Are any of your kids “Beliebers” – i.e. fans of singer Justin Bieber?
In pop music circles, Mr. Bieber is a big deal. An overnight sensation whose music was first posted online, the sixteen year-old also has a new movie out. Opening two weeks ago, the film has already grossed nearly $50 million.
But according to the New York Times art critic Jon Caramanica, Mr. Bieber has big-time trouble brewing.
A scandal? Drugs? Sex? A family feud?
No. In fact, if any of those matters were to befall the rising star, I suspect the Times wouldn’t view Jason Bieber’s troubles to be as perilous as some believe them to currently be.
So, what’s the problem?
Justin Bieber is (gasp!) pro-life.
In an interview with Rolling Stone the teen musician said the following:
“I really don’t believe in abortion. I think [an embryo] is a human. It’s like killing a baby.”
Strong and direct comments, to be sure, but they’re by no means outside of the mainstream. Most Americans would agree with the statement, which makes Mr. Caramanica’s analysis all the more curious:
“Mr. Bieber sings to girls, yes, but he does not sing on their behalf,” the critic wrote. “The trick of pop success is to achieve a conspiratorial bond with fans, to assert that you speak the same language as they do, even — or especially — when others can’t understand. By taking a stand against abortion, Mr. Bieber risks finding out how frail and tenuous that bond might be.”
Barbara Walters, talking about Mr. Bieber’s comments on her ABC TV show, The View, spoke condescendingly of Mr. Bieber (and, by extension, all other pro-life supporters). “You don’t have to discount it [his opinion], but you can look at it as something that’s coming out of a young mind that is still growing.”
In other words, only the ignorant could possibly believe abortion is the taking of innocent life.
What’s most startling, though, isn’t that Justin Bieber believes abortion is wrong – it’s that so many in the popular media believe that articulating a pro-life belief somehow jeopardizes or marginalizes a person and their career. It’s just not true. Poll after poll continues to affirm a growing trend toward pro-life belief. Even more to the point, the majority of those in Justin Bieber’s generation believe that abortion is wrong and preserving life is right.
If media pundits like Jon Caramanica and others continue to ponder why a 16-year-old boy would be willing to engage so bluntly on the topic of abortion, they might be reminded that Justin’s mother, Pattie, conceived him out-of-wedlock when she was 18 years of age. Sexually abused as a young girl, Justin’s mother attempted suicide at 15 and struggled with a drugs and alcohol addiction. She found Christ, recovered and struggled in raising Justin as a single mother.
I have never met Justin Bieber. In fact, if I’ve heard any of his music, it would have been entirely accidental. But as a man whose mother could easily have aborted him, I can certainly resonate with Mr. Bieber’s passionate opposition to the evil of abortion. I’m glad that his mother, and mine, chose life.