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It's Not Natural

Christian music artists Angie and Debbie Winans released their album Bold earlier this month, and the contents of one song has angered gay-rights activists.

According to a report in the Religion News Service, the sisters have received death threats and successive telephone calls from gay and lesbian groups in response to Not Natural, a song that addresses violence, promiscuity, and homosexuality.

Debbie and Angie Winans, the younger sisters of renowned contemporary Christian artists BeBe and CeCe Winans, wrote Not Natural after they saw the lead character of ABC-TV's sitcom Ellen, played by lesbian actress Ellen DeGeneres, announce her homosexuality.

To Angie and Debbie, according to the report, homosexuality is not God's intent for human sexual relationships. "It's the truth," Debbie Winans said. "I guess people are upset about the truth."

"It's just the word of God," she continued. "We want to point people back to Jesus and His way of doing things."

Debbie Winans said they wanted to offer an alternative to what they believe is a glorification of sex in society.

"Wrong has taken precedence for so long," she said. "It's just time that God's principles have some publicity so that we can present an alternative choice."

But Liz Tracey, the associate communications director for the New York City chapter of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is angered by the song. She said people who have heard it performed in concert have called the group with complaints. "Music like this can lead to violence," Tracey said. "People are appalled to see this sort of hatred from a family that is so well-known for great gospel work. It completely ignores the fact that there are a lot of gay Christians."

"The sisters have every right in the world to sing that song, but we have the right to say it's homophobic," Tracey said. "I don't believe religion should be used to foster bigotry."

Michael Glasgow, a member of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Columbia, Md., agrees. "Not Natural is offensive to me because it is natural," said Glasgow. "The song is presumptive. They're assuming they know the truth and that they are putting it out. It's extremely arrogant."

Bill Carpenter, spokesman for Angie and Debbie Winans, said the critics don't understand why the song was written.

"No one's trying to judge anyone's love life," he said. "We're just putting it out there."

The song, which they are performing in churches across the country, has drawn all sorts of threats. The sisters have been told not to walk the streets alone and to watch their backs. They were also banned from singing the song at an October black women's conference in Washington, D.C.

"I don't understand why people are threatening and warning us," Carpenter said. "Angie and Debbie don't hate gay people."

"People call and say, 'This song talks about gays the way the Ku Klux Klan talks about blacks,"' Carpenter said. "People call and say I'm doing the devil's work. But these responses make us believe even more that we're doing the right thing."

 


 

The song's lyrics include:

There were people celebrating and congratulating,
The new addition to the gay community.
I was vexed in the spirit,
And I began to write this song.
It may be cold but let the truth be told.
I'm here to let you know,
It's not natural.

CHORUS
It's not natural.
No, that's not the way it goes.
It's not natural.
Just because it's popular,
Doesn't mean it's cool.
It's not natural.
No, that's not the way God planned.
It's not natural, not natural.
It's time for the world to understand.

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January 1998 Edition
Volume 6, Issue 4
January 1998