Friday, January 27, 2017

Morning Thoughs ... Music and Religion

C.W. and I were talking this morning …

He was asking me about the support of our new president among some of the more stringent elements of protestant Christianity in America. “Whatever one may think of chances that your new president may prove successful,” he said, “and we shall see, no one who has the least understanding of the Judeo-Christian religion could argue that he is a righteous man. I can see the support for him among some elements of your species, but hardly by those who call themselves godly."

I had to agree.

“There were signs,” I said, and explained that I saw it coming maybe 15 years back, but it didn’t register until lately. I used to volunteer for a community-based radio station to present a bluegrass music show once a week. (I’ve always had a fascination, to C.W.’s great amazement, with the banjo).We had a small but loyal audience, most of them religious, many of them elderly, and almost all genial and sweet … at first.

Because that type music has a strong religious element, I devoted a portion of the show to gospel bluegrass. It was a popular and graciously received segment. Groups performed many of the old gospel hymns in bluegrass style and the audience loved them, showing genuine gratitude. They would call in and make requests, thanking me for my volunteering.

Then things began to change. Callers became hostile. Comments shifted to the personal. I didn’t understand what gospel music was. This group also performed “raunchy” music and should be banned. That group had a “jap” playing in it and couldn’t love Jesus. I only played old music and didn’t play any new stuff. (What some call “Jesus is my boyfriend" music with the word "awesome" appearing at least six time). I didn’t play music about “killing all them babies.” Was I sure I had been “saved?” Contacts became more and more strident. Live festivals even began to include sermonettes against “the unholy ACLU,” liberal do-gooders (like Jimmy Carter), and disavowed politicians. A cloud of anger settled over things. Hostility joined the anger.

I soon had enough and gave it up. Had I thought it through, I might have envisioned the replacement of The Galilean with the likes of Franklin Graham.

"I've always liked the Galilean," C.W. said. "Wasn't he the one that told your species to love one another?"

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