Miley, the Preacher

26 Aug

I didn’t watch the VMAs this year.

I’ve watched in years past but, honestly, I’ve become one of those people who doesn’t recognize half the acts and is wondering why the unrecognizable half has replaced acts I know and love. I also haven’t finished vomiting since seeing Nicki Minaj’s disgusting perversion of catholic rituals and symbols in her act during the 2012 Grammys, so music shows aren’t high on my “must watch” list.

But, another year, another act. Several have sent me links to Miley Cyrus’s – well, I’d call it an act, but that implies there was some talent shared and I try to avoid overstatement. (See it in The Blaze story HERE – but do not have young eyes or ears in the room.)

While the blatant display of pseudo-sexuality wasn’t new or original, I did find something different about Ms. Cyrus’s performance. Did anyone catch how succinctly she represented the screed of Hollywood?

Doin’ whatever we want, this is our house, this is our room, and we won’t stop.

Can’t you see we own the night?

…Its our party, we can do what we want to

Its our house, we can love who we want to

Its my mouth, I can say what I want to 

This child (did anyone notice that she was using TEDDY BEARS as fellow dancers?) displayed complete adherence to the “principles” with which she is surrounded each day. Whatever I want, I get. Whatever I think, I do. I, I, I. Me, me, me. I decide. I rule. You don’t matter. It’s all about me.

And, physically, she demonstrated exactly where she has been taught her worth is based: her physicality (I would say “sexuality” but what she displayed had as much to do with a true representation of sex as smashing an apple against a wall shares the fruit’s exquisite taste).

Why scream at Ms. Cyrus? Why expect her to act any differently than the religion of the industry that raised her up? What if we took the road less traveled here? Rather than heap coals on the individual, what if we speak with respect for her underlying identity as a human? Rather than shun or gossip about the teen girls who come to church dressed in short skirts and too much makeup, what if we went out of our way to be kind? Maybe in being kind, we can befriend, and in befriending, we can exchange care for each other – a care that, eventually, transmits the Truths of value, beauty, respect, decency.

If we do that, then might we eliminate the need to explain that fondling another woman’s husband, baring your body, and simulating fake sex are inappropriate and debasing to everyone, everywhere? (Including actual talented artists and writers who help us understand aspects of sexuality with forethought, consideration, and care. Read Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee for an example or Thin Places: A Memoir by Mary DeMuth.)

Rail against the industry, sure. Require it to adhere to standards of basic decency in distribution. To take its privilege to communicate on a mass level seriously and with maturity. Absolutely.

But, when it comes to naming specific individuals – especially young ones like Ms. Cyrus – befriending the person seems to me much more in line with efficacy and love.


Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Industry Reflections


21 responses to “Miley, the Preacher

  1. Lori Twichell

    August 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    What I’m finding fascinating is that once it’s aired, it’s ‘news’ so you can go ahead and put clips all over morning shows and afternoon talk shows right? Even though you would never permit her to perform that way during that time slot, it’s perfectly fine to take that 10 pm evening cable and ping pong it all over every morning/news show because it’s not actually a performance. It’s news now. CNN and another major network actually warned in their news stories that you shouldn’t let your kids anywhere near a tv today if you didn’t want to see the performance. Go figure.

  2. Rebeca Seitz

    August 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    It just makes me…sad. Well, sad and mad. Sad that she’s debasing herself and mad at the people who taught her this was necessary and acceptable. Such a cruel thing to teach a young woman.

    I’m happy to hear your report, though, that CNN and another network at least gave warnings! 🙂

  3. matt

    August 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Spoken like a true Xtian. So harsh in your judgment of others. Paying absolutely no mind to the self righteous rhetoric you display. Because she takes ownership of her sexuality, someone must be condemned for having taught her that her only worth is physicality. Your nose is stuck so far in the air, i believe your tickling your precious god’s rear. And yet you still have no clue why you turn people off like you do. Better pray about it.

