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Austin Cline

What's a Bieber? Answer: A Misogynist Christian

By March 2, 2011

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If you too have had trouble answering the question "What's a Bieber," it turns out the answer is surprisingly simple: a misogynist Christian. So, nothing very special or unusual I guess. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Justin Bieber reveals depressingly common, conservative Christian views about the rights and autonomy of others: homosexuality is just a "choice" and abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape.

When asked what his views on homosexuality are, Bieber responded: "It's everyone's own decision to do that. It doesn't affect me and shouldn't affect anyone else." It is not clear whether he intended to label homosexuality as a lifestyle choice.

In his interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bieber went on to say "I think you should just wait for the person you're ... in love with," when asked about abstinence. Despite his strong Christian background he did not argue against pre-martial sex.

"I really don't believe in abortion," he told the magazine "I think [an embryo] is a human. It's like killing a baby." He added that while it is "really sad" for a woman to become pregnant after being raped, he claimed that "everything happens for a reason."

"I don't know how that would be a reason," he added. "I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."

Source: Pink News

So if homosexuality is just a "choice," does this mean that Justin Bieber has to "choose' to be heterosexual? Is it a "choice" he struggles with, perhaps on a daily basis? Is homosexuality something he finds himself regularly drawn to, forcing him to reaffirm and reassert a heterosexual "choice"? It seems to me that the more one insists that being gay is a "choice," they more they are saying that heterosexuality is a "choice" -- and in particular, one they find they have to make over and over in order to avoid homosexuality.

If abortion is "killing a baby," even in cases of rape, then isn't it still "killing a baby" in cases where the mother's life is in danger? Justin Bieber reveals a bit more ideological consistency than many anti-choice activists, but refusing to allow abortion even when the mother's life is in danger is the most consistent stance for such misogynists. It's the logical conclusion when you try to claim that it's "murder" for a person to make their own decisions about who or what will use their body and organs.

I don't think it's a coincidence that both of the above issues revolve around "choice" -- and in particular, the desire to deny others the ability to make choices about their lives. What sort of society is it where we deny people the ability to make autonomous choices on the basis of ancient religious dogma? Oh, yeah, it's called a "theocracy." I guess we can add "theocrat" to our answer to the question "What's a Bieber?"

Comments
March 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm
(1) Marshall says:

Good article up until the final paragraph where it is asserted both issues are related to choice and that people’s ability to make choices is repressed. The author took umbrage with saying homosexuality is a choice and then proceeds to take umbrage that we don’t let people choose. The first stance is the more positive one. Homosexuality is not a choice and the author points that out but then goes back on it. Please maintain consistency.

March 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

The author took umbrage with saying homosexuality is a choice and then proceeds to take umbrage that we don’t let people choose.

That’s not quite correct. I disagree that it is a choice, but I am able to recognize that those who say it is a choice also want to deny people the ability to choose. And I am also able to recognize that the other big issue for the exact same group happens to be one where they want to take away the ability to choose.

There’s no inconsistency there.

March 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm
(3) Ramease Shaw says:

You know what I’ve decided your right… we’re going to abort you because your using my eyes to read your blather. As far as homo/hetero sexuality… yes it is a choice either way. The only reason homosexuals may have to fight with their attraction is because it is still widely unaccepted. According to history most cultures did practice homosexuality and sex with women was primarily for procreation.

March 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm
(4) Austin Cline says:

You know what I’ve decided your right… we’re going to abort you because your using my eyes to read your blather.

How exactly am I using your eyes?

As far as homo/hetero sexuality… yes it is a choice either way.

So, how often exactly do you have to choose your sexual orientation?

March 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm
(5) Ramease Shaw says:

As for your theocracy… I’d rather live in a Christian theocracy where the Bible was actually followed rather than the Theocracy of Sparta where you and I would have been slaughtered for speaking out. This country (U.S.A) was built upon Christian ideals reguardless of the evidence that can be only found on the internet to the contrary. A rediculous concept when a new media that anyone reguardless of education or credibility replaces ancient documents written by those in question as “proof”. In a similar line of thought, there is no where in the Constitution or bill or rights that says there is supposed to be seperation of church and state. It is written in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. The original text reads: “…I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” But if you follow the word of the law it is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” which was done to ensure the government could not restrict or enforce religion… so the U.S. government is now supporting an illegal act to restrict prayer in school. I don’t think prayer should be mandatory because then you loose freedom of religion but restricting it so that others don’t feel left out is doing the same and makes the school districts that much more facist.

