Saturday, April 11, 2009

A lesson in love and sparkly onesies

10 years ago, a girl named Britney Spears came on the pop scene (or should I say CREATED IT), and turned the world upside down. Then she said "OOPS", and all was forgiven.
When I finally realized that my "hate" for Brit was actually jealousy that festered because of my ex bf's love for her, I was able to get past it and get on the Brit train. The I love Brit train. The train that derails all others.
The concert in Tacoma (an hour outside of Seattle) the other night was amazing! My tickets came via Santa, aka Donia Claus, in Dec. 08 so I had 4 long months to wait for the concert. The day finally came last Thursday and we were off to the show, hours early so as to not hit traffic and get a good cheap parking spot (here is the evidence that times have changed and I'm very, very old). Being 2 hours early we went to a "mall" of sorts, that actually was an old train depot or something. Inside it was like a makeshift Fennual Hall in Boston, but like 1/100th of that and dirty. Downtown Tacoma was weird, it was gross, and frankly, I would be much more nervous to walk through there after dark than downtown Seattle. It just seemed like it had this evil aura, like people don't care about you and would jump you and beat you for your purse and phone. And then, just for good measure, maybe finish you off with a stabbing.
After eating at one of the strangest Mexican "restaurants" (a glorified fast food joint with beer and wine), we walked back up the road to the arena to get in line. With only 20 minutes til the doors opened, we wanted to get inside and get inside FAST! Upon arriving, we had noticed some "Jesus freaks" standing outside the arena. There were about a dozen, all spread out in pairs about 30 feet apart. They were holding signs that said things like "Trust Jesus" and "Fear God", and they were yelling and screaming at people to stop "idolizing" Britney. They were harassing young girls, some no older than 16, and telling them that because their hair was dyed and their face was made up, that they were committing "idolotry" (huh?) and that Britney served as a graven image they were praising instead of God. One girl just giggled and said, "You think I look and act like Britney? Thanks!" The protester's message was obviously lost in translation.
So many feelings about this. Number one, I can't help but feel a familiarity with "Christians" like this because I was raised attending a church that used some of the same scare tactics as these people. I remember a time I brought a high school bf to my church while I talked to a friend. There was nothing going on in the church that day, but we did come across the youth pastor while we were there. As I spoke to my friend, I noticed that the youth pastor had caught my bf's ear. I approached them and heard that the pastor was saying things like, "Why don't you believe? If you don't listen to me and believe YOU'LL GO TO HELL." Before I knew it my bf was attempting to get away from this man and as he was literally running out of the church, the pastor was still screaming to repent and believe or burn in Hell. I chased him out and he was visibly shaken and angry and disgusted with what had happened. He was so angry, and all I could do was cry and apologize and try to tell him that I wasn't crazy and neither were they. He was NOT buying that. This guy now had such a terrible and untrue picture of what a Christian was, and it was going to be very hard for him to ever trust anyone that tried to preach to him again.
New statistics show that 15% of people on the East coast don't identify with any religion. On the surface, some would say that the world is just getting more evil and that that is the reason God is so obsolete in some people's lives. Think about it, though: God hasn't changed. The Word is still the same. So why are there so many less believers? I think it has something to do with the messengers and the persons being entrusted with spreading the Word of God. These death and scare tactics that Christians are using now are turning people off and doing the exact opposite of what they set out to do. NOT ONE PERSON stopped to talk to those people or ask them about Jesus or what the Bible said. Not one of them got a chance to even embrace Christianity truly because they were AT A POP CONCERT BEING YELLED AT BY CRAZIES. I just had this funny image of God putting his head in his hands and sighing with defeat. This is not what he had in mind when he said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel". These people were simply laughable and not to be taken seriously.
The crowd was predominantly girls with dyed blonde hair and fake tans between the ages of 12 and 21, with a few gay boys, drag queens, with girls my age and a bit older sprinkled in. This was not the time, nor the place, for a sermon. It certainly wasn't fair to call Britney "evil" or talk about how she doesn't deserve children or life at all. It wasn't right to call people out on how they were dressed (not at all inappropriately) or on how they were at a concert because they held Britney above God. I don't know about the other 10,000 people, but when I have a problem or need spiritual guidance in life, I don't fold my hands and pray to Britney Spears.
I can only say that I wish people would take what religion they've learned and explore it for themselves. I wish those that were "brainwashed" by corrupt leaders would be led to question the teachings, find answers for themselves, and READ THE BIBLE instead of taking someone else's word for it. In a world full of internet lies, scams and fact checkers everywhere you turn, do we really wanna take a chance on these pastors who are just as twisted and money hungry as corporate bankers? I feel like the only way to find the truth in spirituality is to make the journey yourself.
If these people really knew what they were doing they'd stop badgering and start engaging. They'd ask people what they believed and, after really listening, offer up their opinion and belief and leave it open to the person's interpretation. They would have real FAITH, which is the one thing they are lacking when they preach. They don't get the word out there and then leave it to God like they should, they push and push and push until you're afraid not to believe, or you're just so pissed off you write it off altogether. We weren't put here to beat it into people, we were put here to open eyes and leave it to God. I don't think His plan was to have a bunch of followers who feared him so much that they didn't even know what they were agreeing to believe in.

All this from a Britney concert. Who knew.

I am so glad I got to see her again. This tour blew the Onyx Hotel tour out of the water. She worked her ass off and did stuff only a real pro could do. She looked amazing, and I would say she sounded amazing too, but only because she sang NOT ONE WORD LIVE. It's ok with me though. She is a performer and I definitely got what I wanted--an insane performance.

I can't believe this Britney is the same Brit we saw in the last two years fall apart in front of our eyes. It says a lot for mental health meds, a good parent who uses tough love, and ridding your life of people who aren't in it for you. I think about a time when I felt out of control and was hurting and acting out because I had no idea what to do or where to go. I can't imagine doing that in front of millions of people, and then having to come back and prove myself again to all those people.

That's why she is Britney and I am not. She seemed to be having a lot of fun and I hope she only continues on a good path.

And I pray for those "Christians" who are fighting the good fight and protesting Britney with hate and anger. Come on, guys. Really? There are way bigger fish to fry than an innocent pop princess with a weave and a girlish southern accent.

Can I get an Amen?