Brad Pitt and More Stars Go Back on Christian Beliefs

Brad Pitt is the latest star to go back on his Christian beliefs.

ByABC News
May 19, 2011, 1:25 AM

May 19, 2011 — -- For some stars brought up in the Christian faith, the lessons of the Bible proved futile.

At the Cannes Film Festival, Brad Pitt revealed his reservations with his "stifling" Christian upbringing. He spoke at a press conference for "The Tree of Life," in which he plays a 1950s father battling with his sons. Like the family in the film, Pitt grew up in a rural environment -- Shawnee, Oklahoma and later, Springfield, Missouri -- ruled by religion.

"Many people find religion to be very inspiring," he said. "Myself, I found it very stifling. I grew up with Christianity and I remember questioning it greatly. Some things didn't work for me. Some things did."

"I had a lot of the questions that the film presents," Pitt continued. "That's why it spoke to me. I grew up being told God is going to take care of everything and it doesn't always work out that way. And then you're told 'Well, it's God's will.' I got my issues. Man, you don't want to get me started."

The 47-year-old actor isn't the only star to question the faith. Below, check out three more famous people who have renounced or pedaled back on Christianity:

Before Katy Perry sang about kissing girls, the pop superstar heralded the greatness of God as a Christian singer. (Back then, she went by her given name -- Kathryn Hudson.) Perry recently told Vanity Fair that as a child, her parents, both evangelical pastors, wouldn't read any book to her other than the Bible and refused to let her listen to non-religious music.

"I didn't have a childhood," she said. "Growing up, seeing Planned Parenthood, it was considered like the abortion clinic."

She questioned Christianity from an early age.

"In my faith, you're just supposed to have faith," she said. "But I was always like -- 'Why?'"

Perry still sports a tattoo that reads "Jesus" on her left wrist. She told the magazine that she and her parents have come to terms with the dichotomy between her sheltered ubringing and Hollywood career.

"We coexist. I don't try to change them anymore, and I don't think they try to change me."

As for her own religious beliefs, they're up in the air.

"At this point, I'm just kind of a drifter," she said. "I'm open to possibility. My sponge is so big and wide and I'm soaking everything up and my mind has been radically expanded."

As a young girl growing up in an Irish-Catholic family, Kathy Griffin went to parochial school. She wasn't exactly a model student.

"My parents sent me to Catholic school, which only made me the vehement militant atheist that I am today," she told L.A. Magazine in 2005. "Don't get me started about those priests. The nuns called me 'boy crazy,' don't you love that?"

Much later in life, Griffin mocked devout Christians when she won a Creative Arts Emmy for her reality show, "My Life on the D-List."

"I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus," she said at the 2007 show. "So all I can say is, s**k it, Jesus. This reward is my God now!" Her remarks were censored when E! broadcast the ceremony at a later date.

Last year, Anne Rice, the bestselling novelist behind "Interview with the Vampire" (whose film version coincidentally starred Brad Pitt) took to Facebook to reveal she no longer considered herself a member of the Catholic church. Rice was known for her religiosity -- in 2009, she launched a new series of novels about angels that began with "Angel Time."

In her Facebook post, Rice wrote she felt like "an outsider" in the Christian community.

"I quit being a Christian," she wrote. "I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

In another post, Rice admitted, "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity."

Religion still remains a dominant force in Rice's life, judging by her Twitter feed. This week, she devoted a series of tweets to sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church.