God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

John Barrowman and Jesus

Posted by Martin on January 9, 2007

Over New Year I happened to catch the BBC’s appalling excuse for a ‘spiritual’ Sunday morning show, Heaven and Earth. I say it’s appalling because according to them, anything appears to qualify as a major religion these days – Jedi, cross-stitch, pigeon-fancying – and they’ve probably run features on all of them. But in the midst of the usual dross, there was a very interesting article on this particular show with the actor John Barrowman, who plays ‘the other Captain Jack’ in Doctor Who and Torchwood.

John was talking about his rarely-mentioned Christian faith – he was brought up in a strong Christian family, says he tries to live like Jesus, reads the Bible and prays. He was open and honest about his faith, and the struggles he has with the church, which has not accepted him. John is gay, and recently ‘married’ his long-term partner in a civil partnership ceremony. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from being a Christian, but it has meant that he’s struggled to engage with a church which is repeatedly telling him that he’s going to hell in a handcart.

The interviewer asked him if he was just twisting the faith to meet his own ends, and he replied that he didn’t see what was wrong with that. I don’t actually believe that he would have given that answer if he’d thought about it – so it wasn’t likely to endear him to many traditional Christian viewers.

I find it interesting though how many prominent gay men I’ve heard openly talking about their interest in Jesus and their rejection by the church. The singer Boy George and the comedian Julian Clary both wrote about this in recent memoirs, and they’re by no means the only gay men to address this subject. I don’t believe it’s because they’re doing it to draw attention to the negativity of the church; I think they’re drawn to Jesus and they feel they’ve been barred from getting close to him.

I’m a self-confessed Doctor Who nut, so I’d love the chance to talk to him anyway, but I’d be really interested to find out more about John’s faith, theology and thoughts on the church. If you’re out there John – drop me a line…

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10 Responses to “John Barrowman and Jesus”

  1. Anonymous said

    “The interviewer asked him if he was just twisting the faith to meet his own ends, and he replied that he didn’t see what was wrong with that. I don’t actually believe that he would have given that answer if he’d thought about it – so it wasn’t likely to endear him to many traditional Christian viewers.”

    Fristly, I’d say John has a point. If he was created by a God (which he believes) with the ability to question things, then why shouldn’t he? Who has the right to say that his beliefs are wrong because they don’t fit with more traditional ones?

    He’s thought about his faith, qustioned it and not just blindly accepted what he was told. To me, that gives his beliefs much more validity than those of someone who swallows everything they hear without thinking about whether it makes sense.

    Secondly, I don’t see why he would want to “endear himself to traditional christian viewers”. I grew up surrounded by them and, to put it polietly, they aren’t very nice people when they encounter someone who is different to them or doesn’t share their prejudices.

    I think he probably did that interview in the hope that if he made sense to just one person, they might stop being so prejudiced.

    As for the programme, you say that “anything appears to qualify as a major religion these days”. But why should TV programmes only show major religions? The country doesn’t just consist of christians, and there’s always “songs of praise” for people who can’t get their heads around that fact. Personally, I just think it’s great that there’s a show which wants to explore people’s spirituality – even if it is a bit boring at times.

  2. Gim.D said

    Thanks for the thought-through reply Anonymous (a man or woman after my own heart, clearly) – I think you make a couple of fair points, although thinking Heaven and Earth is ‘great’ is indefensible 😉

    Sadly, you’re absolutely right about the ‘traditional Christian viewers’ – they would have been choking on their morning coffee and cornflakes to hear John speak of his civil partnership AND Christian faith in practically the same breath – many of the Christians who I’ve talked to about this interview have reacted in the same way. I find that very hard. I think Tony Campolo put it best – asked what he thought the church should say to the gay community, he said that he thought we needed to get down on our knees and beg their forgiveness. I think he’s spot on.

    Still hoping John will read this blog and agree to an interview…

    Didn’t mean to put any sort of negative spin on that post – maybe it just naturally feels this way in a prejudiced world.

  3. JohnBarrowmanFan said

    That is so cool!

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    Hi, there!..cb3b49271d7dfbc4941e639f4d89409d

  5. addie said

    i love u u rock !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. addie said

    im a christain and i wanna no if u go 2 hell 4 bein gay

    • Anonymous said

      I’m a Christian. No, you do not go to hell for being gay. I wish someone has the chance to tell John Barrowman and all other gays this, I feel so sad when that is all they are being told.

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