Cybill Shepherd: ‘I’m a Christian Pagan Buddhist Goddess worshiper’

Fox News entertainment reporters have a really bad habit of asking utter B-list and C-list celebrities awkward questions about politics and sensitive cultural issues. Remember that Angie “I’m not a racist just because I hate Obama” Harmon debacle? That started because of Fox News – my guess is that there was some Fox reporter egging Angie Harmon on. Granted, Angie Harmon is a big girl, and she was probably just looking for a fight.

I bring up the Angie Harmon stuff because something similar has happened when Cybill Shepherd and a Fox News report‘s eyes met across the crowded Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women” event. Full disclosure: I’m a second-generation fan of Cybill (my mother loves her) and even though I know in my heart Cybill’s totally crazy, I kind of like it. Anyway, since this all took place at a Gay & Lesbian Center, the conversation was headed in an obvious direction. When asked about gay marriage and the passage of Prop 8 in California, Cybill laid the entirety of the Prop 8 blame at the feet of “the Mormons and the Catholics”.

After that, Cybill started talking about the evolution she’s seen in civil rights, from Memphis in the 1960s to Los Angeles in the new millennium. She’s quite eloquent in that part of the interview, and I totally know where she’s coming from. But then she has to go off on what religion she practices, “Christian Pagan Buddhist Goddess worshiper”. Of course. Who isn’t? Cybill also calls herself a “feminist” and says that “I really think that probably God is a woman, that helped me to break through that celestial glass ceiling.” A celestial glass what now?

Tennessee-born beauty Cybill Shepherd definitely isn’t one to waste words — and had she no qualms in speaking out about who she thought was to blame for the passing of Proposition 8 in California’s last election, which led to gay and lesbian marriage rights being overturned.

“The Mormons and Catholics,” she told Tarts at the recent L.A Gay & Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women” celebration in Beverly Hills. “Most of the money came from Utah, it’s very unfortunate.”

However Shepherd does feel that President Obama is doing enough for the cause.

“I think he is working hard at it, I really do. I am just so encouraged by Iowa and Vermont. We have a tough road ahead in California, but we’ll be hittin’ within a year,” she added with confidence.

The 59-year-old’s passion to pursue the fight for Gay & Lesbian rights actually stemmed from Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968.

“He was killed in my hometown of Memphis, three and a half miles from my high school and I’m a product of the segregated south and I got to see that hatred up close, live that hatred, colored only, whites only, and when he was killed I was stricken with guilt and shame,” Shepherd added.

“I felt as though I hadn’t done enough to help the civil rights cause and as I gradually began to understand, what is the most recent excuse to deny people rights under the law? To treat them as less than human and once you get that kind of right thinking you realize how important it is to stand up for the gay and lesbian kids who are at greater risk because they don’t have community support and sometimes their parents kick them out. Particularly in L.A we have more runaways then anywhere in the world.”

So when it comes to Shepherd’s own faith, she’s developed quite the hybrid of religious convictions.

“I’m a Christian Pagan Buddhist Goddess worshiper, but I’m also a feminist. I think the ultimate glass ceiling is God, in another words, if we think God is a man, then we make man a God, and I studied and learned that there is a whole other history of the worshiping of the great mother,” she explained. “I really think that probably God is a woman, that helped me to break through that celestial glass ceiling.”

[From Fox News]

I actually don’t really have a problem with any of that, to each her own. Many of us probably have elements of Paganism and Goddess worship in our haphazard faith, whether we know it or not, so no judgment. I suppose my problem with what Cybill is saying is that I know how some people will take it. They’ll look at her and think “whatever, typical whack-job Hollywood”, when Cybill actually had interesting things to say about growing up in Memphis and seeing the civil rights movement up close. Oh, well.

Cybill Shepherd is shown with her daughter, Clementine Ford, at an event for the LA Gay and Lesbian center on 4/24/09. Credit: FayesVision/

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16 Responses to “Cybill Shepherd: ‘I’m a Christian Pagan Buddhist Goddess worshiper’”

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  1. barneslr says:

    I really think that God, in whatever religion/system of beliefs, if s/he exists, is neither male nor female.

