Last week, Ellen Page went viral for a powerful, inspirational rant against Trump’s opposition to LGBTQ+ rights.
Page married her wife over a year ago, came out as gay in 2014, and has used her platform to speak out for her community.
Now, she’s taking aim at Chris Pratt — or rather, at the anti-gay views of the church that he attends.
Ellen Page’s moving speech was delivered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Just as Ellen was praised for her words, Colbert was praised for giving her the time to speak up.
That was great!
But the very next night, Chris Pratt appeared on the show to promote the sequel to The Lego Movie.
He spoke about his faith-inspired diet. Chris is a Christian and attend Zoe Church.
“Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq,” Ellen wrote, quote-tweeting Chris’ appearance on the show.
“So maybe address that too?” she suggested.
Over the weekend, Ellen explained why she feels that it is so important to address this topic.
“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people,” Ellen Page tweets.
She continues: “don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong,” Ellen affirms. “There aren’t two sides.”
Or, rather, there technically are two sides but one of them is bad. This is not like disagreeing about the colors of a dress.
“The damage it causes is severe. Full stop,” her tweet concludes. “Sending love to all.”
“Why does it HAVE to be addressed??” asked one tweeter.
“Why can’t people just respect his beliefs?” that person asked. “Are we really judging 1 Individual because of the company he keeps?”
“Um. Yeah,” Ellen replies, answering the first question. “That’s called complacency.”
Ellen did not delve into the more complicated territory — such as where a view stops being a belief and becomes bigotry.
She also did not delve into the complicated question of how much a person’s choice in house of worship reflects their personal values.
Instead, she focused on a broader message, encouraging people to hear the thoughts of minorities instead of immediately getting defensive.
“If lgbtq+ people are expressing their pain, their trauma, their experiences…maybe just try and listen?” Ellen suggests.
“Open your heart, stop being defensive, and have compassion,” she implores them.
“It’s a beautiful and life changing feeling, empathy,” she writes.
Ellen concludes: “Much love truly to all.”
Pastor Chad Veach has said that he founded Zoe Church by modeling it after Hillsong Church.
And Hillsong is very controversial.
“We do not affirm a gay lifestyle,” Hillsong senior pastor and founder Brian Houston has stated.
For the bajillionth time, we find ourselves asking what a gay lifestyle, or a straight lifestyle, means.
It’s an odd euphemism.
“And because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid,” he added.
“I recognize this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion,” Houston continued.
“Which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world,” he said.
“Everyone is welcome at Hillsong church,” he affirmed.
He did add: “except for known predators, those who are disruptive, or those who have adversarial agendas.”
Known predators should always be excluded, and we can understand why one would exclude disruptive guests.
The adversarial agendas line, however, sounds almost like something that you’d hear from the Church of Scientology.
Justin Bieber is a huge fan of Hillsong Church. So is Hailey Bieber.
And Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian and so many others.
The global megachurch, first founded in Australia, does not shy away from catering to celebrities.
But the massive religious entity is no stranger to scandal.
Ellen Page is far from the first to criticize the church and its founder.
For one thing, Brian Houston, who founded Hillsong Church, is currently under investigation.
In November of 2018, 60 Minutes Australia reported that he remains under investigation for covering up his father’s repeated sexual abuse of children.
Hillsong has faced criticism for its involvement with a shady organization known as Mercy Ministries, which closed down in 2009.
The church has also been involved with a number of shady individuals.
Finally, former members of the church have described it as a shady institution with authoritarian leanings that frown upon independent thought.
(Some have said that, yeah, it’s a church, while others have argued that churches aren’t necessarily like this)
Notably, one former Hillsong member who is a vocal critic was arrested for trespassing while being interviewed outside of Hillsong.
It’s important to note that Ellen Page isn’t going to war with Chris Pratt or with any church.
But her tweets are extremely fair.
There is nothing wrong with asking someone if an institution with which they have chosen to associate reflects their views and values.
We all want to believe that Chris Pratt is a good person who doesn’t have anything negative to say about the LGBTQ+ community.
But wouldn’t it be nice to hear that from Chris himself? (And from the others who attend Zoe and Hillsong)
Depending upon his answer, we could all go back to enjoying him guilt-free.