The Agenda and Injection of Conservative Morality in Music, Entertainment, and Lifestyle

In recent months, the conservative right has been in a dead heat to inject conservative morality in hopes to pre-empt anything in opposition to their beliefs and agendas. This issue of the right always being at odds with a great deal in society is nothing new, however, it seems there is much causing discomfort both internally and externally within their religious community. I should also point out this blog is in no way an attack on Christianity or the religion itself but a highlight on the tactics and judgments used by fundamentalist. The issues causing grave concern on the conservative front started out with the publicity and focus on Caitlyn Jenner (I know I am committing a vile act mentioning such a name in our sacred space) and the whole transgender subject being brought to light in terms of seeking societal acceptance.

In May of this year, One Million Moms (a conservative group of women part of The American Family Association) planned a boycott of the Fox Network after they announced their TV series Lucifer was scheduled to air in the spring of 2016. In June, they felt victimized yet again with the Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex marriage nationwide. Shortly thereafter, controversy began to rage and continues within their own ranks when Josh Duggarspast charges of molestation, cheating on his wife, and having a profile on the Ashley Madison site came to light. The publicity of his past indiscretions have destroyed his job with the conservative lobbying group “Family Research Council” and the TLC Network has pulled his family’s show from their program line-up.

This subject is important to address as the attitudes presented by right wing fundamentalist, at one time or another, will always have the goal in mind to make their morality and world view the absolute in all things. At times they take aim at the LGBTQ community, the Goth Community, politics, the music industry, and what should and should not be part of our media. The sad part of all: there is no understanding or notion that they may be wrong or that not everyone believes in their religion or interpretation of Christianity. They have no concern or care that they have turned a beautiful religion into one of hate, intolerance, and judgment; twisting the words and example of Jesus, the very person they claim is their moral compass. It is often forgotten that this very kind of dogmatic thinking supported slavery and used the Bible to do it. It was also used to endorse discrimination, discourage divorce in dysfunctional marriages, and discourage mixed-raced marriages not so long ago. No matter the evidence or logical arguments made, the tendency is to cling to a history and current practices of hate, anger, and intolerance, which is seemingly growing and widespread among their rank and file. This is in complete contrast to those practicing Christianity from the loving example Christ himself lived and promoted in his teachings. There are many Christians living their lives in this way, choosing love and tolerance as the example rather than boycotts and demonstrations against others.

I realize this blog isn’t going to change the world or the minds of those who adhere to their conservative viewpoints. And they are, of course, entitled to them and have the right to express them. However, the hate filled speech, “God hates you”, and etc. undermines them and the tenets of their own religion. The point is, they are afforded the right to express their views and entitled to it while remaining unwilling to grant that same right to others. The ability and opportunity to express oneself and freedom of belief is reserved for them only. This is fine with them as long as it is agreeable to their code of morality, however, if it contradicts their moral code, the same rules no longer apply. This includes how people dress, what they can and cannot watch, who they love, and how they live. In their world, there would be no Goths, no horror movies, the LGBTQ community would be sent to live someplace else or be so persecuted they would leave to escape. There would be no education that conflicted with literal biblical doctrine (if you think this is an exaggeration, take a look at conservative universities like Bob Jones University’s curriculum and you’ll get the idea of what education would look like under their world view).I spent my teen years at a conservative Christian high school in a very close minded world. I for one don’t want to go back to that. I’m an adult and want to have the choice of who I can marry, how I dress, what subculture I want to be a part of, my choice in the music I listen to, and watch what interests me. If I am committing a sin, then I will be held accountable and I will answer to God and no one else.

In the midst of all the fundamentalist rhetoric, they often forget they are not entrusted or asked to sit in judgment, the doctrine on the subject of judgment in the Bible is condemned many times over and repeated throughout. Besides, I’m sure God is quite capable of handling it and defending himself.

As an example of some judgment statements, here are just a few of them by conservatives towards other groups.

This is an older post at the (Baptist sponsored) website authored by David J. Stewart.

“Goth is a deplorable type of heathen culture that glorifies everything that is vile and unholy. The dictionary defines “Goth” as: A crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement. This pretty much sums up the Goth culture today. I didn't invent that definition, it's in the dictionary. Goth glorifies things that are sick, nasty, improper, freakish, and downright demonic."

"Goth influences teenage girls to become whores, depresses kids to the point of cutting themselves, and turns otherwise normal kids into Columbine shooters. The Goth culture is obsessed with death and the darker side of life, which is clearly evidenced in Goth music. Goth is of the Devil. I do not say this to be unkind. God loves everyone, including Goth. God loves the down and out. But God hates evil, and commands Christians to hate evil as well (Psalms 97:10). Goth is evil. If you are into Goth, God loves you! Jesus Christ paid your debt of sin, and mine! My goal is not to upset or hurt anyone's feelings; but rather, to take a Biblical stand against every form of evil. Black lip stick, tattoos, pierced body parts, gothic clothing, freakish behavior—these are all worldly amusements."

