Music was one of the first things that caused me to stand up against fundamentalist Christianity. After being bullied in public school, I started attending a private school, and we were point-blank told to not listen to “worldly” music because it was of the Devil.

So I continued listening to my “worldly” music while feeling somewhat guilty (age 12 was not the point where I was ready to argue with everything that gave me any sense of stability, but it was brewing); my reasoning was that I knew right from wrong and could discern such things for myself instead of relying on the school to tell me.

Boy, not much has changed on that avenue.

This leads to another memory where I was working at my father’s store, and a customer came and at some point was bellyaching to another customer about how he wanted to hear only “good, recognizable, Christian music” and how Christian rock was from the Devil and so on. What I wanted to say to him is that “good, recognizable, Christian music” would largely be found in the realm of Gregorian and Orthodox chants, that what he meant was no more or less “Christian” than the rock music he described.

His worldview is incomprehensible to me.

I’m glad that I had the sense and the gumption to start standing up for my interior world early on.

The trouble is, I know what he means by “Christian music,” which is largely “fundamentalist Real, True Christian country-ish” music.

“Real, True Christian” is a great set of words my brother told me a few years back. “Real, True Christian” refers to a person who is extremely self-satisfied that they, and the Christians just like them, are the only ones who REALLY get the Bible, that their interpretation of God and the Bible are the Most Real and Most True EVER, and that everyone else is pretty much going to Hell for all eternity.

In other words, pretty much they’re a parody of everything Christians are kind of meant to be.

It’s mystifying that someone can belong to a denomination that was created fifteen years ago after the members split from whatever home denomination that had disagreements over some issue, and their church with 26 members can assert that they, and they alone, in all the history of Christendom, have finally got the Bible and its interpretation 100% right.

Ignorance is an ugly and terrifying thing.

Meanwhile, I’m over here in the corner like, “Kabbalah?” and the eyes of said Real, True Christians glaze over because they’ve never heard the word. That’s probably the crown glory of satisfaction in my life.





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