Is Miley Cyrus a convert from Christian to Atheist?by jason on Mar. 05, 2012, under Art & Culture, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Clarity, Creationism, Critical Thinking, Education, Faith, Fundamentalism, God & Bible, Logic, Reason, Religion, Sanity, Science
This comes to us from Jim Wilson:
I was never particularly fond of Miley Cyrus’ music. I disliked Hannah Montana and still dislike the wave of copy-cat, one-off, teen-age manufactured television pop stars that follow the same formula. That’s okay, because none of her artistic output was ever meant to appeal to me. Her mass-marketed-hyped-up-music has a clear target audience and I am not it. Her talent, however, is not the point of this blog topic.
Recently, she did something that got my attention. She offended many Christian fans by posting the following quote from Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss:
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”
My first reaction was amazement that Miley knows who Krauss is. I personally happen to be a big fan of the man. He’s working to make cosmology and theoretical physics more accessible to ordinary people. I love the idea of anyone contributing to Krauss’s popularity, especially if it is someone like Miley who can inspire young girls. I’d love to see more young Americans take an interest in hard science, and I think individuals like Krauss should be seen in the same positive light as a star athlete and/or musicians, without all the celebrity baggage. To watch a teen idol spread science is inspiring, and if indeed this is her plan she is a very courageous young woman.
My next reaction was delight at what beautiful sentiment is being expressed by Krauss. Carl Sagan was known for making a similar observation about the truly beautiful and poetic nature of our origins and existence. The universe is amazing, extraordinary and the science that makes sense of it fills me with complete awe. Our natural universe is more amazing than any of the man-made mythologies which all too often are used incorrectly to explain earths origins while causing people to be god-fearing and plagued with guilt. Science is wondrous and inspiring. It doesn’t threaten anyone. In my humble opinion, science should be front page news.
So, what to make of Miley’s twitter post? Is it just an off hand fluke that she posted something with out reading it fully, or is she actually interested in spreading this sort of message? Did she understand that it’s in direct conflict with the Christian Creation Story? Miley is from a Christian background and would alienate many people if she were to come out as an atheist. Will she be under a lot of pressure from Christians and the music industry to recant? Coming out as an atheist could be commercial suicide. I know little about Miley, but who knows, she could secretly be a non-believer who now is willing to take the risks associated with coming out.
Then there is the issue of what she could do for the atheist movement. I enjoy living in a world where the most high-profile atheists are scientists, public intellectuals, and the occasional clever comedian. Having some manufactured teen pop-singer become one of the biggest names in atheism would shake things up. It may make interest in atheist issues more widespread, particularly among Christian teens which is a huge plus for our team. If all it does is cause our youth to question and research, we’ll all come out winners. And then, it may make atheism more and Miley Cyrus less mainstream. Time will tell.
I personally do not know what to make of the Twitter post, but I hope she continues to post factual information so others can learn. I also hope that coming out as an atheist does not coincide with her descending on the type of spiral of self destruction pop-stars her age are known for. Miley, if you’re reading this you’ve made me very proud!