Welcome to the Iowa Chapter of the Portrait Of An American Family Association.
As not only fans of Marilyn Manson, but as citizens of the United States of America, we are shocked and disappointed at the action being taken against Marilyn Manson - who knows who else - from doing what they have been given the right to do, express themselves and their opinions. A right granted to them (and every other US citizen) by the very thing this country was built on (and takes for granted) - The Bill of Rights. Or more specifically, The 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech. We are not asking for you to agree with everything Manson says or does; we're not even asking you to like them. We are, however, asking you to bear in mind, Marilyn Manson (and other "controversial" acts) have as much right to be heard as anyone else - as much as us, or as much as the protesters. Many may not agree with, or like, what he has to say, but much of what they say does need to be heard. And as much as they say things that have been suppressed for too long, they are also performers, and showmen. Showmen like many before them who have been targets for such moral and political "watchdog" groups seeking to exercise their ideals of what they are trying to "protect".
As you keep that very important First Amendment in mind, we also ask you to think what your actions are based upon. Are they based on misunderstanding/misinformation? Personal bias? Fear? These factors are very important to look at as they are often the motivation behind many action taken against anything deemed as a threat to a way of thinking. These things often blind us and compel us to take actions without first understanding what is being fought against. If you have one side, we invite you to look at another via taking a look at any Portrait Of An American Family Association site. We seek to inform and help people to understand Marilyn Manson, as well as quell the numerous rumors, misconceptions, and lies so often spread about this band. We also address questions and concerns people (fans and non-fans alike) have about this band, their shows, and anything else. As much as we wish people to enjoy this band as we do, we also know it is foolish to think everyone will. We, however, feel if someone is going to hate Marilyn Manson, we want to be for the right reasons. Reasons not based on lies, rumors, and slander/libel.
We also understand there are very legitimate concerns surrounding this band and potential problems their presence may evoke. While there are always going to be people against Marilyn Manson (and others like them), one must also realize there are many Marilyn Manson fans worldwide, many of whom are not the stereotypical "pancake makeup wearing teenage fans". Many are fans, like us, who question and seek to understand this band, its members, and their message. Rational, mature individuals with productive lives and active, probing minds. Again, we at this site invite you to try to understand this band. If not via the POAAFA or other such Manson groups, then take the time to sit down and meet with the man/band. Speak to these rational, intelligent people and hear from the source about what they are about. You may be pleasantly surprised. After all, whatever happened to "Love thy neighbor"?
We are not asking you to love them - just try to understand them. If not as individuals who are a product of this society, then at least as performers who are offering people music, a show, a release from the stress of trying to make a living (as if we already aren't alive yet); a chance for people to stand up and think for themselves. These thing should not be suppressed and feared, but given the chance to be expressed and offer a healthy release from the depression, fear, and other things fed to us every day of our lives via the media, or governments, even our religions.
Take a look at the names on this page. Think of each name not as words on a screen, but a voice. A voice that may (or may not) support Marilyn Manson and others like them, but voices that are speaking out against the suppression of rights. Rights we value, yet seem to be losing more and more of every day. Voices that are saying "Enough is enough!"
Where is this going to end? Sadly, it may never. Marilyn Manson are far from the first, nor will they be the last. But it is time we began to stand up and let it be known that we are frustrated at seeing actions being taken that threaten our rights as free thinking individuals in this "Land of the free and home of the brave."
We are not only speaking of performer's rights to speak and perform, but our rights as fans of these people. If someone doesn't like someone, yes they too have the right to speak out against it, but do not try to force views upon others who truly appreciate and enjoy what is being presented. Always remember, even if you do not enjoy something, someone else does. And it's no one's place to try to take that away, whether that be music, theater, or news.
Ask yourself this - who will be next? If not Manson, then who will it be? Other musicians? Artists? Politicians? Us? You?
And is Marilyn Manson really the problem? What about violence on our streets? Domestic violence in our homes? Racism? Don't these things deserve more attention than what is on the stage or on display in a local mall or in a museum? Maybe we need to focus on such issues and save our entertainment as just that - entertainment. Something to be enjoyed and expressed, not feared and suppressed. These problems existed long before Marilyn Manson ever did.
Fans and non-fans, remember; behind the glitz and pretense lies some very real people. People like us who grew up with, and still exist, watching the same television, living in the same society as we do. They see what we see, hear what we hear - but they choose not to ignore it, not to sit idly by and let the world fall apart around them. They seek change. And no one ever said change wasn't painful.
Marilyn Manson all came into this world naked and crying as we all did. They have family and friends, hopes and wishes and dreams. They love and hurt, laugh and cry. They, too, look up at the same sun and the same moon as we all do. They are individuals, like us. Yes, like us. As much as we fail to admit this, they are as real and alive as we all are.