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Music promoter Rick Hendrix makes a run for Congress; do music and politics mix?

posted by Joanne Brokaw

RickHendrixBillClinton.jpgRick Hendrix, a successful music promoter and songwriter, recently announced his intention to run for U.S. Congress in the 2010 midterm elections on the Democratic ticket. Hendrix recently served at the Democratic National Convention as a US Presidential Delegate representing North Carolina, and also as an advisor on the Faith Outreach Committee for Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
According to a press release, Hendrix:

“built a promotion empire that has generated a quarter of a billion record sales since the 1990’s. The Rick Hendrix Company, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Nashville, handles a third of all positive and Christian music heard on contemporary American radio. Most recently, Hendrix’s company was honored with their 251st Platinum Album Award for their work on Mariah Carey’s ‘Charmbracelet’ album, which has sold over one million copies.”

He’s worked with everyone from The Crabb Family and the Gaither Vocal Band to American Idols and Sonicflood, in genres from Southern Gospel to country to pop rock.
Hendrix says in the press release that he sees faith and politics as complementary and will be running on a platform of “peace before politics, wisdom before war, and God before government.” In support of his position Hendrix says that “Politics are sometimes about an individual’s quest for power, but my Christian faith and political ambition is about loving others, and helping everyone towards the common goal of peace. I seek political placement because it will give me the opportunity to create change, not demand it.”
Disclaimer – I’m just throwing this out for discussion, not making any judgement on Rick Hendrix. If he can take his Christian faith to Congress, I say, Rock on. It’s just an interesting topic, mixing music and politics, and this seemed like a good story to launch a discussion: If faith and politics are complementary, can Christian music and politics also be complementary? As Christian music fans, do you care where the folks who bring you your music stand politically? And if so, does it change your buying habits to either support an artist with the same political views or not support an artist with opposing political views?



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PhoenixOrion

posted September 9, 2008 at 10:27 pm


OK, I’ll bite, even though I am not a Christian (or a member of any other faith).
I am a big fan of metal, hardcore, punk, and other styles of hard rock, and I am really into the hardcore/metalcore scene. There happen to be many Christian bands (i.e. Underoath, As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, Haste the Day, Norma Jean, etc.) in that scene and they frequently tour with secular bands in the scene (i.e. Atreyu, Unearth, Every Time I Die, Hatebreed, Throwdown, Shadows Fall, A Life Once Lost, etc.), and many kids in that scene like both Christian and secular bands, whether the kids themselves are Christian or not. On Ozzfest, you can frequently see Christian bands playing alongside secular ones and most kids don’t really seem to know the difference.
That being said, I enjoy many secular bands. I also happen to enjoy many Christian bands, not because I am into the Christian message, because I am into the music. Similarly, I like some bands with left-wing political views (i.e. Anti-Flag, Rise Against) and some bands with more right-wing political views (i.e. Avenged Sevenfold). To me, all that matters is if I like the music. If a musician that I listen to ran for political office, I would still listen to their music, regardless of what I thought of their political platform. If a musician I like runs for a political office on a platform I largely agree with, I think that’s awesome. If a musician I like runs on a political platform I largely disagree with, I won’t support their campaign, but I will still listen to their music. If a musician I really dislike runs on a political platform I agree with, I will support their candidacy but that wouldn’t convince me to start listening to their music.
I guess I keep my opinions of musicians as musicians and musicians as people separately. For instance, my favorite band is Metallica. I think they are awesome musicians but greedy, money-grubbing people (remember the Napster episode?).



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John

posted September 9, 2008 at 10:55 pm


I say go get em!!!!!! Sounds like he knows where to go with this and can make a great change for all on the Hill.



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Marg Snipes

posted September 9, 2008 at 11:01 pm


Why would a democrat even attempt to be Christian? I mean hello abortion and gay marriage? These are huge issues facing our country.



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Lane Thomas

posted September 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm


I am gay. I love the Lord. I dont see the point you are making Marg? God loves all of us for who we are. I think Mr Hendrix is thinking outside the box. He doesnt fit the typical holy moly that has kept gay Christians from serving God publicly. So, maybe he will fight for all of us.



