Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffery Atkins, was born and raised in Queens, New York.

Ja’s religious background is diverse and complicated. In the early part of his childhood, he was brought up a Jehovah’s Witness. He spoke of the difficulties of not celebrating holidays and going through Queens neighborhoods with his fellow Witnesses to spread their faith.1

However, Ja’s mother was “disfellowshipped” by the Jehovah’s Witnesses for drinking with friends. This means she was effectively kicked out of the church and she and Ja’s relationship with the Jehovah’s Witnesses ended. After that, Ja began attending Catholic Sunday school with a friend.2 But when he went to high school, it was “cool” to be a Muslim or a 5 percenter, so Ja looked into those religions.3

None of it sat too well with him in the end. He felt betrayed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and though he’s not specific about any incidents, he says he saw “foul” things going on in the Catholic, Muslim, and 5 percenter denominations.4 Now, he feels religion is something that can only be understood on a personal level, and that religious institutions are creations of man, and therefore subject to human flaws. He said:

I’m thinking maybe religion is the problem. Because religion is some man-made shit… So that’s why I wear two crosses now. I call it double cross. I believe in God and not religion, because I believe religion is the double cross.5

Well, he’s not easy to categorize and seems to have been burned by religion in general. But at least we know he’s monotheistic somehow. Perhaps he best summed his view up when he said:

I went through a lot of phases and studied many religions… I am spiritual and have whatever relationship with God, you do not need the middlemen.6

Jailbird politics

Ja Rule claims allegiance to the Democratic Party. This came out when he was talking about a friend he made while doing a prison sentence for tax evasion and gun possession. The friend was corrupt former Democratic New York City Assemblyman Alan Havesi. Ja Rule said of him:

Hevey’s a Democrat like me, so that helps. He told me how it’s like pulling teeth with the two parties trying to get bills passed.7

So, he’s getting some insider political information on the inside. That’s cool.

OK, Democrat, sure. But liberal, not so much. At least when it comes to the social liberalism of the Democratic Party, Ja Rule’s not really in step with the party. He seems rather offended by gay people, saying:

We need to go step to MTV and Viacom, and lets talk about all these fucking shows that they have on MTV that is promoting homosexuality, that my kids can’t watch this shit. Dating shows that’s showing two guys or two girls in mid afternoon. Let’s talk about shit like that! If that’s not fucking up America, I don’t know what is.8

Well, the comment didn’t go over well with gay advocate groups, and Ja Rule felt he needed to clarify–which he didn’t, only saying that he couldn’t care less about gay marriage as an issue and that he has gay relatives that come to visit from time to time.9

Plus, prison time for gun charges? We might be seeing a future member of the NRA. The general sense is: Ja Rule is a Democrat. Why? We don’t know. But he’s certainly not too far from conservative territory.

  1. Rapper Ja Rule speaks with Beliefnet about religion, God and his album ‘Rule 3:36.’ Beliefnet. []
  2. Ja Rule: The Road to Redemption. Hip Hop DX. []
  3. Rapper Ja Rule speaks with Beliefnet about religion, God and his album ‘Rule 3:36.’ Beliefnet. []
  4. Rapper Ja Rule speaks with Beliefnet about religion, God and his album ‘Rule 3:36.’ Beliefnet. []
  5. Rapper Ja Rule speaks with Beliefnet about religion, God and his album ‘Rule 3:36.’ Beliefnet. []
  6. The religion of Ja Rule, rap singer, actor. Adherents. []
  7. Rapper Ja Rule says prison ‘amazing.’ NY Daily News. []
  8. Ja Rule Looks in ‘The Mirror,’ Comes Clean on Homophobia. Spinner. []
  9. Ja Rule: I Don’t Care About Gay Marriage. TMZ. []