Just like you, I’ve seen the pictures, read the opinions, blogs and what seems to be a never ending media blitz on Miley Cyrus and what she is and isn’t doing.  Up to now, I’ve been sickened, amused and like many dumbstruck at her recent behavior. 

I am a dad, Pastor and a musician.  So here are a few thoughts of mine on the subject, like them or not, agree or not they are my thoughts.

As a dad, I have four wonderful children.  My oldest serves in the USAF and is 22.  He was probably the easiest of our children to raise.  He was more a loner growing up, he didn’t desire to much and was content to study and play video and computer games.  I also have a daughter who is now 19.  My daughter was a challenge.  She was into friends, sports, school, boys and music.  We also have two twin boys who are 14.  They are a lot of fun and are both active in school activities and wrestling.  

I give you all this information to let you know, my daughters dream was to become an actress/model.  We allowed her to move from Alaska to California when she was 16 years old with family and friends.  She was actually trying to get in with Disney at that time and had several good meetings with some directors and managers.  One of the serious talks we had before she left, was to always be true to herself and to her beliefs.  She was young but she was pretty mature for her age and she knew what she believed.  It was not easy for us to let her go, but we also believe in following dreams and giving every opportunity to our children that we can.  With family and friends to watch over her and daily phone calls and texting, not to mention the ability to see where she was with her phone we felt as good as we could about it.  Like I said, she is now 19 and although we have butted heads more then a few times, I am proud of the young lady she has become.  She has been offered modeling jobs that she turned down because they would involve nudity or questionable poses and that makes me proud.  Money has been tight for her and it would be easy to take the money and do the job.  She has stayed true to herself though and to the values we instilled in her as she grew up.  I don’t know Billy Ray or Miley’s mom.  I do believe they were proud of her and her accomplishments, but I know for me as a dad, I would be heartbroken, as I suspect Billy Ray might be now, if my daughter acted and posed the way Miley has recently.  

As a Pastor.  The Bible tells us clearly that sin abounds here on this earth.  Ask any advertising person and they will tell you, “sex sells.”  It is unfortunate, but it is a reality of this world in which we live.  I don’t know if Miley was the creative force behind her dancing and video or if she was following the advice of a manager.  Truthfully it was probably a combination of those two things.  My job as a Pastor was never to judge anyone but love them for who they are and to point them to a God who loves them more then they can imagine. So, I won’t judge Miley but I will say, I hope that she knows and understands God’s love for her and that His way is always best.  Shock, sex and trying to be as vulgar as possible on stage, I don’t believe, is God’s best for her. 

As a musician, I know performance counts.  It is not enough to sing great.  The world is full of good even great singers.  This business is tough and entertaining people is hard work.  However, I think because “sex sells” to many young and talented artists take the very easy road of shock over the hard work of talent and true entertainment.  Fifteen minutes of raw behavior gets you days even weeks of press and publicity now that you probably would not get otherwise.  So the easy way is less work, has a bigger immediate payoff and sells. The question is then, why not?  Well, my answer goes back to being true to ones self and to the artist or person you are and want to be known as.  For me, I want to be known as an artist who can sing, who has fun, gives his audience a great show and who ten or twenty years from now built a solid career as an artist not as a gimmicky musician.  (BTW- I’d have to find a totally different gimmick anyway as bad as I think Miley looked, you really don’t want to see me like that!)  George Strait is doing his final tour now, I’d like my career to be like his or Vince Gills or Frank Sinatra or Alan Jackson or Tim McGraw or well, you get the point.  These artists are true artists and with ups and downs they stayed true to who they are. They are true performers and entertainers.  A very talented young performer who keeps her performances entertaining, she sells millions or songs and stays true to herself is Taylor Swift. She is proof that even younger audiences enjoy real talent.  I do believe Miley has talent, but I think Miley should take a long hard look at what kind of a performer does she really want to be known as.   

Well folks, those are my thoughts.

Doug Briney

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Comment by Merci ONeal on October 5, 2013 at 3:05pm

BTW, thank you for your thoughtful post.  All the best to you and your family.

Comment by Merci ONeal on October 5, 2013 at 3:04pm

I was just talking with my Partner, Jackson Bowen, about Miley this morning.  We pretty much agreed that with Miley or her management, they took the path that "the end justifies the means."  While I am not a judgmental person, it is my belief that given enough rope, someone of that mind set usually hangs themselves.  I hope that doesn't happen in this case as this is a young women with talent and personality who has time to leave a different type legacy.

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