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lane

posted September 9, 2008 at 11:09 pm


They say the safest way to keep people happy is, “Never talk about politics or religion.” I break half of these rules every week since my columns are almost always about religion. I am about the break the other half of the rule.
When most Evangelicals discover that I often vote for Democrats they go ballistic—including my students if they discover it (they’re about to). The joke on our campus is “The Young Democrats club will meet in the closet on the second floor of the food center—unless the other member can’t come.” Same is true for faculty. One faculty member I used to teach with (now deceased) once told me, “If you hear that I teach you can’t be a Christian and vote for a Democrat it isn’t true—I think it is possible.” (I always thought was saying under his breath, –“about as possible as a Camel getting through the eye of a needle”) I don’t know many Christians who vote for Democrats. The same is true for most evangelical churches—they are almost exclusively Republican—the “Christian party.”
So when people find out I often vote for Democrats they are aghast—as if I have confessed to doing abortions on weekends. This is especially true of my students who have been raised “since Ronald Reagan” and thus have never known a time when most all the Christians they know were not stanch Republicans. It doesn’t fit in their schema of things. (The 1960’s to them are as ancient history as 1919, and most don’t even know about Richard Nixon any better than President Buchanan.) I usually don’t try to defend myself and I won’t be able to with this piece either. It is an almost-hopeless situation in the current atmosphere. But recently I did answer an email and state my “apology” for being a Democrat. I am not trying to convince anybody—just setting out my personal views which most every other evangelical thinks are wrong. But I am not “wrong” because I am ignorant and have not thought about it. I have tried to develop a careful position rooted in my faith. You may disagree on where I come out, that’s fine. Do your own homework—make a list of issues as I have done and decide where the Bible and your faith lead you. If you do that you’ve satisfied me for I think our faith should inform our politics, not the other way around.
So, to my tenzillion Republican friends who can’t imagine how a person might be a Christian and vote for a Democrat, (and to my three Democrat friends who are hiding under the pews in our churches)



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Lane

posted September 9, 2008 at 11:25 pm


Mr Hendrix has quiet an interesting arsenal. His wikipedia is in depth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Hendrix
I also find it very informative. I cant imagine a man of his stature veering off into a world of politics. But, welcome sir. And good luck. We are watching and patiently waiting!



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Mindy

posted September 9, 2008 at 11:46 pm


I emailed Rick Hendrix concerning his position on abortion… I asked permission. here was his response…
Mindy,
I truly appreciate your email. As a Democrat I feel our job is to provide and protect the weak, to build stronger relations between the system and the people. And I cant find many things weaker than an unborn fetus to protect. So, I feel I am in a position to protect the weak, and my values and interest are not changed by red or blue states, Dem or Republican- I appreciate a Mother and Father that made a choice to uphold Gods creation and allow me the chance to serve our great country.
Please stay in touch
Rick Hendrix



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Jason

posted September 10, 2008 at 12:01 am


Good for him. Its good to see a democrat that doesnt adhere to all of the democratic party bylaws.
I will vote for him.
KENTUCKY for HENDRIX YIPPEE!!



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Will

posted September 10, 2008 at 12:05 am


You cant vote for him if you live in Kentucky! Only NC folks. That would explain why he is against abortion. No one is stupid enough to go into those hills with any BLUE blood anywhere in their viens,



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Tyler

posted September 10, 2008 at 12:10 am


I am a VERY liberal Christian. I feel like God is about love. I think he is about treating people equal. No I am not gay, however I have a lot of gay friends. Thats why I am a democrat AND a Christian. I wish him all the luck. From what I read about him on the internet he seems to be a very powerful figure. Maybe he can get in there and make some real changes and not get sucked in the big black politic hole.
Tyler



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Joanne Brokaw

posted September 10, 2008 at 9:52 am


Hey all, great discussion, but let’s try and keep to the music question (before we veer off totally to a red/blue only discussin, LOL):
If your favorite music artist turned out to support political party from your views, would that affect whether or not you purchased their music? What if a band supported your political views? Would you support their music? And should Christian music and politics ever mix?
Remember, we’re not talking about Rick Hendrix specifically. Just using his announcement to launch a general discussion.
Thanks!
Joanne
host of the GospelSoundcheck blog



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Tyler

posted September 10, 2008 at 10:34 am


Joanne,
I would love it if Christian artist would take a stand on who they support. Voting is such an important part of our society. I wish more Christian artist would stand up and be more vocal. I am however worried that MOST of the Christian fans would turn on their favorite artists if they actually knew who they supported and where they stood on issues.
Tyler



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marie hardy

posted September 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm


I think it’s very telling that he’s standing there with the man who is the embodiment of everything NON-Christian. He’s unfaithful to his wife, he lies, he cheats, and is a complete egomaniac. It’s all about HIM, even now. Yes, Jesus was with the publicans and sinners and yes, Rick is too. Whether he joins in with what they are doing is something only he and God knows. I do think in this case, you are known by the company you keep. If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid like you, and Bill and Hillary are comfortable with you, you need to examine yourself.



