Jenny McCarthy was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois and grew up in Chicago, Illinois.

McCarthy grew up Catholic and attended Catholic prep and high schools in her hometown of Chicago.1

Religion either didn’t play much of a role beyond education in McCarthy’s childhood or she doesn’t talk about it much. But after the birth of her son, Evan, and his autism diagnosis, McCarthy seemed to have re-found her religion quite quickly. She wrote in her book, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism, that she started praying to a wide variety of Catholic saints.2 Then came the great bargain:

I made a pact with God the day Evan got his autism diagnosis. I said, ‘God, show me the way to heal my boy, and I will teach the world how I did it.’3

Allegedly, McCarthy’s son was healed, and the former Playboy model made good on her promise, launching several books, speaking engagements and all manner of television appearances decrying vaccines and the science behind them. According to McCarthy, child vaccines equal autism. She took a lot of flak for it.45 But that’s another story.

Still, it seems McCarthy’s religious views are more about spirituality and the power of positive thinking and less about crosses and sacraments. She said:

I don’t think faith in religion necessarily matters because if you have at least faith that things will improve, it is by the law of attraction that things will improve. If you were to say, ‘Nothing’s going to work and there’s no hope,’ it’s not going to.6

Brilliant, but socially impaired politics

At first glance, McCarthy seems like a Democrat. Her $1,250 worth of political financial contributions has gone to either Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign or Democratic PAC’s.7

But when it comes to her pet political project–the battle against autism–McCarthy doesn’t care which side of the aisle a politician sits on as long as they will listen to her. During the 2008 presidential campaign, McCarthy scheduled a meeting with Republican John McCain to talk about vaccines and autism, but the candidate cancelled because it was too taboo of a subject.8

So, she turned to Obama,9 but he wouldn’t touch it.

That’s about the extent of McCarthy’s political contribution. Where other stars in her position might be railing on about gay marriage or the environment, McCarthy’s pitted herself against the bulk of the medical science community (and a significant portion of conventional society for that matter) and dedicated herself to autism awareness.

  1. Jenny McCarthy (I) – Biography. IMDb. []
  2. Myth, Religion, and Jenny McCarthy, False Prophet of Autism. The Science Blogs Book Club. []
  3. Myth, Religion, and Jenny McCarthy, False Prophet of Autism. The Science Blogs Book Club. []
  4. The Faith of Jenny McCarthy and Her War on Science. Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Central Ohio. []
  5. Sluts, Jenny McCarthy, Vaccinations, and God. Richard Dawkins. []
  6. Jenny McCarthy on autism, her son Evan, her new book ‘Louder Than Words’, biomedical therapies, holistic therapies. Beliefnet. []
  7. Jenny McCarthy’s Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  8. Jenny McCarthy Upset About John McCain Snub. Starpulse. []
  9. Jenny McCathy Calls on Obama to Prevent Autism. Mom Logic. []