Kerry Washington was born and raised in New York City.

Washington’s religious beliefs are a bit murky, but my hunch is that she’s got some spiritual element to her worldview. There’s no indication that she attends church or grew up in a religious household, but some of her Twitter comments assume a belief in God.

She sends out prayers during national tragedies, like the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013.1 She also sent out a “GOD BLESS AMERICA” one day,2 and when asked if her TV show Scandal would continue with another season, she wrote,

GOD WILLING! So… Keep watching! SPREAD THE WORD :)3

Her non-Twitter pseudo-religious comments are similarly vague. She mentioned in an interview with Oprah that she enjoyed some of what Christian evangelist and pastor Joel Osteen had to say–particularly that “bold prayers are important.”4

I wish I had something more concrete for you. If you’ve got something I missed, please drop me a line in the comments. Until then, we’ll go with some kind of Christian, but not terribly religious.

Politics is thinking about you

Now that we’ve got our ambiguity out of the way, let’s get on to Washington’s real passion: politics, more specifically the Democrats, and even more specifically Barack Obama. Washington was on the front lines of Obama’s first5 and second presidential campaigns, and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. In her speech, she revealed her view that the Democrats are the party of the common person. About the first three words of the U.S. Constitution: “We the people,” she said,

I love that phrase so much. Throughout our country’s history, we’ve expanded the meaning of that phrase to include more and more of us. That’s what it means to move forward. And that’s what this election is all about.6

As a black woman, she says there are so many people who came before her who fought and organized for her right to vote. If she didn’t participate, she feels like it would be an insult to their work.7 And she’s definitely taking advantage of the voice her history and her democracy have given her.

She sits on Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities.8 And she also talks politics in too many interviews to count–maybe because she stars in a politically oriented TV show. Regardless, she’s out there letting her opinions be known. OnĀ Real Time with Bill Maher, she took up the issue of affirmative action. She said,

The commitment to diversity came from the desire to be more inclusive and fair. So we acknowledge that not everybody starts out on an even scale, not everybody starts out with the same benefits and access and abilities to achieve. So we do something about that in a country where we want everybody to have a shot at success.9

There is much more to her politics than we can touch in this article, but you can be sure that no matter what, she brings passion and a degree of gravity to the debate. Kerry Washington believes politics are not something to be ignored; what happens in our government affects all of us, no matter who we are. As she said in her speech at the DNC,

You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.10

  1. kerrywashington: My heartfelt prayers go out … Twitter. []
  2. kerrywashington: So FYI @ BellamyYoung and … Twitter. []
  3. kerrywashington: “@deanallen55: #AskScanal … Twitter. []
  4. Kerry Washington Speaks On Pastor Joel Osteen. Praise1300. []
  5. Kerry Washington Endorses Obama 2008. YouTube. []
  6. Kerry Washington: Politics is thinking about you. CBS. []
  7. Kerry Washington Talks Power, Politics and Django Unchained. Uptown Magazine. []
  8. Mother and Child Interview with Kerry Washington. YouTube. []
  9. Real Time with Bill Maher (10/5/12) “Affirmative Action” Will Cain vs. Kerry Washington. YouTube. []
  10. Kerry Washington: Politics is thinking about you. CBS. []