Jaci Velasquez to the rescue

Susan Hogan/Albach of the Dallas Morning News, who sports one of the most colorful bylines on the Godbeat, has written the lede and quote of the month.

The topic: The scourge of music piracy among teenagers who “get their praise on” (to paraphrase a wince-inducing phrase from a recent Newsweek report) by listening to contemporary Christian music.

The lede: “Christian teens are stealing Jesus music.” (A six-word masterpiece.)

The quote: “We can’t be like Christina Aguilera and get all attitudy,” said Jaci Velasquez, a platinum-selling singer originally from Texas. “We’re supposed to be like Christ and turn the other cheek.” (It’s worth noting that the non-attitudy Velasquez is among the artists whose music is available through the entirely legal, guilt-free and cross-platform iTunes.)

Hogan/Albach’s story tackles the issue well, mentioning “Thou shalt not steal” by the third paragraph.

Then there’s this nugget of a paraphrased argument: “But not everybody thinks the pirating is a bad thing. After all, some church leaders say, isn’t getting the Gospel out more important than getting paid? How can it be wrong if it saves souls?”

This is the closest example Hogan/Albach cites of a church leader:

“A lot of students think it’s, like, a cheap way to witness to the Gospel,” said Scott Flagg, 22, who belongs to the Christian fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi at the University of North Texas. “They go out and buy a CD, then burn several copies to give away.”

Hogan/Albach also mentions the luscious detail that fans of the CCM group Skillet call themselves Panheads.

This detail-packed story begs for discussion on GetReligion. I propose these questions:

° If you had to fill an 80-minute CD with CCM that was musically hip or designed to save souls (or both), could you do it? Complete playlists are welcome.

° Can you find a direct quote of a church leader who argues that saving souls justifies music piracy? (Bonus points to anyone who cites a church leader with an earned graduate degree. If you find an ethicist who makes this argument, you win a permanent slot in the GetReligion Hall o’ Fame.)

° Can anyone top Panheads as a nickname for fans of a specific CCM band?

° What would members of Beta Upsilon Chi choose to replace such time-honored Greek traditions as hazing, panty raids, keg parties and greedhead networking? Any Beta Upsilon Chi alumni out there with good stories to tell?

° Is Jaci Velasquez a righteous fox, or what? (Thanks to Mark Olsen for coining the phrase and to Blithering Idiot for linking to it.)

Update: I’d like to expand the invitation for discussing what our readers would burn onto an 80-minute CD as good music expressing their beliefs. If I were an Orthodox Jew, for instance, I would recommend the work of Peter Himmelman. The Innocence Mission and Pierce Pettis provide lively expressions of Catholicism. Buddhists might nominate Natalie Merchant or Lama Karta. And surely atheists can do better than Michael Newdow.

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  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    OK, Doug, what’s the publication for the Righteous Fox article? We gotta know.

    And my 80-minute CD? I already have that: The best of Mark Heard.

  • http://getreligion.typepad.com/getreligion/2004/02/about_douglas_l.html Douglas LeBlanc

    Sorry for omitting the publication of the righteous fox article. According to the page where it’s posted, the article is from the May-June 1996 issue of The Door (http://www.thedoormagazine.com) — before The Door was bought by The Trinity Foundation and when it was still funny.

  • Stephen Huba

    File this playlist under “or both”:

    “Love in the Western World” — Steve Scott

    “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes and the Pride of Life” — The 77s

    “Put Your Life in Jesus’ Nail-Scarred Hands” — Larry Norman

    “The Pool” — Daniel Amos

    “Diamonds to Coal” — Lost Dogs

    “Lie Down in the Grass” — Charlie Peacock

    “Hard Luck & Heart Attack” — Bill Mallonee and VOL

    “Nobody Number One” — Over the Rhine

    “You Lay Down” — Terry Scott Taylor

    “I’ve Just Begun” — Phil Keaggy and Sunday’s Child

    “Lunatic Republic” — Techno Orchestra

    “Dust on Mother’s Bible” — Buck Owens & His Buckaroos

    “I Need God” — Michael Roe

    “Saved” — Bob Dylan

    “What Does it Profit a Man?” — James Vincent

    “Can’t You Feel the Chains?” — Chagall Guevara

    “Waiting for Ground Zero” — Kerry Livgren

  • http://www.quenta-narwen.blogspot.com Donna Marie Lewis

    A cd of any Gregorian chant Mass, with selected pieces by Vittoria and Palestrina as well….

  • http://god-of-small-things.blogspot.com bob smietana

    My 80 minute CD–lots of Mark Heard, Pierce Pettis, Bruce Cockburn and two relatively unknowns–Peter Mayer(http://www.pastemusic.com/artist/10166) and Andi and Al Tauber, better known as Andi and I (http://andiandi.com/)

  • Jill

    “Can anyone top Panheads as a nickname for fans of a specific CCM band?”

    Pokinatcha Punx are fans of the Christian punk band MxPx. I really like their latest single, “You Make Me, Me” from Before Everything and After. (See http://www.mxpx.com)

    I think Stephen has a good selection up there in response to the 80 minutes of CD trax. I’ll have to give that query some more thought and come up with some of my own suggestions.

    What you call CCM has been a tremendous influence in my young life (I’m 45 ;) since about 1975. There is such a wide selection to choose from now — all genres — and the quality of musicianship has improved since those early Jesus music days. And, I’m not someone who settles for “plain vanilla.” I’m a classically trained musician, taught piano for over ten years, worked as a church musician from the age of twelve, and am now studying voice and clarsach (Celtic Harp). One of my favorite bands is Iona, from the UK. Anyone familiar with them?

  • http://blidiot.blogspot.com/ William Sulik

    I thought about this for a day or two before reading the comments. I don’t have a specific 80 minute disc yet, but I’m pretty sure it would be dominated by Mark Heard — maybe exclusively Mark Heard.

    For an evangelistic disc for fans of blue’s influenced rock, Larry Norman’s Something New Under the Son.

    For fans of harder rock, I’d recommend Alice Cooper’s The Temptation of Alice Cooper.

    I find it interesting that so many of us are mentioning Mark Heard…

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