Chris Pratt Just Wants You To Like Him

Chris Pratt might be a megastar at the box office, but online, he’s become a bit of a joke; memes and commentary often depict the Marvel actor as homophobic, due to his alleged association with Hillsong Church, a Christian megachurch that views homosexuality as “sinful.”

In a new Men’s Health interviewPratt pushes back against his bad reputation, and claims to have never attended Hillsong, even going so far as to describe himself as “not a religious person.”

Online commentators were quick to point out that Pratt’s Instagram page is packed with posts that praise God; there’s even a photo of him dragging a large metal crucifix up a mountain. While giving a speech at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, Pratt famously went on a prolonged tangent about God, Jesus, and the power of prayer.

Pratt’s attempt to push back against the perception of him as a God-fearing man in a MAGA hat comes in the wake of the fall of Roe vs. Wade, and increased public antagonism towards the vile bigotry ingrained in organized religion. Hence, Pratt spent much of the interview talking about the flaws of religion, the hateful oppression that accompanies the faith, and attempting to distance himself from it.

Pratt might not be associated with Hillsong, but he does attend Zoe Church, along with Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, and Selena Gomez. In another interviewPratt casually mentioned that he plays golf with Chad Veach, pastor of Zoe Church.

Veach previously told The New York Times that he modeled Zoe Church after Hillsong Church, and was criticized for his involvement in the 2017 film The Heart of Man – a docudrama on “sexual brokenness” which aligns same-sex attraction with porn addiction and infidelity.

Pratt’s involvement with Zoe Church may have led to Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page calling him out on Twitter; Page claimed Pratt belonged to a church that is “infamously anti-LGBTQ.”

Pratt’s painfully earnest proclamations about God and Jesus, combined with his obnoxious onscreen persona, inspires Marvel fans to imagine him being uncomfortable with the MCU’s extremely timid references to same-sex attraction.

Nowadays, mockery over Pratt’s perceived intolerance always accompanies Thor: Love and Thunder promos. But the “controversy” exists almost solely online; it certainly doesn’t seem to affect Pratt’s popularity at the box office, as the actor is extremely prolific – he’s the face of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxythe voice of Super Mario and The Lego Movie. He’s doing fine!

Pratt seems to be responding to Twitter criticism, essentially. And to be fair, he is being judged based on little more than “vibes.” Sure, he comes across as an out-of-touch, kinda conservative uncle, but he has never publicly criticized the LGBT community.

Compare Pratt’s reputation to that of Tom Cruise, a major star who keeps finding box office success, and is intimately associated with a so-called “religious” organization accused of doing far more sinister things than Zoe Church. Maybe it speaks to the difference between the Marvel and the Top Gun crowd, but Pratt certainly seems to be mocked more for his beliefs.

It goes to show that despite major commercial and critical success, the memes and jokes from anonymous Twitter users still sting; perhaps Pratt should stop trying to be universally adored, and settle for being loved by Jesus.

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