Folk Singer Michelle Shocked was performing at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on St. Patrick’s Day when she said: “If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out ‘Michelle Shocked just said from stage, God hates f-----s.’ Would you do it now?”
Shocked told this story: “I was at a prayer meeting yesterday, and you gotta appreciate how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point, and I really shouldn’t say ‘their’ because it’s mine too, we are nearly at the end of time. And from our vantage point we’re gonna be, uh ... once Prop 8 gets instated, and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the ho-mo-sexuals, then I’m pretty sure that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back.”
Later she said the comments were spoken facetiously, but it wasn’t clear that night. When the crowd started heckling and demanding a clarification, Shocked moved away from the microphone (which was about to be shut off by management) and shouted: “I am SICK of Christians filled with hypocrisy hiding behind the symbol of a cross!”
In a letter of apology, Shocked later claimed she was misunderstood.
“I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared. When I said ‘Twitter that Michelle Shocked says “God hates f-----s,”’ I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted.”
She continued, “And to those fans who are disappointed by what they’ve heard or think I said, I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should. ... I judge not.”
Shocked’s fan base, which previously included many homosexuals, isn’t happy that she’s come out as a fundamentalist. In 2008, the singer told the Village Voice she’s had a hard time molding her liberal views to some of the preaching in her church. “There are some inconvenient truths now that I’m a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian. So much of what’s said and done in the name of that Christianity is appalling. According to my Bible, which I didn’t write, homosexuality is immoral. But homosexuality is no more or less a sin than fornication. And I’m a fornicator with a capital F.”
A folk singer insisting on telling her liberal fans about her fundamentalist Christianity goes over about as well as singer K.D. Lang telling her country music fans in 1981 she’d become a vegetarian. We cannot print many of the things that were spewed at Shocked by unhappy former fans who claim, “I can tolerate anything accept intolerance.”
Christians may disagree about whether homosexuality is a sin, and they’re free to boycott whoever they wish, but surely they can agree with the words of Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Then, if you’re appalled at what is being taught, question the teaching.
Contact Tribune reporter Susan Thacker at firstname.lastname@example.org.