Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jars of Clay & Teapot Tempests

A few days ago the lead singer for “Jars of Clay” tweeted the following: 

Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non “slippery slope” reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one. 

I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone? 

I don’t think scripture “clearly” states much of anything regarding morality . . . 

I think the vast interpretation has left room for people to deal inhumanly and unlovingly toward others that don’t fit their guidelines . . . I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is “wrong.” I care more about how it says we should treat people. 

Not meaning to stir things up…Anyone buying that? 

Of course he means to stir things up! (He’d probably be disappointed if he didn’t.) But while I have many thoughts regarding the illogicality of his remarks, I want to focus instead on why his remarks create any stir whatsoever. 

Why do some folks care about Dan Haseltine’s views on marriage or anything else?  

I think the primary reason is this: He’s a moderately famous entertainer and enquiring minds like to believe that they know the goings on in the lives of popular performers. 

Still, there’s a little more to it than this. This particular tempest in a teapot is the result of his being an entertainer within the Christian Entertainment Industry (hereafter CEI).  

Please understand: There is a distinction between being a Christian entertainer and participating within the CEI. One may be a Christian entertainer and not be in the CEI and one may be in the CEI and not be a Christian entertainer. (And no…this isn’t a commentary—veiled or otherwise—on Haseltine.) 

The fact is, were Haseltine merely a Rock star and not a member of the CEI, his tweets would be met with yawns instead of yelps. But we expect higher views of morality from “Christian Rock” stars than plain old Rock stars.  

And why wouldn’t we? Plain old Rock stars religiously offer vapid odes to sex, drugs, and more sex; while “Christian Rock” stars unrepentantly serve insipid tunes of the “Jesus is my boyfriend” variety. 

**The one peddles garbage; the other pablum. 

Nevertheless, while I certainly recognize the usual differences of content between the two “Rocks,” I sometimes wonder about the moniker Christian Rock. Is there such a thing? If so, what exactly is it? Can a non-Christian perform Christian Rock? Can a Christian perform non-Christian Rock? 

I tend to think of Rock as a style or genre of music. It isn’t Jazz or Country (then again, Country isn’t Country anymore). But what is it about Christian Rock that renders it specifically Christian? For example, I’ve heard of Christian “Death Metal.” (I know…that was my initial reaction too.) 

In the midst of these perplexities one thing is certain: We’re doing something we’ve not done in quite some time—we’re talking about Jars of Clay.

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**I do not mean to suggest that this is universally true. There are truly creative artists to be appreciated in both Rock fields.

11 comments:

  1. I'm confused. I thought a Tweet was only 140 characters. How did he tweet all of that? Was it in several and then reworked?

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    1. lol...

      I'm not a tweeter so I don't know. But...if you'll click on the link you find the opening sentence: "In a series of assertive Tweets yesterday . . ."

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    2. Twitter allows you to post longer tweets if you pay for the privilege

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    3. You can go to twitlonger.com and sign in with your twitter account log in, then you can tweet longer than 140.

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  2. The only reason this is an "issue" is because, as a society, we have shifted the view of homosexuality into that of a "lifestyle choice".

    We as a society have shifted the view of sex-before-marriage into that of something that "everyone is going to do anyway, so why worry about it"

    We as a society have decided that morals are no longer absolute, punishments need not fit the crime (nor need they be consistently applied), and that it's OK for you, as long as you don't tell me I can't do it

    As a society we're a weird cross of "pure" libertarianism (which, necessarily, devolves into anarchy), socialism (nanny-statishness), and whining

    ____
    By "we as a society", I mean to indicate the United States in particular, though Western culture in general could be included

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    1. Indeed, Warren...

      Thanks for reading and thinking.

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  3. @ Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non “slippery slope” reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.

    And said singer has done his due diligence in in Michael Brown's "A Queer Thing Happened to America...." and Dr. James White's and Jeff Neil's "The Same Sex Controversy"? And all slippery slopes are not invalid if it can be shown to necessarily lead down a certain path (the cyclicality of human history comes to mind).

    @ I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny.

    The tweeter must needs define "Conservative". By Conservative, is he speaking to a political ideology or is he addressing theological conservatism, which is a 'slightly' different animal?

    @ I don’t think scripture “clearly” states much of anything regarding morality . . .

    Ah, and the anachronistic interpretive schema begins...

    @I think the vast interpretation has left room for people to deal inhumanly and unlovingly toward others that don’t fit their guidelines . . . I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is “wrong.” I care more about how it says we should treat people.

    And why should we care about his relativistic morality. Who is he to tell me what to do? Good entry. Steve. Stay on the wall, brother.

    -Sam (wrote this on the fly)

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    1. Great points, Sam.

      Though I didn't interact with Haseltine's illogic, I found this most ironic: "I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is 'wrong.' I care more about how it says we should treat people."

      Okay...so...you don't care about what the Bible has to say concerning morality...you only care about how it says we should treat people?

      Hmmm...something seems amiss here.

      Thanks for reading and thinking, brother!

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    2. Hazeltine uses a strawman, and it's one of my most hated ones. Not all arguments that appear to be "slippery slope fallacies" are.

      Explaining that the logic that leads to the recognition of gay marriage should lead to the recognition of marriages all other sexual-minorities is not a slippery slope argument, rather it is an argument on the grounds of the consistency of the viewpoint.

      The arguments for gay marriage are "they're born that way", "they love each other", "love is love" etc. If one were to use consistent logic in any other circumstance, mayhem would ensue. For example: There is fairly clear evidence that pedophilia has some pre-natal, even possibly genetic connection, thus individuals with said proclivity are in fact "born that way". Since being "born that way" somehow makes homosexuality moral, why shouldn't it make all the other genetic-related psychological issues likewise moral? Psycopathy, pedophilia, alcoholism, etc.

      That's not a slippery slope, that's simply consistent application of the logic used to support the movement.

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    3. "Not all arguments that appear to be 'slippery slope fallacies' are."

      Exactly!

      Thanks for reading and thinking.

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