Moby, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, was born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Darien, Connecticut.
Moby’s religious views are a sort of post-modern ambiguity leaning strongly toward Christianity–though he is quite critical of Christians at times. He has said that during his upbringing, he was “never encouraged to believe anything.” But that all changed in 1985, at which point Moby speaks of beings “struck” with the divinity of Christ while reading the Bible. But he seems to view religion, faith and belief as decidedly complex. Perhaps his religious views are best summed up with this quote:
I can’t really know anything. Having said that, though, on a very subjective level I love Christ. I perceive Christ to be God, but I predicate that with the knowledge that I’m small and not nearly as old as the universe that I live in. I take my beliefs seriously for myself, but I would be very uncomfortable trying to tell anyone that I was right.
It goes further than that. Moby actually disparages those Christians who regularly pontificate their moral “rightness,” saying:
How utterly disconnected the agenda of the evangelical christian right is from the teachings of Christ… The evangelicals are obsessed with prayer in schools, supporting the war in Iraq, opposing the teaching of evolution, fighting gay marriage, banning abortion… Jesus never mentioned any of these things in the New Testament.
Moby acknowledges the complexity of political, social and religious issues, but seems to lean very much to the left. If viewed through the lens of American political party ideology, some of Moby’s views could be seen as contradictory–even if they aren’t in reality. For example, Moby has called himself a libertarian when it comes to drugs and he’s expressed a preference for limited government–but with the caveat of including social welfare programs and no corporate welfare. He said:
I believe that the role of limited government should be looking after the needs of veterans, the elderly, children, and those institutions that improve the quality of life for struggling families — I don’t believe that government should bend to serve the needs of subsidized multi-national corporations and entitled billionaires.
But all of his political donations, totaling $12,500 to date, have gone to Democrats including both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Notice there are no libertarians getting Moby’s money.
If there’s one thing Moby’s against, it seems to be Republicans, particularly the Bush administration. He’s accused them of being blind, knee-jerk ideologues and incompetent–a rather dangerous combination indeed.
Like Moby’s music, religious views, politics or don’t like them. One thing sticks out: Moby’s willingness to accept the ambiguity and complexity of the modern world. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes and certainly no certainty. Some might call this wisdom.