Joel won’t marry Nicole until she converts to Christianity

While most celebrity couples seem to run right out and get married as soon as someone accidentally gets pregnant, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden have kept their relationship status quo. Though they’ve long been rumored to be kind of/sort of engaged, they’ve yet to announce anything official, and it doesn’t appear that they have any concrete wedding plans.

It often seems like the pair isn’t quite certain of their union. To be sure, Nicole has had a very rebellious past, whereas Joel has lived a life a bit more on the straight and narrow, despite being a musician. Before Nicole, Joel dated Hillary Duff for a long time. That’s quite a leap, in terms of different personalities.

The National Enquirer says the holdup is Nicole’s lack of religion. Joel wants her to convert to Christianity before they get married. And it sounds like he doesn’t want it just as a formality, but truly wants her to find God and faith before he commits to spending the rest of his life with her.

“Joel is determined not to marry Nicole until she asks forgiveness for her sins and is willing to raise little Harlow with the same religious upbringing that he had,” a source told The Enquirer. “Joel may look like a rebel, but the truth is he is an old-fashioned conservative guy with hardcore Christian beliefs.

“… The Bible is a big part of his life – so much so that he has a tattoo of Jesus and a Sacred Heart on his arms. Joel went to church regularly as a kid and he believes that God has made him what he is today. He has seen all the problems that spoiled Hollywood children like Nicole encountered, and is determined to prevent Harlow from being the stereotypical Beverly Hills brat.”

In an attempt to break from her checkered past of rehab stints, drunk driving and drug arrests, Nicole has already begun her spiritual transformation, says a close friend. And insiders say she couldn’t be happier. “It looks like Nicole is on the way to fully embracing Joel’s religious beliefs,” said the friend. “She knows how great her life has become thanks to him.”

As The Enquirer reported last week, Nicole has had trouble coping with the stress of motherhood. “Joel thinks God will be the ultimate answer to her problems,” continued the source…. “As much as Joel loves Nicole, and is dedicated to being her rock, he feels like their marriage would never work unless they are on the same page with their religious beliefs,” added the source. “Bottom line, he wants a Christian family.”

[From the National Enquirer, June 16, 2008, print ed.]

The Enquirer makes it sound like Nicole Richie is alright with converting, but it also sounds like Joel is putting a lot of pressure on her. That’s not exactly the best way to find true faith – that’s something a person has to come to on their own terms. It does seem like Joel has been nothing but a good influence on Nicole – but I’m still not completely convinced that she’s appreciative of that influence.

It often seems like she’s not ready to settle down yet – especially given the many reports that she’s having trouble adjusting to motherhood and not going out and partying as much. It seems like a lot of things have changed super fast in Nicole’s life, and probably earlier than she had planned. Hopefully she’ll be able to figure out what’s best for her family.

Here’s Nicole and Joel out for a stroll with baby Harlow on May 20th. Images thanks to Splash.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

47 Responses to “Joel won’t marry Nicole until she converts to Christianity”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. elisha says:

    Uh oh. Trouble in paradise. It feels like the beggining of the end for this epic couple.

  2. Rio says:

    I hate to pick nits, but isn’t having a child out of wedlock pretty un-Christian to begin with? I’m Catholic and admittedly we’re more “old school”, but if the same standards apply across the board, it’s a tad late to be pulling the religious card. (Also it’s been debated if tattoos– ones of Jesus or not– are specifically forbidden in the Bible. Oopsie.)

  3. Banana Boat says:

    Yeah after you have a kid is not the time to be testing the waters to see if the relationship has legs.

  4. silentA says:

    She looks much nicer with a set o’ boobs and a behind.

  5. vdantev says:

    Yeah, siring a few bastards is definitely a Christian thing to do.

    *sarcasm mode off*

  6. TheLostGirl says:

    Forcing her into changing her beliefs will help how? 8O

  7. Kayla says:

    No, if she would have aborted the child that would be un Christian. That was her only tow choices when she found out she was pregnant. These are the end times and more and more will come to know Jesus.

  8. anon says:

    Got to agree, his Christian beliefs are certainly not that “hardcore” and “conservative”. If that were true he wouldn’t be living with, and raising a baby with, a woman who is not his wife.

    And sure, wait until you already HAVE a baby, THEN try to make sure your partner has the same values and wants to raise a child the same way. It’s all so well thought out.

  9. countrybabe says:

    When I first read this I thought well he is supposed to be really Christian, and then I remembered they had the baby out of wedlock. He could have run to the alter like Ashley Simpson. Sounds like he is tired of her and is just making up excuses. There were rumors the realtionship is on the rocks and she is very needy and clingy.

