For many years, Britney Spears talked a lot about her religion and faith. Raised in Louisiana, she was a product a Southern Baptist upbrining inthe Bible Belt environment. And she had her peak during the Y2K hysteria, the end of the Millenium and beginning of a new one as well as the Holy War that inadvertently (or intentionally depending on your point of view) sprung up following the events of 9/11.
I had a conversation with a Catholic Preist over 15 years ago on how it seems younger people are more religious. Now, I think it’s because of the environment they grew up in. “God Bless America” was being sung everywhere and I do mean everywhere. Christian rock had become popular as well as The Veggie Tales and all those movies by the Kendrick Brothers and Tyler Perry. But many people reach what George Carlin called the “Age of Reason.”
Following 9/11, it came down to you’re either a Christian or you’re not with some people. And Muslims were targets. I don’t doubt that President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney used it as a means to get their grip around the Christian right more. Bush had lost the popular vote and barely squeaked by on electoral votes. He needed to do everything to get as many votes as possible, even if it meant starting two wars with no end in sight.
The Republican Party was quick to follow suit. During the 2004 U.S. Senate Race in Oklahoma, the campaign for Tom Coburn called the battle between him and his Democrat opponent Brad Carson, a battle between good and evil. Bush said “You’re either with us or you’re against us.” Anti-Muslim attacks escalated following Sept. 11, 2001. I remember there was a local businessan who was of Middle-Eastern ancestry, who owned some businesses and a gas station in Americus, Ga. For reasons I still don’t understand, there was suspicion that he was somehow connected to 9/11 or terrorism. I don’t know. I never really understood what was happened because I didn’t report on the story personally.
While Bush and other people in America are welcome to practice their Christian faith, it seems people acted like God had put Bush in the White House. Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts were still alive then and I’m sure they preached that God put Bush in the White House. In his movie Fahrenheit 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore used a clip of Britney Spears chewing gum and saying everyone should trust the President. This was after the Dixie Chicks (now just The Chicks) were heavily criticized for voicing their opposition to Bush. Moore did it to mock Britney even though it was done out of context and she was just in her early 20s then.
Now, she’s 40 and more grown up than people will give her credit for. She recently said in a voicemail to her son, Jayden, that she no longer believes in God. “I’m an atheist, y’all,” she says in a hurt tone. She says this comes after all that she went through and being treated like an ATM. “God would not allow that to happen to me if a God existed. I don’t believe in God anymore because of the way my children and my family have treated me. There is nothing to believe in anymore.”
There’s an old saying, that everyone is liberal until they grow up and realize they have to start paying taxes. I also have a saying that everyone is religious/spiritual until they grow up and see the ugliness in the world. Some people go through their own personal Hell and then realize that it’s pointless. Hell is used as a deterrent, a punishment for not following a set of rules. So, if you’ve already experienced some very awful things in life, what’s the point of following a religion?
I think what Britney is finally realizing is what many other people have realized for years. It really doesn’t make any sense. And I know the mostly devout people will say it was punishment for the way Britney has acted. When she was still underage, she was sexualized by the media. But after a while, the way she was being treated caused her to lose it mentally and have a breakdown.
During this whole time, they gave a pass at her ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, even when he mocked her in interviews for kissing Madonna or letting it reveal he took her virginity. He was called the next Frank Sinatra. If that means he’s a total asshole, then that’s correct. It’s the double standard in how we treat women more critically than we do with men. And judging with this family feud that is spilling out in social media and Page Six, maybe it doesn’t need to be handled in private. But we shouldn’t blame her.
Christianity like most religions, is based a lot on male-dominated rhetoric and dogmatic ideals. This latest revelation might lose Britney some of her fanbase which just shows the hypocrisy of the religion. Christian love is only doled out to other Christians or those who say they are but don’t do so. It might also gain her some new people to her fanbase that she hasn’t had.
What do you think? Please comment.