It’s a catchy, seemingly vengeful rant against her enemies in which she unambiguously declares “I don’t like you” and “I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined.”
She reminds me of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” when she explains that the old Taylor Swift – a presumably kinder Taylor Swift – is now “dead.” In other words? It’s on, I’m repaying meanness with meanness.
She sings of her belief in “karma”, Eastern religion’s opposite to Christianity’s “grace.” Karma is tied to the belief that we will always get paid back for what we’ve done. But, Taylor, when human beings do the paying back, it’s called “revenge.” And no major world religion condones that.
But American culture does. It’s common for pop stars to diss ex lovers in their songs, to feud publicly with other pop-stars, to insult one another on social media. It’s the nature of entertainment…and the increasingly accepted ethic of our day.
Revenge is normal. All the way to the top.
When our president vows to hit his opponents back and hit them harder, he’s practicing revenge – not Christianity. When he unleashes a tweetstorm of insults against media outlets and political rivals, he’s behaving like a pop-star – not Jesus.
The typical Trump and Taylor fans might not see eye to eye on much. But they’re working together to build an eye-for-an-eye America. Jesus wants better.
“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also…But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:39, 45)
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)