    • edmccray

      August 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      Oh, yes. Being sexually promiscuous is so liberating to both men and women and even the illegitimate children who spring forth from such moments of pleasure. There is much more to a person’s worth than physicality. We used to know that as a culture. Today we are told the lie that somehow “taking ownership of one’s sexuality” is liberating. That’s not sticking our noses up in the air and who cares if it turns people off. We are RIGHT!!

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Hi, Matt. Thanks for your comment. Why do you equate “getting nearly nude on stage and simulating fake sex and masturbation while fondling a married man” with “owning sexuality”? Is “ownership” equivalent to “blatant, degrading misuse”? If someone used a car to mow down 20 people because that’s what they’d been taught cars were used for, would that be “owning the car”?

      • Brianna Siegrist

        September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        Burn! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Feel free to not let this comment get posted. I LOVE THIS BLOG!

  4. Kristine McGuire

    August 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Sad is definitely the word.

  5. edmccray

    August 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    The greatest tragedy with Miley Cyrus is that a few years ago she claimed to be a devout Christian and even preached about Jesus when receiving an award. Look how far she has fallen. Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus has said repeatedly that Disney and Hannah Montana destroyed his family and his own marriage. Miley is another singer in the vein of Katie Perry who began as a moral or Christian girl (Katie Perry began as a Christian singer named Kaitlyn Perry. Her parents and grandparents are even pastors and missionaries!!) who has turned her back on traditional values and morals in favor of the easy road and universal acceptance of her Hollywood peers. I weep for all of the little girls who are being influenced by the behavior exhibited as being normal and okay by these sorts of role models they once looked up to.

    I was thinking about this the other day. When Walt Disney was alive he had lots of child stars in his fold. There were the Mouskateers, the most famous being Annette. Annette was like a Miley Cyrus of her time and when she left Disney to do her beach movies as a teenager with Frankie Avalon Walt Disney personally asked her to never wear a bikini on film and she so respected him and his judgement that she never did. Today the response would be a resounded “F— you, old man!” and the actress would do it anyway. Hayley Mills was another Disney teen idol and she never did these sort of antics either. She became a well-rounded adult. And there was the kid who played Mouchie and even later on there was Leslie Ann Warren and Kurt Russell. Kurt Russell is by no means a great role model but he never did or said the things the likes of other Disney child stars like Miley, Hillary Duff, or Anne Hathaway have. Also don’t forget that Lindsey Lohan is another from this modern Disney child star alum. The only child star from the Walt era that I can think of who was ever in a scandal was Tommy Kirk who was in a slew of Disney films from the Shaggy Dog to the Absent Minded Professor to Merlin Jones. He came out as gay and never worked for Walt again and said the whole studio shunned him after he came out. How come when Walt was alive and using child stars they didn’t turn out as wild childs? It’s just something to think about.

    • edmccray

      August 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Brittany Spears, Christina Argularia, and Mandy Moore are also in that list of modern Disney child star alum too.

      • edmccray

        August 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        LOL I just heard Glenn Beck make the same point I just did about Walt’s child stars but not as detailed as I just went onto. Great mkinds think alike I supposed. 😀

  6. edmccray

    August 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Check out what Miley’s mom was doing during the performance:

    (It’s in the posts below the story) This hold’s even more shock and weight when you remember that Billy Ray always said that the mom raised Miley and not him. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ay?

  7. Jay Smith

    August 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Who doesn’t think that we are witnessing yet another Hollywood tragedy in slow motion? Other than praying for the girl, I don’t suppose there is anything anyone can do to stop her relentless journey toward self-destruction.

    It’s the same story told over and over, but with a different central character each time. A young star with unimaginable wealth, unimaginable fame, and unimaginable pressure turns to sex to help cope. And when the sex isn’t enough, it’s alcohol. And when the alcohol no longer cuts it, it’s drugs. All the while, everyone in her world is using her to make their fortunes. Capitalizing on her shocking, self-destructive escapades is a cottage industry. Those who made tens of millions off of her childhood innocence, stand to make hundreds of millions off of her adult sexuality. In two or five or ten years she’ll be dead, and these same vultures will make billions off of her death. It’s all about the money. So what if she winds up dead? Like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson someday they’ll say, “Miley Cyrus is worth more dead than she was alive.”