  2. 88modesty88 says:

    I’m thinking she was (hopefully) just fed-up on behalf of every celebrity or actor who end up being pigeonholed because they answered a question regarding their beliefs…

    I used to love her in Cybill, though Christine Baranski is a great scene stealer. (They weren’t very good friends because of this, right?)

  3. Jeane says:

    Actually, she makes perfect sense talking about a “celestial glass ceiling.”
    If God is a man, that would mean that no matter what you do as woman, how far you’ve come emotionally, spiritually, whatever, you will ALWAYS ultimately be subservient to a man.

    As a woman, to believe in God as female can be very useful and empowering. We still live in a patriarch after all. We are dominated by male opnion every day, we don’t even see it anymore.

    Jeez I sound like a raging feminist. Sorry about that.

  4. Wif says:

    When one takes a universalist approach to religion, it opens the doors for respecting and cherishing all people. That’s the approach that can truly heal the world.

  5. barneslr says:

    That’s a nice sentiment, wif. Too bad so many refuse to respect others’ beliefs.

    One nice memory for me is of two people I used to work with that became the best of friends. When one got married, the other was his best man. Oh, and the groom was Jewish and the best man was Muslim. It was a lovely wedding and the friendship thrives to this day. Of course, my Muslim friend did joke that his grandparents were spinning in their graves because of it.

    I’ve always thought those two were such a good example of what tolerance and understanding were all about.

  6. YoMomma says:

    She has aged gracefully. If she has had work done on her face (besides the obvious botox) she went to a good doc. I love that she has some curves and isn’t scary skinny. Her daughter is beautiful.

  7. Wresa says:

    Jeane–“Raging”, no. “Sensical” and “Intelligent”, yes.

    Clementine Ford now plays Mac Browning on Young and the Restless (my fave soap opera). She’s ok, not the best actress but I think she has potential.

  8. Anna says:

    I like how she defines her worshipping style. It’s fun, quirky and tolerant.

    However, I do have a small problem with you calling her, essentially, a B or even C-list celebrity. It seems derogatory to an actress who doesn’t deserve it. Sure, she does not make typical A-list money anymore. But calling someone B or C-list has the implication that their acting is sort of also sub-standard (at least that’s how I read your piece, Kaiser). Cybill Shepherd was one of the most sought-after actresses in her hey-day, she was a true star (and in more than one job). Scorsese even hesitated to cast her in Taxi Driver because although he wanted her badly, she was too expensive for him at the time. He only got her because she graciously agreed to appear in the movie for way below her usual pay.
    So what I’m saying is: she is not what is commonly referred to as a B or C-list actress, in terms of talent or fame. I bet one wouldn’t call Margot Kidder or Mia Farrow C-list, although they have essentially “suffered” the same fate as Cybill Shepherd.

    Just something to think about.

  9. paranel says:

    Another words you are a total mess.

  10. CB Rawks says:

    Love her.
    Loved her show also, Modesty. And yes I think there was some friction when Christine proved to be so awesome.

  11. Allie says:

    I think she was just trying to say that she follows bits of everything and doesn’t subscribe to one religion. Religions all have elements of one another in them and to me, this makes the most sense.

  12. KDRockstar says:

    She explained religion better than I could, so props.

  13. missy says:

    she was great in “Daisy Miller” (from the Henry James novella). Fabulous in “Moonlighting.” Always liked her.

  14. cara says:

    I just watched her this morning in a movie w/ wesley snipes called, I think, hard luck. She was great and her facial structure is still just as stunning as when she was younger. Girl was blessed.

  15. Annie says:

    I like how she defines her worshipping style. It’s fun, quirky and tolerant.


    That’s what I got from it too. My first thought was “How delightfully openminded! :)”

    (Yes there was a smiley face in my thoughts :D)

  16. kaligula says:

    i lvoe that she said that!!!! she took the words right out of my mouth!!!! yay cybill!!!!!!!