March 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm
(6) Austin Cline says:

I’d rather live in a Christian theocracy where the Bible was actually followed rather than the Theocracy of Sparta where you and I would have been slaughtered for speaking out.

Except that Christian theocracies have killed dissenters as well.

This country (U.S.A) was built upon Christian ideals

Like?

reguardless of the evidence that can be only found on the internet to the contrary.

You mean, like the absence of any references to Christianity in the Constitution?

In a similar line of thought, there is no where in the Constitution or bill or rights that says there is supposed to be seperation of church and state.

It’s right next to where it says you have a right to a fair trial.

But if you follow the word of the law it is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” which was done to ensure the government could not restrict or enforce religion…

And that depends upon church being separated from state. When they aren’t separated, government necessarily enforces and/or restricts religion.

so the U.S. government is now supporting an illegal act to restrict prayer in school.

Where? Cite your evidence.

I don’t think prayer should be mandatory because then you loose freedom of religion

And how is it any different when the government writes the prayers, approves the prayers, or endorses the prayers?

but restricting it so that others don’t feel left out is doing the same and makes the school districts that much more facist.

So, it’s “fascist” when the government doesn’t endorse, support, or encourage the prayers of one sect of one religion? I’d love to see you justify that. Provide a standard, accepted definition of “fascism” and explain how exactly the aforementioned policy fits.

March 8, 2011 at 11:00 am
(7) asdfd says:

People are still allowed to pray in school. The Gov. can never stop you from praying in school. The issue is that if a public school leads students in prayer, that is state established religion. preventing people from praying certainly would be fascist, but that’s not what’s happening.

March 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(8) David J. Parry says:

Hi, Austin,

I’m the person who used to post under the guises ‘born-again atheist’ and ‘atheist Dave’.

Long time, no see (or perhaps I should say ‘long time, no speak’, as we’ve never actually met).

I looked up ‘Justin Bieber’ on Wikipedia (yes, I confess to not knowing who Justin Bieber was previously, which may be very ignorant of me). When I saw that the individual under the entry was a 17-year-old singer my initial thought was that this article was unlikely to be about him, as until now the individuals whose views you’ve tended to write about have been adults, but then I saw a section in which an interview with Rolling Stone in which Bieber gave his views on sex and abortion was mentioned and I concluded that this article must be about him after all.

I don’t know whether it’s because of his age, cultural differences between Canada (where Bieber is from) and the US, or both, but judging from the interview Bieber’s views on sex seem less ‘reactionary’, for want of a better word, than those of American conservate Christians. He does not say that he disapproves of extra-marital sex, only that he believes that sex should be confined to loving, long-term relationship, which if you ask me is a perfectly reasonable view held by a great many sensible people, whatever their overall social outlook may be. It’s true that he does misconstrue homosexuality as a chosen behaviour, but that, while it may be factually wrong, is hardly bigoted. Also, he points out that ‘it doesn’t affect me and shouldn’t affect anyone else’, which suggests that he does not disapprove of homosexual relationships.

March 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm
(9) Ernie says:

“This country (U.S.A) was built upon Christian ideals reguardless of the evidence that can be only found on the internet to the contrary.”

False. The founding documents predate the internet.

March 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm
(10) Eric O says:

Even though I couldn’t care less what Justin Bieber thinks, there’s something disturbing about hearing such cavalier misogyny come from the mouth of a young person. When these attitudes are expressed by people older than I am, I see it as the lingering vestiges of a culture that would seem to be on its way out. I roll my eyes, but I don’t feel too distressed about it. But when children express these attitudes, I’m faced with the uncomfortable reminder that these poisonous ideas are still being planted in impressionable minds.

We liberals still have our work cut out for us, it seems.

March 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm
(11) Greg says:

Come on Austin, this is a kid.

You expect him to have well thought out and consistent philosophical positions?

His comments on gays don’t indicate that he’s antigay, whether he thinks being gay is a choice or not (something I think is irrelevant to whether or not gays should be treated equally)

Even his position on abortion he backed off and said that he wouldn’t judge.

I don’t have a problem with pointing out the cultural biases that have been drummed into his head, but it seems a bit of a stretch to imply he’s a homophobe and a misogynist.

