the first attribute that comes to mind. Enter Brian "Head" Welch, the co-founder of the band and its former guitarist. After converting to Christianity, he quit playing with Korn in 2005 -- and has since been an active artist in the faith-based music scene.
In an interview with MTV the former secular heavy-metal artist explained his reasons for leaving:
"I love everybody in the band — I was afraid to leave. It made me sad to think that I would be hurting the band if I left. For the last year and a half, I wanted to leave, but someone would always talk to me and convince me to stay. But I've had a problem with the way things were going since the second record. I mean, we would do things, and I would be like, 'Oh, this is metal! This is the rock and roll life!' But inside, I thought they took it too far. It was a little too crude for me."
After relying upon the Bible for guidance and doing some soul searching, he finally decided that he had to leave the band. Today, he's still performing music and touring (information can be found on his web site).
Country singer Carrie Underwood is yet another outspoken Christian. While faith isn't as present in the entertainment industry as a whole, it is much more prevalent in the country music scene, where people like Underwood aren't as uncommon. She and her husband, professional hockey player Mike Fisher, are practicing believers who actively engage their faith.
"Every Wednesday, my husband and I have a study group with our friends. I attend church. We try to devote time in the morning, say a prayer," Underwood said in an interview with CMT. "I'm not a big reader, though. I have to feel it, hear it, touch it, be involved in it."
Underwood made headlines earlier this year when she endorsed gay marriage and said that she and her husband attend a "gay-friendly," non-denominational church.
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” the singer told The Independent. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”
After numerous high-profile film roles, comedian and actor Chris Tucker became a Christian in 1997. While not much is known about his faith background, Biography has a fascinating recap worth reading:
On 19 April 2005, Tucker was arrested for driving at 109 mph on Interstate 20 in Georgia and eluding arrest, with his defence being that he was late for church. After filming 'Money Talks' in 1997, Tucker became a born-again Christian. [...]
Despite achieving an unprecedented $25 million salary to appear in 'Rush Hour 3', Tucker's career has been slow with the actor returning to stand-up comedy in 2011.
He will be returning to film later this year when he appears in 'The Silver Linings Playbook' with Bradley Cooper, Julia Stiles and Robert De Niro.
Tucker now commutes between Georgia and California and is believed to have a live-in girlfriend with whom he has a daughter.
So, there you have it. While Tucker's official biography on his web site doesn't mention anything about his faith, it does say that he is a "humanitarian" and that he has a foundation (though the details on both are not readily available).
Denzel Washington is a staple in Hollywood. One of the most recognizable actors, Washington is also known for being a man of deep and profound faith. In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, he discussed the importance of reading the Bible each day.
"I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word," he said. "I read something great yesterday. It said, 'Don't aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.'"
This sentiment, though, is nothing new. After first experiencing what he believes to be the Holy Spirit thirty years ago, Washington continues to highlight the importance of God in his life. Rather than shying away from sharing his perspective, he very regularly speaks about his Christian adherence.
"Walker Texas Ranger" isn't Chuck Norris' only claim to fame. The actor and fitness guru is also an outspoken Republican and -- an evangelical Christian (he even has a portion of his web site devoted to faith). This Christian Broadcasting Network description from a few years back perfectly describes the film star:
He is a six-time World Karate Champion, hero of more than 23 feature films, star and producer of his own long-running, award-winning prime-time TV show, a friend of several presidents, a big fan and endorser of Fitness Quest’s Total Gym, and a father for the second time around to twins Danilee and Dakota. Add to that list a beautiful wife whom he considers his soul mate. Oh, and don’t forget to throw in Bible-believing Christian, the kind that gets invitations to speak at Christian ministries like T.D. Jakes Ministry.
Norris' faith views and conservative values are well-documented. In fact, his recent plea to America to vote out President Barack Obama raised some eyebrows (yet, once again, reinforced his right-of-center views).
Jay Mohr is a surprising addition to this list. While he finds himself in agreement with conservative evangelicals when it comes to the atheist activist community, he differs greatly on theological matters (TheBlaze profiled him earlier this year).
Despite being known for edgy comedy at times, Mohr told TheBlaze about his conversion experience not long ago. Today, he considers himself a practicing Catholic, although he has some controversial views -- at least in Christian circles -- about concepts like the Bible and hell.
“I’m not sure that God wrote 10 commandments on tablets, but I am sure that a man came and told masses [the masses], ‘Hey this is what I just got,’” he said, referring to Moses in Exodus and Deuteronomy.
“I think we‘re all God’s sons, because in John 3:16, he says ‘you’re the son of God,‘ but earlier in John he says ’you’re the son of man,’” he also claimed, when asked if Jesus Christ was God's son.
Controversial, but still a self-described man of God.
Actor Martin Sheen is the final individual we're including on today's list. The actor, a well-known political activist (of the left-of-center persuasion), is a Catholic who also has some intriguing views about Jesus Christ. While he once fell away from church attendance, an illness brought him closer, once again, to the faith he once actively lived out.
Beliefnet has more about Sheen's faith:
Martin Sheen is a Catholic who chose his stage name in honor of Catholic theologian Fulton J. Sheen. Though he strayed from the Church, he returned after falling seriously ill during the filming of "Apocalypse Now." Sheen, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner, has often been quoted linking his faith and his activism. "You know, the essence of the Gospel of Jesus was extremely radical, and that's why they killed Him," he told one interviewer.
To another he said, "It doesn't really matter how much of the rules or the dogma we accepted and lived by if we're not really living by the fundamental creed of the Catholic Church, which is service to others and finding God in ourselves and then seeing God in everyone--including our enemies."
Sheen's views represent a fascinating fusion of both politics and theology.
So, there you have it -- 10 of Hollywood's most intriguing Christians. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section, below.
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