I’ve recently found a new place to read many Catholic Blogs in one spot, it’s www.virtuouspla.net It has great Catholic commentary by many authors age 14 – 36. Where in fact one of my favorite bloggers, badcatholicblog.blogspot.com also blogs. Recently he caused a bit of a stir by talking about this very topic.
I want to be first to admit that yes, I enjoy listening to Christian Rock. I am a fan of Tenth Avenue North, Skillet, Barlow Girl, SuperChic(k), and many others. I am not ashamed to admit this and I will let you know why, but first I want to show why Marc is right.
The labeling of Christ-centered music as ‘Christian Rock’ is a complete and total mistake. It implies a form and a genre that is inherently ‘Christian’; a false implication. What is a Christian? A man in love with Christ. What does it sound like when he sings? What a stupid question. It could sound like anything: Anything good, true and beautiful.
It is not that modern music is incompatible with Christianity. It’s that the Christian music scene is suffering from a severe lack of authenticity.
Marc Barnes The Problem of Christian Rock Pt2 (Emphasis Mine)
While it’s true that Christian Rock is not always authentic in it’s praise Christian Rock does have something that in my opinion, makes it better than most other modern music in general, it’s clean. That’s what I’m going to address.
You know the old adage, you are what you eat? For me at least it goes also for what I am exposed to. I worked on a rail road track gang for a summer while I was in college. Those guys were great, I had in the past babysat most of their kids, had a great relationship with them, and I learned how to talk like them too. There was nothing too crude, rude, or obscene that could be said with those guys in the woods of Northern Minnesota. I didn’t partake in the conversations until one day.
We were working with some pretty heavy hand equipment that looked like jackhammers. Now before you say that a machine like that ===> shouldn’t be hard to work, let me explain. This thing looks like an industrial pogo stick and it made you feel like you were attached to one too. You pull on that lever and it start bouncing up and down as you have to convince it to push large chunks of gravel under the beams separating the track. There’s rock flying everywhere, your whole body is vibrating and you can’t really imagine that your body will stop shaking within the next few hours.
Well there was 4 of us college students in this crew, and I was the only female. I took my turn on the machine, and being strong, I didn’t imagine how hard it was going to be. The whole body, all the moving parts and the head, which had to be replaced often, was all forged steel. All in all it weighed about 75 lbs. In a humbling move of defeat after about 10 minutes of working with it, I looked at one guy who I graduated with from High School and said, “Matt, I can’t do it.” Matt looked at me astonished and the three guys would switch off between each other and I would work the hydraulic hoses. Another guy who stands about 5′ 2″ (3 inches shorter than me) and somewhat portly was also having the same problem as I did, we just didn’t have the upper body strength to accomplish it, but he kept trying. 2 minutes here 3 minutes there, our 3rd co-worker timed him because he kept acting like he was doing most of the work. Then he came after me.
He called me several non lady like derogatory terms and before the other two guys could step in and defend me I let him have it back. I was simply regurgitating all the vile words that I learned that no one would give a hoot that I said. I berated and belittled him because he made it seem that I hadn’t done any work. In fact what I had done was held onto two vibrating hydraulic hoses for 2 hours as they worked. By doing this I was making sure that we were all safe and no hoses snuck into the work area and became severed.
Upon returning back to our garage that afternoon, one of the guys (who would curse more than any of us) couldn’t believe what had happened. “Our little woman wouldn’t say anything like that. She’s just so gosh darn cute!” Well then I lit into him too and the whole staff couldn’t believe what they heard. I also couldn’t believe what I heard in reply, applause. They applauded me because I not only became one of them, I also became as vulgar as them too. I was no longer a lady.
It’s taken me many years to break the habits that formed in one summer. Garbage in became garbage out. When I listen to “Christian Rock,” I’m not listening because of the God factor. While it is nice to hear the name of God not being outright blasphemed, it’s best for someone like me not to be hearing, “tap this, f that, sexuality and homosexuality”, and a slew of other things that offend me as a Catholic. So I would rather put into me things that will enforce the positive attitude in me than drag me down. I try and steer away from secular radio so I don’t start reflecting those values in my life. It may not be authentic in it’s nature but it does provide a clean form of entertainment that I am not ashamed to share.