March 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm
(12) David J. Parry says:

I also must say that I don’t think it’s fair to brand Bieber as a misogynist purely on the grounds of his views on abortion. You’ve suggested elsewhere that people opposed to abortion take the view that they do because of a desire to suppress the bodily autonomy of women, to oppress and subjugate them etc. Perhaps many do, and I would be among the first to condemn such attitudes, but there are a great many people, I’d imagine, who oppose abortion purely and simply because, rightly or wrongly, they believe it to be murder.

March 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm
(13) Austin Cline says:

but there are a great many people, I’d imagine, who oppose abortion purely and simply because, rightly or wrongly, they believe it to be murder.

Only those who would prosecute the mothers and doctors for murder sincerely believe this. How many do you suppose there are? Do you honestly think Bieber is one?

March 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm
(14) mia says:

@Greg
Age doesn’t matter, the maturity factor matters, also the person’s intellect. I know many teens who hold strong and consistent opinions on delicate matters such as those that Bieber treats so ignorantly. “Rape must happen for a reason?” I’m getting the feeling that his young age is only detrimental. As Eric O pointed out, it’s all the more sickening that younger generations perpetuate these systems of thought. Or of lack of thought.

March 8, 2011 at 12:26 am
(15) David J. Parry says:

Hi again, Austin,

Only those who would prosecute the mothers and doctors for murder sincerely believe this. How many do you suppose there are?

I don’t know how many there are, but I have an intuition that it is a significant number.

Do you honestly think Bieber is one?

I don’t know. I don’t know enough about him to judge, but to automatically suggest that he wouldn’t prosecute mothers and doctors for murder and therefore holds the view that he does because of a desire to supress women’s bodily autonomy, while it may be perfectly understandable from your perspective (anti-abortion people whom you’ve encountered personally or otherwise know something about have invariably turned out to have taken that position for that reason), strikes me as unfair and something of a knee-jerk reaction.

March 8, 2011 at 6:14 am
(16) Austin Cline says:

I have an intuition that it is a significant number.

So you’re guessing, based on a complete lack of evidence.

But when anti-choice activists are actually interviewed, they don’t give the answer your “intuition” says they should. Some admit to never having thought about it, even though that’s not very credible with any other accusation of murder.

Then there is the fact that almost all policy decision and positions held by anti-choice groups are far more consistent with being anti-sex and anti-woman than they are with being pro-life. Beliefs beliefs are revealed more clearly by their actions than by their words and the actions of anti-choice activists reveal that “life” and “fetus” are not their central concerns.

I don’t know.

So across the board you are basing your conclusions on a complete lack of information. And you know this. Yet, somehow you consider your conclusions reasonable?

I don’t know enough about him to judge, but to automatically suggest that he wouldn’t prosecute mothers and doctors for murder and therefore holds the view that he does because of a desire to supress women’s bodily autonomy, while it may be perfectly understandable from your perspective (anti-abortion people whom you’ve encountered personally or otherwise know something about have invariably turned out to have taken that position for that reason), strikes me as unfair and something of a knee-jerk reaction.

Actually, my conclusion is based not on my personal experience with a handful of anti-choice activists but rather on my knowledge of the anti-choice movement overall — it’s history, it’s policy positions, the causes it chooses to pursue, etc. My conclusion is based on actual knowledge about anti-choice activism and what it’s like in the West today and I conclude that Bieber is far more likely to be consistent with the rest of the movement than one of the few fringe extremists who think that mothers and doctors should be persecutory for murder.

That’s not a knee-jerk reaction. It’s reasonable and fair to imagine that a person is relatively “mainstream” within their ideological circle rather than a fringe extremist unless and until the provide evidence otherwise.

March 8, 2011 at 11:07 am
(17) asdf says:

This article sucks.

First of all, just cuz a 14 year old kid missteps in an interview and refers to homosexuality as a choice doesn’t mean you have to crucify him. Especially when, in the same breath, he says he doesn’t care about it.

Second of all, yeah his views about abortion in cases of rape are a little messed up, but its not like he said “well they were asking for it”. In all fairness, if one really does believe that a fetus is a life, then it really shouldn’t matter how it came to exist. Once you grant fetuses human rights then it makes sense to not want them aborted even in cases of rape. I also like how after you quote him, you talk about his view of abortion in cases of medical emergency when he never said anything like that!

Look – I don’t like Bieber, I’m an atheist and far from a misogynist, but this article is crap. This kind of b.s. analysis makes atheists look like antagonistic retards. Stop trying to make mountains out of molehills. I hope you don’t get paid for this.