  10. SeVen says:

    Yeah, i know the church my family attends really preaches about pregnancy before marriage and things like that, way to contradict yourself joel


  11. Tanille says:

    isn’t she catholic?she has a rosary tattoo around her ankle? how does she have a lack of religion, there has to be some belief for her to get that tattoo unless it was just a fashion statement

  12. Larissa says:

    Its not about the religion itself… its about his wish of her really accepting Jesus into her life!
    I was raised a catholic but had been an agnostic for most of my life, until I found my way to God! And when I did I wanted to share with the world and my loved ones how powerfull and beautiful it is!
    Am not preaching at all…but God is much more than dogmas and restrictions, and only true Christians know how it feels like! Marrying someone pregnant is nth less than being an hippocrate!!!

  13. sue mac says:

    What a load of crap!!! Tick-tock this ride is about to stop.Frankly don’t get the huge need for a young woman to rate their self worth based upon having a man standing next to them.Cardboard cutout is cheaper and more user friendly!

  14. Musey says:

    “Am not preaching at all…but God is much more than dogmas and restrictions, and only true Christians know how it feels like!”

    I dunno, Larissa, sounds pretty preachy to me. I’m not Christian, but I’m happy with my faith and it’s been a comfort to me. The way I interpret God isn’t going to be the same as someone else’s–as you said yourself, God is much more than dogmas and restrictions–but you don’t have to be a Christian to be at peace with your faith.

    And if someone’s at peace without being religious, then I say good on them too. The same thing isn’t going to work for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be equally happy.

  15. Hollz says:

    not only does she have a rosary, she also has the word “virgin” tattooed on her wrist. (because she’s a virgo)

  16. CeeJay says:

    She has to find her own way to her own God. History has shown time and time again that those who are forced to practice, or not to practice any one faith, will ultimately revolt. Hopefully he’s trying to share the good that his faith has brought him and she too will buy into it. I know that my husband and I have a lot more in common because of our same shared faith. I wish them luck. It’s a bit harder to do when the cart was put before the horse.

  17. Charity says:

    Bitch has my stroller! I loooooooooove the orbit baby line….

    ARGH! Maybe she’ll donate it to me after she’s through with it. 8O

  18. gg says:

    Okay, for starters, wearing a rosary or tattooing yourself means zippo. It means you like tattoos just like everybody else in follywood.

    I think Joel is just trying to help her be more stable, and if she had God somewhere in her life, rather than no spiritual beliefs at all, she might not be freaking out all the time. It might give her some contentment, which she so clearly is in great need of.

    It’s too late to undo the baby, so there’s really no point in saying Joel doesn’t have faith just because they didn’t get an abortion. That’s absurd. People have accidental pregnancies all the time.

  19. Kolby says:

    I don’t think finding a god or gods or whatever is the key to having a stable life. You either make good choices or bad choices, and you’re the only person who knows what choices are right for you. I am of no religion, yet I am somehow not on drugs, I have a good job and strong marriage, and I consider myself to be much more level-headed and calm than my supposedly religious relatives and friends. It’s all up to the person, and you have to find the way of living that’s right for you.
    Anyway, I am taking this story with a grain of salt – it is the Enquirer.

  20. AC says:

    I agree god is way more than dogmas and yadda yadda… im not religious but being raised catholic means jack squat unless you believe it.

    i think its a mistake to try to change someone that way… but at least they didn’t get married right away thinking things would change. Im glad they’re being smart about it for their sake.

  21. Keith Orchard says:

    Ahhhh, the magic man in the sky. This is such a joke. Never mind a baby out of wedlock, what about sex out of wedlock. That’s against the rules too in every major religion. Thats’ not me, i’ve had as much pre-marital sex as I could, but if you are going to profess this undying leap of faith for a magic puppet master in the sky, than at least get it right, or keep your trap shut.

  22. yaya says:

    I’m a spiritual Christian. lol don’t ask what that means yet, but its something along the lines of I believe in my faith, but i think some doctrine in the bible is a bit out of touch to say the least


    1) Joel last time I checked tattoos were a no-no in christinaity and which makes religious para written on your body a bit sacrilegious. (no judging. i have a small, as in tiny one on left wrist and another minuscule one on behind my right ear)

    2) sex out of wed-lock (with you on that one) baby out of wed-lock (i’ll wait for the ring). nuff said.

    lol but i won’t nitpick. i completely get where he is coming from. in my opinion if you are a spiritual person, then marrying inter-religiously is more difficult then marrying inter-racially, or cross generationally, etc…

    but he really shouldn’t it force it down her throat. all that will lead to is resentment. he should be patient because a lot has changed for nicole in a very short time and part of the reason he liked her is because of her witty and spit fire personality. he wouldn’t want to squelch that. at least i hope not

  23. KIKIB says:

    that is the most disgusting load of crap i’ve ever heard. isn’t popping out a douchelet out of wedlock against his strict christian upbringing? Puke…

  24. Cinnie says:

    So she’s godly enough to screw and bear his child, but not marry? He twists his religion to suit his needs at the moment– not much of a believer, IMO.

