Sunday, July 05, 2009

    Youth Ministry & Bigotry

    I've tweeted several posts today that demonstrate some of the bigotry inherent within the Church which is finding its way into our youth ministry efforts. It seems to be the running theme of the day as I came across this post at the "Samwise the Brave" blog about Christian artist Derek Webb's soon-to-be-released album. Apparently the song in the video above, "What Matters More" has caused quite a bit of controversy. You can see why when you read the lyrics below (which seem to be, in part, inspired by a Tony Campolo remark. See below). If we had more Christian music like this, I might listen to it more often:

    For more on the controversy between the songwriter and his label and what is happening with the album (they are releasing a censored and an "authorized" version), check here. So, what do you think?

    You say you always treat people like you like to be

    I guess you love being hated for your sexuality

    You love when people put words in your mouth

    ‘Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

    ‘Cause if you really believe what you say you believe

    You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak

    Wouldn’t silently conceal when the liars speak

    Denyin’ all the dyin’ of the remedy

    Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?

    Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?
    If I can tell what’s in your heart by what comes out of your mouth

    Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it’s about

    It looks like being hated for all the wrong things

    Like chasin’ the wind while the pendulum swings
    ‘Cause we can talk and debate until we’re blue in the face

    About the language and tradition that he’s comin’ to save

    Meanwhile we sit just like
    we don’t give a shit

    About 50,000 people who are dyin’ today

    Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?

    Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

    Don't miss this post about the above song with tons of responses, all debating the use of the word "shit" in the lyrics. I had to laugh, as it perfectly illustrates the point of the song: We Christians sit around debating and arguing the most pointless things while children are dying of hunger, the environment is being destroyed, and our own wars continue to kill the innocent. Where is the priority when it comes to what we teach our youth?

    Update #2:
    Some friendly atheists have joined this discussion over Tony Campolo, cussing, and Christianity.


    samwise said...

    thanks for pushing this along. we really do live in interesting times. let's see how this unfolds in the coming days. i tried pushing through the whole "garbage"( )thing when this broke a few months back and for what its worth, jeff worfford ( ) has a pretty good drilling down of what i think derek was pointing to. keep the lights on my friend, the church really needs to engage on this stuff.

    Barry K said...

    Seriously? They are getting this worked up over the word SHIT? And yes, check the other blogs, they ARE getting worked up. Or are they really getting worked up about him calling out our bigotry, and they are dressing it up as disdain for his Webb's supposed potty mouth instead?

    That aside, there's actually more going on here than meets the eye. Apparently his two published emails continued coding directions to this site -- -- where he has some clever game going on to get his fans to help spread the word and piece together some giant puzzle related to the new album and hidden fragments of the actual songs. He's also linked to a new Twitter site: I never heard of this guy until tonight, but I'll be buying that album (the uncensored version). If you ask me, Webb is a marketing genius!

    Brian said...

    Samwise--I can give thanks to subscribing to your Twitter feed that I knew about this at all. Thanks for posting about it.

    I think I read that the scavenger hunt part of this has ended but he continues to send out coded messages.

    Also, Webb used to be part of the Christian group known as Caedmon's Call, who I used to listen to back in the 90's and acutally saw in concert once.

    Randy said...

    thanks – will definitely be checking it out

    Erin B said...

    I recently read excerpts from an essay by SAINT Thomas More wherein he used the word "shit" about 4 times in one sentence, referring to Martin Luther. (You can find the exceprts in wikipedia, even.) So, technically, I'd argue that "shit" is in the tradition...thanks to a saint.

    Liddy said...

    ErinB -- or thanks to St. Paul, depending how you translate Philippians 3:18!