Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Michael Jackson: Muslim?

In a news story qualified for the "Truth is stranger than Friction" department comes this article that Michael Jackson may convert to Islam.

I thought it was a joke or an "Onion" article, but it turns out to be for real. It seems rather odd for a celebrity like Michael Jackson to be interested in Islam. Most of the time, celebrities become Buddhist or Kabbalah as a way to say that they're "spiritual" without being Christian.

Am I suggesting that such celebrities join these other faiths or belief systems partially as a protest against Christianity? Yes, I am. I say that because if it was truly spirituality that they were interested in, then they would consider Christianity as well. Some celebrities do convert to Christianity, and this is also not to suggest that those who chose Buddhism or Kabbalah didn't also look at Christianity, but that - as a career move - choosing Christianity isn't good for someone like Michael Jackson or Madonna (a Kabbalah follower). Their left-wing secular friends and business people would frown on a conversion to Christianity.

This is also not to suggest that Christianity is the way to go. I believe it is, just so you know (for the record for those of you who don't already know, I'm Catholic), but I also know that the best converts are those that come into it willingly, rather than those who came into it against their will. For well-known celebrities, however, having it known that you are of a particular Christian faith is pretty much a death knell for your career. Even for someone like Mel Gibson, who has enough power and influence to continue his career in the movie business, he is going to encounter resistance from others in the business so long as he stays in the business. The outspoken resistance to his 2004 Passion of the Christ is an example of the kind of resistance that can mobilize in a heartbeat against members who take up Christianity.

People like Michael Jackson and Madonna made their careers being counter-cultural, and part of being counter-cultural is being anti-Christian. Thing is, anti-Christian rhetoric got old a long time ago, so it's past stale today. And yet, it continues. Granted, there are also anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric out there among the secular elite left, but there's a limit on how much even they can get away with statements that go against these other faiths. Being anti-Christian for them is still "the way to go".

But I have to ask: Why? I especially ask this because the secular elite left is supposed to be about open-mindedness, tolerance, and diversity. They're supposed to be enlightened and in full support of allowing one to live "according to the dictates of their conscience." However, their anti-Christianness makes them look as bad as any Christian fundamentalist. Granted, Christian fundamentalists also make it a habit to bash Catholicism, but fundies don't make claims of being enlightened and open-minded, so at least their actions are consistent with their words.

And that's the whole crux for me on this: consistency. Claims to open-mindedness and shows of the worst kinds of anti-Christian venom in the same group of people fly in the face of logic. This is especially in light of the fact that not all Christians are of the fundamentalist stripe. In fact, very few Christians are of that extreme point of view. There are even some Christians that are virtually as "enlightened and open-minded" as the secular elite left. But in their hatred of all things Christian, the lefties tar all with the same brush. And with such actions, they lose potential allies. Such is their loss.

By the way, the term, "secular elite left" suggests that there's a "religious elite right". Indeed there is. However, they make no claims to open-mindedness and tolerance, so while they can be as unpleasant and unforgiving as their ideological and spiritual opposites, at least they are consistent with their views. For the secular elite left, the way they need to show consistency is to be tolerant of even the intolerant. Being intolerant of intolerance goes against being tolerant, and their credibility goes downhill from there. Maybe if enough of them read my blog, they'll see the errors of their ways. I'll be praying for them.

Oops! I hope I haven't offended them by saying that!

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