Jewish Journal

Did Christians punish ‘American Idol’ finalist for being gay?

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 21, 2009 | 12:51 pm

From what I hear, the “American Idol” finale was a bit of a shocker.

Kris Allen, the church worship leader cum rockstar, bested oddsmaker favorite Adam Lambert. As I mentioned yesterday, there were strong differences between the two, and not just in musical style.

Allen was Christian and Southern and more conservative; Lambert was Jewish and liberal and made for Hollywood. And at some point, it appears that Allen became the straight “Idol” and Lambert the gay “Idol.”

“American Idol was like watching Prop 8 win all over again.”

I saw that perspective included in a quick compilation of post-“Idol” chatter on the blog of my old colleague Greg Hernandez, who is gay and was himself wondering how much of the spike in “Idol” voting was “anti-Adam.”

It’s really impossible to know how many Christians, and other socially conservative religious folks, voted for Allen simply because he wasn’t Lambert. But I’m sure at least some.

Here is what one commenter had to say after another complained about Lambert’s defeat:

you people think we’re going to turn the US over to all the deviants that thrive in CA?  You can believe in whatever you want but God makes it clear the what the righteous path is.  We’ve (yes us Christians) have been voting for both Gokey and Kris and when the choice came down to a Christian role model vs Adam and Steve, well there was only one choice.

We might have lost the election but we haven’t given up on America!!!!

I’ve seen similar sentiments all over the Internet. But why, why did some Christians feel they had a moral obligation to vote for the candidate who embodied their values?

We as humans have a dispensation to align with those we consider to be fellow travelers, people who make us proud of people just like us. That much, I think, is apparent when Jews ask, “but is he Jewish?” But a homosexual isn’t exactly an anomaly in the music world, and Lambert was going to get a good record deal regardless of “Idol’s” outcome.

“Adam is Jewish? Big deal. His lifestyle is wrong,” an angry God Blog visitor commented. “Is he talented? Yes. Who cares? You are an idiot. Typical LA bullshit. You folks in California are unbelievable.”

How Lambert’s lifestyle relevant to his talent is beyond me. If it was, the only entertainment I’d be enjoying would be “McGee and Me.” And, besides, this commenter, Susan, doesn’t exactly make a strong case for piety.

As a Christian I am incredibly uncomfortable with—actually, embarrassed by—the pride some are taking in this affair. It’s natural to be happy for Allen, but it’s not righteousness that revels in Lambert’s defeat.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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