I just saw on the Yahoo! news feed that the Trinity Broadcasting Network, known to most of my friends as The God Channel, is going to be doing a "Christian" version of the American Idol series. I think my title would be a dynamite name for the show, so I rushed to put it on my blog and thereby reserve the rights to sue the shit out of them if they use it.
This brings me to a subject that struck me recently--why is there such a thing as Christian music, like as a specific genre? There is plenty of popular music out there that espouses reasonable Christian values and is performed by Christians, though not perhaps of the evangelical type in either case, but for some reason that doesn't qualify as "Christian" music.
"Christian" music, as she is spoke, is apparently required to make numerous references to Jeebus and Gawd and their amazing love for you, yes you, you ungrateful and unworthy sinner. Why is it insufficient to merely make a quiet good example? This conceit also reaches into "Christian" books, movies (99.9% straight to video, plus Mel Gibson and James "The Weasel" Caviezel), television and in many cases, conversation. Based on the Christians I grew up with and around, this supposedly Christian culture is decidedly unpopular and creepy to the majority of Christianity's practicioners. Let's face it, "Christian" culture is for Evangelical Christians, the freakiest of the freaky, not the great mass of other types of Christians.
I think it's pretty obvious why Evangelicals feel the need to swaddle themselves and their offspring in the fucking Shroud of Turin, blocking out any and all opposing (or even differing) points of view: Their religion sucks. It's no fun, probably scary even, and if their kids got a real whiff of secular life or worse, other religious beliefs, they'd bugger off to real rock shows or at least other less horrible religions without a second look back. Or at least that's what they fear would happen, in which case they actually think their religion sucks. Some show of faith in the power and glory of Jeebus' love, eh?
But why do Christians of other stripes let the Evangelicals swipe their name and apply it to this mind-closing claptrap? Let's face it--religion is all about words and names, and who's in and who's out. If you're gonna do religion effectively, I think it's important to hang onto your nomenclature. Why don't non-charismatics teach their children, actively, that much of what's out there labeled "Christian" doesn't actually match with their own stated beliefs? If it were me, I'd be all over that
issue, but apart from my Dad, who's a retired Episcopalian priest, nobody seems to have much to say about it.
Up next: United We Stand bumper stickers.