Jun 14, 2012

Carrie Underwood on Marriage Equality

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I'm not even entirely clear about who Carrie Underwood is. I don't follow pop country and American Idol makes me puke, so she's just never been on my radar. But at this moment I'm loving her. A number of evangelicals aren't, apparently. And only time will tell if she faces the sort of backlash Dixie Chick Natalie Maines did when she dared to speak her mind on controversial subjects. But Carrie Underwood has come out as unabashedly pro-gay marriage.

"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry," she said. "I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love."

Yeah. You know how Christians are supposed to be all about love? And make no mistake. Underwood is a deeply committed Christian.

She said, however, that her liberal attitude towards same-sex marriage comes because of her Christian values, rather than in spite of them. Though raised a Baptist, a church that tends to oppose homosexuality, Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher, a professional ice-hockey player, now worship in a non-denominational congregation.

"Our church is gay friendly," she said. "Above all, God wanted us to love others. It's not about setting rules, or [saying] 'everyone has to be like me'. No. We're all different. That's what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It's not up to me to judge anybody."

It's kind of hard to disagree with the logic... unless you do. As per this brave soul who waded through the comments on The Blaze, some of them were real doozies.

Indeed sad, that now, Miss Underwood (yeah, we know she’s married) in attempting to “package” herself, and not peave off the gay-record-buying-public is leaving her principles behind in favor of the quick-buck. Many have already commented on the Biblical references to homosexuality.

Yes, Carrie it IS your place to judge others.

Well, the ironically monikered Snaker fails Christianity 101. Or, he/she doesn't understand the difference between judging and discerning. Underwood is talking about judging, as in:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." ~ Matthew 7:1

It would seem that at some point in her devout Christian life, she got idea that it was for God to judge. Maybe it was from the Bible.

"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" ~ James 4:11-12

Well, it's challenging to be a fundamentalist, what with the Bible contradicting itself all over the place, but at some point, one has to choose between love and forgiveness and a highly selective reading of clobber verses. You know, just not the ones that condemn pork, shellfish, cotton/poly blends, shaving, tattooing, and so forth, and so on.

Carrie Underwood is emblematic of the changing face of Christianity -- and that includes evangelicals. As discussed, Jay Bakker and his late, lamented mother Tammy Faye Messner have quietly led a charge for a more tolerant evangelism. And gay evangelical Christians like Jim Swilley and Jennifer Knapp have been easing open closet doors. So, backlash aside, Underwood is not alone. And thank God.

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