Kobe Bryant was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was brought up and still is a Roman Catholic and even participates in the Catholic tradition of God-parenting, godfather to a niece and the son of a good friend.
In times of trouble (like a high-profile sexual assault case), Kobe leans on his faith, saying:
I've pretty much done all I can here and, you know, God will carry me the rest of the way, so I'm pretty comfortable with that.
Even though the case was settled out of court, one might speculate that Kobe would have had no problem switching religions if things didn't work out. He once said:
I wouldn't mind being Jewish. I wouldn't mind. Really.
Rubbing elbows in the halls of power
Politically, Kobe is connected. It seems like he's a real buddy of President Obama's. They've been spotted cracking jokes at each others' expense, participating in charity events together, and there are even reports of Kobe and his crew showing up at the White House uninvited for a visit. President Obama said once:
Kobe and Derek [Fisher] have been there so many times now, they could lead tours themselves.
Kobe has lent his star power to political causes outside of the U.S. as well, taking a stand against genocide in Darfur with an international aid organization called Aid Still Required, Kobe said:
If we can unite people who are willing to take a stand, miracles can happen.
Even though Kobe seems to be a Democrat (who are associated with social tolerance), he doesn't seem to be so tolerant. One of the biggest Kobe controversies (along with the sexual assault charges of course) was when he called a basketball referee a "fucking faggot." The NBA fined Bryant $100,000 for the slur and Kobe apologized, but that's definitely not a sign of a good Democrat–or Christian for that matter.