Chesterton’s Unlikely Heirs

Still trying to finish a paper, so again with the potpourri posts

I’ve never heard a song by the band Insane Clown Posse, and, until yesterday, all I knew of them was that people who opened for them at concerts tended to be assaulted by their thuggish fans and that the duo’s promotion of Faygo soda was discouraged by the owner of the brand.

And then, I found out they were secret Christians.

According to an interview in the Guardian, the two rappers are Evangelical Christians, and have been from the start.  [note: their comments in the interview, as well as excerpted lyrics, are extremely profane].  In a new song “Thy Unveiling” they reveal that:

Fuck it, we got to tell.
All secrets will now be told
No more hidden messages
…Truth is we follow GOD!!!
We’ve always been behind him
The carnival is GOD
And may all juggalos find him
We’re not sorry if we tricked you.

According to the band, they tried to speak the language of their fans to gain their trust so that they could eventually win their hearts by revealing their own dependence on God.  Prior to their announcement, they claimed to have been hiding Christian messages in their work for a long time, most notably in their song “Miracles”

Am I crazy for thinking in addition to being stealth Christians that they might be crypto-Chestertonians?

Their video seems like a cheesy paraphrase of some of the ideas from Orthodoxy and The Man Who Was Thursday.  I’ve always been partial to Chesterton’s unabashed wonder for the beauty and complexity of the world, and if you were to try to translate that feeling of awe for the typical audience for the Insane Clown Posse, I suppose it might indeed sound something like:

“Have you ever stood next to an elephant, my friend?” asks Violent J. “A fucking elephant is a miracle. If people can’t see a fucking miracle in a fucking elephant, then life must suck for them, because an elephant is a fucking miracle. So is a giraffe.”

After reading the interview and listening to “Miracles” I still can’t tell where this wonder is supposed to be pointing.  Although the rappers talk about repentance and judgement, their omission of a particular creed or denomination makes me suspect they may not be that far removed from the Moral Therapeutic Deism of Glee.  I’ll have to defer to the knowledge of my commenters on that score, since I have no desire to sift through the oeuvre of the Insane Clown Posse.

No matter what, I suppose the man who created an Anarchist Society staffed entirely by policeman might be amused by the prospect of Christians disguised as rappers disguised as homicidal clowns.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as a statistician for a school in Washington D.C. by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."


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