Michelle Shocked has responded with two open letters regarding reports of her anti-gay comments she made from the stage at San Francisco club Yoshi’s on Sunday night. In the wake of her comments (the audio is below), she apologizes for what fans “think they’ve heard.”
She says she’s speaking for others below, but when she starts to talk about her faith and Jesus, she says. “I was in a prayer meeting yesterday. You’ve got to appreciate how scared, 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 nearly are at the end of time. From our vantage point, we’re going to be, I think maybe Chinese Water Torture is going to be the method, once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for God to come on back. You said you wanted reality...” She later says “I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here and ignore you. I could not come here and pretend that I was above the conversation.” (And just to clarify, Prop 8 has been passed in California and it does not allow gays to marry, so she actually means once Prop 8 is repealed).
[More after the jump...]
It gets stranger from there, after someone challenges her from the audience. Around 8 minutes in it starts to get a little ugly. At 17:20 someone comes on to pull the plug, but it doesn’t end there. The weirdest part is at the end, after it's clearly all gone off the rails, she says she's going to pass the hat since she's pretty sure she's not getting paid.
In the wake of her comments, 10 of her 11 upcoming shows have been cancelled.
Below are the two statements in their entirety. I'm not so sure they clarify anything.
“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 faggots," I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore.??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. But don't believe everything you read on facebook or twitter. My view of homosexualty has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks - not me - feel about gay marriage.??The show, and the rant, was spontaneous. As for those applauding my so-called stance that "God Hates Faggots," I say they should be met with mercy, not hate. And I hope that what remains of my audience will meet that intolerance with understanding, even of those who might hate them.??Folks wonder about my sexuality, but denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband. My sexuality is not at issue. What is being questioned is my support for the LGBT community, and that has never wavered. Music and activism have always been part of my work and my journey, which I hope and intend to continue. I'd like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I'm really not that clever, and I'm definitely not that cynical.??But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and - clearly - I couldn't if I tried.??With love,??Michelle
She followed with a second statement:
“I believe in a God who loves everyone, and my faith tells me to do my best to also love everyone. Everyone: gay or straight, stridently gay, self-righteously faithful; left or right, far left, far right; good, bad, or indifferent. That's the law: everyone.??I may disagree with someone's most fervently held belief, but I will not hate them. And in this controversy, that means speaking for Christians with opinions I in no way share about homosexuality. Will I endorse them? Never. Will I disavow them? Never.??I stand accused of forsaking the LGBT community for a Christianity which is – hear me now - anathema to my understanding of faith. I will no doubt take future flack for saying so. I'm accused of believing that "God hates fags" and that the repeal of Prop 8 will usher in the End Times. Well, if I caused such an absurdity, I am damn sorry. To be clear: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any so-called faith preaching intolerance of anyone. Again, anyone: straight or gay, believers or not: that's the law.??That means upholding my punk rock values in the most evangelical enclaves and, in this case, speaking up for the most fearful of fundamentalists in, well, a San Francisco music hall full of Michelle Shocked fans.??As an artist in this time of unbearable culture wars, I understand: this means trouble, and this is neither the first nor last time trouble has come my way. And that's fine by me.??I know the fear many in the evangelical community feel about homosexual marriage, as I understand the fear many in the gay community feel toward the self-appointed faithful. I have and will continue speaking to both. Everything else – facebook, twitter, whatever – is commentary.”
What do you think of her comments?