The Plugged In Show, Episode 141: Our Complicated Relationship With Christian Celebs (plus Fanfiction!)


It’s hard to be a Christian. It can be harder to be a Christian celebrity.

Take Chris Pratt, the megawatt star who also happens to be an outspoken Christian. He’s come under fire for his supposed connections to Hillsong Church, a congregation characterized by its detractors as “anti LGBTQ.” In a cover story for Men’s Health, Pratt said he’s “never actually been to Hillsong,” and that he actually isn’t all that religious—drawing a sharp line between religion and faith.

“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,” he said. “Whatever it is. The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed onto the back of religion and come along for the ride.”

Some Christians took Pratt’s comments as backtracking, earning the celeb ire from some of his most fervent fans. Of course, he’s hardly the first Christian celeb to be sniffed at by fellow believers.

We talk about that phenomenon in today’s episode of The Plugged In Show, unpacking the complexities of worshipping God in a very public space and the weird relationship that we non-celebs might have with the rich, famous and faithful.

And speaking of our sometimes weird relationship with pop culture, we’ll explore the phenomenon of fanfiction—when ordinary Joes and Janes pen their own sequels to some of culture’s most popular stories. Plugged In’s intern Marsella Evans takes us on a tour through this curious, entertaining and often problematic realm.

So listen in, why don’t you? And then chime in with your own thoughts on Facebook and Instagram. Or write us an email at [email protected]. And if you’re curious to read more about the stuff we talk about in this episode, check out the links below.

Additional Resources:

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

One Response

  1. -I have to call Bogus on Johnathon’s answer. The question was “who is the best tv character and why” and nearly all his reasons were just listing random facts about the character he picked, not really why Beaver is a good character, himself. And his last two points; about being well shot and having a good score, have nothing to do with the character and should not have counted as points at all. In the end he didn’t really actually answer the question, he just listed a lot of things about his character and somehow won. Not fair