  25. Lor says:

    I love you, you’re perfect, now change. I say fuck you to all the controlling hypocritical pricks out there.

  26. jess says:

    umm…lets not forget that it was HIS house she was driving on the wrong side of the freeway from, high on pot and vicodin…

  27. Commentator says:

    Belief is God means accepting that you sin, just like everyone else. We are human, Joel is human and so is Nicole Richie. Just because he has premarital sex doesn’t mean he can’t have faith in God and consider himself a Christian.

  28. nikki says:

    I grew up with 18 YEARS of the catholic church shoved down my throat, and as soon as I was able, I rebelled. I have had my share of sex out of wedlock, I had a baby out of wedlock, I am a good and stable mother, and managed to keep my self off of drugs. I now just go to church with my husbands family to appease them. Just because someone is not a “practicing”(enter religion here), doesn’t mean that they don’t have faith. Trust me, just being a good mother requires a certain measure of faith…

  29. Syko says:

    I agree you don’t have to go to church. I consider myself spiritual instead of religious, and I get more of a feeling of peace from watching the sun rise over the ocean or standing on a mountain looking out forever, more of a sense of having my soul restored, than I ever got in any church.

  30. Michelle says:

    Ok, wow, how the mighty will judge. In no place does it say you have to be perfect to be a christian. It says in many places in the new testament that Jesus is her for the sinners not the righteous. Some people find their Christianity after their children are born. I myself recently had a spiritual awakening that brought me to the church after a miscarriage. I thought my baby died because I wasn’t a good enough person, and although this is not true, I realized that maybe I had not lived as good of a life as I could and I changed for the best. I asked my husband (boyfriend at the time) if he wanted to go to church with me. I would not force him, because I believe he would have hated me later, but he said yes and is not quite as enthusiastic as me, is still happy with the changes we have made in our lives. Sometimes having a baby, or for me lack thereof, is the start to wanting to be better. My husband said to me yesterday, I am a better person today than before, and I will be an even better person in the future than today. I notice that people that are not Christian want to attack it, when for most, we are happy to finally see the love that Christ has and has had for us since the beginning. If you do not see it yet then I do not criticize you, I only hope that you can eventually understand that Jesus died for you and me and accept that. I am not one of those southern baptist crazies though. We are all sinners, and no one is better than the next!

  31. Bossy says:

    I have to agree with the last post. Being Christian doesn’t mean being perfect. Yes they had a child out of wedlock but that doesn’t mean that because they messed up in one aspect they can just sin in every other way and forget religion. You sin, you repent,you try to do better.
    Those of you who are Christian and are cracking down on him, try to be a little more compassionate.

  32. a says:

    Those of you who are Christians and are condemning them, you may want to consider the fact that the God you serve, forgave the criminal on the cross next to him and told him that he would see him in heaven.

  33. vdantev says:

    Well this thread should end well. Two things people can’t play nice at- the discussion of politics or religion.

    (I’m an atheist, so I think you’re all out of your minds. But hey whatever helps you sleep at night- feel free to indulge.)

  34. mxh326 says:

    Hmmmm, that’s precisely the reason why you don’t just have babies with people- If this is in fact true.

  35. rose says:

    Convert to what? belief in a 2000 year old novel? hah! Yeah, like that’s gonna be the deal breaker.

  36. rose says:

    Bang on Nikki! * applaudes. I’m agnostic to the core and I’ve raised two children, both of whom are kind interesting people with the world at their feet. No mumbo jumbo shoved down their throats either.

  37. Kris says:

    Ok, wait….you get a woman pregnant THEN later on, won’t marry her, because she’s not Christian? Wouldn’t it be moreso “Christian” to marry her, specifically because you LOVE her and have created a child together? You don’t get converts by coercion or ultimatums. If your religion works for you, cool. The key is, don’t preach…if asked, then elaborate on how your particular religion has been an asset to your life. You might or might not get a convert.

  38. Leah says:

    I think that we all make mistakes that go against what we say we stand for, so maybe we should give some people a break.

    Everyone’s a hypocrite.

    I hate people.

