I spent last Friday at the Christian music festival, Cornerstone, and I saw some interesting things. By interesting, I mostly mean vomit-inducing. Buzz Feed recently went to another Christian music festival, Creation, and wrote a post about their findings. I figured I’d do something similar, as someone familiar with (and highly critical of) Christian culture.
People are going to say that I’m just bitter and angry because of this post. But, you know, maybe I am a little bitter and a little angry. Maybe that’s okay, because this is the stuff that’s driving people away from the church, from Christianity, from God.
Maybe we all need to get a little bit more angry.
First of all, apparently virginity is something to brag about. As my friend Dani Kelley said, “nobody brags about sex the way that Christian virgins do.” Why do we make virginity out to be some sort of trophy that we can use to morally elevate ourselves over non-virgins? Also, what happens to this (pink–likely aimed at women) shirt when its owner gets married?
Also, the idea that not-having-sex = loving-your-future-husband is weird to me. Unless your sexual past leaves you with a child or a disease, should your sexual history even be a factor in your relationship? And even if you have a kid or a communicable disease, Christ was all about redeeming our past. I don’t remember him ever holding his holiness over the heads of others like a boy scout merit badge.
Also, I really hate the Christian tendency to terrify people out of doing _____. Specifically, in this situation, getting abortions. It’s odd to see the juxtaposition of this adorable drawing of Pikachu, and this sticker of a fetus playing the guitar (what?) with a binder filled with pictures of what I’m going to guess are bloody, chopped up fetuses. No matter what your position is on the morality of abortion, I think we can agree that women don’t get abortions because they don’t understand what abortions entail. They get abortions because they aren’t ready for a child, because they can’t afford a child, because their pregnancy is the result of rape, etc. And when you’re also selling a t-shirt that says “Virginity Rocks!,” I doubt your little binder of bloody fetuses is going to help any of those women change their minds.
Also, I’m not sure who they’re try to convince, putting this binder at a booth at a Christian music festival. Abe is sure that they’re just trying to get emotions revved up in the choir so they can sell more t-shirts. I’m inclined to believe that he’s right about that. When you’re profiting off of women’s abortions, I’m not convinced you really want to stop them.
I’m really sick of Christians demonizing Planned Parenthood. I’m sure Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions (and it has definitely helped more women) by providing affordable birth control, prenatal health care, etc. than selling stupid, dehumanizing, condescending t-shirts at a Christian music festival ever will.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, what is track number 8 on this band’s album trying to say? That Planned Parenthood is racist? Because we can talk about Planned Parenthood’s highly problematic and racist past. In fact, I think we need to. But we can’t ignore the good it is doing in the present in that discussion. Or is it saying that Planned Parenthood is destroying Anglos? I just don’t know.
I’ve heard far too many pro-life groups go to desperately great lengths to avoid talking about pregnant women in their discussions of abortion, but this group takes the cake. Let’s not talk about sex or rape or birth control. Let’s not talk about pregnant women and the economic and social pressures they face. Let’s be all cute and say that babies come from storks! Aww!
I was very angry about this campaign so I took one of their handouts, edited it, and wrote a long, passionate response about how dehumanizing and ineffective it is to ignore women when talking about abortion. I posted it outside of the exhibition building. I wonder how long it stayed there…
I have a whole post that needs to be written about the first button. I spent years hiding my anger because anger was one of those “bad” emotions that needed to be hid (unless you were a man–then you could have righteous anger. It doesn’t seem like women are even afforded this concession). When I finally went to counseling, I learned that expressing anger in productive ways can actually be healthy. But, I think productive, healthy anger is really what Christians are afraid of. They’re afraid of anger that forces them to rethink what they’re doing. They’re afraid of anger that cuts through their preconceived worldviews and threatens their fragile, protective bubbles. They’re afraid of the anger that leads to change and they use catchy phrases like this to neuter it.
The second button…I mean…I…I’m not even going to start on this.
Finally, there’s this. Unborn children? Precious cargo. Born children, or parts of adults that retain child-likeness? They need to be beaten into submission.
That’s all I have to say right now. Cornerstone reminded me of why I left church and why, despite all the good churches I’ve found since leaving, I’ve had so much trouble going back.