Robert Redford has been a political activist for most of his life and has taken some very bold and forwards stances. Is he religious?
Robert Redford is an atheist which means he does not believe that there is a God. He has said that the only thing he really believes in is nature and that it is his guide. Redford has also said that he does not believe in an afterlife and thinks that this is all we have got.
You can learn more below about atheism, Robert Redford’s words on religion, and why he believes in nature.
What Is Atheism?
Atheism in the most general sense is the belief that there is no God that governs this world. It isn’t a religion because people who are atheists don’t believe in a God and therefore a religion.
That is all that most atheists have in common when it comes to their beliefs. Most atheists hold varying ideas and philosophies surrounding religion, the universe, and spirituality.
Atheism when defined is the negative version of Theism. Put simply a theist when asked if there is a God will respond “yes”, whereas an atheist will respond “no”.
Unfortunately, this is about as specific as one can go with atheism. That’s because there are still debates going on about what atheism fully constitutes. Some are arguing that atheism is simply the disbelief in any Gods while others are saying that atheism is a psychological state.
Among atheists, some criticize religions and look at them as somewhat of an anthropological study; this is called “New Atheism”. Yet, some don’t care to take a stance and are merely indifferent to different religions; these groups are known as “Friendly Atheists”.
If that’s the case, then where does Robert Redford fit in the whole schematic of atheism?
Robert Redford’s View on Religion
We think that Redford probably sits somewhere between the New Atheists and the Friendly Atheists. He has been critical of religions in the past but he has not been critical of the people who follow them or the guiding beliefs.
In a 2007 interview with Playboy (reported by Freedom From Religion Foundation), Robert Redford went into detail on his beliefs concerning religion and an afterlife. Playboy asked Redford if he believed in an afterlife.
To this, he had a multilayered response. He stated that he has explored every religion that is out there and some in a very deep way but that the philosophies involved in these religions were not enough to satisfy him.
He elaborated that he does not believe in organized religion and that people should not be organized in how they think and what they believe in. Redford then went on to criticize George W. Bush for using God as a scapegoat by saying that God spoke to him to justify his behaviors.
You can watch the short film from The Redford Center titled ‘Robert Redford’s Environmental Legacy’ that highlights his work as an environmentalist and love of nature.
Redford also said that “Problems can’t be solved with one way of thinking. If anything is my guide, nature is. That’s where my spirituality is.”
Finally, he responded to the question about the afterlife by saying “Is there an afterlife? As far as I know, this is it. It’s all we’ve got. You take your opportunities and you go for it.”
Robert Redford’s Spirituality With Nature
Even though Robert Redford has had a highly prolific acting career, won dozens of awards, and even founded Sundance Film Festival, there is one area that is much more important to him: nature. Redford has been an environmental activist since the 1970s.
As we showed above, if Robert Redford has any faith or religion it all lays in nature and the natural world. In fact, his core belief is that “Art and nature combined make the world a better place.”
In 2005, Robert Redford founded The Redford Center along with his son James Redford. The goal of the center has been to use film and media to help with environmental protection, justice, and repair.
The Redford Center has been able to make an impact by providing grants to filmmakers so that they can help create and spread awareness surrounding environmental issues. They have made four feature films, fourteen shorts, and eight series surrounding these issues.
It’s quite clear that Robert Redford believes in one thing and one thing alone, nature.