A Church Reacts to Katy Perry’s Hit Song

Katy Perry is the artist who used to sing Christian music before releasing an album with the hit song “I Kissed a Girl.”

The lyrics of that song include these words:

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry ChapStick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Now, Havens Corners Church in Ohio is reacting with this marquee sign:

The pastor says the sign is meant to be “loving” — a word that many conservative Christians clearly define in a way unknown to the rest of the world:

Church pastor Rev. Dave Allison says the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, so the sign is intended as a loving warning to teens.

He says it has confused some people who either don’t know the song or don’t understand the message.

Director Lynne Bowman with the gay rights group Equality Ohio says what the sign means to her is that the church isn’t very accepting.

I’m sure Jesus is smiling down from somewhere…

(via Church Marketing Sucks)

  • http://thesciencepundit.blogspot.com/ The Science Pundit
  • mikespeir

    I kissed a girl and I liked it. Does that mean I’m going to…. Oh, right. I’m a guy.

    The screwy thing about Hell is how easy it is to get into!

  • mikespeir

    Loved that sign, Science Pundit!

  • http://www.tuibguy.com Mike Haubrich, FCD

    I kissed a guy once when I was very young. I didn’t like it and neither did my now ex-wife. I was drunk, that’s my excuse. How can girls like kissing people with stubble? Yeck!

    Anyway, I was planning on going to Hell anyway. So, if I have Kate Perry around with me for eternity, I don’t mind all that much.

  • Pingback: A Church Reacts to Katy Perry’s Hit Song | HomoGod

  • http://mnatheists.org Bjorn Watland

    I think trying to understand the worldview is important. It’s easy to say these are not “True Christians” or not “True Messengers” however that doesn’t get at why people feel the need to go to such lengths to control non violent behavior.

    I think that as long as you understand Hell, and you believe that homosexual acts will send you to an eternity of pain and suffering, then in their minds upsetting a few gay people is worth the trouble of saving just one person from such a fate. The solution, I would think, is to try to convince these people that the Bible does not prohibit homosexual acts. The only apologist articles I’ve heard are that the Bible was only written to specifically apply to only certain people in certain towns. The other answer I’ll get is something like, “Jesus is a Liberal,” or “Jesus is all about love,” or that that’s all Old Testament stuff, and Jesus has a new covenant, the old rules don’t apply.

    While I’m an atheist, I think there would be progress if Christians would interpret their Bible in such a way as it made their ethics more compatible with mine. I think that would be an easier challenge then whittling someone’s faith down so far, then flicking it away.

  • Pingback: Sunday Sign: Loving, My Arse « Copland III

  • http://thesciencepundit.blogspot.com/ The Science Pundit

    You can watch the good Pastor himself defend the sign.

    Thanks mikespeir! I loved that sign so much, I put it up on my (seldom updated) blog. ;-)

  • JohnB

    Church pastor Rev. Dave Allison says the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, so the sign is intended as a loving warning to teens.

    What is clear is that it’s more about defining themselves by identifying and distancing themselves from a despised outgroup than it is about being “loving”. What a crock of shit.

  • http://josephbales.com Joey

    Jill Sobule did a song a few years ago called “I Kissed a Girl” and it was much better than this new one. No one even brings it up though, it’s like it never happened. Her song was better written and had a cool video. This new song is just musical porn if you ask me and has little artistic value.

  • Duke York

    Huh? Do you realize that this sign was written by a male pastor? Read it from that point of view. He kissed a girl, found he didn’t like it, and then went to Hell because he wanted to kiss boys.

    Christian honesty, at last.

    Duke

  • Awesomesauce

    Joey,

    THANK YOU!!!

    I thought I must be crazy since nobody seemed to know what I was talking about.

  • http://thesciencepundit.blogspot.com/ The Science Pundit

    I agree Joey. In case you were wondering what happened to Jill Sobule, she’s got a show with Julia Sweeney (Jill’s an atheist, you know). :-)

  • Jen

    I don’t know why, but I am always shocked a bit to discover Christian churches have, you know, heard top 40 songs. I kind of picture them as living in tiny pristine boxes, never to listen to the same things as us dirty heathens.

    Also, I wonder if Katy is allowed to have sex with that boyfriend without the hellfire lapping at her her toes. Some of the most homophobic people I know have premarital sex, which cracks me up.

  • Awesomesauce
  • Ubi Dubium

    I think what the fundies find so threatening about this song in particular is that Perry is the child of two pastors, and used to record gospel music. If they can’t keep their grip on a kid like that, how can they expect to hold on to the others? (Of course – threaten them with hell!)

    They aren’t so interested in Jill’s song, since she was never one of “theirs”

  • justin jm

    Throwing in my two cents here, I think this church congregation should be ashamed of itself.

