Chris Pratt has spoken out after Ellen Page accused him of attending an anti-LGBTQ church.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he and the host entered into a conversation about faith. The actor attends the Zoe Church and Hillsong, a Christian ‘megachurch’ popular among A-list celebrities.
The Hollywood Reporter posted about the interview on Twitter, after which Page, a leading gay rights activist, responded with her criticism about Pratt’s church.
She wrote on Twitter:
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
While the church says LGBTQ people are welcome to worship at Hillsong, they cannot ‘take an active leadership role’.
In a statement made by Hillsong’s pastor, Brian Houston, in 2015, he said:
Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.
I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.
So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community.
But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No.
The Juno actor stood by her comment, and later posted another tweet making it clear she believes Pratt should be called out for his actions.
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.
Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.
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. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 9, 2019
39-year-old Pratt has since had his say on the matter, sharing his thoughts in an Instagram story.
He defended the church, arguing the claim it is ‘infamously anti-LGBT’ couldn’t be ‘further from the truth’.
The Parks and Recreation star wrote:
It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’
Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.
He went on:
Despite what the Bible says about divorce my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk.
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 added, although faith is important, he shouldn’t be defined by his church, and continued:
No church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people.
My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.
Jesus said, ‘I give you a new command, love one another.’ 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.
Page has not responded to Pratt’s comments at the time of writing.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.