Billie Joe Armstrong

Religion, politics, and ideas ofBillie Joe Armstrong

Summary

Armstrong doesn't believe in organized religion, and considers himself agnostic.

He's been called a Libertarian, and he's been voting for Democrats since the beginning, but my guess is that Armstrong is an independent.

Editorial

Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Piedmont, California and raised in Rodeo, California.

You might think Armstrong is an atheist. After all, he told Bill Maher that the Bible was only written to provide laws and keep people subservient, and that "religion is a bunch of bullshit."[1] But you'd be wrong.

Organized religion might be bullshit to Armstrong, but he hasn't completely given up on the whole spirituality thing. Or, at least he said punk rock is "kind of spiritual in its own way."[2] More specifically, Armstrong considers himself agnostic. When asked if he believes in heaven, he said,

I consider myself an agnostic, so I'm not really sure. I kind of believe that there's something possibly out there. I'm not stubborn enough to cancel that out. I believe there's a higher power somewhere. I just don't know what it is.[3]

Continuing on, he said he's really into Catholic symbolism, so he keeps crucifixes and rosaries in his house.[4] That could explain the tattoos of two angels facing each other praying on his arm and the cross with beams of light on his hand.[5]

Rage and Patriotism

Just as Armstrong isn't afraid to bash religion, he doesn't shy away from political messages either. The Green Day frontman was a vocal critic of the George W. Bush administration and even wrote an album during Bush's presidency bashing his "redneck agenda."[6] About the inspiration for his album, American Idiot, Armstrong said,

In the beginning, right after 9/11 and watching the sort of tanks going into Iraq and these embedded journalists going in live, it felt like a cross between war and reality television. So I just felt this great sort of confusion, like, someone needs to say something. . . . For me, I felt this moment of rage and patriotism.[7]

About Obama's election in 2008, Armstrong said that electing a black man felt like real progress, and that he felt like the country was digging itself out of George W. Bush by putting "this new intelligent human being into office." He was hopeful, however tempered:

I am optimistic, as long as these right-wing conservative assholes don't try to ruin things for people.[8]

I couldn't find too much about his opinion on the 2012 election because he checked into rehab just weeks before election day.[9] But he did manage to send out a tweet that said "Vote for Obama!"[10] so I guess he's still a fan.

As far as party affiliation goes, Armstrong is a tough one. According to a few sources, he is (or was at some point) a registered Libertarian.[11] But I couldn't track down any original sources for that claim and Armstrong has never specifically confirmed it. His distrust of government is cited as evidence,[12] but he's also been voting for Democrats since he was legal,[13] so I'm not convinced.

He could consider himself a Democrat, but I'm going to guess he's an independent. In one interview he mentioned that politics is never as black and white as it may seem,[14] and the fact that he is openly bisexual, but not really involved in the gay rights movement helps illustrate that fact. But one thing's for sure: he is not a Republican.

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