True story: Your humble scribe once got sucked into a conversation with a guy who thought his own taste in music should settle the argument for what is good and hip and cool. A few minutes in, I let slip that I enjoyed the songs of the late lamented crypto-Christian rock group Creed, which launched my friend on a whale of a rant.
He said the group was Very Bad and he questioned how I could claim to like them with a straight face. He got worked up and yammered on a bit but here was the kicker: “Their music is so derivative.” I shot back: “ALL music is derivative.” Objective observers might have wondered if his head was going to explode as he considered that one.
All of which is a long way of explaining that I’m not reflexively down on Christian rock. Sure, it’s often too preachy, and the unofficial Jesuses per minute quota is a bit much, but rock is supposed to be a populist art form. If Christian artists often sounded like their secular counterparts with more uplift and less faux Satanic posturing I could fall back on the fact that even the Rolling Stones began as a cover band.
That said, I’m still trying to process the news that Jesus rockers have decided to ape the most annoying thing to emerge from the world of official rock since “We are the world.” In the Washington Post last Friday, entertaining religion writer Hanna Rosin reported from the front lines of a Rock the Vote- (and Vote for Change-) like effort to use Jesus rock to sign up young evangelicals to cast ballots for whichever candidate best represents their values in the political arena. In other words, Bush.
The movement, which flies under several banners, including Redeem the Vote, has been using pop Christian music to register as many young churchgoing voters as possible, with some success. I encourage readers to follow this link to Rosin’s story and read it for the fun details and the sometimes loopy quotes. Contemplating our strange new world in which the Southern Baptists are sending around an 18 wheeler that used to belong to the Charlie Daniels Band just might be the perfect respite from the nail biting and nervous poll watching of this dreary election day.