February 18th, 2011
10:35 AM ET

Backlash over Bieber's view on abortion

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

In the video above, AJ Hammer from HLN's Showbiz Tonight reports that Justin Bieber is turning heads following a Rolling Stone article in which he talked about his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape.

He told the magazine:

I really don't believe in abortion. I think [an embryo] is a human. It's like killing a baby. [In the case a rape], I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that.

The pop star has made no secret of his Christian faith over the course of his short career. In an article about his new 3D movie, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," Religion News Service asked if Bieber was becoming a "tween evangelist."

Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager and one of the film's producers, told the Religion News Service:

People will walk away (from the movie) knowing faith is very important to him. As a Christian, he's someone to look up to. ... When (fans) are getting the real person is when they can connect to that person.

Bieber told the Rolling Stone more about how his faith informs his career as a performer:

I feel I have an obligation to plant little seeds with my fans.  I'm not going to tell them, 'You need Jesus,' but I will say at the end of my show, 'God loves you.'

Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, is also outspoken about her Christian faith, regularly tweeting out Bible verses from @studiomama.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Celebrity • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Movies • Music

soundoff (2,810 Responses)
  1. Miles

    A story with Justin Bieber AND abortion?

    CNN producers must have been so excited they had to go home and change their underwear. This is what we refer to as "news" these days.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      A comment on CNN's story about Justin Bieber AND abortion? You must have been so excited you had to go home and change your underwear. This is what we refer to as "commentary" these days.

      Thank goodness you're above all that, or you'd be wasting your time posting comments on this alleged "news".

      February 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  2. MJ

    my goodness, look at all the fuss started over comments by a 16 yr old kid. The funny part is pro-lifers say adoption not abortion is the answer. While at the same time they want to eliminate social programs that these poor unwanted kids would need to survive and stand half a chance in this country. So who is going to support all these unwanted children??

    February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Catholic Charities has many programs to help the poor. If your government is cutting back on programs for the poor perhaps you are not paying enough taxes or is there fraud....look into it before condoning murder.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      The obvious solution: any pro-lifer who demands that an unwanted pregnancy be carried to term must raise that child. Watch how many "pro-lifers" will suddenly switch to "pro-choice" if THEY have to raise the kids.

      Want real examples? Here's one: Congressman Bob Barr. He was loudly anti-abortion, but when his wife became pregnant with a kid he didn't want, he happily financed the abortion. His wife testified as such in a sworn affidavit. Google it, you'll find the proof, although it isn't necessary. After all, it happens every time: when the self-righteous have to do the work they demand of everyone else, they suddenly become "enlightened".

      February 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |


    February 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  4. Ben Alcobra

    As Bieber said, "Everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason." He doesn't know how it's a reason, but he still judges that abortion in response to that reason would be wrong. Like any know-it-all teenager, he knows everything and nothing at the same time. Hey, Justin: if you ever get into an accident, or get a serious disease, don't seek medical attention. It happened for a reason; therefore, doing anything about it would be wrong.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Ben Alcovbra,
      How does having an accident and seeking treatment have anything to do with this comment page? A life is not an accident that needs surgery.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  5. LMAO


    February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      Hey LMAO,
      You spend this much time upset about how Americans get upset. BWAHAHAHAHA. Wow. Hypocrite. All I can say.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  6. Damon

    Observer has it right. The Romans were very good at complaining about the declining morality of their fellow countrymen long before Christianity was a major force. IIRC Tacitus's Germania had a fair bit of propoganda in it, comparing the "decadent" Romans with the noble Germans. "Morality" busibodies is not unique to our era or culture, and there are plenty of people that will complain loudly that "we have lost our way." I'm a classical libertarian in outlook, so I say I have my morals, and don't try to foist yours on me...

    February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  7. LMAO


    February 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Leni

      I repeat, Bieber IS NOT an American. He is a Canadian citizen.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  8. sashlina

    Why so much hateful and demeaning words about a star who has a view. There is no age requirement to have an opinion on abortion. I agree with Will on it being a question that's over the top for his age, but he can have an opinion. Although, I believe those who are irked by his answer are pro-life.

    Riddle me this batman – If the view out there is such that a woman has a right to choose, then what happened to the rights of the 50% who would have been women who were aborted? It just a legalized excuse to "deal with an incovenience" of a consesquence!

    February 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  9. Chris

    His faith is important to him. His opinion is not important to me.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  10. What the..

    It's sad how you americans brainwash your kids with this religious propaganda crap before they ever even have any chance to form their own world view. I'm sure you can think of other groups in history whom have done that, and whom are generally labeled "evil".

