The Rushmore Report: Celebrities Who Love God

There is a widely held and well earned impression that Hollywood celebrities aren’t in love with God. They tend to mock believers as “weak,” while they hold to liberal views on religion and ethics. But we have found some notable exceptions.

1. Dwayne Johnson: “I have my very own special relationship with God. I am very blessed. I count my blessings every day.”

2. Mark Wahlberg: “For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for.”

3. Denzel Washington: “I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you gotta get on your knees in the morning to find them. And while you’re down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding.”

4. Kevin James: “I’ve been very guilty of not showing my faith and just praying when I needed it, when something bad happened in my life and not being thankful when things turned good. All good is from God, and so I want to honor him.”

5. Carrie Underwood: “I’m not the first person to sing about God, Jesus, faith, or any of that, and I won’t be the last. And it won’t be the last for me, either. If you don’t like it, change the channel.”

6. Terry Crews: “God is good and has always been! Thanks to him for everything!”

7. Sean Astin: “The fundamental value in Christianity is forgiveness.”

8. Chris Pratt: “The birth of my son restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored. But it really redefined it.”

9. Pierce Brosnan: “Prayer helped me with the loss of my wife to cancer and with a child who had fallen on tough times. Now prayer helps me to be a father, to be an actor, and to be a man.”

10. Corbin Bernsen: “Making films has been kind of my way of getting closer to God. These films come out of me, out of my journey. I feel that there is purpose to what I’m doing. It goes beyond money, beyond ego, beyond fame.”

11. Mr. T: “You’ve got to testify! God is good! I pity the fool that don’t get it!”

12. Kristen Chenoweth: “I’m an actress and a singer and I’m also a Christian. I just want to be like Jesus, forgiving and loving.”

13. John Schneider: “People think God doesn’t pay attention to the details. God is in the details.”

14. Patricia Heaton: “You have to be willing to sacrifice everything to follow God and to follow what he’s called you to do.”

The Rushmore Report: The Faith and Politics of Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone has shifted from Catholic to a non-affiliated Christian. He was baptized, and grew up a Catholic, but temporarily stopped attending church after he became a successful actor. Still, by some accounts the Rocky films, which were written, directed, and starred in by Stallone, are some of Hollywood’s most religious mainstream films.

In 2006, Stallone stated that the Rocky films were based on Christian ideals: “This is a story of faith, integrity and victory. Jesus is the inspiration for anyone to go the distance. You could compare his courage to that of David, who as the epic underdog, defeated the giant Goliath in battle.”

That sounds accurate as Rocky II has: an in-church wedding, a scene where a priest blesses Rocky, an anti-condom joke. Rocky’s “thank you to God” speech after winning the fight and additionally, Rocky wears a cross throughout the film.

Stallone began attending Catholic mass again in 1996 – upon the birth of his sick daughter Sophia. As of 2006, Stallone was still attending mass regularly and identified as a practicing Catholic. But as of a 2010 interview, Stallone said, “I’m certainly not an atheist. I was baptized Catholic, but I don’t belong to a structured church. I have no opposition to it. I think there’s great nuggets of knowledge in there, some wonderful rules to live by.”

On the political front, Stallone has officially endorsed every Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan. In 1985, Stallone personally met with Reagan, who endorsed Rocky IV and Rambo: First Blood II, for its being an inspiration to and symbol of the U.S. Army. A portrait of Ronald Reagan can be seen in Stallone’s office within the film Cobra, a film that has been described by critics as the right-wing version of Dirty Harry. This film demonstrates Stallone’s conservative views on law enforcement within the American legal system.

Stallone, along with Chuck Norris, popularized the patriotic American versus Communist action films of the 1980s. Rambo: First Blood II, Rambo III, and Rambo IV focus on an American veteran fighting against various Communist dictatorships. Rocky III was considered to be so conservative and anti-Communist that Ronald Reagan actually condemned it. Similarly, Rocky IV criticized Communism and the Soviet Union. Stallone has voiced support for strong anti-Communist foreign policies.

