SANTA MARIA, California, March 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After the passing last week of Jane Russell, the well-loved movie star and World War II pinup girl, fans began hearing of the strength of the 89-year-old Hollywood beauty’s pro-life and conservative convictions - something that had remained hidden to many.
Russell was neither quiet about her Christian faith nor lax in the compassionate spirit that led her to help thousands of hard-to-place orphans find permanent homes. But according to daughter-in-law Etta Waterfield, it was the same spirit that guided her position against same-sex “marriage” and the physical and psychological trauma of the homosexual lifestyle. However, she would articulate these positions with an emphatic warning against personal condemnation.
“She never judged the homosexual lifestyle,” Waterfield told LifeSiteNews.com in a telephone interview last Tuesday, two days after Russell passed away in her Santa Maria home.
While the Christian position on homosexuality is often maligned as homophobic, Waterfield said Russell’s primary concern was always for the people at the center of the debate. “These people are precious. We have to be a light to them,” she said, quoting her mother-in-law. “‘I do not condemn the homosexual community at all whatsoever, because God loves them too.’ She was there to help whoever.”
The judges in a British foster case last week stated that Christian beliefs about homosexuality could be “inimical” to children, granting tacit agreement to an opinion by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that children in the home of Owen and Eunice Johns of Derby, England risked being “infected” by Christian beliefs. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said, in response to a question on the case, that Christians should be “tolerant, welcoming and broadminded.”
For Russell, being welcoming or not wasn’t the question: Waterfield said that the Hollywood talent herself had “many homosexual friends, good friends,” and believed that “they’re hurting people. They hurt, and they’ve been hurt so severely. We have to be the light of the world to them.”
Although Russell would discuss homosexuality when asked, said Waterfield, she was primarily concerned with reaching out to people with the broader Gospel message, something Waterfield claimed people often thanked her for. “They loved her as an actress, and that’s what attracted them to her. She would in turn use that to open up the word of God to them,” she said.