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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Brad Pitt on Faith and Family

bradpittsm.jpgIn contemplating Brad Pitt, people often focus on the external; from his big screen debut in “Thelma and Louise” to some of his more current projects, we view him as a thing of beauty. Which he undoubtedly is, partly because he’s cultivated himself to be that way and partly because God made him that way. Some of us might have even learned from his guest spot on Friends and his roles in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and the “Ocean’s Eleven” series of films, that the twinkle in his eye reveals a wickedly enticing, yet harmlessly charming, sense of humor. But what we don’t see is “Brad Pitt: Man of Faith.”

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But, as an interview in Parade notes, there’s more to Brad than meets our lustful, sinful eyes. The boy who began his life as a son in a Missouri Baptist community harbors a sense of existential sadness, and spent his early years wondering whether he as a Baptist, would be entitled to the same Heaven as Christians.

As he got older, his religious doubts increased.
“I had crises of faith,” he says. “I thought you had to experience things if you want to know right from wrong. I’d go to Christian revivals and be moved by the Holy Spirit, and I’d go to rock concerts and feel the same fervor. Then I’d be told, ‘That’s the Devil’s music! Don’t partake in that!’ I wanted to experience things religion said not to experience.”

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[By this point in the interview, you should be thinking of Brad’s “immortal” role as Louis in “Interview With the Vampire,” and perhaps contemplating the connections between spiritual and physical ecstasy, as elicited by faith and rock-and-roll, respectively. Discuss.]

By the time he entered college, Pitt had scuttled his fundamentalist beliefs. “When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self,” he says. “I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible.”

Pitt may not recognize this instinct as tikkun olam, the “fixing the world” concept adhered to by Jews everywhere, but as someone who has the means to make a difference, he is making great efforts all over the map, from rebuilding New Orleans to AIDS care in Africa. The Brangelina entity, known for beauty, adoptions and big sunglasses, has also become known for the millions of dollars Brad and Angelina have donated to charity. As the story reports, $1 million was given to Doctors Without Borders, another million to Global Action for Children.
“It’s not just altruism,” he insists. “It’s not a payback. Philanthropy is good for us. It’s in our own best interest. It’s personally rewarding when you see lives change because of an action you take that, though simple for you, means so much to others. You sleep peacefully at night.”
The man who six-packed his way into our pop culture consciousness is living his life in strong faith; even if the faith is not in a church, per se, the grounding in religious upbringing has clearly left a mark on him, by keeping alive a sense of morality and belief.
“What’s important to me is that I’ve defined my beliefs and lived according to them and not betrayed them,” he says. “One of those is my belief in family. I still have faith in that.”

  • H Sadler

    Our faith is only as great as the person/thing we put it in. He commented that he has the faith to handle any situation. That is an arrogant comment. Part of my strength as a believer in Christ and the power and grace I receive from Him to live abundantly and victoriously, comes through my daily recognition and confession that I am unable to “handle” life’s circumstances on my own in a way that is loving, God is love, and benefits those around me; we are innately self-centered. Children do not have to be taught how to how to preserve and promote self, but love and service for others takes much concentrated cultivation, and the grace of God. I think he and I agree that families are a gift and make life wonderful, but my faith is not in my family. People cannot meet such high expectations. I enjoy my family and I love them dearly, but because they are imperfect, like me, we will disappoint each other throughout the journey of life. My faith is in One who is Al Mighty, All-knowing, He is love, and He is full of grace and truth, and is long-suffering. He is worthy of all my faith. I will never be disappointed by putting my faith in Him.

  • Rosemary Wasike from kenya

    Hello,
    yes i do agree with Brad about the perspective of religion or christianity perse, cause the same experience is felt in both rock and in church. But what matters is the outcome of the experience. Does it bring fulfillment in your life? well Brad is doing what i believe we christians should be doing. God is love. and what is love? being mindfull of others no matter the background or circumtance. I cannot sleep in peace in my house while my neighbours family has a problem. We need to love by doing that love. That one can only be done by faith thorugh the grace of the almighty.

  • Eula Thadison

    I am a christian that belives as Brad Pitt does that Heavenly Father is worthy of all praise, and it is He that substains us everyday. I will always keep my faith and trust in the Almighty Father. I consider my family as a blessing, and a responsibility that I must take care of, even though I am a single mom I am so blessed.

  • Michael

    Pitt states
    “What’s important to me is that I’ve defined my beliefs and lived according to them and not betrayed them,” he says. “One of those is my belief in family. I still have faith in that.”
    How can he say this after divorce or one woman to marry another? Breaking apart one family for the desire of another woman and then denying that it was even a failure. In an interview with B. Walters he answered a question about a failed marriage with a glip answer about who is to say that it was a failure…

  • Tess Smith

    I hope Brad Pitt continues to do his good works, and also that he returns to the God of the faith of his childhood.
    Also, as far as I am aware “Baptist” is a part of mainstream Christianity… Yes Brad, God loves you too… just as much as God loves anyone else…
    And God forgives us of our sins as we turn away from our sins and rely on Christ as our Savior.
    God Bless you Brad, and your family.
    God Bless you fellow Bloggers.
    — Tess
    — Tess

  • Heinrich

    I hope he finds faith once again.
    Semper Fi.

  • Jenilyn

    I know this is an old post, but I still feel a sadness in my heart when I read this. I pray for you Brad that one day you will find out how very much Christ loves you and that He died for you. I wish one day I could meet you, not because you are a movie star, but because you are a person, whom Christ died for. And I would love to tell you how real He is and how He reveals Himself to those who truly seek Him. I believe one day, before the end you will call out to Him once again. And He will hear you and receive you. Jesus is His name.

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