    February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • SJ

      And what if some parents teach their kids from their childhood that there isn't a GOD. Doesn't that amount to brainwashing ? When you learn your language, are you being brainwashed ? To me, you don't seem to understand the difference between training and brainwashing. Every kid is trained in the way that he should grow up to be. At some point, he will form his own world view. Raising a christian doesnt mean that the kid will grow up to be a christian and vice versa. There are only 2 core beliefs – that there is a GOD and that there isn't a GOD. Raising a child either way, according to your analysis would mean brainwashing. Someone might've really brainwashed you into thinking that there isn't a GOD. Unfortunately you've been brainwashed just like the rest of us -only the belief is different

      February 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Sven

      He's from Canada, not the U.S.. I know it's inconvenient when you can't blame everything on us.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      What the,

      It's sad how you brainwash your kids with this anti-American propaganda crap before they ever even have any chance to form their own world view. I'm sure you can think of other anti-American groups in history whom have done that, and whom are generally labeled "evil".

      Yes, "What the", we're all brainwashing our kids. Of course, the idea that an entire population is brainwashing its kids couldn't possibly be the result of brainwashing, could it? No, of course not. You formed your own world view that we're all brainwashing our kids.

      Right. Do they have mirrors in your country?

      February 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Leni

      Not to get nit-picky, but not all Americans do that. My parents raised me Baptist and I have since changed my views substantially. I actually never really followed Baptist views to the letter anyway. What you see is a small segment of the population, Evangelicals and other religions, that just happen to be louder than everyone else. Therefore, it's wrong to generalize all Americans as being the same way. We don't all believe what Justin Bieber believes. Besides, he's Canadian.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  11. Y Robertson

    Very proud of Justin for speaking out in support of life.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  12. bro2044

    sorry, i misquoted. I didnt mean to put "a baby is a parasite" as someones quote, I was in a hurry at work and forgot to type it all out. I just meant whoever wanted to put that before a certain "time" a fetus is no more than a parasite. Although I see the scientific point, thats an awful point of view.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  13. IxNay

    This is seriously the dumbest controversy I can recall. Justin Beber is 16. How many of you go to your 16 year old children for advice on serious life and death matters. Not I.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • kaboom

      Best answer of the day!

      February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  14. Adam

    Who cares?!?

    February 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Your remark is a perfect example of selfishness….you are already born so you don’t care about anyone else……so selfish.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      You ask, "Who cares?"

      You cared enough to post that question. If you're smart enough not to care about something like this, why'd you read the article and take the time to post your opinion?

      You're a phony.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  15. kg

    If one is drawing conclusions about when life begins from the Bible, it's helpful to know that the Bible states clearly that life begins with the first breath. Not that the fetus isn't alive in utero, but from a spiritual recognition point of view, God recognized the official beginning of human life as being at birth. Genesis 2:7, "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul."

    February 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • motacular

      Then why at Ex 21:22 & 23 state that a man would be punishable by death if he cause a woman to miscarry? Isn't it because God views that unborn child as a life?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • me

      What about Jer 1:5?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ben Alcobra

      "Then why at Ex 21:22 & 23 state that a man would be punishable by death if he cause a woman to miscarry? Isn't it because God views that unborn child as a life?"

      It's because the bible contradicts itself on the meaning of the beginning of human life. Thanks for pointing out the blatant contradiction. Now, which one is right? Better yet, what are you going to do about it?

      Hey, but keep up the good work of telling us how the bible contradicts itself in such matters. But next time around, could you add an explanation of your arbitrary decision about which contradiction was the right one?

      February 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • motacular

      Ben, there's no need to be snippy. The 2 verses are not in contradiction to each other. God created man as an adult, it would not make sense to create him as an embryo. The verse in Exodus simply affirms that God respects and values the life of an unborn child.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  16. Sally Li

    The Beab is expressing personal views, which he has a right to do. These personal views are controversial, but on the side of some type of decent conduct. As time goes on, of course, and experience overcomes early indoctrination (which is difficult for someone to overcome, at this stage of the game or younger) he will probably redefine himself in many ways. He will also possibly tap into new sources for music, and I know of one particularly excellent source he might be interested in working with.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  17. canopy

    Idolatry at its finest! I wonder what he would say about the millions of fans swooning over him.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  18. Bob Rock

    Religious beliefs are a matter of brainwashing, not reason, maturity, or the freedom of the speech. Pure and simple. If you have believes not based on reason, facts, evidence and probability, than you believe in nonsense and you are nothing but a brainwashed fool. It's a sad statement about this kid's upbringing!

