Friday, June 12, 2009

Jane Fonda on Faith

I've long admired Jane me, she was the amazing actress in "Coming Home" and "On Golden Pond" who had a real-life conflict with her father, also reflected in the film. She was the exercise queen when I was in college, and friends and I would don our off-shoulder shirts and legwarmers and dance along with her exercise tapes. I admired her political activism and knew she had acted in many films when she was younger.

I was a young child in the late 60s and 70s and not very in tune to what was going on in the world with Vietnam. So I didn't realize until years later how many people hated her for what she stood for during the war. In fact, Vietnam vets recently protested on the streets of New York in front of the theater where she was performing. The internet is full of Jane Fonda hate sites.

She made many mistakes early in her life, as she reflects back on in her memoir, My Life So Far.

Since then, she has apologized and made attempts to make amends to Vietnam veterans and try to explain that her actions were not against them, but against the war. She admitted that she was young and naive, and she made mistakes. Whether she was wrong or right in what she did during Vietnam, I admire her bravery in standing up for what she believed in, even though she knew it would make her very unpopular.

The news media reported that Fonda's "born-again Christianity" broke up her marriage to Ted Turner. I had a hard time reconciling what I knew about her political and beliefs with the born-again Christianity. But people change...I gleaned a better understanding of what really happened when I read her book.

Recently she's been acting on Broadway and writing a blog, which I follow. A couple of days ago she posted an eloquent, wonderful post explaining her faith. If you are a seeker and interested in faith journeys, I encourage you to read it here. She has been struggling to reconcile her feminist identity with her Christian beliefs...what it says in the bible vs. what she knows in her heart and spirit about God and Jesus. Her post reflects my own faith journey so well, although in my case I was raised in the Lutheran church and left a few times in my early and mid-20s, only to finally return to it after Chris was born. Now I experience my faith and God's love through my community and my family. I find much more meaning in these things, and in creation, than in the pages of the bible.

1 comment:

  1. Marie,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I read Jane's essay on her faith and found it incredibly moving; it hit close to home. I definitely have renewed respect for her.