Former Sabrina The Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart sparked controversy once again with her latest comments on religion, in which she told her son she didn't know if people who do not believe in Jesus Christ are "good people."
During an episode of Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris on Wednesday, Hart told the ABC News anchor about the times her faith has been tested and said it is sometimes "not easy" being Christian. As an example, she brought up the time one of her sons, then 6 years old, was transitioning from a Christian preschool to a traditional school.
"We don’t know if these people are good people. We don’t know if they believe in Jesus...and he really took the Jesus part to heart," she told her son.
One day, her son made friends with a neighbor who was Jewish. So her son asked Hart, "If you’re Jewish, how do you get to heaven?"
Later, Hart got a call from the mother of her friend's son after the boys talked about their religion. The "chats" with the mother got "a little more heated" after the boys reached sixth grade. "And some problems came out of that," Hart said without elaborating, notes USA Today.
Hart said she believed in respecting other's believes, but began questioning her decision to tell her son the importance of Jesus at a young age.
"When the mom [of the child] called me with a problem in sixth grade I was like well, ‘Do I regret telling my son that we don’t know if people believe in Jesus, so we don’t know their character?'” she told Faris. “‘Is that a wrong thing to say? Did I set my son on the wrong path or was that the right thing to say and I should defend that?'”
Hart's comments quickly attracted criticism on Twitter, with some even suggesting she was "anti-Semitic."
"Dear Melissa Joan Hart, posing the antisemitism you are teaching your children as a question, does not make you any less of an anti-Semite," one person wrote.
"Holy crap that's some casually dropped anti-semitism in a completely mainstream fluff piece... this is fairly terrifying and just gross," added another.
Others blasted Hart for appearing to suggest that only Christmas can be for "good people."
"It does seem less antisemitism, and more antianythingthatisntherbrandofchristianism. Less specific, still gross. There are plenty of 'Christians' who have, er, very poor character. Not a super good test, donchaknow," one person tweeted.
"I'm pretty sure assuming someone's character over one factor is poor character in itself," another wrote.
This is not the first time Hart has been criticized for comments online. In September 2017, she was called "insensitive" for writing it was a "bummer" she had to cancel a Caribbean vacation because of Hurricane Maria.0comments
Hart and husband Mark Wilkerson have three sons, Mason, 12, Braydon, 10, and Tucker, 6. She recently appeared in the Christian film God's Not Dead 2 and starred in last year's Lifetime movie A Very Nutty Christmas. She will next be seen in the Netflix sitcom No Good Nick with Sean Astin.
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