An open letter to 'Idol' finalist Mandisa

Dear Mandisa: Everybody’s entitled to their opinions — yourself included. But, of course, so am I. Read the full post.

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  • Josh

    I posted similar sentiments in my journal, and, similar to John B here, someone lambasted me for being judgmental. Anyone who knows me knows I’m one of the least judgmental people around, and I responded,
    “I want to see gays making some sort of progress, even if it is in who gets voted off of American Idol (I myself didn’t actually vote). As someone who feels like a second-class citizen, who can’t get my sisters to realize that I’m not choosing to be gay, as someone who sees people both in real-life and media all the time use ‘homo’ as an insult, I’m going to take the little bit of hope that America will someday change and celebrate it. I didn’t mean for my comment to be a reflection of judging Mandisa, who is very talented. I meant it as a sign of maybe this nation is more in tune than our leaders our.”

  • Delilah

    So what everyone is saying is that Idol contestants should say that they are absolutely willing to perform at all political and idealogical forums? Would you condemn a contestant that wouldn’t perform at a Pro-Life concert? How about pro-abortion? A Gay Rights event is a lot different than saying you wouldn’t perform at a concert that mostly gay people attend. What about White supremists? Or Black Panthers? Perhaps she doesn’t want to be in any kind of “rights” forum. Cut her some slack. The media keeps bringing this up – not Mandisa. What’s the difference between ostracizing her and burning Dixie Chicks albums???

  • Ted

    The advocate didn’t ask if she’d sing at a gay political event, just in front of a gayt audience. Everyone knows divas perform at gay clubs all the time to promote their album, from Madonna to Mariah Carey.

  • Mariane

    Well, Michael, I guess free speech and freedom to choose a lifestyle doesn’t apply to Mandisa. Thanks for your equal helping of hate. You’re no better, just on the other side of the prejudice line.

  • djm

    You go Michael!
    I didn’t vote for Mandisa for this very reason. Yes, she has talent. Yes, she can sing. Yes, she is a beautiful woman. No, she doesn’t have to love gays or even support the cause. For me it comes down to the fact that she wears her beliefs on her sleeve – she is a proud Chrsitian and she is honest in admitting that she wouldn’t participate in a “gay event”. There is nothing wrong with that, but as a gay person I can then turn around and not vote for or support her either. I am guessing that a number of gay people felt the same. Good luck Mandisa! I think you will have a great career in the gospel industry – but you wont find me in yoru audience. I am sure you wont care much like I wont care when you aren’t at a Pride event.

  • ann

    I thought Mandisa was pretty diplomatic in her comments.
    She has a right to not support the gay lifestyle if that goes against her beliefs. That does not make her a homophobe, just a truthful person.

  • JL

    Thank you Ted for pointing out that no one ever said a “Gay Rights’ Event.” The question only said “gay audience.” There is a difference there. And thank you Michael for your letter. As a loyal gay AI viewer, I appreciate you writing this and I am glad Mandisa is gone.

  • timtheviking2

    hate? condemn? ostracize? when did MS or anyone do that? since when does expressing your disapproval of someone else’s views equal “prejudice.” if an american idol contestant had expressed their discomfort at playing for a “black crowd” or a “latino crowd”, how many of you would be defending them. why should it be any different when it’s a gay crowd? race discrimination, fortunately, is now met with widespread disapproval in our society–yet people continue to make excuses for poeple who discriminate based on sexual orientation. i would like to think that voting mandisa off is a small step toward ending that.

  • JL

    One more thing – djm put it very nicely in saying that why should I as a homosexual support someone who does not support me? I guarantee a lot of gay people felt the same way.

  • prideman

    Michael, sorry you could not show was much class as Mandisa. I think she was being diplomatic and trying not to offend. You, however, are being harsh and offensive. To those who say “judge not lest you be judged”, I agree; however, you are judging Mandisa for her beliefs and she chose to be classy and admit that she cannot judge, only God can. I think she lives by that rule. Also, to those who say that she said she would not perform in front of a Gay crowd, you are obviously reading into the article. From what the article says, you cannot infer whether she meant at a Gay Event or a show where Gay people attended. It is not clear either way. I think you are trying to read more into it and spin it to help your cause. To be open minded about it you have to look at the context and I don’t think she intended to offend anyone. You all are as bad as the news media.

  • Josh

    No one said you had to support someone who doesn’t support you. That is your perogative. You should however be tolerant and not bash on someone for their beliefs or put out a diatribe to hurt a talented performers chances. I am sure you would not want that same treatment. Bottom line, hate can be in many forms. Just because she expressed displeasure with the gay lifestyle doesn’t give you the right to put down the Christian lifestyle. Judgement goes both ways. For a segment of the population that wants people to be tolerant, understanding and accepting those of you on this board are being a bit hypocritical. I guess having an open mind means believing the way that you do. Last I checked, to be open minded meant to accept everyone for who they are and realize you opinion or belief is right for you – not necessarily for everyone else. I think that is what Mandisa was saying.

  • Joe C

    Um, Michael, you’re entitled to your opinion, but honestly, whatever someone’s viewpoints are shouldn’t affect how you feel about their music/movies/whatever..It should always be about talent. Regardless if I agree with Mandisa, I still think she was the best singer. Water under the bridge now…

  • Ed

    Michael, let’s cut to the chase and bring our homosexuality to the front – Mandesa lost because she was overweight. Every gay (especially the men) knew she didn’t have a chance with those extra hips. I, as well as the rest of the pink tribe, were shaking our heads each time she got a full camera shot.
    As for her beliefs on homosexuality, she’s just living her life; she isn’t making it her cause.

  • Josh

    This letter sounds contradictory to what Mandisa herself said in an interview with this very magazine. Sorry, I guess Mandisa I forgot it was a sin to be a Christian and stand up for you beliefs these days. She hates the sin…not the sinner.

  • Garry

    Mandisa’s comments demonstrate how there are people who refer to themselves as “Christians” but bring with that a set of prejudices and bigotry against those whom they feel are not living righteous lifestyles. Imagine the reaction if a white performer did not “feel right” about performing in front of black people or Jews?
    Holier-than-thou attitudes are often not very holy themselves.
    However, Mr. Slezak, you are also not being very consistent after having fallen all over yourself praising Mandisa’s singing all these weeks, only to then drop in your parting shot, “you gave us some good performances, but you’re no Trenyce.” Which is it?

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