The Rushmore Report: The Faith and Politics of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14. Swift doesn’t talk much about religion, and even actively avoids it. But she wrote this message to fans on a forum on her website:

“Just wanted to remind you guys that let’s try to avoid topics and conversations that lean towards political or religious topics. In the end, someone will inevitably get offended and this just isn’t the place for that.”

The faith of Taylor Swift

But she definitely has a Christian background. She enrolled in the Aaron Academy’s homeschooling service, which has a strong Christian ethos, for her final two years of high school. She has given $250,000 to Christian schools around the country. And she has recalled watching her grandmother sing at church when she was a young girl.

Swift also stood up to her record label execs to get Christian band Need to Breathe to go on tour with her, and has written and performed many songs referring to God. The lyrics for her single, “Our Song,” for example, contain a prayer reference:

“And when I got home, before I said amen, I asked God if He could play it again.”

Oh, and here’s a big clue. She went on a date once with hyper-Christian football player, Tim Tebow.

It is highly speculated that Swift is Catholic, but not confirmed. Her younger brother is a student at the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic research university, if that’s any help. But regardless, she certainly has the approval of Christian parents around the U.S. and even high-ranking Catholic officials have sung her praises. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese on Minneapolis-St. Paul wrote of her:

“It is refreshing to find a popular, musical role model who is focused on friends, friendship and family values.”

Oh yes, she’s squeaky clean – so far.

The politics of Taylor Swift

Swift is a bit of a contradiction. At first she certainly seems like a Republican. She performed at the Republican National Convention in 2008, and she once apparently wrote on her MySpace page: “Republicans do it better.”

But then, in one interview, she conceded that she supports Obama. Referring to the 2008 election, the first one in which she was old enough to vote, she said, “I’ve never seen this country so happy about a political decision in my entire time of being alive. I’m so glad this was my first election.”

Swift has also said her heart was “racing” as she listened to Stevie Wonder make a speech on the evening that Obama was elected. And she described Michelle Obama as a “role model.”

Even though she prefers to not talk about politics so as not to offend her fans, she can’t seem to escape it. Maybe Taylor should put on a show of being Republican in order to not turn away her predominantly Republican country music fan base. Or maybe she really likes Obama, but not his politics.

About the Author

Tom Kershaw is a freelance writer on the latest news from iconic entertainment figures. He sheds light on the faith and politics of such popular figures as Tom Clancy and John Lennon.

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