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Rap music is all the rage these days among many in the younger set, but almost all of it is filled with gross immorality. Of course, it is not all that way. There are rap singers who perform cleaner music. That said, there is a strong tendency among the more famous and popular performers to be racist, vulgar, anti-police, and anti-social in general.
Recently, the University of Kansas hired Snoop Dogg, one of the more famous rap singers in America, to perform at a preseason basketball celebration called “Late Night in the Phog.” This celebration was supposed to kick off the men’s basketball team’s season. Obviously the school was aware of Snoop Dogg’s reputation because they had given instructions to his managers to put on a “clean version” of the show. Additionally, they even put the performance last on the schedule so no basketball activities would be missed for those who didn’t want to stay and watch it.
Well, the clean version never materialized. The show went forward complete with pole dancers performing on stripper poles, a money gun shooting fake money over the heads of prospective recruits, and plenty of profanity. The spectacle left The University of Kansas totally embarrassed as both the athletic director and the head coach were left falling all over themselves apologizing.
So my question is, “If the school was aware of the kind of shows Snoop Dog performs and they did not want this kind of performance, why did they hire him in the first place?” Obviously they wanted a big name and thought they could constrain the immoral parts of his show. They somehow didn’t realize that he could not be restrained that way. The immorality and vulgarity is such an integral part of who he is and what he does that he doesn’t even recognize that there is a problem with it.
But there is a bigger problem as I see it. Why did the school leadership even want to book this kind of act? Even a “cleaned up” version would have involved lots of vulgarity, as that is the very core of the lyrics of Snoop Dogg’s music.
The simple answer is that morality in modern society is not based on any kind of universal standard. It is based on a naturalistic worldview foundation that is necessarily relativistic. Obviously the school leadership that selected this kind of entertainment did not care if the entertainer was normally a vulgar performer. They just didn’t want the vulgarity at their event.
Unfortunately for them, it just doesn’t work that way. If no absolute standard of morality is recognized, then the definition of what is moral and what is not is left up to individuals. What is a “clean show” to one person may not be to another. Obviously the definition used by The University of Kansas was different from the one used by Snoop Dog.
So, if Naturalism is true, then relativistic morality is the only option. Groups like the university, then, are left with the job of deciding what they want, and selecting entertainers that fit their desires. In that case, morality is not even a consideration – only a determination as to how they want to be entertained.
But the fact is, Naturalism is not true! God has defined what is moral and what is immoral and has revealed it to mankind. Unless and until society once again adopts an absolute approach to defining morality, this will not be the last time we see this kind of problem.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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