Last week, Chris Pratt was doing his Lego Movie 2 press rounds, casually telling Stephen Colbert all about his beloved church. He was probably pretty surprised when his ode to his place of worship was challenged by Ellen Page. The actress went on Twitter to helpfully point that Pratt’s church is, in her words, “infamously anti lgbtq.”
It took Pratt a few days to respond — enough days for his fellow Parks and Rec alum Rob Lowe to get into his own Twitter-related controversy — but on Monday, on an Instagram story caught by IndieWire, he finally did.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” Pratt wrote. “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
“My church is important to me but no church defines me or my life,” continued. “I am not a spokesperson for any group of people. My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of fellow man.” He finished with the words, “Hate has no place in my or this world.”
So where is this all-welcoming oasis? It’s Hillsong, a megachurch that began in Australia before broadening across the globe, including places all over the United States. (Let’s assume Pratt goes to the one in Los Angeles.) How open-minded are they? A statement on the church’s website from 2015 reads, “Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people” — which sounds great, until you keep reading and get to the part where it says it “does not affirm all lifestyles.”
Sure enough, the statement states that Hillsong “holds to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage” and that “God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.” There’s more:
“Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.”
So technically Pratt is right, sort of: They do open their doors to everyone. They just don’t approve of some of them, will not hire those people, and teach a doctrine that says what those people do is against God. But Pratt didn’t mention that part, despite that they put it clearly on their website.