A Display Of Pure Evil

Welcome to a new periodic feature where I look at what the religious types are clutching their pearls about this time around. I will confess for this first one, I did not watch the offending performance, but since this isn’t my first rodeo, I can guess that it wasn’t that bad.

So apparently there’s a non-binary singer named Sam Smith, and they perform a song called “Unholy” and they performed it at the Grammy Awards. The stage set included what appeared to be a giant inflatable devil and Smith wore red and a hat with devil horns. The stage was also bathed in red light to give it that extra evil aura. Naturally, the right-wingers lost their collective minds. Many called it Satanic.

A certain Texas senator who fancies winter trips to Cancun said simply, “This. Is. Evil.” No, Ted, it’s not. What is “evil” is denying basic human rights to marginalized groups. What the Grammy performance was, was just that, a performance. The devil imagery was akin to Saturday morning cartoons (kids ask your parents) like the little devil on a character’s shoulder. As a whole, “controversial” performances are nothing new.

Back in the 1960s, at the end of a love ballad, Petula Clark (a white woman) put her hand on Harry Belafonte’s (a black man) hand. That was scandalous, but we got over it. Madonna rolled around stage in a white wedding gown singing “Like A Virgin” and that was earth-shaking, but we got over it. Madonna would strike again it the early 1990s with “Like A Prayer” which included a black Jesus and burning crosses. Guess what? We got over that, too (not the racism, that still exists).

This pearl-clutching by the right is nothing but a performance, akin to Sam Smith and Madonna, to get their base fired up. I guarantee, outside of the odd Twitter screed, none of the leaders on the right really care about this, but they have to make a good show for their followers to keep the tithe flowing. Spare me you feigned outrage and calls for boycotts and hearings.

Besides, it’s less than a week to the Super Bowl and you don’t want to burn yourself out. I’ll be back to write about their outrage at that.

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