Matt James forwent the standard toast on evening one, main his contestants in prayer for a franchise first.
“Dear heavenly Father, thanks for bringing us all collectively wholesome,” mentioned James, after asking the ladies to bow their heads. “Give these girls the braveness to get by these subsequent few months. You say that you simply work all issues for the great of those that love you and are known as in accordance to your objective father God and I really feel like that is why I’m right here and I really feel like that is why these girls are right here, Lord. So bless this time we’ve collectively Father, in your holy title I pray. Amen.”
While the prayer appeared to be well-received by the ladies, it was met with each reward and criticism on-line. Some viewers felt the second excluded or could be uncomfortable for non-Christian contestants.
When requested to reply throughout a current interview on Bachelor Happy Hour, James mentioned, “That’s the least of a gesture I may do for somebody who sacrificed their life for me, so like if praying for a bunch of girls is ever a foul factor then I do not need to be part of what’s good.”
As James defined to podcast hosts, former Bachelorettes Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay, regardless of having months to put together, he was nervous for the time being and turned to prayer as he typically does. He credited his faith for giving him peace and a foundation for his values.
“Like praying for somebody, that is a blessing to have somebody praying for you,” mentioned James. “It means they’re eager about you, they’re caring about you. I care about all the ladies that had been there and… I need them to be at peace.”
However, he made it clear faith isn’t essentially a deterrent in his relationships. “My brother’s an atheist and I’d die for him,” the true property dealer mentioned. He added, “I’m not going to push faith on anyone, as a result of guess what, you’ll be able to’t. You cannot push something on anyone.”
He continued, although, saying “That being mentioned, if that is not one thing you are comfy with, then like we’re simply not meant to be with one another. But like I’d by no means ostracize somebody for not being and sharing my religion.”
Given his need to join with the contestants to discover his future spouse, James defined he hoped prayer would additionally humanize him so the ladies didn’t simply see him as simply the Bachelor.
The Prayer Was Met With Mixed Reactions
James’ alternative to pray was met with a wide range of responses on-line. Some thought, on condition that it was his seek for love, it was acceptable to share his faith early within the season. As one Twitter user wrote, “He’s attempting to discover the particular person he loves and needs to share beliefs. I believe this was an ideal thought as a result of it is his true self and offers the ladies the chance to go away. It was completely a great time to do it.”
He’s attempting to discover the particular person he loves and needs to share beliefs. I believe this was an ideal thought as a result of it is his true self and offers the ladies the chance to go away. It was completely a great time to do it.
— Kaitlyn Steffich (@Kaitlynrose724) January 5, 2021
However, others thought it put any contestant who didn’t share his beliefs in an uncomfortable state of affairs. As another wrote, “What if certainly one of them’s an atheist? What would one do? I’m agnostic. I’m unsure I’m comfy with that. So I can solely think about an atheist in that state of affairs.”
What if certainly one of them’s an athiest? What would one do? I’m agnostic. I’m unsure I’m comfy with that. So I can solely think about an athiest in that state of affairs 😳
— We Did It(Only the Young)✌🏻-Chelsea (@ChelseaMoffatt) January 5, 2021
ABC Executive Rob Mills Was Surprised by the Backlash
During a current look on The Viall Files, ABC Executive Rob Mills expressed his shock on the response.
“I did not count on [the prayer] to be such a hot-button [topic] of curiosity,” Mills instructed former Bachelor Nick Viall. “And I truly perceive a few of it, the place it is, ‘What if this had been somebody of a distinct domination?”
He continued, saying, “I’ve heard some say in a prayer, like, ‘Please both bow your head within the method you are accustomed or no matter.’ This is a man, he simply met 32 girls. The proven fact that he did not say folks, like, ‘Hey, if this isn’t okay with you.’ I believe he simply was attempting to … He really did not make anybody uncomfortable.”