Patricia Heaton: The Lens of Faith
Heaton has spoken on behalf of FFL at colleges like UCLA and Loyola Marymount and welcomed the students’ candor and challenging questions. She said, “They’re at that point in their lives where they’re questioning everything. Part of that is they like to be in your face a little bit, but it’s kind of refreshing to have someone who will actually listen to your ideas. I believe that they really are open to hearing different views and they’re open to reason.”
Reason played an important part in the development of Heaton’s pro-life views. She learned to articulate her position when she moved to New York at the start of her career and had to start defending it because she was in the minority. It forced her to ask herself, “Where are we going to demarcate ‘life starts here’? If you do it anywhere other than conception, you just get into a huge amount of trouble and it doesn’t make any sense logically. So I think there’s a very reasoned way to be pro-life.”
Heaton lives out her faith through other charitable efforts as well, including a trip to Sierra Leone with Lighthouse Medical Missions, which provides medical care and other assistance to the impoverished people there. The actress cherishes the opportunity to be a blessing to others.
Heaton sees her role as Frankie Heck in “The Middle” as a blessing too. She believes the show fills a niche in showing how a normal family in middle-America lives, albeit in a way that’s quirky, humorous, and optimistic with just a little bit of edge. The show is also unique in that it’s written from the mom’s point-of-view and includes a husband/father who, unlike many sitcom dads, isn’t “a dork who can’t do anything right.” The feedback Heaton has received from viewers indicates that they are relating to the Hecks’ struggles with common issues like paying the bills and juggling work and parenting responsibilities. When asked if her own faith life was the reason the Hecks are churchgoers, Heaton said it wasn’t her doing. She credited the writers with knowing “that most people in the country go to church on a somewhat regular basis . . . It’s part of the fabric of the show.”
With a successful TV series and personal life as a wife and mom of four sons, Patricia Heaton is in a good place right now. She is grateful for her good fortune, but continues to view her life through the lens of faith and past experience -- “I have an attitude that God is in control of everything so sometimes we have to work really hard and sometimes we have to wait to see what He does in our lives . . . The life of a Christian doesn’t guarantee sunshine and lollipops. I think once you let go of that idea -- that if you become a Christian and follow God’s will, your life is going to be a bed of roses -- if you get past that, then you’ll do okay.”
Tony Rossi serves as host/producer of "Christopher Closeup," the radio show and podcast of. The Christophers, a Catholic non-profit that uses media to encourage people of all faiths to live gospel values.