Christian Rock Thursday are back! (Although they’ll probably continue to be intermittent for the rest of 2014)
This week’s installment is from B.O.B. (Bunch of Believers). There’s now a much more famous rapper called B.o.B., and every time I hear his name in a conversation about music, I momentarily wonder why there’s been a resurgence of interest in mediocre late-90s Christian ska.
Ska punk hit the mainstream in the 1990s with the arrival of the Mighty Might Bosstones (1993) and No Doubt (1995), so naturally Christian ska became a cultural phenomenon around the end of the decade. As the unusually well-sourced Wikipedia entry on Christian ska observes, “Whereas in mainstream markets the popularity of ska had peaked about 1996, the Christian music marketplace is known for being significantly behind trends in the Christian market”. No shit. It offers no less than three citations for this not-particularly-controversial claim.
Not all Christian ska-core was terrible, I’m reliably informed by people who (unlike me) don’t hate ska. Apparently Five Iron Frenzy were actually quite good. However, there is nothing funny about being quite good, so we are going to look at B.O.B., who were complete shite.
Once again, we see that Christian Rock is acting as the propaganda mouthpiece of the Christian Right. Let’s play SPOT THE TROPE!
Today I’m going to show you an ACE Wisdom Pack. I’ve mentioned them before, but just to put you in the loop: Every senior level English PACE contains a pull-out Wisdom Pack, which is a brief comic book. In these Wisdom Packs, the PACE characters (who are role models for Godly living) discuss pressing issues facing teens today with their teachers and pastors. Relationships with the opposite sex and general Christian living are covered, but the emphasis is on politics.
Most accurately, the emphasis is on the responsibility of all Christians to participate in government, to ensure that taxes are low, abortion is illegal, welfare programs are reduced or abolished, homosexuality is punished, and Biblical principles are enshrined in law.
If you do not think ACE poses a threat to liberal, pluralist democracy, you have not read enough Wisdom Packs. Read the rest of this entry
David Modell’s 2008 documentary for Channel 4, In God’s Name, is one of the most astonishing pieces of television I’ve seen. He visits an ACE school and actually has film of the lessons. Given that Christian Education Europe refused even to comment to the Scottish Herald about the content of the PACEs, I can’t imagine it will happen again.
The segment in the ACE school, Carmel (in Bristol), is under five minutes long. Watch it soon; this particular documentary has already been taken down from YouTube several times. It’s well worth watching the whole thing; it’s a staggering insight into life as a British fundamentalist. The minute immediately preceding the Carmel school segment (which is at 5 minutes, 55 seconds) is particularly enlightening.