Popular Christian actor Chris Pratt is responding to critics who are attacking his church’s biblical beliefs about sexuality. The criticism comes after he appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and shared his experience of participating in the Daniel Fast.
Pratt was on the show to promote his new movie, “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” when Colbert asked him about “the Daniel fast” he had recently finished.
“This is something I just did this year. I just came off of it a couple of days ago. It’s a 21 day fast,” said Pratt. “A lot of people are doing it. I did it through my church. It’s based on Daniel.”
“Book of Daniel – the prophet?” Colbert asked.
“Yeah the prophet Daniel from the Old Testament, the book of Daniel, who only ate fruits, vegetables and grains,” Pratt explained. “He didn’t have any leavened breads and didn’t have any animal products. I was inspired by my pastor to do it. It’s kinda like our Lent. Give something up. So for 21 days, no meat, no sugar, no alcohol, and it was actually amazing it was really cool.”
“Is any part of the component being thrown into the lion’s den?” joked Colbert. “That’s one of the few things I know about Daniel. If you throw me in with some lions, and fight them, I’ll be in shape real quick.”
Pratt responded to the joke, stating, “Sick cardio. Lion fighting is sick cardio. Yeah we do that on the last day.”
Colbert later asked if Pratt has ever felt like he was in the lion’s den. Pratt responded, “There’s this great quote, that I actually heard in church, which was, ‘If the spotlight that is shining on you is brighter than the light that comes from within you, it’ll kill you.”
Colbert replied, “Wow, I like that.”
The quote comes from famed Christian author and speaker, Christine Caine. Pratt took to Twitter to give Caine credit for the quote.
After a tweet from the Hollywood Reporter about Pratt’s interview, LGBTQ Actress Ellen Page responded to the tweet.
“Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?” she wrote.
She continued in another post, “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.”
Pratt attends Pastor Chad Veach’s Zoe Church in California. Zoe Church is modeled after the global ministry “Hillsong.” Senior Pastor Brian Houston posted on Hillsong’s website in 2015, writing, “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,” he said in a post on the church’s website. “I recognize 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.”
Pratt took to Instagram to address the controversy. In his Instagram story, he 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.”
“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 said.
Pratt, who went through a divorce with actress Anna Faris last year, went on to write that “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,” wrote Pratt. “Jesus said, ‘I give you a new command, love one another,'” he wrote. “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.”