The God Squad

In an article on 'How faith and spirituality burn bright in daytime's hottest stars, Scott Reeves (Ryan, YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) states "A person who really impresses me with his public testimony is Jonathan Jackson. Just his profession of faith, and his spirituality, an how he follows Jesus. Man, for a kid that young to be that grounded..."

It's true that Jackson never misses an opportunity to praise the Lord when he's accepting an acting honor. Yet on the GH set, the 16-year old born-again actor leaves ministering the word to others. "I've never presented Jesus in a car salesman sort of way," asserts Jackson. "I don't believe in that for me. I don't want to turn anyone away because they're feeling pressured. The most positive influence I've had is people seeing the kind of life I'm living and the way I treat people. If people ask where that comes from, I'll say it comes from Jesus. And I'm definitely not ashamed of that." '

The article goes on to say that 'Jackson is relying on faith to help him through a dilemma--reconciling his strong beliefs with a medium that often sensationalizes sexual situations. "It's a really tricky thing. I'm still in the midst of trying to figure out what contradicts my belief," the young Emmy-winner confesses. "At the same time, I have to remind myself that I'm an actor playing a character. It's a real gray area. But I'm okay with it as long as my scene is not anti-God. I don't think I could personally feel real comfortable playing a gay character. [Homosexuality] is a very tricky subject...I'm definitely not willing to write anyone off because of it. There's plenty of straight guys who are cheating on their wives and seeing prostitutes."

Since Jackson's character is a teenager struggling to figure out a lot of things, premarital sex between Lucky and Lizzie could present a moral dilemma. "Luckily, I haven't had a conflict with sex stuff yet," Jackson sighs with relief. "I don't know how I'm going to deal with that. That really contradicts what I believe, but I've got to keep in mind that I'm not Lucky, and I can't make a living doing only Christian projects. I just hope [the producers] would talk to me about it first. Being a minor, I'm sure I could protest to [ensure] the decency of how it's done. I know I don't want to be half-naked like Brenda and Jax."

A decision which requires no soul searching is Jackson's own personal take on sex: none till marriage. "I've been successful so far," he smiles. "and I'm going to keep on going."

Reaction from co-stars is mixed. "Tony Geary [Luke] and I get in heated conversations all the time," admits Jackson. "A lot of what we believe is different--and a lot is parallel. John Ingle [Edward] came up to me recently to tell me that he really appreciated an interview I gave about Jesus." '

Soap Opera Digest, August 25