Rocky II and F.I.S.T. seem to take negative views on labor unions. Rocky II has Rocky getting fired because of inflexible union regulations and F.I.S.T. links unions to crime syndicates.

However, Stallone has also demonstrated a few liberal views. He has contributed campaign funds to a few Democrat politicians, including Bill Clinton, who Stallone defended during the White House sex scandal. Additionally, in 2013, Stallone stated that he opposes personal ownership of assault weapons: “I know people get upset and go, ‘They’re going to take away the assault weapon.’ But who needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you’re carrying out an assault. You can’t hunt with it. Who is going to attack your house – an army?”

Stallone has stayed quiet on all other political issues; the rest seem open for debate.

About the Author

John Muller is an American television journalist. For the past five years, he has worked for ABC News as an entertainment anchor. Prior to taking the ABC position, Muller was a reporter and anchor in Georgia and Florida. A native of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Muller is a graduate of New York University.

The Rushmore Report: The Faith of Bill Cosby

William Henry Cosby is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. His big break came when he landed a starring role in I Spy, a hit TV show in the 1960s. His biggest hit was The Cosby Show, which sat on top of the ratings from 1984 to 1992. For the past several years, the 78-year-old has been fighting numerous sexual allegation charges. We know a lot about the rise and fall of Bill Cosby and his incredible success. But what do we know about his faith?

1. Bill Cosby was raised in a dual-religion household: Methodist and Baptist. Throughout his life, he says he has identified loosely with both Christian denominations, but he shares little about how active he was in church as a child or any ways in which he benefitted from his childhood faith.

2. Cosby is not particularly religious. Though he considers himself a Protestant, he says he is an “absentee voter” when it comes to attending church. “There are times when I will regard and think consciously about my faith and then there are times when I move without it.”

3. The actor is respectful of the role of faith in society. He does not restrict his feelings to Christianity, but to all faiths. For example, he cites Islam: “If you visit these neighborhoods and look, the thing that stands out with the black Muslims is no drugs, no alcohol.”

4. Cosby is critical of some evangelicals. For example, he criticizes evangelists, saying they miss the point. Rather than trying to “conquer” someone with their faith, they should be focusing on “modeling their own behavior after Christ.”

5. The Bible and religion have been a part of Cosby’s humor. In his book, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was), he cracked jokes about Adam and Eve, Noah, and other biblical characters.

6. He has promoted self-reliance. Before the sex charges, Cosby’s greatest criticisms came from his stance against what he considers the irresponsibility of the black community, especially among young men. He says they should quit criticizing others for their plight and own their own futures. “We keep killing ourselves,” he says of the black community. “Why? We’re making fools of ourselves.”

Bill Cosby is in the legal fight of his life. While he is surrounded by a loving wife and many supportive friends, it is sad that he doesn’t seem to have a strong faith on which he leans.

The Rushmore Report: Famous Last Words from Celebrities to Criminals

Nothing is more meaningful than a person’s last words. Some last words are profound, while others are touching, and some inspiring. Last words are remembered forever. They say a lot about the person saying them. Here are a few interesting examples.

1. Winston Churchill – “I’m bored with it all.”

2. Steve Jobs – “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

3. Kurt Cobain – “I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, love, empathy.” Those were the final words of his suicide letter.

4. Joan Crawford – “Da– it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!” She yelled these words at her housekeeper, who was praying for her as she died.

5. Walt Disney – “Kurt Russell.” The filmmaker and animator wrote those two words on a sheet of paper just before he died. At the time, Russell was a child actor who had just signed a long-term contract with the Disney studio. Why Walt wrote Russell’s name remains a mystery to this day.

6. Louis XIV of France – “Why are you weeping? Did you think I was immortal?” He spoke these words when he noticed his attendants were crying.

7. James W. Rodgers – “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.” The murderer was asked by the firing squad if he had any final requests.

8. Leonardo da Vinci – “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

9. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – “The taste of death is upon my lips . . . I feel something that is not of this earth.”

