The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has a very estranged relationship with his family and has not spoken to them in years. At some point, things went awry between them and it’s remained the status quo since. Rodgers doesn’t even speak to his younger brother, who is the former NFL quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst, Jordan Rodgers. Regardless, Rodgers was asked to be on his girlfriend, Danica Patrick‘s podcast. During the segment, he was asked about his religious views, which despite the lack of contact with his family, his kin felt compelled to react, nonetheless.
Patrick’s podcast titled, Pretty Intense, featured Rodgers speaking about his relationship with religion and what his thoughts were, especially as it came to his upbringing.
According to a source that spoke to People Magazine, his family was appalled by the comments he made on the podcast. “They were dismayed,” a source revealed the magazine. “To them, his comments are basically a slap in the face to the fundamentals of who they are.”
And although Rodgers hasn’t publicly addressed the estrangement between him and his family, the source said that the subject of religion contributed to it a great deal.
“His comments are very hurtful to the family,” the insider continued. “They have these times where things start to thaw out, but then something like this happens, and then it’s back to square one. It’s sad. It’s basically him turning his back on everything they have taught him.”
On the podcast that aired back at the end of December, Rodgers delved into his struggles to believe in a higher power and that he had gradually taken to accepting a more ‘spiritual’ version of religion as he got older.
“Most people that I knew, church was just…you just had to go,” the quarterback said. “I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this.”
For Rodgers, it wasn’t only that he had problems with accepting the god that his family wanted him to worship, but he also felt that religion, as a whole, was a highly divisive topic that contributed to unfortunate casualties.
“Religion can be a crutch,” Rodgers continued, according to People. “It can be something that people have to have to make themselves feel better. Because it’s set up binary, it’s us and them, saved and unsaved, heaven and hell, it’s enlightened and heathen, it’s holy and righteous…that makes a lot of people feel better about themselves.”
Shortly after the podcast had completed and Rodgers gave his personal opinions on religion and his upbringing, Patrick posted a picture to her Instagram account of the two embracing. Along with the photo, Patrick shared that she was initially very nervous to interview and hear some of Rodgers’ deepest and most tightly guarded secrets.
“My podcast episode with @aaronrodgers12 is out!” the NASCAR driver wrote. “I have to say, I was a little nervous about it! Sometimes when you are really close to someone it makes it harder to know where to start, where to draw the line, or what people already know about them. But there is something magical that happens when you make an effort to combine interesting topics about that person and then very intentionally and attentively invite them to elaborate.”