Religion is often a highly personal matter. Many figures in public positions often refrain from sharing their views on religion too often. However, some public figures choose to use their status to spread the word about their beliefs.
Mark Wahlberg, famous for films such as “The Departed,” recently opened up about his religion, saying he refuses to deny his Catholic faith, even if it isn’t winning him any friends in Hollywood. The actor made his beliefs abundantly clear as he showed up for an interview with TODAY proudly displaying an ash cross on his forehead for Ash Wednesday.
Wahlberg elaborated on his choice to be open about his religion, noting that he never tries to force it on anyone else. That said, he’s adamant about not hiding his beliefs, since concealing his devotion to his Catholic faith would betray his views. He explained:
“I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin.”
Although the freedom to express his faith is essential to Wahlberg, he also mentioned allowing others to do the same is critical. The “Father Stu” star noted that he had many friends who have based their lives on beliefs different from his own, and he feels that respecting their beliefs is crucial.
Wahlberg described the relationship between sharing his religion and leaving others to believe what they want as “a balance.” The actor tries not to be overbearing in promoting Catholicism, but he does want to play his part in helping those who want to listen.
Why Was Mark Wahlberg Called a ‘Hypocrite’ for Preaching?
In his interview with TODAY, Wahlberg admitted that his religion is “everything” to him. His belief in God has helped him to grow as a person, and his dedication to his faith has allowed him to remain disciplined in other facets of his life as well.
What upset most commenters was the “disingenuous” nature of his Lentin posts.
Wahlberg’s dutiful adherence to his faith’s doctrines has helped him build a life he can be proud of. The actor shared that the simple acts of fasting and spending time with God have taught him how to be disciplined in his job and helped him become the actor he is today.
Wahlberg partnered with the app Hallowed to encourage others to fast for Lent. The actor is hosting a challenge over a 40-day period, urging those partaking to fast from a series of things that can become negative influences. Most recently, Wahlberg started with the fourth week of his Lentin challenge.
In a video he posted on Instagram, the actor greeted his followers after finishing a prayer in front of a crystal cross. He stood up from a kneeling bench and mentioned that the fourth week would be dedicated to fasting from all forms of technology. Many claimed his post was hypocritical:
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
“Hypocrite: that’s exactly what Jesus said. I guess you have a different version of the Bible. Sad to see people with a good platform misuse it. To gain likes.”
Many others criticized Wahlberg for posting online while telling others to abstain from all forms of technology. One user wrote, “‘We have to take a break from tech’ as he talks to his camera to post his content to his followers on social media.”
Some even went so far as to suggest Wahlberg was taking his religious promotion to strange heights, with one user writing, “Bro this guy has become a cultist.” Many also criticized him for promoting brands he has signed deals with in between his Lent posts.
What upset most commenters was the “disingenuous” nature of Wahlberg‘s Lentin posts. Many suggested that he should follow his own advice, with one user commenting, “Fast from technology as you post on a social media app with a cellphone 😂. Practice what you preach.”
How Did Faith Impact Mark Wahlberg’s Marriage and Family?
Despite the negative feedback on his social media post, Wahlberg remains confident in his faith. He continues his 40-day Lentin challenge and is proud to speak about his beliefs, although he sticks to his principle of not forcing his religion on others.
Wahlberg also noted that he allows his children to see the world how they want. Instead of forcing them to go to Mass and adopt Catholicism, he hopes to show them the value of the Catholic faith through his dedication. The actor elaborated on how he hopes to set an example:
“They know that Dad can’t start the day without being in prayer … reading my Scripture or going to Mass. And hopefully, instead of forcing that on them, they’ll say, ‘Well, if it works for Dad, maybe it’ll work for us,’ and they’ll kind of gravitate towards it on their own.”
Wahlberg is also happy to have his wife, Rhea Durham, standing firmly by his side. The two have known each other since 2001, when they met in New York City. The actor spoke about how he met his model wife, mentioning they were at the same promotional event. When he saw her, he was enamored and asked her out:
“I asked her if she wanted to come out with me, and she said yes. Then I asked her if she wanted to come to church with me the next morning, and she said yes again. So that was our first date: St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.”
Wahlberg and Durham began dating soon after. The actor gushed that he knew she was “the one” as soon as he saw her. Nonetheless, the “Daddy’s Home” star admitted he had to be sure he could be the man she needed.
Luckily, Wahlberg was precisely the man Durham needed in her life, and they married a few years after they met. The happy couple welcomed their first child in 2003. The couple had three more kids over the years, and they’ve been married for an impressive 14 years and have known each other for a total of 22.