Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Idol" -- Mandisa's Anti-Gay Song Intro

Mandisa performed a song by Mary, Mary -- an urban gospel duo that proves (as one fan put it) "you can believe and still be fly." I'm not a huge fan but I do have two of their albums. Good for Mandisa to work a song of worship in, though frankly I thought it was her weakest performance in weeks and a bit "shout-y." But what really caught me by surprise was her introduction to it. Mandisa said, "This song goes out to everyone who wants to be free! Your addiction, your lifestyle, your situation may be big. But God is bigger." Lifestyle can't mean anything but "gay lifestyle." She would have been smarter to keep her anti-gay prejudice to herself until AFTER winning the competition. Gays don't need to break free, Mandisa. Bigots do. Mandisa is of course allowed to believe whatever she wants, just as I'm allowed to vote for anyone up against her. I also don't buy gospel albums by some of the bigoted Winans, new CDs by Donna Summer and any other artist who uses Christianity to attack others. Unless she apologizes or explicitly makes some pro-gay statement, Mandisa is over. (And does this mean we can expect a panicked Clay Aiken to do a duet with her down the road?)

48 comments:

priv8pete said...

Michael, I think you're projecting your opinions into the "lifestyle" comment. When I heard it my interpretation was any lifestyle that does not please God. Be it a lifestyle of addiction (drugs, gambling, greed) or sexual impurity (pornography, promiscuity, hedonism). I think she made her beliefs and God's love known in a very bold yet unoffensive manner.

Michael in New York said...

I would have been disappointed if you hadn't commented. But nope. I suppose I should be glad she didn't say "deathstyle" but "lifestyle" is shorthand for gay lifestyle. I've never heard anyone refer to the "pornography lifestyle" or the "promiscuity lifestyle" or the "hedonism lifestyle" or the "drug lifestyle" or the "gambling lifestyle" or the "Christian lifestyle" (which is one lifestyle I'm down with, though in the left wing of God's house, I'll admit). I've ONLY heard "gay lifestyle" -- an insult in and of itself since being gay is not a lifestyle anymore than being male or latino or whatever. When you use the bigoted code words of the far right, I'm gonna associate you with the far right until you tell me different.

priv8pete said...

Well, I know we go to different churches, so perhaps "lifestyle" has a decidedly anti-gay connation in your circles. However, there are more than a few of the rotating speakers at our guest chapel that spend their time looking into God's Word about our choices of lifestyle and I can only say that it spans the full spectrum of sin as I described above. I'm surprised that "Rock & Roll Pastor" didn't talk on the subject when you were here in September. So, we're beginning with differing presuppositions as we do on so many topics and thus our logical conclusions differ immensely. I can't speak for Mandisa, but I honestly believe she was speaking more about living a life that pleases God and not bashing one particular group.

Michael in New York said...

Well, that is news to me. I don't need Mandisa to take a pro-gay pledge. If she gives the explanation you do, I'd take her at her word. But I read a LOT of preaching and hate speech of the far right -- Focus on the Family et al -- and they are ALWAYS talking about the gay lifestyle and they never talk about other lifestyles. (Of course, they're obsessed with gays and talk about that to the exclusivity of almost anything else.) I'd also point out that your church would also strongly condemn the gay lifestyle as one daming them to hell, so that the simple fact that the word "lifestyle" also encompasses other sins doesn't take away from the fact that Mandisa was lumping gays in with drug addicts, child molesters, and others who need to be saved. Gays are no inherently sinners in my book and they clearly are in hers -- she made that clear on national tv. So all I'm saying is she doesn't get my vote. God bless.

popparazzi said...

I gotta go with Michael on this one. Lifestyle certainly includes gays, even if it can also mean other things. So if you're gay, you have every right to say you don't want to support her, any more than a black person would support someone on the show who spoke blithely about purity or a first generation immigrant latino would support someone who described immigrants as a scourge. As a Christian (Episcopalian), I don't think gays are inherently sinners. I wouldn't judge the singers on their moral convictions, but if they bring them up, they have to expect to alienate people who disagree with them.