"There is a theme running through all these different types of Gothic groups, and a common fashion and dress that all tribes of Goth wear. The clothing is usually dark and sinister looking, sometimes called the “gothic uniform.” Goth women often wear black lipstick and paint their eyes so dark with mascara that they look like blood-sucking vampires. Goths are obsessed with death and despair, with terror and violence, and many Goths use drugs (both prescription and illegal) as a part of their dark lifestyle. Some abuse their children, perform satanic rituals, scar their bodies and drink human blood.”

I am sincerely not attempting to be a smart ass, however, using terms such as sick, heathen, vile, whore, and nasty (to name a few) as descriptors for Goths then say, “My goal is not to upset or hurt anyone’s feelings; but rather take a biblical stand against every form of evil.” These sentiments followed his proclamations that God loves Goths but hates the evil Goths represent. Then proceeds to infer we are devil worshipers, abuse our children, drink blood, use drugs, and perform satanic rituals. In the above list, he didn’t write the phrasing “perhaps a few”, he wrote some Goths engage in those behaviors. I’ve been a part of the scene for many years and I’ve never seen those behaviors at individual homes or in the club with the exception of drug use. I have witnessed drug use but Goths don’t have the patent on that as drug use is present even among the so called righteous and every facet of society. Have I seen satanic ritual? Nope. Any blood drinking? No. And on the subject of parenting, the Goths I’ve met who had children take the responsibility seriously and are engaged parents. The article written above is steeped in fear, ignorance, and judgment with no attention to detail or verifying any factual information. This in turn breeds negative views toward the Goth subculture by anyone part of the conservative community who reads this man’s article.

The Focus on the Family position on issues relating to transgendered individuals states the following, “Because "transgenderism" (this is not even a word) violates God's intentional design for sex and sexuality, we believe that this is a cultural and theological challenge that we must engage and win. The modern "transgender" movement is systematically working to dismantle the reality of two sexes — male and female — as the Bible and the world have always known this to be. If the transgender lobby succeeds, there will be striking consequences for individuals, marriage, family and society at large.”

The morality police strike again implying that the transgendered agenda (yes, that crazy plan to be treated human and not bashed in the head within an inch of their life) will systematically dismantle the reality of two sexes “creating striking consequences for individuals, marriage, family, and society at large.” I can understand and respect the decision not to agree with other people’s lifestyle choices and the freedom to express it, however, these views are extreme.

If a penis replacing a vagina, or vice versa, and hormone therapy can cause striking consequences in society at large-there are more important things to worry about than people choosing to change their peter to a vjj. A great many of these accusations and viewpoints are held against homosexuals as well. Yes, I guess I should admit my whole purpose in writing this is to convert as many straight women as possible to my lesbian ways so I qualify for my flat screen TV.

These matters of right wing fundamental ideology concern me because they see such issues as “challenges they must engage and win.” These are not merely challenges, these are people’s lives, feelings, self-worth, and physical well-being at stake. I would also like the point out here it is absurd to think any person would just arbitrarily decide to change their sex. An individual wanting a sex change undergoes therapy for several years, must spend an appointed amount of time living as the gender they are choosing, then hormone therapy begins, and finally all the surgery follows. The cost thus far is already steep but is nothing compared to the surgery itself; according to the encyclopedia of surgery, the male to female surgical procedure is between $7,000 to $24,000 and female to male is $50,000 and up. If it is merely a whim or a matter of slight gender confusion, a person would have to be crazy to put themselves through that. The only reason a person would go through it all is if their psyche and how they identify internally is not in harmony with their physical body.

The assumption that such individuals have an agenda or are seeking to undermine gender identity at the core is ignorant and cruel. They are changing their own gender not asking anyone else to change theirs. And finally to close on the subject of sexuality in general, stay out of the relations between two or more consenting adults. It should be of no concern to anyone else what people of legal age consent to do behind closed doors, so the best advice is to stay out of it and mind over ourselves.

These sentiments expressed by fundamental right wingers incites hate and anger toward others. In so doing, it marginalizes a group of people and blames that group for all that is wrong in society. This in turn gives license for those groups to be ridiculed, attacked verbally (sometimes physically by extremist), and defined as second class citizens. We as Goths are no stranger to being on the receiving end of their propaganda many times over the years. I’ve heard of Goth teens in the late 80’s and early 90’s having exorcisms performed on them against their will because it was believed by their family they were possessed or Satanist. While this isn’t the standard of behavior in conservative homes, it does show how extreme the measures can go in their brand of salvation.