10. Harriet Tubman – “Swing low, sweet chariot.” The civil rights activist sung these words on her deathbed, surrounded by her family, who joined in on the song.

11. Benjamin Franklin – “A dying man can do nothing easy.” He spoke these words when his daughter told him to change position in bed so he could breathe more easily.

12. Bob Marley – “Money can’t buy life.” Those were the last words of the famous Jamaican musician.

13. Joe DiMaggio – “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.” The baseball legend was speaking of legendary actress and model Marilyn Monroe, with whom he shared a close relationship even after their divorce.

14. Karl Marx – “Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

15. Jesus Christ – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Rushmore Report: Glen Campbell’s Final Days

Glen Campbell’s wife, Kim Campbell, told the Tampa Bay Times that her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that he can’t play guitar and has lost most of his language skills. “I don’t even know if he knows what the guitar is for,” she said. “But our children come and play for him. It’s hard to tell if he’s responding to it much. Sometimes he’ll listen and sometimes he’s distracted. He’s in his own world right now.”

Glen Campbell, who is known for such songs as Rhinestone Cowboy, Gentle on My Mind and Wichita Lineman, was diagnosed with the degenerative brain disorder in the summer of 2011. He’s currently living in a Nashville memory care unit.

“Glen’s getting great care; he’s happy, he’s cheerful,” Kim said. “He’s healthy but . . . he doesn’t understand anything anyone is saying to him.”

He lives in a mental fog most of the time. But the aides and nurses say he must have been a godly man because they always see him thanking the Lord. Until recent weeks, he would often walk over to his window, life this hands, and say, “Thank you, heavenly Father.”

About the Author

Cindy Watts is a reporter for the Tennessean Reporter and recipient of the 2015 Country Music Awards Media Achievement Award. She covers music festivals, award shows, and numerous other local and national events. Watts has been covering the music scene in and around Nashville for 15 years.

The Rushmore Report: Celebrities with High IQs

The funny thing about celebrities is that even if you think you know  everything there is to know about them, they can still surprise you. Case in point: there are many celebrities out there who may seem unintelligent when you’re looking at their public persona, but in private they’re actually really smart. There are certain celebrities with surprisingly high IQs that really put the rest of us to shame – and this is before you consider the fact that most of these people also happen to be millionaires who are loved by people all over the world. Time to hit the books and start studying!

1. Matt Damon – 160. The famous writer and actor plays smart characters all the time, but he is really smart. According to interviews, his IQ is a genius-level 160, enough to make Good Will Hunting appear like more of an autobiography than people realized.

2. Cindy Crawford – 154. The supermodel is famous for being one of the most attractive women to grace a magazine cover. But Crawford is also known to enjoy impossible word games and unusual puzzles. Those who know her well say she is always the smartest person in the room, with a reported IQ of 154.

3. Conan O’Brien – 160. With an IQ of 160, the comedian is much smarter than he acts. What most people don’t know is the the late night comedian attended Harvard University and worked on the school’s legendary humor periodical, the Harvard Lampoon.

4. Steve Martin – 142. Another funnyman, the legendary actor and comedian has always demonstrated a keen wit. Fellow actors say he has to dumb down his humor to be understood. With an IQ of 142, his work is brilliant, and he is among the most well-read men of Hollywood.

5. Bill Gates – 160. This one doesn’t surprise. The richest man on the planet put his brains to good use early in life. The tech genius was a bit of a social outcast growing up, with interests that most kids just didn’t have. His 160 IQ has served him well.

The Rest

These aren’t the only brainy celebrities of our lifetime. Others’ IQs are not as well documented, so we didn’t put them on the “Top 5” list. But reportedly, these are other stars whose intelligence confounds, listed with their IQ as stated by various sources: Goldie Hawn (130), Alicia Keys (154), Ashton Kutcher (160), David Duchovny (147), Madonna (140), Lisa Kudrow (160), Meryl Streep (143), Nicole Kidman (138), Robin Williams (140), Arnold Schwarzenegger (135), Tommy Lee Jones (135), Sharon Stone (148), Jodie Foster (132), and Reggie Williams (160).