Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He was raised Episcopalian,1 but it is unclear if his family was devout or not. Most recently, Harris has designated himself an agnostic on his Myspace page.2

Harris, besides self-labeling himself as agnostic, doesn’t appear to want to talk about religion. However, the fact that he is gay and famous has put him in a position opposite religious fundamentalists whose agenda is often colored by their opposition to gays and gay marriage.

Perhaps Harris’ most poignant criticism of religion came in the form of a comedy video skit. The video, which featured Jack Black as Jesus and Neil Patrick Harris as himself, pointed out various inconsistencies in Christian anti-gay logic. For example, while Christians might cite the Bible, which says gays are an “abomination,” they might eat shellfish, which is also an “abomination” in the Bible. Or if the Bible’s position on gays must be taken literally, then why not other edicts, like stoning one’s insolent wife to death?

The video ends with Harris pointing out how much money might be generated by gay marriages and divorces.3

Still, Harris isn’t antagonistic towards religion. He occasionally participates in Christian events, such as a Walt Disney World Christmas celebration honoring the birth of Christ. Harris officiated the event in 2011 and apparently said that if the festivities didn’t turn your heart to Jesus, you were just cold-hearted.4

Gay politics

One would understandably assume that Harris, being gay and all, would align himself with liberals and then, by default, Democrats. This is pretty much the case. Harris was pleased to hear Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, tweeting:

Everyone is sitting around my living room, mouths agape. Wow, what a night. Thank you, Mr. President, for such an eloquent speech.5

But Harris doesn’t want to be a political spokesperson for gay rights, even if others look to him for leadership. He said:

We’re [Harris and husband David Burtka] super happy to lead by example, but even to define ourselves in any kind of leadership position I think is awkward. I cringe when I hear people say they consider themselves role models.6

Beyond defining his political/social positions by the fact that he is gay, there are some indicators that Harris is concerned with environmental issues. At least enough to drive a Prius, which he named “Judas.” Judas Prius, right?7

Plus, he seems to be economically liberal as well, and supports state-sponsored arts programs, citing Britain’s government-funded theater programs as a possible model for the U.S.8

One thing doesn’t seem to fit, though. Harris performed at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Some called him the “gay that makes the straights feel totally comfortable.”9

Still, this isn’t enough to warrant a Republican label and his record on gay rights and marriage equality, his views regarding state-sponsored arts programs, and his support of the Obama administration indicate a liberal Democrat.

  1. Q&A: Rainn Wilson on Taking Down His Emmy Competition. Vanity Fair. []
  2. Neil Patrick Harris (Neil Patrick Harris) on Myspace. Myspace. []
  3. Prop 8 = Love vs. Hate? Celebrity Political Views. []
  4. A Christmas Reading Plan. Southland Blog. []
  5. Hollywood’s Two Minutes of Hate. A Hollywood Republic. []
  6. ‘How I Met Your Mother’s’ Neil Patrick Harris, partner talk politics. The Examiner. []
  7. Neil Patrick Harris Trivia & Quotes. TV. []
  8. 20 Questions With…Neil Patrick Harris. What’s On Stage. []
  9. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris to Party With the GOP. Gawker. []