  • Christophe Thill

    When love means hate, well, I suppose ignorance is knowledge and slavery is freedom.

  • SarahH

    I like the song, so if it’s musical porn, I can live with that.

    And I’m also sure that the only reason it hit that pastor’s radar is that Perry has such Christian roots and is now “lost” or whatever.

  • cipher

    Actually, the two references to homosexuality in the OT refer to male homosexuality, specifically -and, of course, the context is debatable. As I recall, the NT only mentions homosexuality once, in one of Paul’s letters, and the translation is contested – the word used may not refer to homosexuality at all.

    Of course, none of this matters to fundies.

    Bjorn – I understand their position. I’m even willing to ascribe it to their brokenness and sense of alienation. The thing is – I don’t care. I’ve been listening to them for half a century, and now, I just want them to shut the fuck up.

  • http://redwinegums.wordpress.com Red Wine Gums

    Church signs are so weird. I personally think that song is crying out for a satirical cover by a guy with a few lyrical changes. Crying out for it I say

  • J. J. Ramsey

    cipher: “Actually, the two references to homosexuality in the OT refer to male homosexuality,”

    IIRC, there was one OT reference to homosexuality, which was specific to males, and one NT reference, Romans 1:26-27, which covered women as well.

  • cipher

    IIRC, there was one OT reference to homosexuality, which was specific to males, and one NT reference, Romans 1:26-27, which covered women as well.

    Actually, that wasn’t the NT reference I meant – so okay, there are two! The other one said something along the lines of sorcerers, adulterers, etc., not inheriting the kingdom or being thrown into hell, blah, blah. One of the terms used is often translated as “homosexuals” (understood to mean both men and women), but, as I said, the translation is contested; it’s one of those words for which the original meaning has been lost.

    There are two Levitical references to male homosexuality. One occurs amid passages referring to conduct in time of war, so some liberal Jews and Christians have tried to interpret it from within that that context – don’t rape men you’ve defeated in war. The other, I believe, got inserted among passages having to do with ritual purity, so, again, they try to understand it in that light. The liberals argue that these passages refer to acts of violence, or to exploitative, as opposed to mutually consensual, relationships – but, if that’s the case, why is the execution of both parties mandated? I don’t know that you can whitewash it, but I certainly don’t want to discourage them from trying. They may be right.

  • cipher

    I should mention – there’s a very good book on the subject, Wrestling with God and Men, by Steven Greenberg, an Orthodox rabbi who happens to be gay. He presents these arguments much more comprehensively. I’ve met him and corresponded a bit; a very impressive fellow. I like him a lot.

  • http://mojoey.blogspot.com mojoey

    The song is harmless. The lyrics are cute and intended for 14-year-old’s. A few of my christian friends talk about it promoting homosexuality and I just laugh. Do they really thing a song can influence a 14 year old? This is absurd.

  • mikespeir

    I was about to agree with Cipher that there are in fact two Levitical references to male homosexuality, but he’s already beaten me to it.

    In neither case (Lev 18:22 and 20:13) is there any real context at all. They simply appear in naked lists of “do nots.” It’s that very lack of context that suggests universality to me. There are no caveats or extenuating, meliorating circumstances. It was forbidden–period.

    Furthermore, there’s nothing to suggest rape:

    18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    How can that read, “You shall not rape a man as you would a woman”?

  • cipher

    Furthermore, there’s nothing to suggest rape:

    18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    How can that read, “You shall not rape a man as you would a woman”?

    Mike, I would tend to agree with you, but there are people more knowledgeable than I who would disagree – and, as I say, I don’t want to discourage them in their attempts to be inclusive.

  • mikespeir

    I don’t want to discourage them in their attempts to be inclusive.

    Yep. It’s a step in the right direct, isn’t it?

  • cipher

    Sure.

    I just looked at those OT passages, and Lev 20 talks about the practices of other nations; I think that’s what I was thinking of (not imitating their practices, etc.). Yet I know I’ve heard the argument about raping one’s defeated opponents in time of war.

    Eh. I don’t really care. I’m 51, my mind is going, and I have precious few brain cells left to waste on this crap.

  • mikespeir

    I’m 51, my mind is going, and I have precious few brain cells left to waste on this crap.

    Well, hey, I’m 52. Will be 53 later this month. All my brain cells are intact–at least the few I have left…. I’m pretty sure.

  • cipher

    I’d wish you a happy birthday, but at our age that’s more of an insult!

  • mikespeir

    …at our age that’s more of an insult!

    LOL!

  • http://www.chedstone.com Roy McKenzie

    SO effing gross!

  • http://www.myspace.com/staticmartyr Tim D.

    So wait, wait….there are lesbians in hell, cool. There are musicians in hell, cool.

