Fox News host Sean Hannity is quick to admit he’s not a preacher — he’ll have a drink and use a few curse words — but he’s deeply aware of the “majesty” of creation and doing his best to be better.
“I was raised a Catholic,” Hannity told Faithwire. “I wouldn’t say I’m a Catholic anymore, but let’s put it this way: I’m an aspiring Christian.”
The 57-year-old Fox News host, who opens up about his faith in an upcoming episode of “Ainsley’s Bible Study” on the streaming platform Fox Nation, said a lot of people seem to misunderstand what it means to be a Christian. To trust in God, Hannity said, is to admit “we’re flawed, that we sin, that we’re imperfect.”
He pointed to the fact that, throughout Scripture, Jesus is seen spending time with people who are a little rough around the edges. A fan of “Wicked Tuna,” Hannity said he figures the anglers Jesus spent his time with were probably just as gritty as the fishermen on the National Geographic show.
Jesus, he added, wanted to spend his time with the outcasts. Over the phone, Hannity admitted he has “a finely tuned conscience” and is aware of when he does something wrong, noting he tries to set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on God and Scripture. And even amid his mess-ups, he remembers Jesus didn’t spend his time with polished religious leaders; he spent his days on earth with people who “weren’t exactly refined and sophisticated.”
“He seemed to love the forgotten men and women of his time,” Hannity said of the people Jesus pursued during his earthly ministry.
The Bible makes it clear the Gospel is big enough for people who don’t fit into a neat, cookie-cutter mold — though we should always strive to be more like Jesus.
“People really seem to take delight in condemning Christians when they fail … and I’m not really exactly sure why, because I think by wanting to be a Christian, you’re just admitting you want to be better and you want to be forgiven,” Hannity explained. “You’re not making a statement that you’re great and pure and perfect. It’s just the opposite, to me.”
Though he might not talk about his faith in great detail — he’s more open on radio than he is on TV — Hannity often ends his shows by saying, “Let not your hearts be troubled,” a reference to John 14:1, when Jesus told his anxious disciples, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
His decision to conclude his shows with the New Testament passage, he recalled, came about “organically.” His radio listeners reacted positively to the hopefulness of the verse after hearing “about troubling times.”
“At the end of the day, as bad as it may seem, He’s in charge,” Hannity said.
The host went on to say there is no better opportunity to reflect on that truth than during the Christmas season — the only time Hannity steps away from his work on the radio and on TV to pause and reflect for a couple of weeks. He said it usually takes four or five days for him to really begin “reflecting” on the year behind him and dwell on “the simple truth that we’re flawed … and have a desire to reach out to be better and to ask for the help and forgiveness that is given to us” by God.
Hannity asked about positive role models in today’s divisive culture, said he is particularly impressed with rapper Kanye West’s willingness to talk boldly about God and his newfound Christian faith.
“For a guy like Kanye to come out and say, ‘Loving God is cool,’ not only does he not give a flying rip what anybody thinks,” he said, “but I think he’s the type of guy who could have an impact on kids that probably need faith in their life.”
Jesus was — and is — unafraid of using people who are a little rough around the edges, of reaching out to those society has deemed outcasts. Hannity is just aspiring to be one of those people.
“He picked regular people to be his closest friends in life,” Hannity said. “Moses wasn’t perfect, King David wasn’t perfect, and they paid a price. There’s not a single figure in the Bible — except Jesus — who was perfect.”
The Christmas episode of “Ainsley’s Bible Study” featuring Hannity premieres Wednesday on the streaming platform Fox Nation.