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Is Mario a Christian?

Is Mario a Christian?

Today, we’ve got our first look at the Super Mario Bros. movie, which marks the most recent attempt to bring Nintendo’s biggest star to our biggest screens. Look. This is a movie for Mario fans, which we definitely are. But it is not exactly a movie at the exact intersection of faith and culture, so why would we cover it? Why, that is, unless Mario is a Christian?

Generally, Mario’s many, many games steer clear of religious content. They have much more to do with rescuing princesses from carious castles and eating mushrooms of questionable properties. Mario’s exact religious beliefs are, as of yet, unconfirmed. But we at RELEVANT are committed to leaving no stone unturned in our coverage, so let’s take a look at the evidence.

What do we have to go off of? First of all, Mario’s Italian heritage. Italy is about 83.3 percent Christian, the vast majority of whom are Catholic. In some iterations, Mario is Italian-American, a resident of Brooklyn (at least when he’s not stomping around the Mushroom Kingdom), but Italian-Americans are also “overwhelming” Catholic. Statistically, it’s pretty likely that Mario is a Roman Catholic.

Also, lest we forget, this cinematic Mario is voiced by Chris Pratt, one of the most vocal Christians in showbiz. Just because Pratt is a Christian, of course, doesn’t mean that his characters share his faith. It’s called “acting,” after all. However, given the scant evidence we have to go off of, we must take this into consideration. Actors imbue the characters they play with bits and pieces of their own personal lives to bring their performances to life and give them the ring of authenticity. While we cannot say definitively that Pratt imagines his Mario as a Christian, it is at least plausible that he would use his familiarity with the Christian faith to bring Mario into a more fully realized sense of humanity.

Finally, we must look at Mario’s behavior. To be sure, Mario displays many admirable qualities: courage in the face of long odds, selfless concern for others and identification with the working class, among others. While these are all fine traits which you can find among many believers, they are not exactly exclusive to Christians. However, Mario is only human and, so, not entirely perfect. We note with sadness Mario’s willingness to invade another land and start wrecking havoc on citizens who certainly seem to be minding their own business. There are plenty of historic examples of Christians exercising similarly harmful actions but, again, these examples are not limited to the faith. The evidence here is simply inconclusive either way.

That said, Mario does seem to co-exist with a dinosaur. That’s not a huge piece of evidence one way or the other. Interesting though.

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