Nicholas Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up moving around the U.S. quite a bit before his family settled in Fair Oaks, California.

Sparks is Catholic–like, really Catholic. I’ll let him tell you how Catholic he is:

I was raised Catholic, baptized, confirmed, Sunday School, went to Notre Dame, go to confession, go to church weekly. My oldest son is an altar boy. All my children go to the Catholic school. My wife Catherine was raised Catholic. We were married in the Catholic Church.1

According to Sparks, those without faith are alone, thinking they are the center of a cold, dark universe.2

Sparks’ Christian faith is even central in his work–which has received worldwide acclaim across the religious spectrum. Some might say he’s evangelizing a bit, having been given a rather potent platform to present his views. He said of his books:

I have certain moral parameters that I do not cross in writing; I don’t write about adultery or kids having premarital sex… I do not use profanity in my novels. My characters all go to church. My characters have drawn great strength from church.3

And if spreading the word of God to millions of lovesick teenage girls wasn’t enough, Sparks funded and opened a private Christian school in his hometown of New Bern, North Carolina.4

Politics to forget

Sparks is a Republican. He’s donated $7,360 to Republican candidates and organizations since 2001.5

But you’re not going to catch Sparks in a political tirade. He doesn’t come out with his views about economics or social issues. His unfailing devotion to everything Catholic would certainly imply that he would probably be obliged to take a platform of anti-abortion, anti-birth control, and anti-gay marriage. But he did surprise me when he was asked by a prying reporter if he’d ever consider writing a gay love story. He replied:

I’ve been asked about it. I have no moral qualms about doing it. I don’t know if I could do it well.6

The reporter continued to press Sparks on the issue, asking if love between gay people is still love. He said:

That’s true. Yeah. I believe that. I believe that.7

So perhaps he’s not quite as conservative as his Catholicism would have us believe.

  1. Morality in Hollywood: An Interview with Author Nicholas Sparks. Catholic Education. []
  2. Author Nicholas Sparks remembers his Catholic roots. The Catholic Miscellany. []
  3. Nicholas Sparks. Christianity Today. []
  4. Author Nicholas Sparks’ Epiphany on Education. Daily Motion. []
  5. Nicholas Sparks’ federal campaign contribution search results. Newsmeat. []
  6. A Conversation with Nicholas Sparks. Movieline. []
  7. A Conversation with Nicholas Sparks. Movieline. []