These days, if you even look at something a certain way, someone is bound to be offended. Whatever happened to sticks and stones? It’s tough to say, but the First Amendment’s days seem numbered. I’m sure Katy Perry thinks so.
After all, Muslims recently charged Ms. Perry with blasphemy against Allah. The music video for her song “Dark House” offended over 60,000 Muslims who signed a petition to have it removed from YouTube. Why was it so offensive? Apparently, Katy Perry lit up some Muslim chap wearing a pendant that said “Allah.” The eyes of over 60,000 Muslims had forever been seared, and the video was quickly edited. Although the gentleman is still destroyed by Ms. Perry’s magical lightning, he’s not wearing the ‘Allah’ pendant. It was enough for the petition organizer to declare victory. I’m not sure which is more appropriate: Neville Chamberlain saying “peace in our time” or a Muslim crowd chanting “Allahu Akbar.”
Regardless, it’s probably a good thing Ms. Perry isn’t in Syria at the moment. In places where Muslims aren’t in the majority, they organize petitions against people they disagree with. In countries where Muslims make up most of the population, things are a little different. Simply put, censorship is just the tip of the iceberg. According to The Times of Israel, “Christian leaders in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, captured by an organization formerly affiliated with al-Qaeda, have signed a submission document this week banning them from practicing Christianity in public in return for protection by their Islamist rulers.” The article went on to say that under Islamic law “Christians and Jews living under Muslim sovereignty must pay a tax known as jizya in return for the Muslim ruler’s protection, known as dhimma.” If they don’t pay up, they have two choices: convert to Islam or “face the sword.” How charming. I’m thinking Katy Perry isn’t going to be touring the Middle East anytime soon.
On the other hand, Christians have respond differently to performances of Perry’s “Dark Horse.” Indeed, she sang the song at the Grammy’s, and her performance was widely described as satanic. Christian singer Natalie Grant walked out, but to be fair, the mock homosexual ‘marriages’ that took place during the Grammy’s couldn’t have helped. Afterward, Ms. Grant explained “I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.” Now, that’s a far cry from whining or threatening violence, no?
Katy Perry doesn’t need to be censored. She needs Jesus. Badly. Instead of a petition against her, I’d rather pray for her. It’s not only a better use of my time, but it’s also what I’ve been commanded to do (Matthew 5:44). The Bible says “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21). In other words, loving people who oppose Jesus might make them feel a touch guilty. Likewise, it may make them more likely to listen to what I have to say about Jesus, and that’s what loving your neighbor as yourself is all about (Mark 12:31).