Perhaps because President Barack Obama made history by being the first President to mention the importance of gay rights during his Inauguration Speech, many individuals are reflecting upon whether addressing and thwarting homophobic ideologies and praxis will be integral to his second term. In considering the likelihood of this development carefully, people are likely to contemplate what role faith-based beliefs will play in engendering opposition from his antagonists. Clearly, adherence to a biblical world view is one of the primary reasons that much of the populace still avoids gay marriage. Yet famous country singer Carrie Underwood-who has discussed her Christian faith with fans and the press quite frequently-told the media that her spiritual beliefs are the catalyst for her support of gay marriage. This statement warrants inquiry.
People familiar with Carrie Underwood’s immersion in the world of country music and Christianity-two realms often linked to conservative value systems-may be surprised that she has adopted a view many consider liberal with respect to the issue of homosexuality. In an interview with Britain’s The Independent last year, Underwood stated that her Christian beliefs include adherence to the idea that loving everyone is important. In discussing the church that she attends, Underwood stated that it is a gay-friendly spiritual community. She went on to note that, as a married woman, she didn’t know what it would be like to not be able to marry someone she loved.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Underwood’s progressive views regarding gay marriage were received well by activists for homosexual rights. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, for example, commended the star for supporting marriage equality and rooting her beliefs about the issue in faith towards a God who places primacy on people loving others. Pastor Scotty Smith from Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee, however, stated that Underwood’s view reflects a broken understanding of biblical edicts regarding marriage and sexuality. Additionally, many Christian fans of Underwood have concluded that the star’s worldview is inaccurate and inappropriate according to a Bible that condemns homosexuality as sin. Despite the backlash, however, Underwood reaffirmed her accedence to the notion that gay marriage is a just endeavor when she told Allure magazine this very thing.
Despite my personal view that homosexuality is sin, I am in full agreement with the political stance Underwood has taken on the issue. Indeed, her assertions to Allure regarding not wanting to possess the power to preclude people from marrying someone they love parallel my own sentiments on the issue. Only time will tell how the government responds to what appears to be an increasing percentage of the populace who agree with this world view.
Jocelyn Crawley is a 28-year-old college student currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree in preparation to become a pastor. She holds B.A. degrees in Religious Studies and English. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, Nailpolish Stories, Visceral Uterus, Four and Twenty, Dead Beats and Haggard and Halloo. Other stories are forthcoming in Faces of Feminism and Calliope.