  39. Greg says:

    @21: I must disagree. Whether or not you believe it, to successfully pass through all of the rites to become Catholic requires one to have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the bible, the church, it’s beliefs (and to differentiate between other religion’s beliefs). Attending a Catholic school as well virtually guarantees that if one has passed all of the rites and graduated from a Catholic high school, then one has accumulated a fairly comprehensive knowledge of Catholicism as well as the belief systems of the mainstream Christian religions, as well as Judaism (from which Christianity was evolved). I, for example, don’t believe and never have but 40 years later can quote chapter and verse with just about any bible thumper of any stripe and this is not unique to me at all.

    The worry that the relationship won’t last since Nicole is being required to ascribe to a new belief system is valid. Who hasn’t seen relationships based on person A “saving” person B from themselves fail because person B sees themselves as passing through a kind of gatekeeper process and once past, returns to their old habits?

    Faith can, however, be found (as well as lost) and if she finds it then more power to her. True or not, religion provides a moral compass that is not at all difficult to read. Most mainstream Christian sects believe that to be forgiven of all your sins, all one must do is embrace Jesus of Nazareth as the son of God and personal savior and you’re set – even for having out-of-wedlock children.

  40. Jo says:

    What does religion have to do with anything? Why does Nicole need to be a Christian- I am seriously confused as to what problem this is going to solve.

    Nicole didn’t do drugs, and drink and all that other stuff because she isn’t Christian. She did it because no one expected better of her, because she never expected better of herself. This woman was not raised to be a mature, independent, resourceful woman. And a lack of religious belief had nothing to do with that. That is a crutch**. And please, please, understand what I’m saying when I’m saying that, “crutch”, ’cause I know some hackles were just raised. What I’m saying is, you don’t do something because “god” says to, you don’t do something because it’ll get you into heaven. You do it because it’s right. He’s asking her to use a religion as a crutch. He’s pinning their relationship on something that isn’t part of the problem or solution.

    Nicole needs to believe that she can be a good mother. Which means that she needs to believe that she can be smart, independent, resourceful. It means she needs to believe that if Mr. Fucking Rock Star decides that her heathen self isn’t good enough for him and their child, that she can survive and raise their child without him.

    **I’m calling religion as a problem solving tool a crutch, not religion itself.

  41. Amanda says:

    Okay, I am reading far too many, “baby out of wedlock isn’t Christian” and “too late now,” comments here. I agree that those are definitely sins…but isn’t Christianity all about forgiveness? Everyone’s sinned and fallen short of the grace of God…EVERYONE including all of the people that are posting self-righteous comments. None of us have the right to judge either of them. Who cares if they have a tattoo? That doesn’t mean it’s too late for either of them to accept Jesus into their hearts. Those sorts of judgemental attitudes are exactly the sort of thing that makes non-Christians not want to become Christian. Why convert to a religion where you’re constantly judged? Focus on yourself and, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Holla.

  42. Jim says:

    The REAL reason why nicole won’t marry Joel now is because of Paris. She knows if she do it, Paris will force benji to do it.

  43. Mary says:

    I have often joked with my friends that, when you have a child, they give you a shot before you leave the hospital that changes the way you look at just about everything. Your child doesn’t change THE world, but he or she most definitely changes YOUR world. It is not at all uncommon for people who were raised “churched,” but who have drifted away from those influences–especially if it was at the time a positive influence–to recollect their childhood spiritual practice and to see, in retrospect, how valuable this early influence has been in the course of their lives so far–and to begin to consider how they can provide this child who changed their world with what was provided to them. Nicole’s young life was chaotic: very early drug abuse, very early sexualization, usually irresponsible and sometimes selfish behavior, and profound fixation on clothes, being seen, being photographed, being treated like a VIP–all obvious elements of self-involvement but probably hard to shake all at once. Since her child has been born, she has shown much more awareness of the needs of others and displayed generosity and concern. She is working to meet her obligations and become a responsible young woman with better perspective as a foundation for better choices. In many people, such shifts in perspective and behavior originate in love for one’s child. But she is very young, and of course she is still adjusting, and of course there will be tough spots when she will yearn for the reckless freedom of her pre-Harlow days–the personal attention she received, the always-open options, etc. Joel is Harlow’s father, and he has every right to bring those things he considers positive–based on the role they played in his young life–into the conversation about how they will shape their lives and raise their daughter. They are young; they are trying to figure it out, and they are doing it with almost no privacy. How well would any of us fare under those circumstances? How about we send them the love and understanding that we needed when we were young and sometimes overwhelmed by our new responsibilities rather than “offering” the snide remarks that are being made because those posting can remain anonymous–which is just plain childish and cowardly. How would any of you like to live under microscope and have every jot an tittle of your life dissected by the public? In this case the old saw is perfectly appropriate–if you can’t say something positive, keep it to yourself.

  44. mamma says:

    Mary’s comments are the most intelligent of all. Vedantev is very bitter. What’cha so angery bout ‘dantev’, old boy? :)