What does Justin Bieber know about rape? Or abortion?

Justin Bieber's Rolling Stone cover

Justin Bieber on the cover of Rolling Stone.

You know, I was going to let this go. But I don’t think I can.

What. The. Fuck?

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Justin Bieber gave an interview to Rolling Stone recently in which he expressed opinions on abortion, abortion in the case of rape, sex before marriage, politics, drugs, greed, success, religion and homosexuality.

See Rollingstone.com’s “Tao of Justin Bieber”.

To be fair, it’s not all bad. He has some pretty cool things to say. Not very many, but let’s be fair. On homosexuality, “It’s everyone’s decision to do that. It doesn’t affect me and shouldn’t affect anyone else”. Props.  On his “power”, he says, “I don’t think of myself as powerful. If anything, my fans are powerful. It’s all in their hands. If they don’t buy my albums, I go away.” (I’m restraining myself from making a snarky comment. Be proud.)

But then there are some absolute humdingers. Like his opinions on abortion. And unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape. And this makes me very, very angry – for two different reasons.

Number one was my immediate reaction. What on god’s earth does this 16-year-old kid even understand about abortion. About the debates surrounding abortion. His response is stock-standard. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” he told the interviewer. “It’s like killing a baby.” Okay, that’s fine. I have my beliefs on abortion, you have yours. But he carried on to put his foot in it when he was asked by the interviewer if abortion after a rape was okay. His answer made my blood boil.

“Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

Whaaaaaaaat?!

You don’t know how that would be a reason?! Dear, sheltered Justin Bieber. May I point a few things out to you. Number one, “everything happens for a reason” is one of the worst bloody things to say to a victim of any trauma. If you encountered a rape survivor and said to her “It’s okay, everything happens for a reason”, I would hope that she mussed up your ridiculous hair. Secondly, how would rape not be a reason to at least entertain the idea of terminating a pregnancy? The sex was not consensual, so why on earth must the woman then be subjected to the further physical trauma of pregnancy and birth. Gah! It drives me insane! Also, dear Justin, you really haven’t been in that position. And you probably never will be – unless you suddenly reveal your true identity as a 16-year-old girl.

On to number two – and yes, possibly a little in defense of the Biebs. Where on earth was his publicist? His manager? His fricking mom? Anybody to stand up and say, “Hey – don’t you think that question is a little inappropriate for a 16-year-old?” The guy is 16. He doesn’t know anything about anything – especially because he exists in a supremely sheltered environment as a pop superstar. I can understand it from the journalist’s point of view. Definitely from the publication’s point of view. Everybody loves a good sound bite – and some of these are solid gold. The kind of stuff that is going to get this kid lambasted from all corners. As was my first response to the whole thing.

This kid should have a horde of handlers to make sure that what he’s doing is age-appropriate. The interviews he gives, the shoots he poses for, the people he hangs out with. Because yes, for now, he might seem to be okay – but a couple years down the line he could be the next teenage star turned trainwreck. And sad to say, that could be a waste.

UPDATE:

I found an article off Popeater where they talk to the interviewer. And it’s interesting to see how she interpreted his comments:

But Grigoriadis, the interviewer, has a different opinion of what Bieber was trying to convey. “I think he meant that God has a plan,” she told PopEater. “Even for the most die-hard Christian, it’s hard to justify rape as part of God’s plan, and harder to justify rape that leads to pregnancy and abortion. I think he was wrestling with that in his answer, which I found to be solid and logical. I think it is being widely misunderstood. He did not say that rape was part of God’s plan.”

In which case, the interviewer had a responsibility to bring that across in her article.

And honestly, as I have said, I don’t think that he should have been asked these questions. But Grigoriadis believes otherwise. “I think that anyone who has as much sway in popular culture as Justin should be asked all questions.” And that, I feel, is the scariest part of all. He has so much sway – why ambush him with opinions he hasn’t even had time to formulate at the age of 16?!