March 8, 2011 at 11:17 am
(18) Austin Cline says:

First of all, just cuz a 14 year old kid missteps in an interview

Why do you think it’s a “misstep” rather than an accurate expression of his sincerely held views?

and refers to homosexuality as a choice doesn’t mean you have to crucify him.

Since when is criticism a crucifixion?

Especially when, in the same breath, he says he doesn’t care about it.

He cares enough to comment, but others can’t care enough to critique?

Second of all, yeah his views about abortion in cases of rape are a little messed up, but its not like he said “well they were asking for it”.

So, it’s wrong to critique views that you agree are “messed up”? Why?

In all fairness, if one really does believe that a fetus is a life, then it really shouldn’t matter how it came to exist.

And did you notice that I specifically pointed out that Bieber is showing more ideological consistency here than many anti-choice people?

I also like how after you quote him, you talk about his view of abortion in cases of medical emergency when he never said anything like that!

I never claimed that he said anything about abortion in cases of medical emergency. I simply pointed out that going a step further than Bieber did is the most consistent position.

This kind of b.s. analysis makes atheists look like antagonistic retards.

Well, would you care to propose some set of standards which all atheists can use to determine when it’s appropriate to publicly disagree with someone and critique their opinions and when it’s not? Obviously you’ve thought long and hard about this and have strong views about it, so you must have some standards or principles that you think everyone should be following.

March 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm
(19) David J. Parry says:

Austin (again),

So across the board you are basing your conclusions on a complete lack of information. And you know this. Yet, somehow you consider your conclusions reasonable?

It’s because I know that my opinions are based on pure speculation that I don’t consider them to be conclusions so much as conjecture.

my conclusion is based not on my personal experience with a handful of anti-choice activists but rather on my knowledge of the anti-choice movement overall ó itís history, itís policy positions, the causes it chooses to pursue, etc. My conclusion is based on actual knowledge about anti-choice activism and what itís like in the West today and I conclude that Bieber is far more likely to be consistent with the rest of the movement than one of the few fringe extremists who think that mothers and doctors should be persecutory for murder.

Fair enough.

Thatís not a knee-jerk reaction. Itís reasonable and fair to imagine that a person is relatively ďmainstreamĒ within their ideological circle rather than a fringe extremist unless and until the provide evidence otherwise.

Okay.

You should probably dismiss my opinions out of hand because yours are doubtless far better informed.

March 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm
(20) Austin Cline says:

It’s because I know that my opinions are based on pure speculation that I don’t consider them to be conclusions so much as conjecture.

Your original comment was not framed as mere, uninformed conjecture.

March 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(21) David J. Parry says:

Austin,

Your original comment was not framed as mere, uninformed conjecture.

Wasn’t it? In that case, I apologise for that error of communication.

March 10, 2011 at 1:39 am
(22) David says:

http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11020143.htm

Monday, February 21, 2011
The Justin Bieber Bible Quiz

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/02/28/the-persecution-of-justin-bieber/print/

Canada’s only national weekly current affairs magazine.

The persecution of Justin Bieber
Feb 28, 2011 by Colby Cosh

Defending Justin Bieber

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/business-being-diva/2011/mar/4/defending-justin-bieber/

[snip]

Bieberís exact quote was, “I really don’t believe in abortion. It’s like killing a baby.” When asked about abortion in cases of rape, the youth replied, “Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

The reaction to Bieberís words was so extreme that author Vanessa Grigoriadis of Rolling Stone Magazine and Bieberís interviewer came out and defended Bieber in an unprecedented statement with PopEater saying, ďI think he meant that God has a plan. Even for the most die-hard Christian, itís hard to justify rape as part of Godís plan, and harder to justify rape that leads to pregnancy and abortion. I think he was wrestling with that in his answer, which I found to be solid and logical. I think it is being widely misunderstood. He did not say that rape was part of Godís plan.Ē

December 16, 2013 at 5:47 am
(23) Crystal says:

I don’t think that beiber was saying any thing his publicist and or lawyer advised him not to say he showed good acumen when answering his questions …..remember these famous people are under scrutiny of so many people and since his audience is primarily little girls he simply answers with conservative viewpoint
who cares what he has to say on the matter its not his place to say and people need to stop looking to celebutards and fucking closet creeping politicians for answer to an individuals lifestyle and solution gawwww
the
article needs to not focus on any sensationalist angle and or propaganda grow a back bone wheres your integrity
???

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