Adam Lambert Turns the Other Cheek (Again)

Jewish, gay Adam Lambert seems to be more Christian than some “Christians” at the Baptist Church. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Adam is a singer first and foremost, and initially it was his voice that drew me to him. His range, falsetto, and his ability to hold high notes were amazing. On “American Idol,” his choices in music, clothes, lighting and sets, always made his performances entertaining. Indeed, I liked his whole performance package. Additionally, I was intrigued by his display of emotion, including the angry snarls and the steaming sexuality. I’m a Broadway and hard rock girl, and I liked the fact that he was over-the-top.

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Some of the exact things I liked about his performances, also probably made me biased against him personally. I can’t really say I felt the kind of attraction to him that so many others professed. And, his Goth look — the pitch black hair, black eyeliner and nail polish, coupled with his unabashed sexuality, didn’t exactly lead me, conservative Debbie, to believe that he’s the kind of guy I’d want to be friends with or whose values I would share. Fortunately, I’m open minded, and as in my politics, I try to form conclusions based on fact, not superficial impressions.

I started listening to Adam’s confessionals during “American Idol” and was first struck by how focused, ambitious, articulate, and intelligent he seemed. Other “Idol” contestants talked about how fun it was to live in the mansion and how they liked to goof off with other house-mates. Adam talked about his musical influences, his goals and career path. Perhaps unwittingly, he built up a following. OK, so he’s smart. But still, a liberal guy from California? Probably not my type.

Yet, as time went on I found myself reading and listening to all his interviews via TV, radio, blogs and print. Now I admit, I don’t quite understand the sex and the drugs, but putting that aside, I was surprised to find out what a good head he has on his shoulders. I would go as far as to say that some might learn a lesson or two from listening to his perspective. Does he get upset when criticized? No, he takes it with a grain of salt. Conceal who he is when being honest might cause rejection? Well, maybe he’s better off without people who feel that way. Take off his guyliner to conform to society and possibly increase “AI” votes? No, it’s more important to be who he really is. Advice to future contestants? Take risks. Things not working out in your life? Don’t give up; step it up. See others who don’t fit in? Embrace them. Feel outcast? Try to accept yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin. Lead the banner for gay rights? Nah, he’s focused on singing. It’s all about the music and he’s not going to get side-tracked. Whom he sleeps with is just coincidental.

Adam goes all out during his performances. I saw the American Idol Concert at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC in August. His twenty minute stint has got to be exhausting: he holds back nothing. And unlike the other performers, during his “free time” during the tour, between meet and greets, interviews, and sleeping on a bus going from city to city, he’s recording his debut album (to be released November 24, 2009).

We all have our favorite singers as well as those we dislike. And, for each of us it will undoubtedly be based on different underlying factors. For some, it’s based purely on the type of music and the voice, for others presentation might make a difference. Yet others will seek out those whose values or lifestyle they can admire or relate to.

Still, every performer in the “American Idol” concert is doing his or her best to put on a good show. In this regard, Adam is no different from his fellow performers.

Despite this fact, there have been protests outside the concert halls, lambasting Adam and “American Idol” producers for permitting Adam to perform. The protesters, all in the name of Christianity, evidently thought it was important enough to take time out of their day to rally outside the concerts holding venomous signs and screaming epithets. Some of the signs read, “God hates fags” and “fags doom nations”. On Sunday, August 30, 2009, Adam had to endure the second of such protests, held in Kansas and conducted by members of a Baptist church. The first protest was in San Jose on July 12, 2009, also by members of a Baptist church.

In a YouTube interview, one of the Kansas City protesters spewed forth contempt and hatred….yes, hatred. She insisted that her views were rooted in the Bible and explained that her pastor gave a sermon stating why she should feel hatred in her heart toward Adam and gays, as she’s sure God does. She argued that Adam is a sinner and that “American Idol” is glorifying sin by allowing Adam to perform.

Adam’s response? In a radio interview after the first protest, he stated that he respects their opinion, but has a different world view. He added that he was pretty sure that “God hates hate” and pondered whether the protesters’ energy might be better spent on something more positive like feeding the homeless, if their goal was to make a difference.

After the second protest, Adam didn’t comment (admirable in itself), but tweeted: “Love overcomes hate. Love knows no color. Love knows no orientation. Love is all. (:”.

Wow. Now I consider myself fairly conservative politically. But I am also tolerant in the true sense of the word. And what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is none of my business. If people want to stand outside with signs that read “Adam’s singing sucks,” that’s fair game. But whom he sleeps with should be off-limits.

As to the protesters’ comments, they are not even theologically accurate. First, we are all sinners, so to select out one type of sin and insinuate that it’s worse than adultery for example, is erroneous. Second, are we not to love the sinner and hate the sin? Third, didn’t Jesus say to overcome evil with good? Judge not, lest you be judged? Worry about the plank in your own eye…..??

I was struck by how Adam handled the barrage of hatred by people to whom he’s done nothing. I think there are a lot of people who, similarly situated, would have cursed, told the protesters to drop dead, screw off, and generally returned their anger with more anger. Instead, all the while, this guy-linered gay guy, ever gracious, has shown nothing but respect for those who would spit in his eye. He has shown love toward those who hate him. So who is really following the teachings of Jesus? I believe that it is Adam Lambert, who has turned the other cheek……again.


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