    February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • John

      You hit the nail on the head, Bob. Imagine if no one was introduced to the concept of a god until they were 18 years old. How many would believe? None, and because it's SO obvious that none would believe, we know that religious beliefs are the result of brainwashing that begins in infancy.

      www (dot) godisimaginary (dot) com

      February 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Marky

      It is amazing you expect your beliefs (or non-beliefs) to be respected, yet this young man is not allowed to express his without being ridiculed and off goes the argument about how stupid believing in God is anyway. I didn't know about God until I was 23, yet I am totally a believer and not because I'm brainwashed. I did a lot of research before I came to the conclusion that God is who He says He is and Jesus is the Messiah. I don't understand why you feel the need to constantly make fun of those who believe–I surely don't make fun of you.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • probability?

      It sounds to me like you've been a little brainwashed yourself Bob Rock. Don't try to argue against probability of Christianity with anyone that knows what they're talking about or you'll humiliate yourself, like you just did.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Sean

      Ignornace is a two way street. Seems like someone got brainwashed in the other direction. It's funny when the pot calls the kettle black and you spout non-sense that can be thrown back at you in the same fashion that you present it. For all I know not having faith is matter of being brainwashed out of it.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Nick

      How fragile are your own beliefs that you feel threatened by Justin Bieber?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Brittany

      I think there's a difference between brainwashing and raising your child with religious views and letting them know more exists.

      Growing up, we attended church. My dad was a deacon, my mom played in the bell choir and my brother and I went to Sunday School every Sunday. However, when we moved down to Virginia when I was 7, we didn't find a church we liked, so we didn't go. My mom wasn't very religious , so she didn't indoctrine anything in us and my dad just made sure we prayed before dinner.

      Yes, my dad did "make" me go to church when I lived with him when I was older and no, I didn't enjoy, nor did I want to. I felt that he was steering me down a different path that I didn't want to go and I see it now with my younger brother and sister. However, my mother, who did also attend church growing up, talked to me about my beliefs. She was the one who actually explained to me what the Lord's prayer was and what it meant, line by line, not my father who went to church.

      I now go to church on my own behalf, but I have a very liberal outlook on it. I don't follow many of the conservation beliefs that the church preaches, but I believe in God and I believe in Jesus and I believe that the Holy Spirit leads us in what is right and what we should do. But I also acknowledge that humans didn't just spring up some random day because God was lonely.

      Yes, I believe there are some people out there who are "brainwashed." One of my best friends is like that – she would never waver from the faith she was brought up in. Do I think some of her beliefs are ridiclious and out-dated? Yes. Would I ever deny her those beliefs? Never.

      But to say that about a 14 year old boy is rude – he's still growing in his beliefs and he might be figuring them out for himself right now and at this point, that's what he beliefs. Maybe he'll look at it two years from now when he's met some more people and had more experience he'll change his beliefs.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Bernie

      Bob is right about some it. At least the kid seems to have some sense but I agree with the brainwashing. These views are the views of his mother and not that of his own but I dont think that it is only religious people who take beliefs from their parents

      February 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • WhosBrainwashed?

      Bob Rock and John, your comments are actually quite funny. In attempting to portray religious individuals as fools, you only demonstrated your own ignorant bigotry. When you make statements like, "Religious beliefs are a matter of brainwashing, not reason" and "its SOO obvious that none would believe (if not exposed until adulthood)" what rational/scientific criteria are you using? The answer is none at all. You are simply having an emotional reaction to something that obviously bothers you. The latter quotation can be easily proved false by any one of the numerous counterexamples (people who in fact did become "believers" even after being raised atheist or agnostic). The former assertion really is more about your dislike of the reasons than it is about a lack of reasons. Rest assured...religious people have many good reasons for believing what they do. You may say that you don't agree with the reasons or that you think yours are better, but don't pretend that you have reasons and they don't.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Art

      As long as there is death in this world, there will be religion. The bible is nothing more than a grouping of books or testimonies to a hope that there's something more for us beyond this life. You can have faith in it or not but in our own minds there is no denying that we search for an answer to our life and the improbablity that we even exist in the first place. We will never understand all the sciences in this universe because it takes a lifetime of learning to understand just one discipline of study, so how can we ever have the audacity to discredit anyone's hope and faith.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • ohnoyoudidnt

      Bob, I pity the fool, but its not Justin I pity.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  19. puppo

    Is this child runing for public office now? Who cares what he says.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  20. Nancy

    Why can't people have differing opinions without being called names for it?

    February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • John Rizzo

      Because sometimes, as in the case of Bieber, the opinions are so unbelievably out of touch and ignorant that it's virtually impossible for some better-informed people to keep their mouths shut for the sake of a less magic-and-fairies-based future.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Jeff

      Rizzo... he said he doesnt believe in abortion. That is not a very radical view. It is the pro-baby-killers that blast anyone who even slightly disagrees with their desire to kill babies.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Xugos

      John Rizzo, as much as I dislike Bieber, his view on abortion wasn't that "radical" or out of touch. He said that he opposed it, but wouldn't be able to judge someone who aborted a baby since he'd never been in that particular position.

      February 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.