Miley Cyrus is downright disgusting these days.
Can I get an amen?
She’s become the poster child for the stereotypical eccentric pop star.
She’s also become the bane of parents everywhere. She’s crazy. She’s wild. She’s not someone you want your kids watching.
And frankly, I don’t blame parents for loathing her.
Hide your kids, parents.
Don’t let your kids go to her concerts, don’t let them watch her music videos (that’ll scar you for life), don’t let them listen to her music…
And, that’s what most parents do.
You know what you don’t see parents doing? You don’t see them yelling and screaming at politicians to ban her concerts, music sales and videos on YouTube.
You know who you see that from?
The Dominican Republic.
Kind of surprising, right? You wouldn’t expect the morality police to be up and running there.
But they are. And it’s a little shocking.
But what shocked me was the reactions to it during AEI’s Evangelical Leadership Summit (ELS).
The panelists applauded the move. “Praise God,” they said.
It left me not only disgusted, but confused me as to why they would support such a move.
Is this what Christians are supposed to do? Are we supposed to use the government as our personal firewall to keep out the sketchy individuals we don’t approve of?
After that panel, I started going through some ideas and principles that the panelists were forgetting.
Hopefully, it’ll help you realize not only the error of the Dominican Republic’s action, but also the error of the panelists’ reaction to it.
But first, let me explain what the AEI’s conference was…
What is the Evangelical Leadership Summit?
I’ll let AEI describe it…
“[it’s] a nonpartisan conversation among leading evangelical writers, pastors, parachurch leaders, business executives, artists, and policymakers. Discussions will focus on concrete paths to enhancing human flourishing, an objective that is central to AEI’s mission of expanding personal opportunity, increasing human freedom, and strengthening free enterprise.”
So, basically a conference of differing minds talking about poverty, evangelism, social justice, happiness, and other topics.
And it was in Washington DC. One of the privileges of going to a college only two hours from DC.
Now, back onto the topic at hand…
Let Me Introduce You to One Dominican Pastor
The Miley Cyrus incident was brought up during the last panel that night.
The panel was made up of Eric Metaxas, Arthur C. Brooks, and Greg Thornbury (president of Kings College). Those three guys made for an interesting and amusing conversation.
But then they got an audience question.
A pastor from the Dominican Republic stood up and told the room about the government banning Miley Cyrus’s concert.
He said that the Christian population there had a part to play in it. Apparently, they influenced the government to ban the concert.
Now, he said, some Dominicans are angry at the Christians for having Miley banned.
His question to the panel was how the Dominican Christians should deal with this newfound hate.
The panel’s answer to his question wasn’t helpful.
I felt bad for the guy. Here he was, legitimately worried about this dilemma and the panelists were joking about it.
Eric Metaxas response to the pastor was “Laugh [at the angry people], and then praise God.”
The other two panelists laughed along with him, and that sums up the “help” this pastor got. You can watch that section here.
But there’s more to it than that…
Why Is the Dominican Republic’s Decision Wrong?
- It’s censorship
- Government’s shouldn’t be restricting musicians
- People already bought tickets
- Don’t like it, don’t go
Your view of this story will depend on how you view the government’s role in regulating morality.
Is the government a tool for the morally upright to keep the heathens in check?
Or, is the government supposed to protect individuals against other intrusive individuals?
The Dominican Republic’s reasoning for banning Miley Cyrus was because of morality issues.
The commission said in a statement Thursday that it took the action because Cyrus often “undertakes acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law.”
The Dominican Republic has a broad view of government responsibility.
For you and me, government’s moral responsibility is to protect individual property (from which stems other rights).
For the Dominican Christians (and several of the people on the panel), the government’s moral responsibility is to punish deeds they think are morally questionable.
What’s the problem with this view of government?
It relies heavily on who’s in power.
As long as your Christian, Conservative, Bible-Believing party is in power then it’s all hunky dory for you.
But once your party loses power, it’s now up to the opposition party to define what “morality” is, and how it should be enforced.
You see the problem with that? Then there’s the issue of entertainment censorship. People bought tickets, which means they’ve lost money. And there’s the matter of personal choice. If you don’t like the concert, don’t go to it.
But there’s another problem that was apparent in the panel…
You’re Doing Christianity Wrong
Is our biggest goal, as Christians, to ban musicians from performing?
Is that really what the gospel of Jesus has come down to? What’s next? Book burnings?
You laugh, but that’s the logical result of it all.
What makes you stop at censoring Miley Cyrus? What keeps you from moving to literature, movies, music, or companies?
If you’re for banning Miley Cyrus concerts, you need to ask yourself this question…
How should your Christian faith be exhibited to others?
That’s all you need to ask yourself. If you think Christianity is all about using the government to censure things you can’t stomach, then go run with that.
But if you think Christianity is about spreading the gospel and living a life glorifying to God, then more power to you. (click to tweet)