    Was it depraved that millions of people saw her on stage last night as nothing more than a sex-object? Sure. But what is even more depraved is that those in her inner circle, those whom she trusts, those who know her best looked on that stage and didn’t even see the sex object. They didn’t even see that much. No. They saw only dollar signs… nothing more than a commodity… a stock to buy when she’s on her way up and then dump when she’s ready to fall.

    However, Miley is NOT an object. She is a human being, and our Heavenly Father sees her as His precious and dearly loved child. Make no mistake, He will someday deal with those who have profited off of the corruption of her innocence, and I would not trade places with them for all the wealth in the world!

    “… But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

  8. KristiLemley

    August 27, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I have learned that people act certain ways, most of the time, based on how they were raised or because of emotional pain. Sometimes a little love goes a long way and can begin to open their eyes to a better way. The way of truth and real life.

  9. Zephyr Night

    August 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Oh. You’re craaaaaazy christians. That explains it.

    You know what will happen to Miley? Nothing. Because all she did was jump around a stage being sexy, which, let’s just bring some reality into this, popstars and rockstars have been doing since… gee, I don’t know… FOREVER. She’ll sell a few more records and probably have – gosh – fun. And you’ll all still be here feeling better about yourselves by crusading against other people.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Hi, Zephyr Night. Thanks for your comment. I’m curious, did you actually find Ms. Cyrus’s performance “sexy”? It read differently (desperate, blatant, misguided) to me, so I’m asking seriously here.

      Also, who did you read me “crusading against” in my post?

      • edmccray

        August 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

        I actually found Miley’s performance CREEPY. It was like a pedophilia dream. She was dressed an a baby and dancing with teddy bears. How can that NOT smack as creepy to any normal person?

  10. Lori Twichell

    August 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I read this article a few months ago and loved it. I’ve worked with several former child stars – some who have acted out and some who have not – but their lives are so different than anything we can understand. Mara Wilson captured everything I’ve tried to explain to people so perfectly that I don’t bother trying to explain anymore – I just send them this link.

    This gives the idea of reaching out to help Miley and the other kid actors out there much more traction in my mind. It will break your heart but it can also give you focus on how to pray. For me, it also made me stop watching Disney live action shows or encouraging my kids to watch them. The majority of the kid stars in the ‘downfall’ category were Disney kids. Where I used to see young entertainment, I now see a company that churns them up and spits them out with no help, encouragement or guidance. Makes me wonder if there would be a way to create an organization to help/support these kids when Disney or others are done with them.

    The tragic suicide of Lee Thompson last week has resonated for me. So young to think the world is over already and have no hope…

    Anyway, here’s the article. Let me know what you think!

    • Kristine McGuire

      August 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you for sharing this article, Lori. It was very enlightening.

  11. mark

    August 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    i applaud you for taking a stand on this issue. i appreciate your post here about the principle of loving, or befriending another like Miley at this juncture in her life course. She is only 21 right? As we all know so many experiences in life shape and mold who we are at any given point in our life. It is moments like this where a kind remark or thought from someone can change the course of a persons entire life. As an example, Jesus spoke to all people, befriended and traveled with some of the biggest sinners and most troubled people in his time. What was the result ? He taught us all (through the parables and his teachings) to respect others, love one another in the hope of making a better world for all. many of the issues we face as a country right now are the result of the world losing site of the basic core principle of “do unto others what you would have them do unto you!” that concept doesnt work well with the me, me,me i want it now generation! i am not religious but i am a christian and try to live by moral ethical principles in my daily walk!(but fail in many ways all the time!)
    thank you for listening.
    Dr Mark MD.

  12. dENA fISHER

    September 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    TV is full of smut and sex and its not fit for any children to see at ANY time


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