Religious extremists are awesome when they argue

It's always fun when different branches of Christian extremism get into fights with each other. Back when I was a believer, in-fighting between Christians was a source of major embarrassment, a lot like bickering in the Labour Party is a source of blushes for its supporters. Evangelicals believe it's their divine mandate to convert the whole world, and that job is made a lot harder when they can't even maintain a coherent public position. At the same time, if unbelievers convert to the wrong ki … [Read more...]

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Christian Rock Thursdays: Home schooling saved my life (featuring Christian ska!)

Christian Rock Thursday are back! (Although they'll probably continue to be intermittent for the rest of 2014)This week's installment is from B.O.B. (Bunch of Believers). There's now a much more famous rapper called B.o.B., and every time I hear his name in a conversation about music, I momentarily wonder why there's been a resurgence of interest in mediocre late-90s Christian ska.Ska punk hit the mainstream in the 1990s with the arrival of the Mighty Might Bosstones (1993) and No … [Read more...]

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Christian Rock Thursdays: Legend Seven vs slutty girls

Legend Seven were never one of the biggest Christian bands (although Wikipedia tells me today's song was reached #2 on the Christian charts in 1992), and they weren't one of my favourites either. For some reason, though I got this song stuck in my head the other day, and gave me the idea for this blog series. So here we are."Angela" is off the band's first album, when they were just called Legend. They later changed names to Legend Seven, presumably because there was already a more famous s … [Read more...]

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Christian Rock Thursdays: Abortion is Murder

I learned that abortion was wrong before I learned what abortion was. I later learned that abortion was murdering an unborn child. I learned both of these things from Christian rock songs.A typical example was "Who Will" by DeGarmo & Key, from their 1989 album "The Pledge", which I found for £1 in a Christian bookshop bargain bin in about 1992. I was seven at the time. I never actually liked "Who Will" very much, but I heard it a fair bit because my dad played the whole album in the car. … [Read more...]

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Christian Rock Thursdays: Carman radicalises me

This is the first installment of my series on Christian rock. Read the introduction here.Carman was where it all began for me. Before my family discovered Carman, Christian music was tedious, church was boring, and there's an excellent chance I would have looked for entertainment in secular culture. After Carman, being a Christian seemed exciting, like something I wanted to do for myself rather than just something I did because it was my duty as a member of my family.Compared Michael J … [Read more...]

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Weird parts of my Christian Rock childhood

Welcome to the first installment of a new series. When I named this blog "Leaving Fundamentalism" I really meant it to be a diverse examination of all the unusual parts of my bizarre Christian upbringing. In the end, mostly because of my PhD studies, the blog has been swarmed by posts critiquing ACE. Here's a bit of light relief: Once a week I'll show you a Christian rock song from my childhood and talk about how it affected me.People might be misled by this into thinking that ACE and … [Read more...]

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When fundamentalists attack!

If you've spent any time at all reading about creationism online, you'll be familiar with the infuriating experience of attempting to have a reasonable conversation on the subject. Creationists are notorious for quote mining, for a seemingly wilful ability to misinterpret the clearest of arguments, for ad hominem attacks, and for repeating the same arguments after they've been addressed. This has been so widely observed that it's led to the internet adage that arguing with a creationist is like … [Read more...]

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Creationism rocks!

I'm a guest poster today at Laughing in Purgatory. I'm writing about how Christian rock was used to sell Creationism. And I got so carried away that I forgot to include the most obvious example of all, "Evolution Redefined" by Geoff Moore & the Distance. So, exclusively for you:http://youtu.be/UDPFfHOGdyMAll the classic Creationist tropes are there. The biology teacher is short, ugly, intolerant, and has a nasal voice, while the Christian girl is blonde, wholesome, and attractive. … [Read more...]

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Christians rock too!

There's a simple reason why Christian rock music is never going to be convincing: rock n' roll is about rebellion, and evangelical Christianity is about obedience.The initial fundamentalist response to rock music was to ban it entirely. In fact, that's still the diehard fundamentalist position. One of the main differences between evangelicals and fundamentalists is that evangelicals allow Christian rock music, whereas fundamentalists say the whole style is inherently ungodly. After a … [Read more...]

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