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8 thoughts on “What does Justin Bieber know about rape? Or abortion?

  1. Not going to get into the pro- or anti-abortion debate, but just wanted to point out one alternative way of interpreting this part of his comment: “Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason.”

    Perhaps he meant that he believes all things happen for a reason, but confessed he doesn’t see what the reason for rape could be. As in, he’s not saying rape is NOT a reason for abortion, but rather that although he believes everything happens for a reason, he also struggles to see how there could be a “reason” behind someone being raped.

    Take that angle and the rest of his comments are placed in a slightly different – and better – light.

    Just a thought 🙂

    • Yeah, having read the journalist’s comments on the article, I think she should have clarified that he seemed to be struggling to formulate his thoughts on the topic. “He looks confused” is not sufficient, I feel.

      It’s irresponsible journalism (of which there is a bucket-load in celebrity land).

  2. 1.Rolling Stone has issued a correction and ” I don’t know how that would be a reason.” was not said by Justin Bieber.

    2. When he said everything happens for a reason, he meant God has a plan and he followed that up with he had never been in that position so he couldn’t judge. There is nothing wrong with his answer. People are reading way too much into it.

    • Actually, the quote is correct – this is directly off Rollingstone.com (where I found the article):

      “Due to an editing error, this rollingstone.com news item originally included an incomplete quote from our Justin Bieber cover story. The actual quote, which appears in full in the March 3 print edition of Rolling Stone, reads: “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.” For the record: Bieber was quoted correctly by writer Vanessa Grigoriadis in her feature. To see how that portion of the story appears in the print edition, click here.”

      And “here” is the link:

  3. 3. He wasn’t asked if he understood abortion or the debates surrounding it. He was asked his views and his opinions and he answered based on his religious upbringing. He is a sixteen year old kid, don’t be so threatened just because his opinions and beliefs aren’t the same as your’s.

    4. No he will never be in that position but you all scream and jump up and down at lawmakers because they will never be in that position – at least this kid acknowledged that!

    • And that’s my point exactly – he’s a 16-year-old kid. He should not be asked these kinds of questions.

      The consequences of his little quote could be great – especially to somebody who sings to stadiums full of screaming teenage girls. Almost every single one of those girls will have to make their own decision on the abortion debate – and I really hope they don’t make up their minds based on what a pop star has to say.

      Bieber is allowed to be pro-life, there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as a person can truly and logically back up their beliefs, I will try to accept them. But at the end of the day, if he can acknowledge that he’ll never be in a situation where he will face the decision of aborting his own baby, (particularly in the case of rape) then he should acknowledge that it is, ultimately (and legally), the woman’s decision to do so.

      I truly believe that banning abortion is removing a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body – and I don’t think that a 16-year-old boy can even begin to understand that.

      Just as he is entitled to his opinion based on his relationship with God, I am entitled to mine.

  4. 6. I find it hilarious how threatened people are by this 17 year old kid. It’s not so threatening when it’s a trainwreck like Lindsey Lohan or Brittany but for it to be a clean cut Christian kid with values…it’s just tripping you guys out!!!!

  5. Why can’t he have an opinion on abortion even if he’s only 16? By 16, you are old enough to know what you believe to be right and wrong. Why is everyone so upset about this?

    The rape issue…they asked him and he answered honestly. Why should he answer the question any differently just because he knows its what everyone whats to hear? It takes guts to answer that question honesty.

    To explain his answer…for someone who believes abortion is immoral and wrong because it is murdering a child…abortion is wrong in any instance. As horrible as rape is and even though “the sex was not consensual” there is still a child to be thought of. No matter how it was conceived, its a human being and should have the chance to do something wonderful with its life. Hence the “everything happens for a reason” comment. We can’t stop horrible things from happening, but we have a choice on how we react and deal with those horrible things. Do two wrongs make a right?

    Its not in any way an easy decision, but I have learned first hand that some of the most wonderful things in life come out of the most horrible things. God does have a plan if we just trust him.

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