Jewish Journal

Does God make celebrities successful? They often think so

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 16, 2011 | 10:32 am

There is a really interesting pop cultural commentary over at the Wall Street Journal. The article is “God at the Grammys,” and it offers some vignettes of how different stars think God had them predestined for success. Then it makes this observation:

Before they were famous, many of the biggest pop stars in the world believed that God wanted them to be famous, that this was his plan for them, just as it was his plan for the rest of us not to be famous. Conversely, many equally talented but slightly less famous musicians I’ve interviewed felt their success was accidental or undeserved—and soon after fell out of the limelight.

As I compiled and analyzed these interviews for my new book, I reached a surprising conclusion: Believing that God wants you to be famous actually improves your chances of being famous. Of course, from the standpoint of traditional theology, even in the Calvinistic world of predestination, God is much more concerned with the fate of an individual’s soul than his or her secular success, and one’s destiny is unknowable. So what’s helping these stars is not so much religion as belief—specifically, the belief that God favors their own personal, temporal success over that of almost everyone else.

I recommend reading the rest here. I particularly liked the scene-setter with Snoop Dogg, which reminded me a little of something I mentioned just the other day.

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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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