If you have been caught up in the hubbub about fiscal cliffs and taxing the rich and Tony Romo’s (in)completion record, you may have missed this particular news item.
Remember Fantasia? No, not the Disney animated classic. Fantasia Barrino, winner of American Idol’s 3rd season? I don’t keep up on these things, but it seems she has a pretty good music career these days. Unfortunately, she made an error in judgement — several, actually — when she posted a mini-rant on social site Instagram a few days ago. It went like this:
“I Rise ABOVE IT ALL!!! THE WORLD IS GONE MAD. KIDS, THE GOVERMENT, THE church House… Everybody Trying!!!!!!! It’s a lot that going on that the Bible speaks about we should Not be doing. Weed legal in some places, Gay Marriage Legal BUT YET IM JUDGED!!! Im not doing Nothing for you… My Life!!!!”
Yeah. The poor grammar and sentence structure make it a little difficult to figure out what she was trying to say. Apparently, while expressing her frustration with being unfairly “judged” about something, she indicated that she is a Christian (of some sort, anyway*) who is dismayed at the moral decay she sees in the United States. I’m with her on that, though I would like to make a couple points of clarification. I could be wrong in what she means to say, but if she thinks that the Bible explicitly forbids either the use of weed or same-sex marriage, she is misinformed.
1) Personally, I am ambivalent about the use of marijuana, per se. I am, however, very concerned with its misuse and abuse, just as I am regarding tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. It is here that I think the Bible does give some guiding principles regarding moderation, personal responsibility, avoiding foolish behavior, etc.
2) The Bible does not directly address same-sex marriage, either. But, it does seem pretty clear in both OT and NT that God, er, strongly disapproves of homosexual behavior. So, SSM is not something we should support or promote for that reason alone. Also, the Bible seems pretty consistent in its portrayal of “marriage” being between a man and a woman, never between two people of the same sex. (Yes, there are OT examples of polygamy, but they were generally frowned on and never consisted of homosexual relationships.)
It should be no surprise that many of Fantasia’s fans took umbrage at her apparent “intolerance”. When Fantasia and her people heard about it, they issued follow-up/apology messages. From her management:
“Comments made by Ms. Barrino through her Instagram account were recently taken far out of context, and the purpose of this release is to set the record straight. Ms. Barrino is not now, nor has she ever been an opponent of the LGBT community. She has supported and performed at numerous events that are sponsored by the LGBT community. Whether it’s through a live performance or placement on social media, Ms. Barrino uses every opportunity to reach out and connect with her fans, all of her fans.”
I appreciate and support Fantasia’s desire to “reach out and connect” with all of her fans. I also don’t necessarily have a problem with her performing at events sponsored by the LGBT community. BUT,… I hope that she does not lend her name, face, or music to anything that promotes the “gay agenda”. This would include SSM, which she seems to be against. I know it’s a fine line to walk to do this and yet not be seen as “an opponent of the LGBT community.” But, consistency is important for personal and professional integrity.
“It has been brought to my attention that something I said was taken out of context. I, Fantasia Monique Barrino, don’t judge anyone because I don’t want to be judged. The gay community is one of my largest supporters. I support the gay community as they support me. Bloggers please stop misrepresenting the facts.”
Again, one has to wonder what exactly she means when she says she “supports” the gay community. It’s one thing to treat them with respect as human beings and to give them the same rights as others. The problem is that gay activists and their non-gay supporters tend to demand special rights (e.g., SSM). (Yeah, I know. This is a HUGE issue that I will eventually have to write on.) So, how exactly does Fantasia “support” them?
On a broader note, though, I am concerned with Ms. Barrino’s statement that “I… don’t judge anyone because I don’t want to be judged.” Like many who make similar statements, she is appealing to the Bible verse Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” (NASB) The problem is that most people misunderstand the verse and then misapply it to situations where they shouldn’t. Like this one. Bottom line is that everyone makes judgements all the time, and rightly so. Christians are called to not only live according to the standards & principles given in God’s Word but also to use them to judge/determine/discern when others are doing right or wrong. This is what Fantasia did when she determined that the world is messed up and things like legalized pot and same-sex marriage shouldn’t be. The issue then becomes what should be done or said and how those judged to be doing wrong should be treated. (Maybe a separate post about this is in order, too….)
I sincerely hope that people will stop misrepresenting Fantasia and that she is not unfairly “judged” for doing/saying something. (And I have no idea what she was referring to.) But, despite all the other stuff going on in the world, she is not above reproach. Also, if she says or does something that is politically incorrect, whether or not of a religious nature, especially in the entertainment biz, she should expect to be attacked for it. I just hope that she thinks, speaks, and acts clearly and with integrity on whatever issues she is dealing with or stands she may take, and that, if she is a genuine follower of Jesus Christ*, she stays strong and faithful to Him above all, come what may.
* Yes, I know about Fantasia’s adulterous relationships, attempted suicide, and abortion. But, God is a God of forgiveness, redemption, and second-chances.