Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas and grew up in Midland, Texas.

Jones, well-known for giving reporters a hard time during interviews, has not been forthcoming with his religious views. Many claim he is Jewish,1 but he attended a non-denominational Christian high school, a prestigious one for which he earned a scholarship to attend.2 And he wrote his senior thesis at Harvard on the “Mechanics of Catholicism” in Flannery O’Connor–the Southern American poet.3

So Jewish seems sort of out of the question.

Christian? Catholic? Maybe… Totally non-religious? Not likely. He said:

I’m a believer in belief. Faith is something that works – it causes people to do things, it has results. It’s an intangible, indefinable, very real thing. And it moves people, sometimes to atrocity. And sometimes to survival.4

So he believes in faith. But really think about this quote. It’s about the effects of faith in the real world. My hunch is that Jones is much more concerned with the real, measurable, physical world than he is with religion or superstition. I could be wrong. If you know something, put it in the comments!

Al Gore and fracking?

Politically, Jones is a Democrat. This is evident from his political donations–modest by celebrity standards–but $12,000 of the $12,300 he’s donated has gone to Democrats.5

It is a well-known piece of Hollywood lore that Jones roomed with Al Gore during their Harvard days6 –and they stayed good friends throughout their respective careers. In fact, Jones was asked to host the Nobel Peace Prize concert when Gore was a recipient7 and Jones announced Gore’s nomination for presidential candidate in 2000. Read his speech here. He said:

I want America to know what I know: you’re [Al Gore] going to be one of the best Presidents the country has ever had. We need a person with your commitment. We need a person with your heart. Because the Office of the President represents every child on Earth.8

Then… the Bush years.

Jones has even been encouraged to run for U.S. Senator from Texas on the Democratic ticket. (He never even responded to requests.) But Texas Democrats thought he’d be one of the few people who could win in that heavily Republican state.9 Jones once said:

In the political world, the only position I have is voter. I’m not a spokesman for anything.10

What was that? Not a spokesperson for anything? Technically, that would be incorrect and this is where Jones and his old pal Al Gore would most definitely part ways. Jones was recruited and agreed to be the spokesperson for the Chesapeake Energy Company PR campaign to convince Americans that fracking for natural gas is nothing to worry about.11 Not exactly a liberal–or even Democrat–position.

  1. Is tommy lee jones jewish. ChaCha. []
  2. Tommy Lee Jones is Not Acting. Texas Monthly. []
  3. Tommy Lee Jones on “Sunset Limited.” The Daily Beast. []
  4. Tommy Lee Jones Quotes Page 2. Brainy Quote. []
  5. Tommy Lee Jones’ Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  6. Tommy Lee Jones – Biography. IMDb. []
  7. Tommy Lee Jones – Biography. IMDb. []
  8. Tommy Lee Jones’ Speech Text. ABC. []
  9. Senator Tommy Lee Jones? A Texas Democrat (Seriously) Wants to Draft Him. Time. []
  10. Tommy Lee Jones Quotes. Brainy Quotes. []
  11. Don Young’s Letter to Tommy Lee Jones Regarding Barnett Shale. Fort Worth. []