Ben Affleck was born in Berkley, California and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a mostly Episcopalian family. He began to do regular charity work in 1999, and became politically active around the same time.
Though outspoken politically, he is pretty boring when it comes to religion, about which Affleck has been quoted as saying:
I have my own spirituality, which is of Western Christian spirituality, that is very effective for me.
His first child, daughter Violet, was baptized in a Methodist church, but that may be due to the fact that his wife, Jennifer Garner, and her family are members.
Affleck’s first charity work was for children stricken with a rare aging disease (a charity he continues to support), but his money goes to many good causes. Humanitarian work includes advocating for victims of the Congolese civil war, starting an aid group to help them, and demonstrating his overall political awareness with comments like this one:
The United States really needs to develop a comprehensive policy towards Congo as a whole, much in the same way it did toward Sudan in late 2009, which it doesn’t have toward Eastern Congo, despite what a sort of mess the place is.
He spoke to the UN about the issue, but some people think that just being famous doesn’t give you the right to spout about politics.
Ben Affleck actively supported Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senatorial campaign as well as Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, actually spending phone time calling registered democrats. He campaigned for John Kerry in 2004 and Barak Obama in 2008 and has recently ripped into GOP politicians for using a clip from his movie The Town to fire up House Republicans in the debt debate. Affleck said:
I don’t know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation. But if they’re going to be watching movies, I think ,The Company Men, is more appropriate.
The Company Men is an Affleck film that tells the story of the plight of middle-aged men who have been laid-off during the recession. (One of them, depressed about being unemployed, later kills himself).