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Over the weekend, singer Katy Perry attended the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles, where she was honored for her work as an advocate for the LGBT community, The Huffington Post reported. After receiving the HRC’s National Equality Award, Perry delivered a speech in which she spoke candidly about her personal views on sexuality.
Perry, born Katy Hudson, grew up in a Christian fundamentalist household. Her father, Keith Hudson, was a Pentecostal-Evangelical preacher who didn’t believe in parsing words. In their home, “homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination,” Perry said Saturday.
The singer-songwriter shared that despite her strict upbringing, her curiosity about “people outside my bubble” spilled into her musical pursuits.
“I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-size pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told, I did more than that,” Perry said, quoting her provocative 2008 hit, “I Kissed A Girl.”
“How was I going to reconcile that with a gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?” she continued. “What I did know is that I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress.”
Perry shared that as a young woman she was “taught to fear” those who reject the biblical teaching on marriage. As an adult, she found this to be incompatible with the love she felt for these individuals.
“These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear,” she said. “They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met. They stimulated my mind, and they filled my heart with joy, and they danced with joy while doing it. These people are actually magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth.”
Like so many adults today, Katy Perry is jaded by her religious upbringing, where she was taught to fear and even hate gay people. And while she correctly judged such sentiments to be wrong, she failed to see that she was rejecting a false representation of Christianity.
Christians should be troubled by testimonies like Perry’s. Her HRC Gala speech offers insight into why so many people are leaving the church, and the Christian response should be, “How can we repair our reputation?”
Christianity teaches that hating any person — gay, straight, black, or white — is unequivocally wrong, as all humans are made in God’s image. The Bible calls people to love their neighbors and even their greatest adversaries. Why, then, is Christianity so often perceived as the religion of hate?
It all comes down to truth, and how it is discussed. The conversation surrounding homosexuality and gay marriage was never meant to be about whether or not certain people have dignity — if they’re human, they absolutely do. Instead, those engaging in the debate need to be asking, “What is truth?”
Is it true that man should seek his fulfillment in a woman, and vice versa? If so, the truth is that homosexual practices — not people — are immoral and therefore harmful to the human soul. Truly loving others means sharing this truth in the belief that it will ultimately benefit them.
This conversation can and must be carried out with respect and love. But that doesn’t mean Christians should go the way of Katy Perry and abandon the biblical teaching on God’s plan for marriage in favor of subjective “truth.”
“I don’t have all the answers, right? And I don’t pretend to,” Perry said in a red carpet interview prior to Saturday’s gala. She shared her hope that “on the smallest level we can just be kind to each other.”
The Bible teaches that God is the fullness of truth and love. Perry’s speech is a challenge to Christians to not abandon love in the pursuit of truth.
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