- “Bachelor” star Matt James has been open about his Christian faith on the show, leading his contestants in prayer during the very first episode.
- Ivan Hall, who appeared on Tayshia Adams’ season of “The Bachelorette,” told Insider that it was good James did so early on because it “let the women know where he stands.”
- Adams – who is a practicing Christian – broke up with Hall after the aeronautical engineer revealed he was nonreligious during their off-camera fantasy suite date.
- Hall told Insider he wished “Bachelor” fans could have seen their conversation because many people “are affected by interfaith relationships.”
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And Ivan Hall â€” who was eliminated from Tayshia Adams’ season of “The Bachelorette” after revealing he’s nonreligious â€” told Insider that he believed it was a good move by James.
“At the end of the day it’s really Matt’s season and that’s something that’s important to Matt,” Hall said. “So the fact that he brought that up early on, I think that’s great. That’s great to let the women know where he stands.”
After the limo entrances, James walked into the ‘Bachelor’ resort and told the women he wanted to ‘pray for everybody’
When James offered to pray before getting to know more ladies, it was met with positive feedback and smiles from the contestants.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing us all together healthy,” James began. “Give these women the courage to get through these next few months.”
“You said that you work all things for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose, Father God, and I feel like that’s why I’m here, and I feel like that’s why these women are here Lord,” he continued in part.
“That was so beautiful,” one of the women said after James said Amen, while another yelled, “OK Reverend Matt!”
James then explained to the women why prayer was an important part of his life.
“What you’ll get to know about me is anytime I’m feeling nervous, I’m just constantly shooting up prayers just to put myself at ease,” he admitted.
Hall told Insider that he believes James’ prayer will ‘fuel some conversations about religion to happen sooner’
Hall said he wished his bachelorette would have introduced her Christianity faith, and the fact that it was important to her, sooner during their season, which just wrapped last month.
“Hypothetically speaking, if Tayshia had done that same move, maybe it would have sparked that conversation about religion a little bit sooner,” Hall added.
The topic of religion didn’t come up for Adams and Hall until they had off-camera time during the fantasy suite date late in the season. And, even then, Hall said the pair still didn’t have enough time to discuss their religious differences.
“Tayshia and I didn’t have that much time together. She had the least amount of time out of any Bachelorette ever,” Hall said, hinting that Adams replaced Clare Crawley who abruptly left the show after finding love with contesntant, Dale Moss.
“That could be a conversation for a few days, or a couple weeks here and there, and questions can be answered and there can be a back and forth. We only really had one night, and probably like 45 minutes at most because we had to move on to other topics,” he said, later adding that it led to confusion.
While Adams is a practicing Christian, Hall identifies as nonreligious and agnostic
When Adams broke up with Hall during the rose ceremony after the fantasy suite dates, she brought up her faith.
“There are some things that kind of posed concern,” Adams said. “I wish I could say that there were a lot of red flags prior to this week, but there haven’t been. At the end of the day, religion is part of my morals and my beliefs.”
The brief scene perplexed viewers, as the couple’s religion conversation had been off-camera. Hall said he wished fans had been able to see their discussion.
“Knowing the impact of the show and how many people are affected by interfaith relationships, and how religion can impact a relationship, I do think that talk that Tayshia and I had could have been very valuable for a lot of people and a lot of people could relate,” Hall said.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t shown, but I do think that would have been another groundbreaking thing we would have been able to accomplish just by us navigating our own personal relationship with each other,” he added.
Hall told Insider that he identifies as agnostic when it comes to his religious beliefs.
“Agnostic to me just means somebody who says they don’t know,” Hall said. “When people ask me questions like ‘Is there God? What comes in the afterlife?’ I just say, ‘I don’t know,’ because I don’t think anything’s been proven to me yet to be true. And that’s the way I look at it.”
“One of the benefits of having that mindset is, going forward, I try to allow myself to be open-minded to change,” he added. “If something ever proves itself to be true to me then I’ll be 100% on board with that.”
Hall said he understands why Adams decided to send him home over their religious differences
Still, Hall doesn’t hold any hard feelings with Adams over making the best decision for her life and her heart.
“Going into that rose ceremony, I was confident in my relationship with Tayshia except for that one thing. I knew we had left that conversation open-ended,” Hall said. “If she had given me the rose, she would have been open to the idea. Since she wanted to date somebody who is religious, she sent me home.”
“I fully respect her decision to send me home because that’s what she believes,” he added. “And that’s what a lot of people who are religious believe in. They can do whatever they want to do and whatever they think is best for them, and I can’t have anything but respect for that.
While Hall said “it’s very strange” everyone now knows he’s nonreligious, he’s also glad that he got to discuss his beliefs on national television.
“It’s something a ton of Americans can relate to,” he said. “And I’m sure there’s a lot of people going through the same types of feelings that I’ve gone through in my life.”
Hall hopes that as the “Bachelor” franchise continues to work to increase diversity on its shows, those efforts will encompass religious diversity as well.
“Diversity doesn’t just mean race to me,” Hall said. “I do think religious diversity is an important part of that. To be able to get those nonreligious stories, or Jewish, or Muslim, or whatever else instead of just Christian, I think would add a lot of value and bring a lot more audience members in that maybe haven’t tuned in as much, or maybe felt a little more alienated that their love stories weren’t being told on TV.”