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Why Is No One Rejoicing That Jane Fonda's Pilgrimage Led Her to Church?

Jane Fonda always appeared to be trying to please somebody else--whether it was as the sex kitten "Barbarella" for first husband Roger Vadim, as "Hanoi Jane" for her activist second husband Tom Hayden, or as the nipped and tucked trophy wife for her egregiously creepy third husband, Ted Turner.

Now we learn she may have a new cause: Christianity. The Academy Award-winning actress is said to have been driven to faith by her chauffeur. He reportedly began sharing his beliefs with her several years ago.

But when a conservative Christian website called WorldNetDaily.com reported that Fonda had embraced Christianity, nobody rejoiced--neither the conservatives who have been appalled by Fonda all these years, nor her friends on the left. Perhaps people are just being cuatious; we haven't heard from Jane herself and maybe the news accounts are exaggerated or wrong.

But maybe everyone is quiet because no one is yet sure who this new cause is for, or maybe we are uncomfortable with the answer. Because maybe Fonda, at age 62, is finally trying to please herself.


Liberals seem to regard the apparent conversion as a cause for mirth. Fonda's reported refusal to meditate at an environmental rally because it's better to "pray to Jesus Christ" strikes some as funny--a woman in the throes of marital trouble with Turner, going off the deep end.

Meanwhile, the first impulse of some longtime church-goers was hardly one of Christian charity. A fellow conservative sneered to me that a person can "accept Christ" without becoming a Christian. In other words, let's give her a test on dogma, and if she fails, burn her at the stake.

My tart-tongued sister refers to certain enthusiastic evangelicals who smile a lot as "people who call Christ by his first name." And at first, it seemed to me that Fonda was veering dangerously in this direction.

But then I pondered her possible conversion more. And I thought: those of us who call ourselves Christians should be cheering for her. How wonderful if Fonda's long pilgrimage has taken her to the Church door. How much more embarrassing for this child of Hollywood aristocracy than if her quest had delivered her to a more

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