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Thanks to all the promotional appearances she has been making for her new film Love & Other Drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway has been all over the media for the last couple of weeks, from a gig hosting Saturday Night Live to an unclothed cover of Entertainment Weekly. In February, she and James Franco will co-host the Oscars.
I haven’t seen the movie, but I appreciate that, when she speaks, Hathaway comes across as smart and funny and more thoughtful than most celebrities known for being pretty. In all her appearances, however, you may have missed her radio interview on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross on NPR (follow that link to listen to the interview).
During it, she talks about the importance of faith, growing up in the Catholic Church, and then her decision to leave the institutional church a few years ago.
Here’s the transcript of the full interview.
GROSS: I should mention, this is maybe a good place to talk about it,
that your brother is gay, and he got married in Canada. And I read that
your family left the Catholic Church when your brother came out because
the Catholic Church is so, like, anti-homosexual.
So was it a hard decision or just like a no-brainer to leave the church when your brother came out?
HATHAWAY: Well, it wasn’t really like we had a family discussion about
it. We didn’t sit around the dinner table and say, okay, this is the
decisive action we’re going to take now. It was more something we
realized we’d all done as individuals, and then it became something that
we’d done as a family.
And gosh, was it
difficult? You know, when it’s family and someone is excluding your
family, and someone is not accepting of your family, it does become a
bit of a no-brainer, doesnt it?
GROSS: So was it hard for you to leave the church? Was the church important to you before?
HATHAWAY: Faith is important to me. You know, being raised with one
faith and having to go out into the unknown and try to cobble together
another, that was hard. But I wasn’t really leaving something because I
realized I couldn’t have faith in this religion that would exclude
anyone, particularly my brother, for the way he’s born and for loving
someone. I mean, how do you exclude someone for love? That seems to be
the antithesis of what religion’s about.
by the way, you know, I [don't] mean to Catholic Church-bash. I do understand
that for a lot of people, the religion provides a lot of peace and
direction. But I don’t know, if they could be accepting of women and of
gays, I think that the religion gets a lot of things right.
for me, I couldn’t lose myself in it. I couldn’t look to it for
guidance because it’s like I said, I don’t believe in this aspect.
We’ve discussed the connection between the Church’s stance on homosexuality and faith issues before, including a couple of specific posts about homosexual friends of mine who grew up in hostile church environments — one abandoned his childhood faith, the other eventually returned.
I’m curious what you make of Anne Hathaway’s reasoning and her family’s decision. This is a pretty powerful statement: “How do you exclude someone for love? That seems to be the antithesis of what religion’s about.”
Please discuss. And keep it civil.