Michelle Shocked: Born Again Fundamentalist, Fornicator and Honorary Lesbian

Jim Burroway

April 18th, 2008

Michelle ShockedThere is a fascinating and often confusing interview with Michelle Shocked in the latest Dallas Voice. To the half-dozen of you who remember, Michelle Shocked was the “skateboard punk-rocker” folk singer from Texas. In 1988, her first album, “Short, Sharp, Shocked” scored several hits, including “Anchorage” and “When I Grow Up”. But after the 1990’s she pretty much disappeared from the scene, but not before declaring herself a lesbian at one point.

Or so I had always thought. I could have sworn she did, but maybe she didn’t. In her interview with the Dallas Voice, she said nope, it never happened:

“You know about the politics of identity — of outing people. If I’m guilty of one thing it’s a type of sexual McCarthyism. We’re going to forget what identity politics were like in the mid-’80s — how heavy and intense it was. I felt like it was not a shameful thing to be a homosexual. So I would never sit in front of that congressional committee and say, ‘I am not, nor have I ever been a homosexual.'”

…Okay, what if we called you an “honorary lesbian?”

“I would be honored,” Shocked says.

Whatever she was or was not, she was always all about the controversial. So its no wonder that today, since she found religion at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in South Central while studying traditional African-American gospel music (“As they say, I went to church one Sunday too often”), her take on Christianity would be a bit unorthodox.

“There are some inconvenient truths that I’m now a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian. So much of what’s said and done in the name of that Christianity is appalling,” she says. “According to my Bible, which I didn’t write, homosexuality is immoral. But homosexuality is no more less a sin than fornication. And I’m a fornicator with a capital F.”

As if to prove her point, Shocked described how she broke up with her boyfriend after coming to the conclusion that their unmarried relationship was sinful. “After four weeks of hell,” they got back together. They’re still not married and apparently don’t have any plans or ambition to change that. Instead, she concluded that her experience taught her that even though she was a big fat fornicator, it just doesn’t matter. It’s all about the mystery of reconciliation:

“Right now, the evangelicals are staking out a ground. And they are saying there is reconciliation between God and man for every human being on this earth — except for gays. And I don’t know who gave them that right!

“I’m here to say, not that homosexuality is wrong. I’m here to say that there is reconciliation through the blood of Jesus Christ for every human being on the face of this earth. And no one is entitled to speak on God’s behalf and say who does and who doesn’t have that right. Because that price was paid — purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.”

Don L

April 18th, 2008

I still have the “Short Sharp Shocked” CD. In the liner notes there is a place with a double female symbol (♀♀). If that’s not a declaration of being gay, then at least it’s flirting with fashionable lesbianism. BTW, I still think the album rocks!

David

April 20th, 2008

Unorthodox? Not really. Plenty of homophobic people who call themselves Christians are openly engaged in out-of-wedlock sexuality.

Let’s just be blunt – their take on Christianity is simply convenient.

NancyP

April 22nd, 2008

COGIC couldn’t function if it didn’t have contributions from people “living in sin’, unwed mothers, and the like.

JCF

September 24th, 2011

Just discovered this (via AfterEllen).

Can’t believe this (I mean, I don’t want to).

I saw Michelle Shocked in 1990, and (at her concert) she seemed ENTIRELY LGBT-affirming (I thought she was bi).

What a terrible disappointment. She had to find Jesus at a PHOBIC church? Even in 1990, I could have invited her to my LGBT-affirming church (the Episcopal Church)!

According to my Bible, which I didn’t write, homosexuality is immoral.

Then “your Bible” is in translation that is BULLSH*T, because that is NOT what it says! It says ***NOTHING*** about “homosexuality” (a word invented in the 19th century, w/ the concept of “homosexual orientation”—from which any REAL understanding of homosexuality derives—only originating in the 20th century!)

Michelle, you need a “Short.Sharp.Shock.” to your system of prejudice and ignorance. Wake up!

Cashew

October 17th, 2011

Wow. That’s surprising. I am in possession of an album called ‘Being Out Rocks’ put out by the HRC in 2002 and she’s got a song on it. I get really tired of the ‘homosexuality is a sin – but don’t worry! there are lots of other sins too!’ argument.

Amy S

March 18th, 2013

She recently claimed “God hates fags.” She also says this stuff about the bible saying homosexuality is wrong and then says it’s much of a sin as fornication….well by this moron’s logic, God hates fornicators like her too :/

Damn it. Why do people have such fucked up and hypocritical logic where they can do wrong and no one else can’t.

jk

March 30th, 2013

What is confusing about this? If you’re confused, it must only be because you’re trying to make something fit some prejudice you have. Christianity is all about recognizing our moral failings, attempting to overcome them while realizing that we will fall short of perfection and only God can absolve us. This is not some arcane philosophy; it is articulated by every Christian denomination and billions of believers around the globe. I happen not to believe in the religion myself, but I have basic reading comprehension skills.

Priya Lynn

March 30th, 2013

JK, no third party can absolve you, only the agrieved can. If you punch me in the face only I can forgive you, not some uninvolved third person or god.

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