I admit it, I sometimes tend to look at things at face value. Although I know I should, I don’t always look for the deeper meaning or the hidden implications of some things. They are what they are.
For a few weeks I’ve failed to see the religious issues at play in the YouTube viral video JK Wedding Dance, where the to-be-wed couple and their entourage dance down the aisle to Chris Brown‘s “Forever.”
At first glance I thought, “That’s pretty cool. I would never have the guts to do it, but there’s a wedding everyone will remember.”
Then yesterday a co-worker walked by and saw it and commented on the event’s irreverence. I was taken aback.
At first, I wanted to — and did — defend the video, “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” and all. The group was celebrating a marriage, and that wedding was being performed in a church. The church is the people, not the physical structure.
The coworker pushed back that maybe if they’d gotten married at a park or on the beach — even with a pastor presiding — it might have been more appropriate.
I wasn’t sure there was a difference. We debated some more.
Still, I couldn’t help but think maybe she has a point.
I posted the question on Twitter to see what people who follow me — both from the secular world and faith leaders — thought about the video. Surprisingly (to me), more than half of those who responded thought the dancing down the aisle was inappropriate.
One pastor replied, “Dancing in church is always going to get someone upset. Remember Michael’s reaction to David dancing before the ark?”
About the same time, another pastor sent this response: “Wedding dance up the aisle? I love the celebration aspect, but it seems irreverent. Attention drawn to couple instead of God.”
From the secular world: “The thought never even crossed my mind that it would be inappropriate. I thought it was adorable! Lots of people dance in church!” and “I think it was fun, but more couples are moving away from the solemnity of the rite. Tend to forget vows are serious business.”
Others were concerned about the lyrics in the Brown song, and one pointed out that the couple had added a link to the video for viewers to learn more about domestic violence.
So the question is still out there: What is appropriate behavior at holy ceremonies, such as weddings, and what shouldn’t be tolerated?