    But now there are lesbian musicians in hell? That’s it, I’m going to Hell!

    On a side note, there’s actually a song about just that on my band’s myspace. It’s called “The State of the World.” Maybe I’ll meet some like-minded musical ideologists when I finally get there?

  • Uenuku Kaitangata

    The thing I find funny is that the Torah (lets put blame where it belongs – Old Testament) only talks about “Man Lying with Man” and not women at all (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). So either the Pastor of this church doesn’t know his bible or he’s not Christian. Actually anyone espousing this crap isn’t a Christian as Christ himself said nothing at all anywhere in the New Testament about the subject. See for yourself – grab a red letter bible and see if you can find anything that Christ said about homosexuality or lesbianism to be specific. I guess the Pastor will be going to Hell because lying is definitely a sin. It’s all a waste of time anyway because there is no Jaweh or Adonai or Allah or Jehovah or (oh I grow bored).

  • http://yogaforcynics.blogspot.com YogaforCynics

    Of course the pastor thinks the sign’s “loving”–the fundamentalist’s definition of a loving god is one who’ll torture you for all eternity for failing to spend your whole life kissing his holy ass….

  • Jeff Satterley

    Joey:

    Was Jill Sobule’s music video the one where Fabio was the husband?

  • Uenuku Kaitangata

    I’ve had a look through Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) too see the references to homosexuality. However, I can’t see how the church could use them to justify their statement.

    Leviticus 18:22 (King James Version) – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Clearly it states that for a man to lie with a man as with a woman it is an abomination. However, two things, firstly Leviticus refers specifically to male homosexuality and not female homosexuality and secondly the punishment befits a crime which is an abomination, which we all know is to be cast out from the community and not to be sent to hell (Leviticus 18:29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people). So obviously this is not the Bible passage they are referring to as it specifically speaks to men and not women and purports banishment as the required punishment.

    Leviticus 20:13 (King James Version) – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    OK this is even clearer still. However this passage refers specifically to male homosexuality and not female homosexuality and the punishment is to be put to death and not to be sent to Hell. Again, this cannot be the Bible passage they are referring to as it specifically speaks to men and not women and purports death as the required punishment. There must be confusion here as these two passages refer to the same exact crime specifically and have two completely different punishments – neither of which are to be sent to Hell and neither of which refer to women.

  • Pamela

    Now too long ago, this same crowd would be upset that she and her boyfriend aren’t the same race. (maybe they still are!).

  • http://www.otmatheist.com/ hoverFrog

    Romans 1:26

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature

    has the only reference to girl on girl action. It clearly states that God makes women lesbians rather than good, honest, Christian, baby making machines for male pleasure. Bad God, naughty God.

    I think she should be more concerned with Deuteronomy 22:5

    The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

    I clearly saw a picture of her wearing jeans the other day. Such manly vestements will send her straight to HELL as well as keep her legs warm in the winter. Warm legs will do her no good when the DEVIL comes to burn her. No good at all

  • Maria

    Huh? Do you realize that this sign was written by a male pastor? Read it from that point of view. He kissed a girl, found he didn’t like it, and then went to Hell because he wanted to kiss boys.

    Christian honesty, at last.

    Duke

    LOL!

  • cipher

    I’ve had a look through Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) too see the references to homosexuality. However, I can’t see how the church could use them to justify their statement.

    Uenuku Kaitangata,

    We covered that earlier. There are, possibly, one or two references to female homosexuality in the NT.

    Although,

    Romans 1:26

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature

    has the only reference to girl on girl action. It clearly states that God makes women lesbians rather than good, honest, Christian, baby making machines for male pleasure. Bad God, naughty God.

    Hoverfrog, now that I think about it, I’m not even sure this could be seen as a reference to homosexuality. “Unnatural lusts” could be understood in a variety of ways. The next line, however, is “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.”, so it may be saying that the women behaved as did the men.

    In any case, I think the Christians would say that because they didn’t turn to God, He allowed them to indulge their sinful preferences, thereby condemning themselves to hell.

    The result is the same. God always gets off the hook.

  • cipher

    I found this while looking up the Biblical references: http://members.aol.com/DrSwiney/bennett.html

    The author summarizes:

    * Paul disapproves of homosexuality to the extent that it is un-natural.
    * Current understanding is that sexual orientation is innate. [natural]
    * The church can now form a sacramental structure amongst gays for the expression and protection of the Christian sexual ethic of monogamy, fidelity and life-long intent.
    * When Paul writes of gifts of the Spirit, first on his list is love – love of God and love of neighbor.
    * Eventually we are going to express that love by a decision of servanthood to the faithful homosexuals among us.

    As we have evolved a new and higher regard for women than was true for Paul in his time, so we are evolving a new regard for same-sex attraction than was true for Paul, and for most of us, in both his time and our own. That is why the Episcopal Church and other progressively oriented denominations are moving toward legitimizing “same-sex unions”. It is a plain matter of justice.