Anonymous said...

I was offended when Paula followed a song of praise by talking about the Church of Mandisa. Ryan repeated the insult, which you could see Mandisa didn't like. She shook her head no.

Richard said...

I'm with you, Michael--and glad I wasn't the only one who picked up on this. When she said it I turned to my partner and said, "Well, I'm done with her now." Even HE didn't know what I meant!

And I found it funny when Paula invented the Church of Mandisa, if only because it was apparent that she chose the song to bring people to a very different church...

By the way, for all his "You're gay--no, you're gay" banter with Ryan, give Simon credit for seeing no redeeming value in Mandisa's reach to religion, or in the Creed song Chris trotted out minutes later.

Biboy said...

Okay, what did Donna Summer do? Are you referring to the rumor of her anti-gay comments from the 80's? Didn't she sing at fundraisers for the GMHC after that?

Michael in New York said...

No rumors. Donna Summer condemned homosexuality for years, (and her career skidded to a halt from the get-go) but ultimately has apologized for it in numerous awkward ways.

LeLo in NoPo said...

Mandisa has lost my vote. She's loves the writings of an author who is known for her "the lord can save you from the sins of homosexuality" movement.

Barf.

There's a lot of talent on this season, and inserting your religious beliefs to save gays from the devil? That's an easy one. No votes for Mandisa anymore!

Ed Sikov said...

I thought by changing "Lifestyle" she meant we should all use Trojans instead, though personally Maxx is more my size.

Mark said...

WOW, I didnt catch that at all I really did not think that the term lifstyle meantanything other than lifestyle I guess that I was wrong as has been stated in this post the fact still remains though that we do not know what her intentions really were with that statement however keeping that in mind The fact is also that the song was a religous song and the attitudes of the Christian community has been in the majority of cases been one of hatred torwards the homosexual community and to go on national telivision and tout the word of God I thought was a bit much besides she sounded like she should have been on CBN or some other gospell God Whoring Network. Ny problem is not Christianity but people who fail to see that religion any religion is meant to guide not control and only the individual can control obviously she could not control herself with that song choice. On that note i have a friend is dating a guy who has made booko bucks from the sale of his christian music and is living in the very sin that he condemns on his telivision appearences what hipocrosy...

catalyst said...

Gays don't have the monopoly on a sinful lifestyle.

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Jimmy said...

I completely agree with you Michael. I absolutely loved Mandisa and Chris but she was the person I voted for every week. When I heard that comment it was a slap in the face. I was brought up 18 years in a Pentecostal church so I love gospel music and was excited when I found out she was singing the Mary Mary song. Then she had to open her mouth and screw everything up. So my props to you and I completely agree with you and thought the exact same thing when I heard her say it.

Grapevine said...

I don't think she was attacking gay people. She could have meant anything by "lifestyle" like drugs, prostitution, etc. She probably just needed a song intro.

Anonymous said...

when people say lifestyle they mean the gay lifestyle. if she ment anything else she would have said it. you see she did't say anyone who is living together and not married.

Anonymous said...

Appearantly big M gave an interview to the Advocate. After doing her whole religious spiel, she was aksed if she would perfomr at a gay event. She said, aboslutely not, she does not want to have any part of that lifestyle. Well, woman, you're big, but your hear and brain could be a little bigger

Anonymous said...

Gay Haters freaking suck, regardless of whether or not they're entitled to their opinion. They're narrow minded ignorant people. I voted Mandisa off because she's a Fat-Ass. If she spent as much time as she did at the gym as she did hating gays, maybe her ass wouldn't be so grotesque. (I know I'm being just as ignorant, but "an eye for an eye."

