'The Office' Star Recalls Standing Up for Her Christian Faith on Set

Photo credit: Adam Hendershott

A faithful Christian who holds on to his or her faith in the entertainment industry is rarer than it ought to be, so when we hear a story of someone who makes a stand for his or her beliefs, it's worth repeating.


Angela Kinsey played accountant Angela Martin on "The Office" for nine seasons. Her character was an outspoken Christian, and she came across as standoffish and judgmental. But Kinsey is a Christian in real life, and as writer and comedian Paul Kerensa points out, sometimes the lines between the character and the actor intersect.

"But fact and fiction can overlap when beliefs are portrayed – not helped that Angela played Angela," Kerensa explains. "The fictional Angela was known for her complaints and conservative Christian beliefs. In one episode she gives her desert-island booklist as The Bible, 'The Purpose Driven Life,' and 'The Da Vinci Code' – just so she could burn it."

Once, Kinsey spoke up to the writers when she thought a joke about Jesus went too far. She talked about it on a podcast with her former co-star Rainn Wilson, and Kerensa relates the tale:

Kinsey told of the time that a line went too far. The script had her mock a gay character, using Jesus’ name – which she thought came across as “super-judgey.” This wasn’t who she wanted to portray, and it wasn’t a view of her faith that she wanted broadcast.

A moment like that is a challenge – a dilemma with no thinking time. Continue the scene, or cause a scene? It can take courage to change the script.


Kinsey stood her ground. She told Greg Daniels, the writer and producer of "The Office," "I don’t feel good about [the joke]. I don’t feel like that’s what Jesus represented to me."

"Daniels accepted that, and the joke vanished from the script," Kerensa writes. "We don’t know what it was, because it’s expunged from the record – and something better appeared instead."

Related: Scottish Leftists Disparage a Rising Political Star Because of Her Christian Faith

As a Christian who is a stand-up comic and sitcom writer in the UK, Kerensa understands the tension. He tells the story of one script he was reading through where he found material that was objectionable to him as a believer:

I was doing a script pass on a new young writer’s work for BBC3 – some additional material and script editing. Countless scenes ended in spoken exasperation, but as a pre-watershed show [the hours of broadcasting where more "mature" themes are forbidden], ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ were often used as sweary substitutes.

I’d love to know who made that big list dictating the order and strength of swear words, where it’s decreed that the ‘F word’ > the ‘S word’ > the ‘G name’ and the ‘J name’.

So this script had the apparently milder expletive of our saviour’s name. Frequently. Personally I’d much rather hear the ‘S word’.

I recall the dilemma as I chewed the end of my pen (that dates it). Do I tell the producer no, as a Christian I’m offended and these anti-Christian expletives need to go? I thought not.


So I focused on rewriting the holy expletives out of it, by replacing them with hopefully better, funnier, more creative lines.


It's encouraging to see Christians like Kinsey and Kerensa standing up for what they believe in. From Jesus-as-a-swear to anti-Christian jokes to stereotypes of Christians, hopefully, even more bold, brave believers can dismantle the sacrilege in the entertainment industry brick by brick and replace it with something more creative.


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