Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Lambert Controversy is about purpose NOT expression
The latest Adam Lambert controversy at the AMA music awards (see http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/11/23/2009-11-23__adam_lambert_delivers_raunchy_ama_performance_filled_with_hip_thrusts_crotch_gr.html) gives the illusion of being about censorship, but make no mistake, this is really about purpose and meaning.
After the show, Lambert hailed his shocking performance as freedom of expression. But if one were to ask Lambert if it would have been acceptable to have paraded children in provacative poses, I'm not so sure he would have defended such expression. And I'm certain that if a Christian entertainer would have performed at the awards and made explicit expressions of worship, statements on the sanctity of unborn life, or statements about God making a man for a woman, he wouldn't have defended these in the name of expression.
As I proceed, please don't get me wrong. Except for the expressions of worship, I don't think the Christian entertainer in my hypothetical would be wise in going this route. I'm only pointing out that this is NOT about freedom of expression. This is about what people call "values".
With that said, I don't like to use the term values, because I feel that it is a term that has been hijacked. It is a term that people say without really thinking about what it might mean. I will therefore frame the concept differently.
One more disclaimer. I'm not one of those Christians who acts like homosexuality is underlined and highlighted in Christian teaching as the greatest sin. Furthermore, I believe in treating such people with compassion and would NEVER advocate violence or even a judgmental attitude expressed towards them.
I can't speak on the specifics of Lambert's worldview, but he obviously doesn't believe that homosexuality is immoral, nor does he seem to hold a high standard for heterosexual expressions.
On the other side, to simply object to Lambert's antics as being immoral fails to get to the heart of the issue. I believe that life has a purpose. That purpose is given by a God. That God has an intention for our relationships. Lust in any form violates that purpose. This is akin to someone desecrating a cemetery (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31832393/). Should such actions be defended as freedom of expression?
Why would this appall us? In the story, the employees desecrated the cemetery to free up plots so that they could resell them. They were out to make a $. This is where their "values" lie.
The reason a cemetery desecration appalls us is because inherently, we know that life has a purpose.
I'm not mad at people like Lambert. I feel sorry for them. They live the same purposeless lives we've seen Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and others live before them. They aren't happy people because they have been willing to sacrifice purpose for their own lusts. They have exchanged the joy of life for a bed. Unfortunately, they will have to lie in it.