George Clooney, 61, breaks the silence on his religious status as an Atheist.
Although George Clooney, an Oscar-winning actor, now identifies as an Agnostic-Atheist, that was not where his spiritual journey began. Clooney was born in the heart of Kentucky in 1961 and was raised in the Catholic faith. The Clooney family traveled almost constantly, as his father worked in broadcasting. Clooney had been in five different public schools during his childhood.
However, in an interview on The Larry King Show (2006), Clooney recalls his Catholic upbringing. He would get in trouble with his parents because he would ask probing questions that would oppose the Catholic faith. When asked about his religion, Clooney explained “I don’t have a specific — I don’t — it’s an interesting thing. I’ll tell you what’s tricky about this. In talking about religion, if you’re well known, anything you say sort of ticks off a bunch of other people and sort of attacks their belief.”
It is a sensitive, taboo topic for many. Although, Clooney has always been respectful of other belief systems. He supports this narrative, articulating that “ I always try to say that I, first and foremost, I think that whatever anybody believes, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s fair enough and works.” Clooney’s sensitivity and respect for religion are hard to deny.
Since this interview, Clooney has stayed pretty quiet on the topic of religion. But his perseverance for speaking his truth lives on. Clooney stands tall as he married Lebanese celebrity, Amal Clooney, in 2014, and created the Clooney Foundation for Justice. This organization fights human rights injustices for those suffering, regardless of sex, age, race, and more. Legal aid is offered and they work in over 40 countries.
His moral compass has surely guided him to learn, heal, and most importantly, listen to others. In a separate interview, Clooney praised his parents for providing him a strong moral foundation, saying, “My mother and father were involved, and we were [taught] it is your civic duty… I remember my father saying, ‘Don’t come back and look me in the eye unless you stand up to [bullies and racists].’ I’m glad to have been raised that way.”