The Right’s Satanic-Grammy-Panic Isn’t About the Devil or Pfizer or Even Scantily-Clad Women — It’s All About the Transphobia

Sam Smith, Kim Petras, and entourage. Image: Facebook

When I need to know what’s wrong with the world and who to be outraged at I turn to the words of Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) or even Ben Shapiro. Why? Because they certainly give upstanding moral and ethical character vibes, and are shining lights in this evil world. Speaking of evil, the Grammys happened. My insatiable thirst for moral superiority is always tested when I’m forced against my will (sorry Calvinists, you’re wrong!) by ‘woke’ leftists to watch an annual award show about sing-songs. 

Flipping through streaming services, all it is these days is gay pirates, Black hobbits, and Black timelords. That left me literally no choice but to watch this annual award show and I’m really not surprised that the Grammys took this repulsiveness to a whole new level with what Ted Cruz calls “evil.” Apparently our timeline is the plot to Footloose

On Sunday night at the Grammys, British singer and songwriter Sam SmithAKA “devil worshiper”performed their chart-topping collaborative song “Unholy” with German vocalist Kim Petras. The duo also celebrated their win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, becoming the first non-binary/transgender woman duo winners in history. Of course this has nothing to do with why I’m repulsed at their win. I have a gay cardiologist. I support the BLTs and those other people like Kanye ‘Ye’ West and Candace Owens.  

As someone old enough to remember the Satanic panic of the 1980s and 90s, this is exactly that! Except it’s not really. MTG reminded us godly folks that “The Grammy’s [sic] featured Sam Smith’s demonic performance and was sponsored by Pfizer.” Flashing red lights, scantily clad women adorned with devil horns, and Sam dressed as Satan himself backed by a pharmaceutical company sounds more like a weekend at Mar-a-Lago than the Grammys, but at any rate it’s hedonism on the grandest scale. 

It’s wrong on so many levels but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s connected to Pfizer who clearly endorsed this. It’s somehow normalizing Satan worship. It’s… “gory.” I don’t have “grand children” but if I did, I wouldn’t want “these people” to be their role models. All of these things combined seem vaguely like causes for concern, I guess. You got me. I’m scared. 

But what really gets me is how we don’t actually have to pin down what’s so upsetting because it’s almost like we’d have to say the quiet part out loud. This is why I’m grateful for Ben Shapiro who fearlessly climbed atop three telephone books to represent the lollipop guild and proclaim that the “annual trolling of traditionally moral people continued apace this year with a full-on Satanic performance from two white men, Sam Smith and Kim Petras.” 

You see this is not about the devil or Pfizer or my non-existent grandkids or scantily clad women (which no one on the Right really seems too upset about for some reason). It’s about the inability to express transphobia as viciously and irrationally as someone like Shapiro will do. The discomfort on the Right or among QAnons that makes them babble like Babel’s Tower was just erected comes from the fact that their replacement for the 80s and 90s Satanic Panic is transphobia (and CRT but we’ll leave that for another panic session). 

It’s almost as though these people, most of whom identify strongly as Christian, are unfamiliar with the numerous commands to love their neighbors as themselves. The worldscience, art, humanityis evolving (again let’s leave that word for another panic session too), but it’s changing at a rate that has people pretending they uphold “traditional” values when they’re too cowardly to admit that it’s change that really scares them. What’s probably most upsetting for people like Ben Shapiro is that Kim Petras is just another woman whose special grown-up time zone he can’t make drier than the Sahara.  

Maybe I don’t really understand what “evil” means after all. I think men walking into schools and murdering children is evil. Forcing rape victims to endure unwanted pregnancies is evil. Forcing people to choose between poverty or death because of a monetized and profit-driven healthcare system is evil. Leaving your constituents to freeze to death while running away to Cancun is evil. Throwing young men and women in prison for decades for trumped up crimes and minor offenses is evil. Devil-horned Lil Nas X sliding down a pole into hell was ev- wait, that was actually amazing. You see, evil is subjective. What makes us “moral” as Shapiro screeches after taking a big swig of helium is also subjective. This sheep-like behavior from people who claim to be free thinkers would be hysterical if it weren’t so dangerous. 

For some, it’s literally easier to hate than to try and see the world through the eyes of someone with less than you. In other words, it’s sometimes easier to see people as less than you, rather than see them with less than you. It’s about power and purposeful misunderstanding when people have certain privileges over others and want to maintain that power and control. 

So, Sam Smith dressing up as a devilish goatman for a 3-minute performance isn’t really going to turn people into devil worshipers is it? Was there a sudden rise in the purchase of devil tails from Party City (or whatever was around in the ‘Dark Ages’) after The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For the Devil” dropped in 1968? Was there an uptick in sales of hell maps when AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” came out in 1979? Was Lucifer spotted more frequently when Rob Zombie sang “Lucifer Rising” in 2013? 

I don’t know. But while we investigate, I think people like Cruz, MTG, and Shapiro should consider the words of Dolly Parton, the world-renowned, universally-beloved country singer-songwriter who, in a beautiful song from her 2003 album “For God and Country,” gave them clear instructions: “Go to hell.”