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Brad Pitt Discusses Rejecting Christian Upbringing: 'I Was Told Rock Shows Were the Devil'

( [email protected] ) May 04, 2017 11:28 AM EDT
Actor Brad Pitt has opened up about his troubled Christian upbringing and claimed that while he was told that "rock shows are the devil", going to concerts helped him relate to the church experience
Executive producer Brad Pitt arrives at the Premiere of Amazon Studios "The Lost" Getty Images

Hollywood actor Brad Pitt has opened up about his troubled Christian upbringing and claimed that while he was told that "rock shows are the devil", going to concerts helped him relate to the church experience.

During a recent interview with GQ, Pitt, who was raised by his Baptist father, Bill, and mother, Jane, described growing up "First Baptist, which is the cleaner, stricter, by-the-book Christianity."

Then, when he was in high school, the 51-year-old actor said "[his] folks jumped to a more charismatic movement, which got into speaking in tongues and raising your hands and some goofy-a** sh**."

When asked about speaking in tongues, the actor said, "I know they believe it. I know they're releasing something. God, we're complicated. We're complicated creatures."

Pitt said he was told that "rock shows are the devil", but his parents still let him attend: "They weren't neo about it," he said. "But I realized that the reverie and the joy and exuberance, even the aggression, I was feeling at the rock show was the same thing at the revival. One is Jimmy Swaggart and one is Jerry Lee Lewis, you know?"

He added, "One's God and one's Devil. But it's the same thing. It felt like we were being manipulated. What was clear to me was 'You don't know what you're talking about-'".

This is not the first time Pitt has opened up about his Christian upbringing. In an earlier interview with Parade magazine, the "Fight Club" said he had a "crisis of faith" in high school.

"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," Pitt said. "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."

He explained that being "raised with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn't do" caused him to reject Christianity. The actor said he's now "20% Atheist and 80% Agnostic."

"I don't think anyone really knows," he said. "You'll either find out or not when you get there, and until then there's no point in thinking about it."

In 2011, Pitt told Time that as he grew up, he discovered that religion "doesn't work for me."

"As I became an adult, it doesn't work for me," Pitt said. "I got brought up being told things were God's way, and when things didn't work out it was called God's plan. I've got my issues with it. Don't get me started. I found it very stifling."

However, Pitt told Parade that although he began questioning religion in high school and in college at the University of Missouri at Columbia, he hadn't officially lost faith in religion.

"It wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self," Pitt asserted. "I had faith that I'm capable enough to handle any situation."

"Religion works," Pitt continued. "I know there's comfort there, a crash pad. It's something to explain the world and tell you there is something bigger than you, and it is going to be all right in the end."

Tags : brad pitt, Brad Pitt GQ, Brad Pitt religion, Brad Pitt faith, atheist, atheism, Baptist