Stephen Baldwin gives up on politics, defends 'ex-gay' conference

Wed. October 23, 2013 10:48 AM by

Actor-director-author Stephen Baldwin has announced that he's "hanging up my political shoes."

"I am here to announce, officially, on HuffPost, that I am no longer a political freakdaddy," Baldwin said in a HuffPost Live! interview. "I am hanging up my political shoes."

Baldwin, who details becoming a born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks in his 2006 memoir The Unusual Suspect, explained that he was "bored" with mixing politics and religion.

"I'm exhausted and bored with the whole thing. So I'm just going to be my little Stephen B. slash wanna-be Billy Graham guy," Baldwin, 47, added.

But when asked about his upcoming appearance at the Rising from the Ashes conference – which, according to its website, advocates for "freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ" – Baldwin defended his participation.

The conference is "an opportunity for people who are unsure have a conversation about [which] direction they want to go," Baldwin said.

"I wouldn't say that my message is, 'You can pray the gay away.' Literally, some of my best friends in the world are gay, and they know I'm evangelical and I know they're gay, and we love each other and respect each other in that way."

Rising from the Ashes takes place October 31 – November 2 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine