The actress spoke out after being accused of making anti-semitic comments on a podcast earlier in January

By Helen Murphy
January 07, 2019 02:58 PM
Melissa Joan Hart 
Jemal Countess/Getty

Melissa Joan Hart has responded to fans who accused her of making anti-semitic comments.

The Sabrina The Teenage Witch actress, 42, opened up about her religious beliefs during an appearance on the “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris” podcast last week. She talked about moving her son from a Christian preschool to a traditional school.

“We don’t know if these people are good people,” the actress said she told her son. “We don’t know if they believe in Jesus.”

Once at school her son befriended a Jewish boy, and asked his mom how his new pal would get to heaven.

“He really took the Jesus part to heart,” she said.

The boys stayed friends, and Hart had to navigate some tough conversations.

“When a mom [of the child] called me with a problem in sixth grade I was like well, ‘Do I regret telling my son that we don’t know if people believe in Jesus, so we don’t know their character?’” Hart asked. “‘Is that a wrong thing to say? Did I set my son on the wrong path or was that the right thing to say and I should defend that?’”

Melissa Joan Hart
Craig Barritt/Getty

The episode sparked backlash from many listeners who accused her of anti-semitism.

“As a Jewish fan, I’m really disappointed in@MelissaJoanHart,” one person tweeted.

“I found her questioning of Jews & their beliefs/character to be quite offensive. It’s anti Semitic & worse she’s raising her kids to be anti Semitic. Didn’t the Pittsburgh temple massacre teach anyone anything?” another wrote.

“Wth, so Only People that believe in Jesus is GOOD !!!?? What are YOU TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN !!!??? Not impressed with YOU MELISSA JOAN HART, SHAME ON YOU !!!?” another tweet read.

Hart defended herself on Instagram, writing in the comments section of a recent post, “I’ve been studying religion for the past 8 years and am learning more everyday. I try to never judge anyone… unless they put ice in their wine… but I was simply telling my son that we knew the people at his old school, even down to their faith beliefs. The new kids in school, we didn’t know a thing about so he was going to have to judge for himself.”

She continued, “In the podcast I talk about how he focused in on the Jesus part and it opened up discussions with friends and neighbors that might be a [sic] tricky for children to navigate. I never said Christians are superior. Just trying to explain better.”

Melissa Joan Hart's response on Instagram
Instagram

Hart has three sons — Mason, 12, Braydon, 10, and Tucker, 6 — with her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson.