NO KIDDING KATY: Katy Perry, ‘I’m Not Christian’

Santa Barbara is the place Perry gets to be Katheryn Hudson, “which is really important because Katheryn Hudson is the one who wanted to be a musician. I get to be centered again, to really breathe.” Her evangelical parents, Keith Hudson and Mary Perry Hudson, and siblings, Angela Hudson and David Hudson, have all moved away and remain an integral part of her life. (Angela, a yoga instructor, accompanies her on tour and lives next door in L.A.) As Perry tells it, her parents met when Mary, “a pot-smoking debutante” and freelance journalist, was covering a tent revival in Las Vegas, which Keith, an acid-dropping hippie turned preacher, was attending. “People don’t understand that I have a great relationship with my parents—like, how that can exist,” she says. “There isn’t any judgment. They don’t necessarily agree with everything I do, but I don’t necessarily agree with everything they do. They’re at peace with—they pray for me is what they do. They’re fascinated with the idea that they created someone who has this much attention on her. My parents are Republicans, and I’m not. They didn’t vote for Obama, but when I was asked to sing at the inauguration, they were like, ‘We can come.’ And I was like, ‘No, you can’t. I love you so much, but that—on principle.’ They understood, but I was like, ‘How dare you?’ in a way.”

Perry has left behind her born-again past and finds spirituality through the writing of Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now influenced the song “This Moment”); practicing Transcendental Meditation (“the best thing I got out of my previous relationship, because it was introduced to me via my ex-husband”); and therapy. “I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable. Accountability is rare to find, especially with people like myself, because nobody wants to tell you something you don’t want to hear. I actually don’t trust people who start to turn on me because they get scared of telling me the truth. I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God. I pray all the time—for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.”

Read more: marieclaire.com

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