In terms of music and entertainment, there is always a music act every once in a while becoming the focal point of attack. In the 1980’s, there was considerable effort for censorship of heavy metal music, especially Ozzy. It began with the group” Parental Music Resource Center (PMRC)” started by Senator Gore’s wife, Tipper Gore, and supported by First Lady Nancy Reagan. It did not take long before fundamentalist communities followed and supported the organizations efforts. The campaign was so successful, the issue of whether music should be censored was brought before congress to be considered by our government. This is what prompted “parental advisory” labeling on cassettes and cds. The same theme of “the devil is after your children” appeared again with the arrival of Marilyn Manson’s popularity and protest at his concerts occurred often.

The conservative right have boycotted Disney in the past, the 1990 movie “The Last Temptation of Christ”, and most recently the Fox Network’s TV series “Lucifer” scheduled to air next spring. In all the above issues, I can understand why these are offensive to their way of life and world view, however, what I cannot understand is the belief in being the appointed authority over what other people choose to listen to or watch. I personally cannot stand the 700 club or Duck Dynasty but I’m certainly not going to boycott it or tell them they have no right to have such programming...I simply don’t watch it leaving them to their interest and would like the same courtesy in return (you know, the Christian saying, treat others as you would want to be treated).

As a matter of fact, this Goth lesbo defended Duck Dynasty to my liberal aunt. She and I had a discussion about the supposedly anti-gay comment made by one of the cast members and the subsequent controversy. He simply said he didn’t approve of the homosexual lifestyle. The statement was not hateful and he merely expressed his point of view, which he is entitled to. I don’t agree with his reasoning or position but my disagreement does not preempt his right to express his views. I certainly did not think it warranted the amount of media attention and controversy it garnered for several weeks.

I don’t like the thought police thinking for me so I’m not going to employ it upon others who express a view in a respectful way that is in opposition to my own. As a society at large, we have a huge problem with this issue right now as it seems there is always one group of individuals offended by another group. All one has to do to see this is sign into Facebook and watch the ridiculous back and vs. democrat, black vs. white, cop vs. non cops, etc. A constant barrage of drama and bickering.

It is interesting that the Cemetery Confessions’ interview with Fred Berger just posted recently while I was finishing this article. I thought his comment about our society’s ability to deal with a magazine like Propaganda in current days would be non-existent rendering the publication another target in a world of victims. It would not be received well due to everyone looking for something to bitch about or be offended by. I am paraphrasing Fred’s sentiments, however, the theme is intact and I couldn’t agree with him more. Those on the front lines of looking for a fight or cause to rally behind tend towards fundamentalist groups. It appears they feel somehow victimized by a society refusing to close their minds in the manner suggested by them. It is rather difficult to have much compassion for their perceived victimization when it is often times their persecution and marginalization that is most hurtful and destructive towards other people.

In the case of Fox’s TV series Lucifer and the boycott against it. It is silly and unnecessary when there is a simple solution, if it is offensive, don’t watch it. If there is music disagreeable to your world view, don’t listen to isn’t rocket science. The boycotts and controversies created by those opposed is actually counterproductive. They end up drawing more attention to the music or program central to their protest. For example, I myself had not planned to watch a single episode of Lucifer because the premise seems uninspired. The idea behind the series is that Lucifer essentially becomes bored with ruling over hell and surfaces in Los Angeles to help police solve homicides. Once I learned of the boycott, I plan to check it out next spring to find out for myself if there is more depth in the series and what has the panties of One Million Moms in a knot.

The propensity to go after other people or music and entertainment in opposition to conservative morality has been around for decades and does not appear to be going away any time soon. It is interesting that hardly any notice is taken of what the repression within their moral code of conduct breeds. I remember the fall of the Bakers and Swaggarts several decades ago, and most recently, the Josh Duggar scandal. All of these men prided themselves on being a moral example and heading organizations perpetuating the model of the ideal Christian family while speaking against other people who lived lifestyles outside of those moral views. During the course of their leadership, they vocalized and preached about a morality they themselves didn’t honor or adhere to behind closed doors. I do not condone rubbing it in their faces or dragging them through the mud as the media and society has done and is doing. Are they hypocrites? Yes. However, as a general rule that applies to all of us as human beings, none of us are above the judgments we pronounce upon others.

The moment an individual thinks they are above others or certain circumstances, fate or karma (whatever one wishes to call it) will intervene and perhaps that person will find themselves wrestling against their baser selves. This latter point is what I hope is taken from this article by those who read it because in this realization, there becomes no need or desire to judge anyone else...only ourselves and how we treat others. The moment we begin thought policing, judging, or marginalizing others is the moment we become part of this systemic problem in our society. I think in general, if an individual spent more time concerned about their own perceived failings, biases, moral dilemmas’, and prejudices, there would be no time or incentive to point the finger at others. It is after all difficult to have any form of moral high ground when one is standing in the same mud as everyone else. Perhaps we should start seeing one another as fellow human beings and stop thinking about the word “other” when it pertains to people...just a crazy thought that might actually work.