Was this trashy hit piece John Blake’s own idea? Or did Jeff Zucker specifically assign him this story?
Not being familiar with that particular CNN writer’s name, we looked up his bio. It was pretty much what we expected to find. We’ll save that for the end of the article, but see how well you can do at guess what it says before we get to the end.
He opened with a bold title: Why Christian music’s biggest stars refuse to change their tune for the Trump era
Describing what he sees in a concert, he sets up to deliver his blistering criticism of Christian Contemporary Music.
It’s another sell-out crowd at Center Stage for Tauren Wells, one of the biggest stars in Christian contemporary music. The five-time Grammy nominee puts on a show that features plenty of impassioned singing, an assortment of moonwalks, “popping and locking” street-dance moves and mini-sermons about his faith.
Yet there is one subject that Wells’ supple vocal range won’t reach. He won’t sing about hot-button political issues, and he certainly won’t criticize President Trump.
“I would never oppose a president because I believe in what scripture says about giving honor to authority,” the genial 33-year-old entertainer says in a brief interview before his show. “That doesn’t mean that I agree with everything. But I believe that an attack on authority anywhere is an attack on authority everywhere.”
There it is. Blake has already got his knickers in a knot.
This Christian music act has a message to deliver about salvation and the mortal soul, but he has no social justice message to deliver about the moral duty of hating Trump as much as Jeff Zucker does?
Blake is very pleased to report that OTHER prominent Christians (White, is apparently an important adjective for him to add at this point) have been blasted for failing to denounce Trump adequately. But Christian Contemporary Music has somehow avoided that public flogging.
This is a problem Blake is intent on remedying.
What’s most striking about these artists, though, is not what they sing. It’s what they leave out of their songs.
Christians? Or copouts?
The America these artists love to evoke in their songs is stuck in what one columnist called a “hideous loop of hate.” White supremacists march in public chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” A man guns down Latino shoppers in an El Paso Wal-Mart. School shootings now seem almost as frequent as proms. The President demonizes immigrants and tweets racist insults.
These issues aren’t just political, they’re moral.
Yet little of these ugly realities make their way into CCM, which is now dominated by upbeat praise and worship music.
They are singing upbeat praise of Almighty God, passing up the opportunity to be petty, petulant, progressive woke scolds — who, as a group, have lately been hellbent on gutting culture of any references to the ‘oppressive’ and ‘colonialist’ remnants of a Christianity they openly despise and would gladly outlaw outright?
Can you even imagine such a thing!
He’s looking for ‘righteous anger’ in these songs — with predictably narrow definitions of terms like ‘righteous’ and ‘justice’.
So why do most CCM artists refrain from getting too political? Many cite the Bible.
Wells’ allusion to obeying authorities is often attributed to a passage in Romans 13 where the Apostle Paul declares Christians “must obey those who rule over you” because they have been placed there by God.
Wells, who is also a minister, is a biracial man who has talked about being racially profiled on social media. But he follows the 11th commandment of CCM: Stay away from politics.
“When you talk about politics, the air leaves the room,” says the singer, whose crossover appeal is so broad he has opened for Lionel Richie. “It just automatically goes negative when we forget that there is so much positive stuff happening as well. But we also forget that our hope as believers is not invested in an earthly kingdom, or a governmental system. It really doesn’t matter as much for me who’s in office because I don’t serve at the pleasure of the President. I serve at the pleasure of the King [Christ].”
Blake doesn’t leave it at that. He makes sure to point out another possible reason they don’t mention politics: loss of income.
This is the point in the conversation where we remind him that we know about Jeff Zucker’s 9am Hate Trump fests.
We ALL know about them.
Here’s his bio: how close was your guess?
John Blake is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He writes about race, religion, politics and other assorted topics. — CNN bio
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