Undressing the Grammy Awards
Even if you didn’t watch the recent Grammy Awards, you may have heard about the contradictory message of the evening. On a night when artists used their global platform to speak out against sexual harassment, they allowed female performers to be objectified on stage.
How can this be?
One answer should be obvious: Scantily dressed dancers and vulgar language sell. The most plausible reason an industry would promote the very things it claims to oppose is its refusal to hurt its bottom line.
“But you don’t understand! Art imitates life! It would be wrong to censor people who are merely looking for an outlet for free expression.”
But there is a difference between allowing free expression and encouraging a message that runs counter to what we say we believe. If the objectification and sexual harassment of other human beings is destructive, then why would we give airtime to those who make their living promoting these behaviors?
As bothersome as this inconsistency might be, I wish to use it to make another broader point. That’s right. I’m going to meddle. The belief we can play the part of the hypocrite, as long as we use the right words to explain our actions, is nothing new.
We can speak against sexual harassment and still objectify women as long as we call it an “artistic expression.”
One can sexually molest underage girls hundreds of times as long as he calls it “medicine.”
But it’s not all about sex.
We can destroy other people’s reputations with gossip and call it “concern”… judge the hearts of others and call it “discernment.”
And lest you think I believe preachers are immune…
My kind has been known to run over our brothers in ministry and call it “kingdom-mindedness.”
Or claim to have the corner on truth and declare an “anointing.”
I am reminded of a saying I learned when I was a young man: “Just because you say it don’t make it so.” Give me a break on the grammar. I learned it from some tobacco farmers in Kentucky.
It’s ok to say something shamefully hypocritical isn’t true, no matter how hard someone tries to explain it away. I must warn you though. The desire people have to maintain the lifestyle to which they have grown accustomed makes them highly resistant to the truth.
Please don’t misunderstand. We must demonstrate great compassion for misguided souls and pray for God to change the hearts of those who exploit others for personal gain. It is important to speak the truth in love and if possible, look for creative ways to confront destructive behavior.
Yet, the example of the Grammy Awards stands as a lesson to us all. We can’t participate in the activities we condemn and pretend it is something else.
It is sin.
“By any other name…would still smell so foul” (My apologies to Shakespeare).