As a millennial, I would say that the mid-late 2000s were our glory days when it came to TV shows, movies, and music icons. Every episode we watched taught us a strong moral about trust, honesty, the value of hard work and much more. But where are all of our favorite celebs now? What are they saying about religion now that they've all grown up?
1. Zac Efron.
“I was raised agnostic, so we never practiced religion, but my parents were very strict.”Zac Efron first stepped into the spotlight as Troy in the “High School Musical” movies. He is a self-proclaimed agnostic, meaning he claims neither belief nor disbelief in God. Sources: Hollowverse
2. Vanessa Hudgens.
Of course, I wouldn’t give you Troy without Gabriella. Vanessa Hudgens has recently revealed in an interview with current boyfriend Austin Butler, from "Glee", that she has renewed her faith in Christianity. Butler is a member of Hillsong, a Pentecostal megachurch based in Sydney, Australia. Hudgens said,
"They really focus on you having your own personal relationship with Jesus, which is wonderful."
3. Selena Gomez.
"Now for me I respect people (and) whatever boundaries they set for themselves. So I'm more lenient towards that. I am Christian, so I understand," she said. "For me it's just ultimately about what it is."
Gaining early fame in her role as Alex on "Wizards of Waverly Place, Gomez was raised Catholic. She has been quoted saying “God is so good!” and “God bless everyone!” as captions on Instagram photos. Her most recent album was titled, "Revival" in reference to her Christian faith. Sources: Hollowverse, WorldReligionNews.
4. Daniel Radcliffe.
“I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it,” but, “[I’m] a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation.”
The lead actor in the "Harry Potter" series was raised by a Jewish father and Protestant mother, but considers himself an atheist, especially when religion begins to influence politics. Sources: Hollowverse, Salon
5. Emma Watson.
“I already had the sense that I was someone who was more spiritual than specifically religious... I'm really interested in those things that are more far-reaching than culture, nationality, race, religion.”
According to Christian Today, the "Harry Potter" costar is also quoted saying, “I think it’s amazing to make a film that celebrates faith and that gets a conversation going, because it’s such an important subject." While Watson has referred to herself as Christian in a BBC radio interview, she doesn’t seem to claim any specific denomination or theology. Sources: Hollowverse, FoxNews, HuffingtonPost.
6. Nathan Kress.
“With everything I do, the choices I make, the words I say, and the thoughts I think, I do everything I can to put it through the filter of my faith. By that same token, my identity comes from my relationship with God. I am not 'Nathan Kress, the actor who happens to be a Christian.' I am 'Nathan Kress, the Christian who happens to be an actor.'"
Popularly recognized as Freddie from “iCarly,” Kress is an outspoken evangelical Christian who believes it is his duty to be good role model in Hollywood. In the same interview, he goes on to say, “I know that the only reason I'm in the business at all is because God led me to it, and He opened all the doors necessary to bring me to where I am in my career right now. He blessed me with the skills required to make it in Hollywood."
"I owe it all to Him, and I never want to forget that. He has guided my path thus far, and He is the only one I trust to continue guiding me for the rest of my life.”
7. Miley Cyrus.
“That’s f–king insane. We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown f–king Santa and the tooth fairy.”
In the interview with Paper (excerpted above), Cyrus is referring to Christians that believe Noah’s Ark was an actual vessel.
Cyrus was baptized Southern Baptist and was raised by Christian parents in Nashville, Tennessee. In an interview in 2010, “Hannah Montana” starlet said: “I am very spiritual in my own way. Let me make it clear, though -- I am a Christian. Jesus is who saved me. He’s what keeps me full and whole.” It is not clear what made Cyrus reject her faith so vehemently, but maybe it had something to do with having an upbringing in Hollywood. While her current faith is unclear, she has said some positive things about Buddhism. Sources: Hollowverse, Happysonship.
8. Demi Lovato.
“Sometimes it seems like God just keeps throwing crap my way and I get SO angry with him… But there’s never a doubt in my mind He’s gonna pull me through it all. I know you’re there God. But um... Really dude? He never fails to show me He’s by my side though. Even in the tough times.”By all accounts, it seems as if the "Camp Rock" star is a good Southern Christian girl. However, she does show a lot of support for the LGBT community. She wrote in a Facebook post,
"I grew up learning in Sunday school and bible camps about a God who loves all no matter where you came from or what you've done. A man named Jesus who forgives people of all sins including horrible things like murder if you simply ask for forgiveness and accept him into your heart," she wrote. "Now I'm no bible thumper but I truly believe that same Lord and savior loves ALL no matter who you are or where you've come from and especially who you love."
9. Justin Timberlake.
“I think the term for me would be more spiritual than religious.”
'N'SYNC boy band member, Justin Timberlake, grew up in Memphis,Tenn. and was raised a devout Southern Baptist. Timberlake hasn’t said much about his faith, but he does have some religious tattoos including a cross on his left shoulder. He also has a very large image of a cherubic angel across his back. Sources: Hollowverse.
“I’m a very spiritual person, and I believe that there are amazing special gifts that people are blessed with. It just depends on whether you want to listen or not.”
Symone gained popularity for her lead role in “That’s So Raven” as well as the popular movie series, “The Cheetah Girls.” Symone seems so consider herself a New Age thinker. According to religioustolernace.org, the New Age is in fact a free-flowing, decentralized, spiritual movement -- a network of believers and practitioners who share somewhat similar beliefs and practices, which many add on to whichever formal religion that they follow.
In fact, she doesn’t seem to know much about other religions saying, on "The View," that all religions are about “being good.” Symone has said that she believes her religious views are private and tries to keep them to herself instead of offering them to the public to dissect. Sources: Hollowverse, TheBlaze
11. Shia Lebeouf.
“I became a Christian man, and not in a f**king bulls**t way -- in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me.”
Lebeouf initially gained fame amoung our generation in his goofy role in "Even Stevens." His dad is Christian, but his mom is Jewish. He had a Bar Mitzvah and was baptized in a Pentecostal church. Recently, however, "Transformers" actor said he found God while filming "Fury." Some are skeptical that this was just a scheme to endorse "Fury," but only he knows where he stands with his faith. Sources: Hollowverse, ReligiousNewsService
12. Nick Jonas.
"I've had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my own growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person and I think that's all that should matter," he continued. "I grew up in a church environment and still have love for the church."
Nick Jonas, like his brothers, is an evangelical Christian. Their father and manager is an ordained Evangelical preacher. In his younger days of Disney stardom, his brothers and he rocked purity rings. However, he has taken his off since dating former Miss Universe Olivia Kulpo. Sources: Hollowverse, USMagazine
13. Josh Hutcherson.
“I'm not a religious person in that sense. But at the same time I do believe in some sort of something, just not sure exactly. But yeah, I'd like to think that they see what I'm doing and that they're proud of me."
Hutcherson gained fame as a child in movies like, "Zathura," "Bridge to Terabithia," and "RV." The above quote is from an interview in which he was asked if he believed his two uncles were looking down on him from above. To me, it seems as if Hutcherson wants to believe in some kind of afterlife but hasn’t thought much about it. Sources: sheknows.
14. Justin Bieber.
"I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here."
For all you “beliebers” out there that made shrines to the teen idol on your bedroom door, you’ll be happy to know that Bieber seems to be a devout Christian, despite all of his recent discretions. More recently, in an interview with Complex, Bieber said:
“If we can understand that we’re all imperfect, let’s come to God and come for his help. You’re not weak by doing that. I think that’s a common misperception of Christians, that you’re being weak because you can’t handle it. None of us can handle this world, dude! It’s eating us alive. But, man, I don’t wanna have to do it on my own.”
15. Taylor Swift.
"And when I got home, before I said amen/ I asked God if He could play it again."
Pop star Taylor Swift is a Christian, although her denomination is not clear. She doesn’t talk about religion, except for in her songs, but plays the part of a conservative Christian girl. By all accounts, she seems to be a class-act role model in the sleazed-up music industry. Sources: Hollowverse
While it seems our favorite celebs have all gone into different directions, let us not forget the lessons their characters taught us growing up; mainly, that family is the most important thing. Unfortunately, this generation of rugrats won't be so lucky.