Over the years, actor Chris Pratt’s faith has often been a media focal point, as the “Jurrasic World” star has routinely shared Bible verses and uplifting messages with fans.
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But Pratt also shocked some people last summer, when he curiously told Men’s Health, “I’m not a religious person,” sparking questions about what, exactly, he meant.
The comments were surprising and came just a few years after Pratt took to a major stage to encourage people to believe in God and prayer. These proclamations, which went viral at the time, encouraged many and sparked speculation about the actor’s worldview.
The aforementioned comments heralding faith and God unfolded during a 2018 speech at the MTV Movie & TV Awards, when Pratt spoke of God’s love for humanity.
“God is real; God loves you,” Pratt said while accepting The Generation Award. “God wants the best for you. Believe that — I do.”
This fueled speculation in 2022 about why Pratt was suddenly saying he’s not a “religious person.” Coincidentally, the actor also addressed his MTV speech in the Men’s Health interview. Here’s a portion of the article in which Pratt addresses the viral speech:
A few years ago, [Pratt] explains, he was asked to give a speech at the MTV Movie & TV Awards as the recipient of a Generation Award (a lifetime-achievement honor for people with a lot of life left to live), and he was instructed to say something inspiring. So, standing next to a trophy made of golden popcorn, he spoke from the heart: “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He also said, “Don’t be a turd.” But people mostly just remember the God part.
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he offers, and he gets why people were put off. “Religion has been oppressive as f*** for a long time,” he says as we walk over a tiny footbridge, the words spilling out in an emotional tidal wave. “I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person. I think there’s a distinction between being religious—adhering to the customs created by man, oftentimes appropriating the awe reserved for who I believe is a very real God—and using it to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is. The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride.”
These comments are certainly intriguing and, without talking to Pratt, we’re only left with the static statements included in the article. But let’s briefly and generally address the “I’m not religious” claim. For some Christians, such a proclamation involves rejecting dogmatic and ritualistic elements.
“I’m a person of faith; I’m not religious” can sometimes mean a person is simply more focused on a relationship with Jesus and the Bible than any of the other trappings sometimes perpetuated by and fuelled through mankind’s religious structures.
The Men’s Health quote makes it seem as though Pratt was discouraged by the reaction to his speech.
But earlier this month, the actor seemingly opened that discussion back up with an Instagram post looking back at that famed MTV speech.
“Throwback to that time MTV honored me with ‘The Generation Award,'” he wrote in an Instagram caption. “I was given three minutes to impart wisdom to the next generation.”
And Pratt wasn’t done there. He continued, “Given the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe I wouldn’t try to eat the popcorn backstage.”
The accompanying video included the nine rules Pratt laid out to the MTV audience. While some were clearly comical, others appeared to be predicated on his devotion to faith:
1. “Breathe. If you don’t, you will suffocate.”
2. “You have a soul. Be careful with it.”
3. “Don’t be a turd. If you are strong, be a protector. If you are smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, so do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.”
4. “When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger and they won’t even know they’re eating medicine.”
5. “It doesn’t matter what it is. Earn it. A good deed. Reach out to someone in pain. Be of service. It feels good and it’s good for your soul.”
6. “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that, I do.”
7. ”If you have to poop at a party, but you’re embarrassed because you’re going to stink up the bathroom, just do what I do. Lock the door, sit down, get all of the pee out first. And then, once all the pee is done, poop, flush, boom! You minimize the amount of time that the poop’s touching the air. Because if you poop first, it takes you longer to pee and then you’re peeing on top of it, stirring up the poop particles, create a cloud, goes out, then everyone at the party will know that you pooped. Just trust me, it’s science.”
8. “Learn to pray. It’s easy, and it is so good for your soul.”
9. “Nobody is perfect. People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are; you’re not! You’re imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. Like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted.”
You can watch the speech here:
The most interesting part of Pratt’s latest post was his decision to re-share the video with the proclamation he “wouldn’t change a thing.”
It’s certainly an intriguing development in the ongoing speculation about Pratt’s faith walk. You can read more about the actor’s beliefs here.
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