Republished from thestar.com February 11, 2011
PARAMOUNT PICTURES/MCT PHOTO
Bruce DeMara Entertainment Reporter
Don’t expect teen heartthrob Justin Bieber to describe himself as “bigger than Jesus.”
That famous quote about the Fab Four by the late John Lennon decades ago stirred up much Christian ire. But Bieber, the 16-year-old pop phenom from Stratford, Ont., appears to put Jesus first.
His spiritual side is in evidence in his movie, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, in which he is filmed praying before concerts.
“People will walk away (from the film) knowing faith is very important to him,” Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, one of the movie’s producers, told USA Today.
Bieber has not been shy about professing his faith.
“Always put God first because without Him, we wouldn’t be here,” Bieber said in a November interview on British talent show The X Factor.
The same month, Bieber told Billboard magazine: “I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. He’s the reason that I’m here.”
In a recent profile of the teen pop star in Vanity Fair, Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, talked about her faith, said she has met with God and said her son is a “gift from God.”
USA Today also reported that a number of Christian organizations were given advance screenings of the documentary. Paramount Pictures has refused to name them or to offer further comment.
Diane Winston, a University of Southern California scholar in media and religion, said Paramount can use Bieber’s overt faith to remind parents that the films “is a wholesome product they can take a child to see.”