Well, while I was on hiatus I apparently missed one of the stories of the century: the Justin Bieber Bible Study, based on his most recent album, Never Say Never. Or was it a movie? I don’t know. But it was supposedly big news, a resource for youth group leaders to connect with their students using hip pop culture. (Tragically hip or just tragic? You decide.)
I wouldn’t have even known about this had something not happened recently that was so horrible, so incredibly horrible, that all of Christendom is still gasping for breath: Justin Bieber swore in public.
While speaking in defense of his pal Kanye West, who Bieber considers a good guy despite some recent bad behavior, the squeaky clean pop star ju dor said of West, “He’s not really an *sshole like everyone makes him out to be.”
Well, he actually said “asshole”. Not “asterisk-sshole.”
And, darling readers, it’s been brought to my attention by people much, much smarter than I am, that this might actually be a big story and that I should blog about it. That the prince of bubble gum pop let loose with a curse. In public. And after his last album was heralded as Bible study fodder for youth leaders of America. What was Justin thinking?
OK, so I’m being snarky. After I promised I would focus on positive stuff. But as they say, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
I’m not going to make a big deal about adorable Justin Bieber and his potty mouth, because quite frankly, a curse word now and then really doesn’t reflect much more than a lack of a better word for the situation - and sometimes “asshole” is the only word that fits. I haven’t heard Justin’s album, haven’t seen the Bible study, and quite frankly don’t care about either. And I don’t know if Kanye is an asshole or not.
But we have talked about our nation’s fascination with celebrity, and especially with the Christian fascination with Christian celebrity, in January 2010 when Miley Cyrus talked in Harper’s Bazaar magazing about being a role model. I gave you my thoughts on the responsibility of parents, who set these teens up as role models, as well as the teens who naturally grow up and do growing up kinds of stuff. If you’re looking to pop stars to teach your kids right from wrong, you’ve got bigger problems than Justin Bieber swearing.
So if you’re a parent who had a heart attack when you read that sweet little Justin cursed in an interview, maybe you should go read that Miley Cyrus post I wrote last year, because it pretty much applies here, too.
With people starving in Africa and children being sold into sexual slavery and the U.S. economy in dire straits, having a teen pop idol throw out a curse word is really the least of our worries. (But thanks for giving me a chance to really make use of some SEO terms today, Justin. Really helps those page views!)
Honest, I don’t know squat about Justin Bieber. But Stephen Russ, who writes the Prophet of Pop blog and is also my editor, did some posts about the Bible study. So go over to his blog and learn everything you thought you wanted to know about Bieber.