John Wayne

The Religion and Political Views of John Wayne



John Wayne was a Presbyterian most of his life, but converted to Catholicism on his deathbed.

Political Views

He was a flag-waving, anti-commie, conservative Republican.

Wiki Edit

John Wayne, whose real name is Marion Mitchell Morrison, was born in Winterset, Iowa but grew up in southern California near Los Angeles.

Wayne was raised a Presbyterian with a Scotch-Irish bloodline.[1] One of his sons claims that he was not religious.[2] But another says he would hand-write letters to God.[3] Whether particularly religious or not, Wayne married three devout Catholic women in his life, and all seven of his children were raised Catholic.[4]

He apparently converted to Catholicism a few days before his death.[5] He did not, however, convert to the Crystal Cathedral congregation after receiving a note from a girl with a broken leg, despite rumors.[6]

It’s possible that this turn towards Catholicism on his deathbed had been a long time coming. After all, he was surrounded by Catholics his whole life–between his wives, children, the priests who were in and out of the house,[7] and his friends.[8] Or he could have been a very sick man who was not terribly aware of what he was doing. In either case, it appears he was baptized,[9] and so according to the Catholics, he won’t be spending an eternity in hell.

Everybody’s favorite Republican

John Wayne was a committed conservative Republican, a role he was keen to discuss in public and play in his films. From his portrayals of the rugged individual in his westerns to the American commie-fighting hero in war films, Wayne acted on film what he idealized in real life.

His political views stemmed from his patriotic fervor:

Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.[10]

He was attracted to the rugged individualism of nineteenth century America–a country where opportunity abounded if you were willing to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.[11] But his was not a worldview that included food stamps and social security:

I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.[12]

When anti-commie fever broke out after World War II, Wayne jumped right on the bandwagon. He was a founding member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals[13] and also, for a time, a member of the controversial John Birch society.[14] His fervent hatred of all things communist also led him to support the Vietnam War–which didn’t win him any friends in Hollywood.[15]

Not surprisingly, he was and is a favorite of the Republican party. He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 1968 during Nixon’s first successful bid for the presidency.[16] And Republicans are still talking about him as the ideal representation of their party.[17]

  1. John Wayne: American. ↩︎

  2. John Wayne’s Catholic legacy. ↩︎

  3. My ‘granddaddy’ John Wayne, actor and Catholic convert. ↩︎

  4. John Wayne "I’m a Cardiac-Catholic. ↩︎

  5. My ‘granddaddy’ John Wayne, actor and Catholic convert. ↩︎

  6. John Wayne Conversion. ↩︎

  7. The religion of John Wayne, actor. ↩︎

  8. John Wayne’s Catholic legacy. ↩︎

  9. John Wayne’s Catholic legacy. ↩︎

  10. John Wayne Quotes. ↩︎

  11. John Wayne’s Politics: Unabashed Yankee Doodle. ↩︎

  12. John Wayne. ↩︎

  13. Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. ↩︎

  14. John Wayne, Man and Myth. ↩︎

  15. John Wayne, the Vietnam War and Marlon Brando. ↩︎

  16. John Wayne and Presidential Elections. ↩︎

  17. Michele Bachmann Flops ‘John Wayne’ Reference In Waterloo, Iowa. ↩︎

What do you think of this?

Loading comments...