A couple weeks ago, 29-year-old country superstar Carrie Underwood shared some heartfelt thoughts about gay marriage with the British newspaper The Independent. She said, among other things, that she and her husband Mike Fisher attend a gay-friendly church in Nashville, that she believes everyone has the right to fall in love, and that it isn't her job to judge people.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, not all of her fans were in favor of Underwood's comments. The online response to her support of gay marriage has been heated, to say the least, with some even going so far as to question her Christianity.
Underwood has since spoken out on her discomfort with the political fallout of her interview -- and if I found myself liking her for the honesty and kindness of her beliefs on gay marriage, I like her even more for admitting she has no desire to be a public spokesperson.
I don't share Carrie Underwood's religious beliefs, but I loved what she had to say to The Independent:
As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love. Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or [saying] ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other.
The interviewer, Guy Adams, must have had a pretty good idea that Underwood's comments would likely create a stir, since he ended the article with this musing final thought: "I can't help but wonder how it'll go down back home in her native Oklahoma."
I don't know about her fellow Okies, but plenty of online citizens were righteously pissed at Underwood for supporting gay marriage, judging by some of the opinions shared on country music news site The Boot:
Sorry can't purchase your CD until you get your mind out of the liberal gutter trash of Hollywood. -- Shelley
I'm very disappointed in Carrie. I think she can (and already is) a great ambassador for country music, I think she'll get a lot of criticism here ... The Bible says what is says, and you can either follow it or not. It is explicit in the Bible that men do not lie down with men and women the same ... God will judge Carrie, not me. -- jlvowell
Well that changes how I look at Carrie now!!! Not reading same BIBLE I read. -- Judy
Carrie just shot down her country music career in support of sin. If the Dixie Chicks suffered, Carrie will suffer far more. -- Rob
Underwood has been reluctant to revisit the subject, but she did tell the AP that she greatly prefers to focus on music over politics -- and that she understands that not everyone is going to agree with her points of view:
I was asked a difficult question in the last five minutes of an interview and I answered it the best way I knew how, and after that I do what I do and I love making music and I generally try to stay out of any kind of controversy.
The role-model word is really scary to me, because no matter what happens in your life, something you do, wear, say, sing, whatever - somebody somewhere is probably not going to like it too well. I just really try hard to do what I do and try to be nice to people and make great music and if people think they can look up to that, that's wonderful. If not, that's OK too.
You know, I just think that Carrie Underwood sounds like a genuine person with a sweet nature. She clearly has no experience dealing with public backlash, and she's handling it the best she can (without asking reps to step in and issue statements on her behalf). I'm impressed that she was willing to alienate her audience by being honest about her beliefs, and I can completely sympathize with her desire to move on and not be forced into an activist role she has no interest in.
As for her career, well, I could be wrong -- but something tells me that her comments probably earned her more fans than she lost.
Do you think Carrie Underwood made a bad move by publicly supporting gay marriage?
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