Monday, March 19, 2012

Satan, Bite The Dust! - The Worst Music Video Ever Made

First, take a look at one of the worst music videos ever made, and then read my article underneath. There are singers, and then there are singer/talkers. Carman Licciardello is the latter. Here's the video. "I represent a whole new breed of Christian of today; I'm authorized and deputized to blow you clean away!"

Oh, where to begin!


Secondly, the surviving cast of Bonanza should be sent a formal apology for using part of their theme song near the end of the video.

Thirdly, as most of you know I am all about diversity and accepting that there is goodness in almost every religion, so his attack on "the demon of false religion," hitting him over the head with his sitar and saying "play  that in your temple" is ridiculous.

Fourthly, according to Carman, depression and alcoholism, both things that I have dealt with, are simply demons, so I should be able to simply pray them both away. Note to Carman: I've tried, hundreds of times. Sorry, it hasn't worked for me. It's not that simple.

But the thrust of my response has to do with the imagery and the language used in this video, the "Christian" gospel fusing with violence and militancy.

I find it truly amazing that hundreds of years after the crusades (the killing kind, not the Billy Graham kind,) that many Christians still insist on using "war language" when dealing with things or people that they don't like. This turns many many people off from Christianity.  Mind you, Christianity has come a long long way. Onward Christian Soldiers can still be found in many pew hymnals, but seldom do you hear it sung.

The Salvation Army comes to mind. I have had at least 4 relatives who have done very important community work with this organization, helping those in poverty, etc. But really, dudes, it's time to change your name to something that's not militant. Founder William Booth was known as the General, and the organization still has Colonel's, Major's, Captain's, and Lieutenants.

Many Christians, not just those within the Salvation Army, use militant language, and it is harmful not only because of the ties to the crusades which killed countless people, but because of the implications it can have on international relations today.  Perhaps you've seen the bumper sticker that simply says "God, Guns, & Glory!"  Many current soldiers go into war believing that God is on their side as they kill enemy, "heathen" combatants. I'm surprised that there are not popular t-shirts showing Jesus wearing military fatigues and hoisting an AK-47 (perhaps these do exist. Note to self: google that later.)

But my main question here, and it is a rhetorical one, is "Do Christians, and humans in general, need to "attack" what we think of as darkness?

Sometimes there are issues that need to be tackled and things that need to be addressed head-on, for sure. But I believe that often we need to befriend our "darker" selves and the things that we wrestle with. It is OK to be angry. It is OK to be sad. It is OK to be extremely disappointed. Some of us learned early on that some of these "negative" emotions should never be brought to the surface, should never be shown.  And the result is often illness such as anxiety disorders.  It is OK to feel!   I have found that taking a look at the darkness - touching it, examining it, and then accepting it is much more healthy. It is then that love and light can encompass what we once thought was darkness.

In my opinion this is much healthier than denial, or trying to push or pray something away.

That's all for now. I have to go pick up my order of WWJD-emblazoned grenades. ;)


Thanks to my close friend Alison Longstaff for reminding me of this scene from Monty Python & The Holy Grail:

The Holy Hand Grenade

"First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. 
Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. 
Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.
Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. 
Five is right out. 
Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."