Chris Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and grew up in Brooklyn, New York.

Rock comes from a Christian family, but which particular denomination isn’t explicitly stated. His grandfather, who Rock names as one of his primary comedic influences, was a preacher in South Carolina1 so it’s reasonable to assume Baptist.

We’re unable to determine with any certainty if Rock is still a devout Christian today. However, his comedy routines–when they’ve addressed religion–have generally cast the entire institution in a bad light. So much so that some consider Rock to be an atheist.2 For example, he said:

A black Christian is like a black person with no memory.3

Despite America’s lip service to Christianity, Rock seems to feel the real American religion is money. He once said during a 2004 HBO comedy special:

The number one reason people hate America: the number one reason is because of our religion. Americans worship money, we worship money. Separate God from school, separate God from work, separate God from government, but on your money it says in God we trust. All my life I’ve been looking for God, and He’s right in my pocket.4

Mostly, it amounts to contempt for religion, but who knows, it could all be in the name of comedy.

Everybody hates politics

Rock is politically cynical, but when it comes down to it, he’s no Republican. Speaking of politicians he likes, he rattled off this list:

Mr. Obama is pretty serious and should be taken seriously. You know, I like him. I like Gore. Hillary too–she’s O.K. She can get a job in the Cabinet.5

Notice that it’s a list of Democrats. Beyond that, Rock has donated $42,100 to Democrats, with exactly $40,000 of that tidy little sum going to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.6

But don’t get the idea that Rock is all one-sided. Speaking about divisions in American thinking and the idea that we’re all sheep, clinging to one ideological framework or another, Rock said:

The whole country’s got a fucked up mentality. We all got a gang mentality. Republicans are fucking idiots. Democrats are fucking idiots. Conservatives are idiots and liberals are idiots… No normal decent person is one thing. OK!?! I got some shit I’m conservative about, I got some shit I’m liberal about. Crime – I’m conservative. Prostitution – I’m liberal.7

Seems like a rather astute observation of humanity, all in all.

  1. Chris Rock. The Observer, Life Magazine. []
  2. Black atheists break one more set of chains. An Agnostic in Wheaton. []
  3. Black atheists break one more set of chains. An Agnostic in Wheaton. []
  4. Chris Rock. Wikiquote. []
  5. 10 Questions for Chris Rock. Time. []
  6. Chris Rock’s Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  7. Chris Rock on Liberals and Conservatives. Paradox 1. []