Melissa Joan Hart recently made headlines, and received a lot of criticism, following her comments on a faith-focused podcast.
The former "Clarissa Explains It All" star made an appearance on "Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris" where she spoke about raising her son with good ol' Christian values.
Here's the specific episode. You can find her incredibly stupid remarks beginning around 23:00.
Faris is talking to her about low points in the past where she questioned her faith and what may have brought her back. After briefly talking about getting cast in God's Not Dead 2, and admitting she turns off commenting on posts to avoid harsh comments, she suddenly goes off on a tangent.
Hart tries to talk about her friend's habit of reciting the Armor of God verse from the New Testament, but she totally flubs it (she actually incorrectly calls it the Armor of Jesus in the clip).
Helpful information, Melissa: Ephesians 6:10-18 is the relevant passage, but as usual you are a Christian who apparently has not done a very good job of reading her Bible.
After the embarrassing attempt to display her faith, Hart relates a troubling story about her son when he was six-years-old and about to start at a new school.
No longer attending a Christian preschool, Hart was apparently scared for her son. She told him, "You are on your own to decide who is good and bad. We don't know if these people are good people, we don't know if they believe in Jesus." Talking about her son's reaction she said, "He uh... took the Jesus part to heart."
Yeah, you think? He was six years old and his mother was telling him that only people who believe in Jesus are good, you lunatic. Of course he was listening to what you said.
Hart's son made immediate friends with a Jewish boy, and quickly became afraid for the boy because he didn't believe in Jesus. So Hart and the other boy's mother had some conversations.
Hart first plays it off as benign, but then rambles on that the conversations continued all the way until the boys were in sixth grade. Apparently by then the conversations became heated, although Hart does not elaborate much.
Faris and Hart then joke about how "all wars are started over religion."
Haha! So funny! Great joke! *screams internally*
Hart then ponders whether she made a mistake telling her son that if someone does not believe in Jesus they are not a good person. Ultimately, she does not commit one way or the other to whether it was mistake.
It was a mistake, Melissa. It was absolutely a mistake. You unbelievable dolt.
As the conversation continues, Hart considers whether her friend who committed suicide is in heaven. "Is he there waiting for me?" she asks.
Then she talks about her grandmother who died despite the whole family praying the rosary for a week straight. Hart was 12-years-old, and took her death very hard.
Thinking about all this, Hart falls back on the tired old line that theists love to default to, "I don't blame God, I guess. It's for a purpose, it's His will be done."
Right. Convenient. He loves us, but also wants to inflict an immeasurable amount of suffering on his creations. Sounds like love to me!
This is like a case study in religious dogmatic thinking. But Hart has faced some harsh criticism since the episode aired. Many have found her remarks anti-Semitic.
Among the complaints levied at Hart have been the following:
Hart has tried to defend herself since the podcast went live. On Instagram she posted the following:
While I am willing to give Hart the benefit of the doubt and accept that maybe she did not intend to imply that Christians are superior, that is the whole problem. Her faith, and just about every other faith, inherently reinforces in-group/out-group thinking. It is inherently divisive.
And importantly, being based on ridiculous superstition, it is also completely needless! I am not so deluded to think that getting rid of religion would eliminate conflict in the world. Conflict is inherent to the human condition. But religion provides a bottomless reservoir of absolutely unnecessary conflict, misery, and suffering.
That is why I find Hart's behavior and comments so troubling. Her children are among those being brainwashed into pointless dogmatic thinking.
Also, I cannot help but find it funny that someone who claims to be such a devout Christian made so much money playing a witch. Exodus 22:18 says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
Does Hart just avoid reading that passage? Or is a huge paycheck enough to justify not thinking too hard about one's faith?
Or maybe she, like many others, is just another Christian hypocrite? Big surprise.