26 April 2008
As is often the case, this week's round of American Idol induced pangs of wrath and ire towards the greater American populace. Aside from the fact that the show is still a ratings juggernaut even though most of the contestants are sub-par and the themes bewildering (Andrew Lloyd Webber week followed by NEIL DIAMOND week?), Idol has most become a disappointment because it has allowed its outcome to be completely dictated by the Religious Right. First, Sassy, gay, Danny Noriega is one of the first to be voted off, despite being far more entertaining than anyone else on the show. Then, blonde and bland Kristy Lee Cook gets a surge in popularity after singing "God Bless The USA" (aka "Proud to Be An American").
Most recently, Carly Smithson was voted off after singing the title song from Jesus Christ Superstar. Even though she was the best performer of the evening (which, admittedly isn't saying much). Why? Because right-wing Christians have had a problem with Superstar since the concept recording was released in 1971. They don't like the idea of Judas being critical of Christ, or the idea that Mary Magdalene might have had feelings for him, and have had their undies in a twist about it for 37 years. (My Grandma cried when my mom told her she listened to Superstar and liked it.) The Times actually looked into this (because Idol really is that ubiquitous), and found evidence to support the idea that Carly's "blasphemous" song choice is what done her in.
Now, I'm not actually upset that the WWJD set is running Idol. But when they aren't watching reality TV, the Religious Wrong's opposition to everything becomes increasingly disruptive. There are at least 2 examples of Christian protests of the Day of Silence (1, 2), that day when students pledge not to speak for a day to oppose anti-GLTB violence. That's correct, the religious right is now opposed to non-violent, unobtrusive protests against violence. You know, like The Bible says: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, unless he be gayeth, . Then thou hath my blessing to shoot him. (1 Corinthians 3:26)"
What most disturbs me about these latest examples of fundamentalism is the complete lack of reason or logic displayed. The idea that an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is offensive is so beyond my comprehension, I don't think I could possibly argue against it. Clearly they are speaking a different language. And at times it appear that it is our true National Language, in spite of Reason's best efforts.
Here is another fundamentalist head scratcher: