The militant woke brigade is swift to cancel people and products for their past sins—even if they’ve repented, begged for forgiveness, attended re-education camps, and changed their ways. Forgiveness is not an option—unless you’re a darling of the left, like the Symbol Guy formerly known as Prince.
Take Alexi McCammond. This 27-year-old African-American political journalist was hired in March 2021 by Conde Nast to be the Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue magazine. Before assuming the helm, her unsavory tweets as a 17-year-old surfaced, causing significant indigestion for twenty members of the magazine’s staff. Former Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth piled on condemning McCammond’s past tweets as being “racist, abhorrent, and indefensible.” Never mind that she apologized on several occasions for her insensitive tweets. This third Black Editor in Chief was forced to resign before her first day in office.
Global bestselling author J.K. Rowling was canceled for allegedly making transphobic tweets in years past. She received an “avalanche” of emails and tweets accusing her of “hatred” and calling her “misogynistic slurs” for her views on the new trans activism.
That reminds me of the Queen of Southern Cuisine Paula Deen, who, a number of years ago, found herself in hot water. Her critics were boiling mad over her use of the N-word several decades in the past—for which she had apologized on several occasions. That didn’t stop sponsors like Walmart, Target, Home Depot and the Food Network from dropping her TV cooking show like a hot potato.
Country artist Luke Combs, who had a global #1 selling album in 2020, ran into the buzzsaw of the Woke Police for the sin of previously having a Confederate flag sticker on his guitar. Back in 2015, his music video for “Can I Get a Outlaw”—which had 73 million views, reveals him standing in front of a Confederate flag. He insists that “Hate is not a part of my core values” and apologized for the pain he caused.
This brings us to Prince.
Yes, the Purple One is dead, but he’s back with a posthumous album, Welcome 2 America—some suggest to help his estate pay approximately $39 million in back taxes to the IRS. The collection of 12 previously unreleased songs is scheduled to street July 30th and is already creating a buzz with fans.
Prince was an extremely gifted musician with a long career of lyrically blurring the sacred and salacious, with sex and lust being his hot topics. Early indications are that this album has less heavy breathing with the occasional social commentary. Regardless of the lyrical direction on America, the question remains: Why aren’t the Woke Police blowing the whistle on buying new music from Prince? Why aren’t they conducting a pre-emptive strike by calling for his music to be buried along with the artist?
After all, five minutes of digging around in his musical past reveals a host of sexually degrading songs inconsistent with the sensibilities of the #MeToo movement—not the least of which is “Sister.” Here, Prince sings about the joys of incest, which is almost universally illegal in all 50 states. He sings, “My sister never made love to anyone else but me / She’s the reason for my sexuality ... Incest is everything it’s said to be.” I omitted both the sadomasochist and oral sex parts of his lyric.
Maybe the platinum-selling Prince is given a pass because he was reportedly a “huge icon for the LGBTQ+ community, due to his sexually fluid image and androgynous persona.” He was known to wear makeup and sport gender-fluid clothing long before it was fashionable to do so. Perhaps Wokesters cut him slack because of his lyrical nod to homosexual relations in “When You Were Mine” (“I never was the kind to make a fuss / When he was there, sleeping in-between the two of us.”)
Whatever the reason Prince has been given a pass, Christians would do well to find other musicians to support. After all, Prince was skilled at gratifying the desires of the flesh—which Galatians 5:16 urges us to avoid. Instead, believers are encouraged to “flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer
Bob DeMoss is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books including collaborations with Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty, Jim Daly/Focus on the Family, Andy Stanley, and Tim LaHaye/Left Behind. His latest short story is "Hazel: The Outlaw Mummy". Visit BobDeMoss.com.