    A more recent analysis of this passage has also been made. This new analysis is independent of the question of the degree of naturalness [biological, customary, or innate] associated with homosexual behavior. It analyzes the class of persons whom Paul was addressing. Read the text carefully:

    “… even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another…”

    If one reads the text carefully, it seems that Paul may be criticizing heterosexuals who dabble in homosexual acts. The text seems to imply that it is wrong for heterosexuals to indulge in homosexual acts because such activities would require them to change their natural use to that which is against their nature. This would seem not to apply to homosexuals since they find homosexuality normal [innate; ingrained, customary, agreeable to the world of nature] to their being.

    Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Cantebury, theologian and scholar, agrees that this is more of a correct evaluation of the Pauline passage. Paul does not condemn homosexuals. He condemns heterosexuals who attempt to mimic homosexual behaviors.

    I think it’s a stretch, but if it helps them to be inclusive, they’re welcome to it.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    Cipher, “natural uses” is extremely vague and could be used to justify almost any stereotype or assumption about men and women. I can think of things that are “natural” for men or women but not necessarily exclusive to either gender. What does that prove? Only that the writers of the bible had clear ideas of the divisions between male and female roles that don’t apply in the modern age. If it were written today we’d label it as sexist but we can only say that it was a product of the times.

    There are three mentions of homosexuality in the New Testament. All three refer to preformed traditions, either Greek or Jewish. There is no NT author who placed enough importance on homosexuality to write his own sentence about it

    There is an argument that homosexuality is “against nature”. This is not the idea of nature that we have in the 21st century but of human nature or the proper conduct that is becoming for a member of society. The attack on homosexuality could actually be against pederasty in the Greco-Roman texts. Pederasty involved forced male rape even by heterosexuals and slave boy prostitutes. You won’t catch me saying that enforced rape is ever a good or acceptable idea even when it still goes on today.

    Pederasty says nothing about the modern idea of loving relationships between two people of the same gender. These sorts of gay relationships have been going on in secret and not-so-secret for centuries and have been broadly tolerated or ignored if not accepted. The laws against homosexuals are a recent invention that signify an increase in biblical literalism.

    I Corinthians 6:9 uses the phrase “nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind” that most take to mean homosexuals. Putting aside the fact that homosexuality has little to do with effeminate behaviour the idea is almost certainly inaccurate. If Paul wanted to refer to homosexual behavior, he would have used the word “paiderasste” as this was the standard Greek term at the time for sexual behavior between males. The word he did use was “arsenokoitai”. The exact meaning is lost but “arsen” means “man” so it is unlikely to refer to any behaviour that is between two women. The part “koitai” means “beds”. I could speculate that the word refers to male temple prostitutes, pimps, homosexual rapists or even masturbaters. I don’t think it refers to typical gay men though.

    In Romans 1:26-27 the Greek phrase “para physin” is taken to mean “against nature” but elsewhere in the bible it is used as meaning to deviate from the ordinary or the be unconventional. Also the phrase “change their natural use” would seem to indicate that they were going against what they, and I mean the participants, found to be normal sexual behaviour. Perhaps the “vile affections” where drug induced or the result of a frenzied state of mind brought about by ritual. Again, not what we’d expect from an ordinary loving relationship between two people, no matter what their genders. The passage is really referring to idolatry and pagan vices and isn’t specifically condemning homosexuality.

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 uses the word “arsenokoitai” again. This time the translators have picked this up to mean “for them that defile themselves with mankind” but, like the Corinthians passage, the meaning is unclear and probably does not refer to loving, homosexual relationships.

    Thanks to http://www.religioustolerance.org for much of this information.

    If Christians are going to condemn female musicians for singing about other girls and enjoying it then you’d think they’d make the effort to understand what their own book actually says. i.e. nothing definite about lesbians and dubious condemnation of loving male homosexual relationships.

    I just need to condense that down to half a dozen words and put it on a sign.

  • cipher

    I Corinthians 6:9 uses the phrase “nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 uses the word “arsenokoitai” again.

    THAT’S the one I was trying to remember (although I didn’t realize it was in two places)! That brings the total up to five (OT & NT).

    As I said – I think this is all a stretch. And I don’t think it will make any real difference, anyway. The liberals will interpret in such a way as to be more inclusive (in which endeavor I’d encourage them), and the conservatives won’t give a fig about what they say.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    Figs again. You know how much Jesus hated those figs.

  • Marcus
  • http://link Roy73

    How do women reconcile their right to dress how they wish with the male gaze? ,

  • http://na ca

    She’s just part of the militant agenda that, oh and again to be honest, is heavier in hate than most churches.


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