Who is Kid Rock, and why should you care that he plans to run for the US Senate?
The musician, whose birth name is Robert James Ritchie, is a rapper and singer whose albums have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide. An outspoken conservative, he endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2012. Now he has announced that he will run for the US Senate from Michigan.
Why am I writing about yet another musician/actor/celebrity who wants to enter politics? Consider his positions on moral issues: “I am definitely a Republican on fiscal issues and the military, but I lean to the middle on social issues. I am no fan of abortion, but it’s not up to a man to tell a woman what to do. As an ordained minister I don’t look forward to marrying gay people, but I’m not opposed to it.”
I could find nothing online about his claim to be an “ordained minister,” but that’s not my point. I’m writing today to predict that we will see more “Kid Rock” theology in the future. His positions capture the essence of our postmodern relativistic culture: he’s personally opposed to abortion but believes it’s the woman’s right to choose, and he’s uncomfortable with gay marriage but not opposed to it. He seems conservative and tolerant at the same time, which is the best of both worlds.
Except that it’s not.
Elective abortion (allowing for mitigating circumstances such as rape, incest, and the life of the mother) is either right or it is wrong. If it is right, Kid Rock shouldn’t oppose it. If it’s wrong, he shouldn’t believe that the mother has the right to make such an immoral choice. Would he take the same position with infanticide or euthanasia? If not, why not?
The same thinking applies to same-sex marriage. If he “doesn’t look forward to marrying gay people” because gay marriage is wrong, he should oppose it. If it is right, he should be comfortable with it.
We should make moral decisions based on moral standards. I am opposed to abortion because I believe the Bible defines life as sacred from conception. I am opposed to gay marriage because I believe the Bible defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.
I should not claim that I agree with biblical principles but don’t think others need to. What is true for me is true for you.
At the same time, I understand the appeal of Kid Rock’s non-judgmental moral theology. Nearly every person with whom I have disagreed on moral issues was a person who held his or her beliefs sincerely. Most people who support gay marriage, for instance, do so not because they are zealous to redefine marriage but because they care about the gay people they know.
This is understandable but dangerous. If we choose people over principles, we harm those we intend to help. But if our principles don’t cause us to love people, they are “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
We can choose “Kid Rock” morality, or we can stand on the rock of Jesus’ word (Matthew 7:24–25). But we cannot do both.
Jim Denison, Ph.D., speaks and writes on cultural and contemporary issues. He produces a daily column which is distributed to more than 113,000 subscribers in 203 countries. He also writes for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Post, Common Call, and other publications.