Chael Sonnen was born and raised in West Linn, Oregon.
Sonnen is a Christian, and apparently a rather devout one. I couldn’t find any information on what denomination, but he says that he goes to church every week and has since he was a kid.
But most of what Sonnen says about religion isn’t about how great God is, or how blessed he has been. In fact, he doesn’t have too many nice things to say about Christians. While talking about how churches are money-making operations he said,
I’m a religious guy. . . I’m not anti-relgion, but I’m not for these guys that have learned about the tax shelters that they can get through opening up a church, and throwing a cross up, and throwing Jesus’ name around a little bit here and there and getting everybody in town to come.
And about how other fighters are in the habit of thanking God when they win fights, Sonnen said,
[I]f I ever found out that God cared one way or another about a borderline illegal fist-fight on Saturday night, I would be so greatly disappointed that it would make rethink my entire belief system.
For Sonnen, it seems to all boil down the critical thinking. Those people who are religious just because they grew up that way or because they feel like they should be don’t earn any of his respect. And as a matter of fact, he feels the same way about religion as he does about politics. . .
For Sonnen, thinking critically is more important than which side of the aisle you stand on. He respects political talk-show host and Democrat Bill Maher because he thinks he’s a smart man and a great debater. But the fighter is a Republican through and through. He voted for John McCain in 2008 even though he doesn’t think he’s conservative enough, he was a fan of Herman Cain during the 2012 Republican presidential primary race, and he “really, really” likes Sarah Palin.
He approves of Obama’s handling of foreign policy, but don’t take that as an endorsement. In 2012, he said he thinks “people have been tortured for the last four years” under Obama. and he believes his tax policies are a disincentive to success in business.
Sonnen is apparently passionate enough about conservative politics that he ran for an Oregon House seat in 2010, but dropped out of the race before the election because of a money-laundering charge to which he later plead guilty. No matter how much the fighter wanted government out of his business, I guess it all caught up with him in the end.