When you work in a culture that doesn’t share many of your views, you can probably expect a little backlash.
Actress Patricia Heaton, who played Debra Barone in the smash hit “Everybody Loves Raymond,” certainly knows how that feels. She is a conservative Christian who has spoken out against embryonic stem-cell research and who is pro-life, which puts her at odds with many people in the acting industry.
But recently she told a writer for the AOL blog PopEater that she doesn’t worry about it.
“My feeling is all these things come from God and as long as I know I’m staying in line with Him, I don’t have to worry if there is backlash,” she said. “God will open any doors he wants to open and if He closes doors that’s fine too.”
Heaton stars in the ABC hit sitcom, “The Middle,” which currently runs head-to-head against "American Idol." The most recent TV ratings show that it ranks second behind AI, and ahead of “Criminal Minds,” “Minute to Win It” and "America’s Next Top Model."
Heaton has also teamed up with her husband, David Hunt, who is a director, to produce and distribute their own comedy web series called “Versailles.”
In the interview with PopEater though – during which she said she is not opposed to gay marriage – Heaton said she gets lumped together with other conservatives and it has cost her possible work.
“We know for a fact there are some people who have said they wouldn’t want to work with us because of our politics,” she said, with her husband Hunt adding, “We get lumped in with lunatics.”
When they say lunatics, it’s not a slam against Christians in general. In a 2006 interview with Christianity Today, Heaton spoke more in depth about the issue.
“There’s a need for Christians to stop being portrayed in our industry as crazies,” she said. “Christians – whether as a priest, a nun, a minister, whatever – have just been stereotyped to death. You try to be a model of kindness and love and forgiveness to all those around you, because you have received kindness and love and forgiveness from God through Christ. That’s what Christianity is.”