Do Marilyn Manson lyrics promote violence?
Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson, writes and sings about suicide, rape, murder, drug use, hatred, and other acts against life and liberty. According to more than one source, his stage name combines the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and convicted murderer Charles Manson.
Senator Joseph Lieberman once said that Marilyn Manson is: ". . . perhaps the sickest group ever promoted by a mainstream record company." Yet there are some, like one 14-year-old who has created a website featuring a page on Manson, who seem to believe his lyrics are all just in fun. He doesn't really mean any of it, this site owner says, but is like a "perfect politician, everybody loves him, but he doesn't" care about that at all.
But do words affect our thoughts, and is there a difference between words that promote violence and words that promote love? Some may argue it, but there is really no doubt that words, thoughts, and actions are absolutely interrelated. Over the years, numerous leading authorities have confirmed this truth.
What is the relationship between words, thoughts, and actions?
"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." (Author uncertain, but this quote is often attributed to Frank Outlaw.)
In the book of Genesis (first book of the Bible), we learn that God sent the flood to destroy the earth, all those years ago, because "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time" (Genesis 6:5).
The Book of Judges ends with the said declaration: "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Without a leader to follow, the people were left to decide for themselves what to do. In most cases, they chose poorly.
Thoughts influence actions and thoughts are influenced by words. Leaders are people who influence our thoughts and actions with their words. Marilyn Manson is a leader, for good or for bad. So are you! Each of us influences others - whether large groups of people or family and friends.
In his book The Emerging Church, author Dan Kimball says, "Spirituality is taught quite often in popular music. Marilyn Manson's strong lyrics are derived from Christian themes twisted to opposite meanings" (Zondervan 2003).
You may be thinking, "Music doesn't affect me one way or another. I can listen to Marilyn Manson, or anyone I want to, and it doesn't change how I think or feel." But is that really true?
If the words of others did not influence our thinking, why would we place such importance on motivational speakers and writers today? How could a book like The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale) have become such a perennial best-seller? Why would people like Dr. Phil McGraw and Suze Ormand have such huge followings, if we were not influenced by their words?
Consider these words from the Apostle Paul: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).
Marilyn Manson lyrics are certain to have no influence over you if you choose not to listen to them. You have free will, especially where your thought life is concerned. You can choose to think about things that are good, uplifting, positive and healthy. In their book, Renew Your Heart, One Beat at a Time, Dr. Catherine Maloof and Maureen Maloof say, "Just as food nourishes your body, kind words can nourish the soul." Why choose sick, hateful words when there are so many others to pick from, words that nourish rather than kill, words that build rather than destroy; words that inspire, rather than depress? Do Marilyn Manson lyrics promote violence? Choose wisely.
Learn more about Marilyn Manson.
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