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really enjoyed reading this! As a homosexual male, I still partially agree with Pete that she may have grouping multiple "sinners" together. But as another person posted, she also refused to sing at a gay concert. I really, really enjoyed her at first and I especially loved how she made peace with Simon, however, she has crossed a line this time. As an obese, African-American woman, I'm sure Mandisa has been made fun of throughout her life. She really shouldn't subject that upon others. And if she truly is as religious as she shows off to the world, then she should realize the fact that only God can judge us and it is not her place to do so. Until then she should step off.

I'm glad she was voted off the island.

brotherj said...

If you are not a dedicated Christian (or a mind reader) it is absolutely unfair to assume that Mandisa was specifically referring to the gay lifestyle (or orientation). Christians DO use lifestyle to mean homosexuality and a host of other percieved struggles. Even if she was refering partially to homosexuality, she has that right, and it does not mean she is a bigot or hateful - it merely means she is using personal judgement. Everyone does that. I don't personally condone homosexual practice but I also strongly condemn gay bashing and intolerance in general. Doesn't make sense to the average person but it basically means I love you, if you ask my opinion I'll tell you, and after that, we can be friends. Anyway, it is Mandisa's (and Gedeon's) fault because if you truly want to live the Christian "lifestyle" you will run into a lot of compromising situations in Hollywood. (And please don't classify me with the far right who's political agenda is let's say less than Christian). Check me out at http://thefruitbearer.blogspot.com for more about living a true Christian lifestyle.

By the way, making inflamtory assumptions like you did Michael is a good way to make people comment on your blog.

Anonymous said...

mandisa has already explained what she really meant by 'lifestyle'

im not sure if anyone read it. she was talking about her eating habits.

i dont think its fair that she got all those hate comments just because we gays are so sensitive and petty about our so called 'lifestyle'

Ashley said...

Yes, there are a ton of hypocritical Christians, but it's just as hypocritical to act like you're so tolerant of everyone but then when someone voices their Biblical Christian values...oh, no, they're a hateful bigot? Who's using the hate language here? It's definitely NOT Mandisa!

4HIM said...

Sin is sin according to the Word of God. We are all sinners until we come to knowledge and relationship of Christ. Living a "sin lifestyle" whether it be homosexuality or jealousy is not OK according to the Word.
We only become angry and upset when salt has been poured on a wound. Jesus is the only one can heal that wound. He is available to you 24/7. I believe that is Mandisa's message. Would you like to know him?

Anonymous said...

Ok lets just settle this right here...

1) Homosexuality is not a "practice", "preference","lifestyle" or anything that is consciously acted on or something that is an action. It who is not a verb. It is how you are born. It is who you are. It is innate. The same as heterosexuality. I hate to use sexuality on the ends, because sexual only comes into gay relationships if the two people choose for it to, as straight people do. Being gay is absolutely NOT solely sexually related.
2) Sin is not "Sin is a sin is a sin"...the bible clearly states that some sins are worse than others, venial sin, mortal sin, etc. etc.
3) We live in a world where we argue the religion versus numerous other religions since the beginning of time. We all quote and preach what each one says in its teachings. We are all AWARE of what it teaches, however its purely belief versus belief, most Christians insist that the bible is true and that there is no room for error. Then we see how Christianity branches out...certain things are changed, some thigns are added, we see how people fight over it, the problems in Ireland things have caused, the problems in Israel/Palestine (not Chrisianity related I know).

What we need to do is stop doing things just because we read them and instead find God where he actually lives, not in the Bible, not in written pages or quotations, but in our own hearts. In our heart of hearts lies the truth.

I know that was long...oh well.

Now the relevence. American Idol is comprised of a viewing audience made mostly out of gay men and teenage girls. Mandisa became popular with her diva look and sound that appeals to gay men.

They were part of her biggest fanbase...

She then proceeded to alienate her fanbase...she started with the Beth Moore comment, made the inintenionally offensive song intro (although that apparently is not what she meant by it) and then nailed the coffin with her Advocate interview.

Its safe to say she will probably make a great selling with the Christian Gospel market but never shine like she could have in the pop market.

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