Chewbacca mom tells Buzzfeed: Christians not bigoted, narrow-minded – 'that's really not who we are'

by Michael Foust |

SAN FRANCISCO (Christian Examiner) – "Happy Chewbacca mom" Candace Payne told a BuzzFeed Facebook audience Tuesday that her relationship with Christ is the secret to the joy seen in her viral video.

BuzzFeed interviewed Payne in San Francisco just before she boarded a flight after visiting the headquarters of Facebook, which recognized her for her Facebook Live record-breaking video.

"When you really know who you are, you don't have to impress anybody ... you can laugh at yourself, and it's OK," Payne told BuzzFeed's Alex Kantrowitz.

Kantrowitz then asked, "It's tough for a lot of people to get there. So what do you think helped you get there?"

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"I have unashamedly said from Day 1 that I am a follower of Jesus Christ," Payne responded. "And I think sometimes, we have painted a broad paintbrush on Christians to think that we're very narrow-minded, that we're bigoted, and that we're haters. And that's really not who we are.

"But the truth is that my relationship with Jesus Christ has completely made me who I am because He's told me who I am. And once you know that you're loved by God – and not just a god, but the God that created everything – your whole life changes. You don't have to impress anybody else, because you've got the one opinion that matters."

Payne's infectious, joyful life turned her simple video into a viral one that has now been viewed more than 147 million times.

As Christian Examiner previously reported, the Texas resident studied at Ouachita Baptist University, a Southern Baptist related college in Arkadelphia, Ark., and has been a worship leader since age 14. She sings, plays the guitar and writes music.

"We have a heart for our local church and just being obedient to God in the way we raise our kids and love our friends," Payne told the Christian Examiner.