While Prince was a music icon to millions of people around the world, few people knew that when it came to his politics, he was a conservative Christian who supported traditional marriage!
In recent years, the singer showed is solidarity with the far-left Black Lives Matter movement, but those closest to him described how important his faith was.
From The Washington Post:
With the death Thursday of Prince Rogers Nelson, you may see a strange mix on your Facebook feed of sex and religion.
That’s because perhaps one of the raunchiest, steamiest pop culture figures in the past quarter-century was a conservative Christian. Religious and spiritual themes ran through a huge amount of his work, including this tiny sampling of lyrics:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called Life,” he intoned, pastor-like, in “Let’s Go Crazy.”
“If God one day struck me blind, your beauty I’ll still see” – “Adore”
“We all have our problems, some are big, some are small. Soon all of our problems, y’all, will be taken by the cross.” – “The Cross”
My colleague Justin Moyer wrote about Prince last year, when His Purpleness announced he’d play in Baltimore, to honor Freddie Gray.
Here’s Moyer on Prince’s faith and how the singer apparently intended his intense, bawdy expressions of sexuality to be linked to the worship of God. This excerpt begins with Prince talking in 2009 with Tavis Smiley, and explaining why he — Prince — didn’t vote for Obama, the first black president:
“The reason why is that I’m one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Prince said. “And we’ve never voted. That’s not to say I don’t think … President Obama is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.”
Indeed, though Prince is famous for writhing around naked in purple bathrooms and writing songs with titles like “Sexy M.F.,” religion — okay, “prophecy” — has guided much of his music. For every filthy song like “Darling Nikki,” it seems, there is a track like “The Cross.” The Purple One’s religiosity became even more apparent after he turned to Jesus in 2001.
“I don’t see it really as a conversion,” he said. “More, you know, it’s a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix’.”
Then there was the time Prince came out against gay marriage. In a New Yorker profile in 2008, he slighted Republicans and Democrats — “neither of them is getting it right,” he said — but singled out same-sex marriage as part of the Democrats’ notion that “‘You can do whatever you want.”
“God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out,” he told the magazine. “He was, like, ‘Enough’.”
I hope that when those in the media report on Prince’s death, they mention the important role that his Christian faith played in shaping his life, rather than dismissing it altogether.
It is rare for Hollywood to embrace a celebrity who is a strong Christian who supports traditional marriage, but maybe Prince can be the exception to that rule.
What are your fondest memories of Prince? Share your thoughts below!