A Night at The Grammy’s

While this is a little late to the party, I have been seeing all the talk of what went on at The Grammy Awards on Sunday night.  Satanic rituals performed onstage by a woman who was raised in a Christian conservative home, the mass wedding performed by Queen Latifa, and Jay-Z and Beyoncé performing Drunk in Love together on stage.

I don’t really expect anything different from Katy Perry.  It has been obvious for quite some time that she has rejected the values that her parents believe in.  That is her prerogative.  What I find insulting about it is the fact that she feels the need to publicly mock it, doing so in front of the artists who were there to see if they won awards for Gospel and Christian categories.  At least one artist got up and walked out.  Ms. Perry has the right to live her life anyway she chooses to do so, but somehow I have this feeling that she really isn’t a devil worshipper and that wasn’t done to get her own particular point of view across.  It was done to make people who are questioning their own belief systems to feel ashamed that they may have the audacity to think that Christianity is a good thing.  A person who is firmly set in a Christian lifestyle may be insulted by the performance, but they don’t question their belief.  They simply shake their heads in disbelief and dismay.

Queen Latifa, and ordained minister of some kind, performed a marriage ceremony for 30 or so couples.  Some of these couples were of course same-sex couples.  Now, I would say this if all the couples were heterosexual.  The Grammy Awards is no place to get married.  This wasn’t about making a lifetime commitment to another, it was about proving a political point.  That gay couples love just as much as same-sex couples.  I have never said they didn’t.  A wedding and/or marriage ceremony is about is two people making a commitment to each other; for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, to remain faithful and loving for the rest of your lives.  Most people do decide to celebrate that commitment in front of their families and loved ones.  Others do it more privately.  The vast majority of people don’t decide to do it because they want to the world to see their political viewpoint.  That makes a mockery of the thing that gay marriage advocates say that they are trying to accomplish.  Simple equality and the right to commit themselves to a person that they love.  What is so odd about it is that some of the lyrics that were being played out that night even talked about how marriage is more than a simple piece of paper.  If you want equality than stop acting like everyone in the world must approve of your marriage.  I have news for you, not everyone approves of all kinds of marriages.  There have been marriages that have been looked down upon since the beginning of marriage and that isn’t likely to end anytime soon.  You don’t need to me to like what your choices are in order for them to be the right choice for you.  I am never going to approve of gay marriage and that doesn’t make your feelings and your commitment any less valid in your own life.  My religious beliefs tells me that it is wrong.  The sooner the activists get that the better off we will all be.  But of course, that would hinge upon it really being about just marriage, when for many it is not.

Now we can move on to Jay-Z and his lovely bride Beyoncé.  She was prancing around on stage barely dressed and moving her body in a salacious manner singing a song that included the lyrics “I can’t keep my fingers off it baby, I want you”.  You know, I don’t really need to know what goes in the bedroom of any other couple.  I really don’t.  It isn’t something that interests me at all.  I have read two opposing views of this performance.  One from the very left leaning Think Progress that is basically saying that conservatives should jump at the chance of having this couple be the spokesmodels for marriage, because they make it look like fun.

This may not be the vision of marriage conservatives intended to try to promote. And it’s absolutely a more aspirational, exciting good than the idea that marriage will discipline wayward men or provide support for women who can’t manage economically on their own. But if conservatives want to sell Americans on marriage, maybe they have to talk more about the bliss half of wedded bliss, to think about the desire part of making marriage desirable. And maybe the entertainment industry that Douthat’s singled out as the enemy of marriage has something to add to the case for marital happiness. If marriage is a product that conservatives desperately want to sell, the smartest thing they could do right now is to hire Beyoncé and Jay-Z as a product spokescouple.

Now I am far from the spokesperson for every conservative nor do I pretend to be an expert on marriage.  But I can think of no conservative that thinks that sex within the realms of a marriage is bad.  After all conservatives, especially of the social variety, tend to have much larger families.  Something must be going on in order for those babies to be coming along.  The difference is that we don’t like talking about it publicly nor do we think that it is appropriate viewership for our young children for a scantily dressed woman making provocative movements while using euphemisms about a surf board.  I also am unclear of the conservative message that women should get married because they can’t manage on their own.  Now the data is clear, the majority of children living in poverty are products of a single family home.  When you are married before you have children the chances of those children living below the poverty line decreases and not just a little.  That doesn’t mean that conservatives are saying that women should get married simply because they need a man to support them.  You have a 70% chance of lifting yourself out of poverty if you follow three very simple things, graduate high school, do not get married before the age of 21, and do not have children out-of-wedlock.  The left leaning Brookings Institute didn’t like these findings, but the finding are there nonetheless.  That is a far cry from saying that you must marry in order to support yourselves as women.  There are plenty of women who can support themselves and their children financially without the help of man, but that doesn’t mean that they give a strong base for that child.  Two active parents is better for children to thrive.

I am not going to get into passing judgement on the marriage of that supercouple.  That is something that is between them.  He knew she was performer when he married her and apparently he has no issues with the whole “sex sells” part of her job.  He is obviously fine with it so it isn’t up to me to say that it is wrong in all instances.  What I don’t like is that being told that is what I am supposed to aspire to.  Sorry, but no.  In my relationship there isn’t a great deal of jealousy going on, thank God.  But somehow I don’t think that me shaking my ass in a barely there outfit is part of the long-term game plan for a happy and successful relationship.  It also isn’t the best role model for young children either.  But that is just some prudish conservative talking.