Cameron's Got Company When it Comes to Religion-Touting Celebs
"We have a situation in our country where young people are entering college with a belief in God and exiting with that faith being stripped and shredded," Cameron told People magazine.
"Religion is a loaded topic to begin with," explained Professor Gary Laderman (www.religiondispatches.org) author of 'Sacred Matters: Celebrity Worship, Sexual Ecstasies, the Living Dead, and Other Signs of Religious Life in the United States.' "It can be seen as too much information in any context so when celebrities talk publiclly about their faith they risk alienating people who would rather not hear about it."
Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but some experts say there is something unsettling about celebrities bringing God into the conversation.
Psychologist and national radio host Cooper Lawrence said she understands a celeb's need to talk about their personal lives, including their religion, but instructs them to be careful what they preach.
"There is no end to fans' ability to see a celebrity as inherently flawless, and as such, a fan may do something that is not in their best interest, such as convert to their favorite star's religion," Lawrence, author of 'The Cult of Celebrity,' said.
Cameron isn't the first celeb to ruffle the feathers of fans by getting mouthy about his faith. Whether it be Kaballah, Scientology or Christianity there is a line between Church and State in Hollywood. That is clear from this list of boldfacers who haven't just crossed the line, they did a touchdown dance on top of it, landing with their foot squarely in their mouths.
1. In 2005 Tom Cruise used Scientology to slam Brooke Shields over her use of prescription drugs to combat her post-partum depression. Cruise, who claimed to have helped people fight drug addictions through his controversial Scientology religion, said the 'Lipstick Jungle' actress should have used vitamins to help her feelings of despair. His lucrative contract with Paramount Studios was allegedly canceled over his comments and he later apologized to Shields in person.
2. After toting around religious texts and affixing a symbolic red bracelet to her wrist Britney Spears dumped Jewish mystical faith Kaballah, claiming that the birth of her first child replaced her belief in the 13th Century study of the Zohar. Her former Kaballah guide, Madonna, in turn dumped her as a friend.
3. Mel Gibson has poured more than $15 million into the Holy Family Catholic Church, which follows an antiquated ideology of Catholicism dating back to the 16th century. He claims that God called on him to film 'The Passion of the Christ,' and has gone on record saying that he believes there is no salvation for those outside the Church. Over the years he has been called a bigot and anti-Semite by critics and former fans for his beliefs, and even made Jewish-bashing comments during his DUI arrest.
4. Raised a Catholic, Stephen Baldwin saw the light of evangelism after September 11 and has since gone on the road with his "Livin' It" mission, inviting tens of thousands of young boys to sign "decision cards" promising to join him in "the gnarliest thrill ride" with Jesus.
5. In 1992, singer Sinead O'Connor effectively ended her career by protesting sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church on an episode of 'Saturday Night Live,' ripping a picture of Pope John Paul II into pieces onstage.
6. In 1989, Madonna was condemned by the Vatican and dropped as a spokesperson for Pepsi after she debuted her video for 'Like a Prayer.' The video contained Catholic symbols like burning crosses and stigmata and suggested a sexual relationship between Madge and a priest.
Hannah Johnston, Getty Images
Michael Buckner, WireImage
Eric Charbonneau, WireImage
Eric Charbonneau, WireImage
Joe Scarnici, FilmMagic
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