A great dilemma involving Katy Perry.

I don’t like Katy Perry’s music.  I used to be wishy washing on Perry herself before she emerged as an LGBT rights activist whose own spiritual beliefs are closer to functional atheism than to the beliefs of her two Pentecostal parents.  Good on her.

Still, if you’ve heard Perry live she’s…not as good as on her CDs.  By a lot.

So I’m torn…I don’t like Perry’s music, but a bunch of Muslims are saying that her recent song on Youtube “Dark Horse” should be taken down for blasphemy.

An online petition demands that YouTube removes the latest music video by Katy Perry. The signatories believe her zapping a man wearing a pendant with the word ‘Allah’ written in Arabic is blasphemous.

The video for the song Dark Horse, which Perry sings with Juicy J, was posted on YouTube last week. It features a cartoonish version of ancient Egypt, with Perry regally seating at a monumental throne receiving tribute from men. The gifts apparently offend queen Perry, as she zaps the unlucky visitors with lightning, turning them into sand one by one. The episode with the Allah pendant can be seen at 1:15 of the video.

The petition even makes a statement of fact:

The petition hopes to win major support to show “that people from different walks of life, different religions and from different parts of the world, agree that the video promotes blasphemy, using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.”

Well, it’s inappropriate in many religions, yes.  But the petition makes the leap of saying that because many people find certain treatments of the idea of god to be blasphemous that those ideas must be censored/forbidden for all.  That is simply not the case.  Your aversion to somebody’s artistic expression doesn’t get to govern the lives of everyone else.  So the dilemma arises, do I promote music I don’t care for in order to drive the point home that the tenets of Islam are adopted by individuals by choice, not foisted on everybody?

It’s not actually that great a dilemma.  Censorship sucks more than anybody’s music and blasphemy is a shitty reason not to do anything.  Here’s the video.  I watched it to defy the censors.

w00t blasphemy!

It’s one thing to call something blasphemy.  It’s another thing to say that everybody else must abide by the tenets of your religion.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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