Sunday, May 12, 2013

SAME LOVE - a Sign of the Times


Music Star Macklemore’s “Same Love” a Sign of the Times for LGBT Equality

Macklemore
“‘I grew up in the Catholic Church, I grew up with two gay uncles and a gay godfather, and I grew up in the hip hop community. So the Catholic Church and hip hop community are known as being very homophobic communities in a lot of ways.’”
These are the words of Macklemore, an independent hip hop artist from Washington State, who topped music charts last week with his song, “Can’t Hold Us.”  Macklemore has also been speaking out for LGBT equality through his music and his growing fame. He has topped musical pop charts in the US and abroad with his music that includes deep social critiques, reaching number one with the song “Thrift Shop” that glorifies shopping for second-hand goods.
On the same album,The Heist, released in 2012, Macklemore also included a song titled “Same Love” as his entrance into the debate on marriage equality, specifically Referendum 74 in Washington State. Inherent to the artist’s pro-equality music is his Catholic upbringing, which Macklemore speaks about frequently in media appearances. He compares the Church to the hip hop community, which both contain homophobic cultures internally. On his website, the artist writes:
“Growing up in the Catholic Church, I saw first-hand how easily religion became a platform for hate and prejudice. Those who ‘believed’ were excused from their own judgments, bypassing the stark issue of basic civil rights…
“[In both the Church and hip hop] The consequence and impact of what we say, and the culture of shame and abuse it creates, has very real, sometimes deadly impacts upon LGBTQ young people looking for acceptance and belonging.”
“Same Love,” video available above and lyrics here, is laced with critiques against anti-LGBT religious institutions and with an unequivocal endorsement of God’s love for all and our common call to inclusion. These include:
“America the brave still fears what we don’t know//And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten…
“When I was at church they taught me something else//If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed//That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned…”
Macklemore no longer adheres to an organized religion, but his justice-infused music and spiritual side linger as partial remnants of his Catholic upbringing. In his harsh critique of injustices, Macklemore is bringing together the worlds of church, pop culture, and independent music as he calls each institution to live justly.
Macklemore’s fans pick up on his religious and spiritual messages. One student at Augustana College in North Dakota writes about a Macklemore concert as an experience of “church.
He has even gained positive reviews from conservative opponents who value his nuanced approach. One blogger at Patheos calls Macklemore’s music “brave,” writing:
“…Macklemore tackles the issues with a degree of subtlety and nuance that we as Christians could learn a lot from. He understands the line between criticizing the Church and recognizing who the true God is. He understands the different between politics and people. He also gets that as important as laws and governance are, true change can only come from the individual…
“Because to Macklemore, it’s not only about a law. It’s about an attitude. It’s not about determining whether or not homosexuality is a sin–it’s the posture of our hearts toward our neighbors.”
Macklemore’s music is a reminder that cultural shifts entail much more than episcopal pronouncements and demonstrations. The success of the Catholic-tinged “Same Love,” even among conservative young adults, reveals that LGBT equality is as much a generational waiting game as a prescient legal and ecclesial struggle.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

5 comments:

RADICALJOE said...

My pastor at our church has taken
Pope Francis message of getting involved with the poor, and spreading the Gospel to a degree of
beyond what he has done in the past, Just waiting for him to build and open a soup kitchen. I
know the parishoners would build and support it without the blink of
the eye. Macklemore and you Justin, I think are almost twins,
you try and do much to help the
Priests find a way to help all of
us gays. Many priests go out of their way to help gays.
Popes Benedict and Francis are fighting the way God Made All of His Human Race. Everyone is Different, but our minds will always have a cover that God said we will have wiped from our Eyes, when we get to be with Him in Heaven.
No more Tears, no more Strife.
I am not wrong, or are I wrong

Coop said...

There are a lot of people who don't recognize the distinction between a church and God.

There's all kinds of anti- Christian stuff out there. praying for the victims of the marathon bombing is worse than doing nothing to help them, God didn't answer prayers & rescue the missing girls in Ohio, Belief is just a way to feel superior to others...

(notice I didn't bother to mention anti-Christian sentiments from gay rights advocates).


JustinO'Shea said...

Yeah but, Coopsta. . god is supposedta work like a slot machine. . .right?
Ya put in yer buck and git sum bubble gum. right?

Or maybe like a scratch ticket and win a buck o' two. right?

God better pay up or else. .right?

Naaaawww. . .don't think so!

Coop said...

I forgot to add that what sets me off is that I feel like I have to apologize for being a believer in God... Christ. Or, to put it another way, repent.
The holier than thou attitudes of some Christians and official teachings of "some denominations" hurt all of us.

Gary Kelly said...

What would happen if you asked a Catholic to spend a week living with Indian Hindus, and a Buddhist with a group of Catholics? An Aussie TV program did exactly that, and I watched it last night. The Catholic living with Indian Hindus fell madly in love with Indian culture as well as the family with whom she shared the house. At the end of her stay, she had become so attached, she broke down in tears - not because she was leaving, but because the Hindus would spend eternity in Hell for not having accepted Jesus.

The Buddhist spent his time with a group of young Catholics who insisted that if he did not accept Jesus into his heart, he would suffer the same fate - Hell for all eternity. It said so in the Bible, to which they kept referring as they sought to save his soul.

Interesting yes?

Meanwhile, I read this morning of a burglar who broke into a woman's house. She had just returned from Church Services and caught him red-handed. "Stop! Acts 2:38!" she yelled. In case you're unaware, Acts 2:38 say 'Repent and be Baptized, in the name of Jesus
Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven.'

Anyway, the burglar stopped dead in his tracks after hearing Acts 2:38 while the woman calmly called the police. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar: "Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you."

"Scripture?" replied the burglar. "She said she had an Axe and Two 38's!"