As I coasted down the highway, I decided to take a break from listening to a Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast (my favorite!) and turned on the radio. Taylor Swift and Zayn began singing to me about how they don’t want to live forever. Um… why not guys?
Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to this world”. I had to remind myself as I hummed along to the catchy tune, that I may be in this world, but I do not have to be a part of it. The Gospel tells us to live virtuously and we will live forever. That’s a very different message than the Fifty Shades Darker theme song.
Just look at the title: Darker. For Star Wars fans out there, the evil Darth Vader is known as being part of the “dark” side. Dark is defined by Webster Dictionary as “arising from or showing evil traits or desires”. It’s devoid of light. And as we know from the Gospels, Jesus is the light of the world.
I suddenly found myself singing with Taylor, “I gave you something, but you gave me nothing, what is happening to me” to my steering wheel. And then I stopped singing… for I had realized the magnitude of that lyric. She put her heart on the line, maybe even her body, and now she’s going crazy. Taylor later sings, “I’ve been looking sad in all the nicest places” while destroying a white rose in the music video. It’s clear from the symbolism that her purity was ruined.
This song only fuels my desire to keep practicing the virtue of chastity. If I were to succumb to the ways of the world, and follow the Fifty Shades gospel by not wanting to live forever, then I would be longing for something that’s only getting darker. Chastity, a lifestyle of sexual self-control, has helped me find romance without regret, freedom from heartbreak and authentic love.
Days later, I told Siri “I don’t wanna live forever” by Taylor Swift, but she cut out before I could finish the artist description. She responded with a Suicide Prevention Hotline number. I immediately had goosebumps in thinking about this parallel. This song is advertising a dark and sexually motivated movie. And yet, Box Office sales made almost $4 million dollars so far. The volume needs to be turned down on this song, so everyone can hear Romans 12:2. God promises us eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Who doesn’t want that? All it takes is a little sexual self-control, and a virtuous life that offers peace and happiness.