“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has caused much division. How should we, as Christians, respond and should we apologize for our moral stance?
As I understand it, the song ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ was originally written by Frank Loesser, but was made popular by Dean Martin and is frequently sung around Christmas. It’s a song about a woman who knows she shouldn’t stay in the home of a lustful man and should leave. But, he is trying to coax her to stay because he’s trying to seduce her, and she seems to be fighting with her moral sense. The song has in some fashion, become associated with Christmas. Some even call it a “Christmas classic.”
Why has the song caused such division?
One newspaper said the song deserves its banishment for all times because it is an ode to rape. Others have joined in, citing the “Me Too” movement. Suddenly, the song went from the popularity of the ideal “James Bond” -like man who seeks a quick sexual tryst, to the villainy of a song sung by sexual predators.
But, as it would be expected, we are now seeing a push back. One radio station asked their audience to indicate whether they should ban the song this time of the year. Their audience overwhelmingly indicated that the song should be played in the station’s rotation. Suddenly, playing the song for some is making a statement against “political correctness gone to seed.” One comment even said that this song just highlights the liberals’ fear of being challenged! Listening to the pushback almost makes one feel as if those who want to hear the song are returning to traditional values!
For my part, I view all of this with some sense of wonder. During the early stages of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, sex was sometimes portrayed like playing volleyball – a good physical activity. As Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with!” If there ever was an ode to adultery, that was it! But then came the rapes, betrayals, diseases, divorces, power plays manipulation and broken lives. Suddenly, the one-night stand becomes fraught with peril. And then came the “Me Too” movement, in which one woman after another spoke of the humiliation and manipulation.
God’s design for sex is abandoned
The controversy surrounding “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” should remind all of us of what happens when God’s design for sex is abandoned. The woman in the song really should have put on her jacket, gone out into the cold and returned home to her parents. The man in the song really should be ashamed of his behaviour. Finally, it’s not a Christmas song! Rather, it is a song that reminds us of the anti-Christmas theme found in John 3:19. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light.”
But the controversy surrounding “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” reminds me of another truth. The values of the modern world are in constant flux. Those who are heroes for one hour are considered villains in the next. Just yesterday, the man who could seduce a woman was a hero. Today, he is a villain.
Christians should not apologize for their moral stance
For this reason, Christians are well served when we are not apologetic about our moral stance. We teach and believe that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. Sex is a gift of God and serves both to bring about the next generation, but also cements the hearts of a man and woman in love for a lifetime. When this standard becomes our standard, we can rest assured that we will not be heroes for one hour and villains in the next.