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Lane

posted September 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm


Marie Hardy
Are you a bit bitter? Shall we call you clean and pure? You seem to be in the puppet masters hands- as the Republicans pull your chain….All dems are not abortionist, gay loving, sinning hillbillies. I would hate to see if your life was played out in front of the public eye. Bet we could blog for days? And as for Mr Hendrix this is not a prison-I feel his associations can be sources without him becoming this faded failed misfit of a life you have so rudely played out for President Clinton.If Hillary stayed and put it behind her-maybe you should in your own life.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted September 10, 2008 at 6:29 pm


Music, people, let’s stick to MUSIC and politics …
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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PhoenixOrion

posted September 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm


Marie Hardy,
Apparently you think that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Bill and Hillary Clinton are bad company for Rick Hendrix to keep. Should he instead keep company with fine, upstanding Republican politicians who truly stand for family values such as Larry Craig, David Vitter, and Mark Foley?



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Mike Radebaugh

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:36 am


Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (KJV)



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Bev

posted September 25, 2008 at 10:58 pm


Rick Hendrix seems like a good guy. Could he end up like the rest of the Democrats? I would love to know where he stands on abortion and gay marriage. I did notice Washington Post called him the Democrats biggest evangelist.And someone mentioned on the Post message boards “what music does he listen to while he kills babies” I found that to be mean. But where does he stand? Does anyone know?



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Darin

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm


Good or not-he cant mix music and politics. It doesnt work. I can only hope he finds the light switch in his head soon..and turns it on.



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Tim

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:04 pm


Where did Rick Hendrix come from anyway? I see a history in music and can understand his arrogance of power. But this political climb is too fast and scary. I am weary of anyone like Obama that hits hard and fast with no meat to serve the flock. Just my opinion. Whos robot is he Pelosi? Clintons? Obamas? Oil companies? Music giants? Who opened the gate and let Hendrix in?



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Darin

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:07 pm


Name one artist that will hand out abortion discount cards at their Christian concerts? Name one church that will let him slide in and sell the flock to HELL



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ST

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm


I was frwd this on Rick Hendrix by a friend that works at the Russell Senate office building. I say GO for it! His influence in music and knowledge of business is great grounds for a leader at Capitol Hill…..



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keyes

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:15 pm


I heard the buzz on the Hill is Hendrix could pull a Heath Shuler and win his congressional seat on the first try. He knows how to play the press, build the hype and win favor. Just like Shuler did.



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Darin

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:19 pm


I know a few of you from the other board. I cant see Hendrix winning his first try. Its hard. It would take 3 million dollars to even fight for that seat in a midterm.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted September 26, 2008 at 10:05 am


Bev, someone here in the comments section actually asked his office and got a response, which they posted.
Why do you only want to know Rick Hendrix’s positions on abortion and gay marriage? How about taxes and the military and immigration and school vouchers?
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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Joanne Brokaw

posted September 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm


Darin – what in the world do you mean by this: “hand out abortion discount cards??”
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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logan

posted September 30, 2008 at 11:56 am


I am an axe-murderer. I love the Lord. I dont see the point you are making Marg? God loves all of us for who we are. I think Mr Hendrix is thinking outside the box. He doesnt fit the typical holy moly that has kept axe-murderer Christians from serving God publicly. So, maybe he will fight for all of us. (Ridiculous, I know)
Homosexuality is considered a sin by God. He doesn’t leave that one up for debate any more than He leaves murder. Does he love murderers and gays? Yes. Does He require that they repent? Yes. Faith without works is dead, says James the Just. And Christians who have no intention of repenting from their sin aren’t really Christians but are goats who have fooled themselves into thinking they are sheep.



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Evie Hawkins

posted March 25, 2009 at 4:24 am


In response to “Keyes”…and others who state Rick Hendrix’s background in music is not a foundation for politics…I know Hendrix and he is not about “working the press” or “hype.”…and because someone is a music executive certainly doesn’t mean they cannot contribute to the betterment of our government. I have been around the recording industry all my life and find that a majority of the professionals in the industry are well-versed in the issues at hand. Artists and fans of music bear one thing in common, they “feel.”..Lanier once said, “Music is love in search of a word.”..If our government is going to improve, politicians will have to feel the pulse of America and care enough to spread the message of love to humankind. When politicians start searching the depths of their hearts and begin expressing a deep care for the welfare of not only the country but each individual citizen, then Lanier’s quote will be validated..The citizens and all the politicians will be hearing and feeling the heartbeat of America: Freedom of Expression…And that my friend is music to America’s ears.



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sam

posted March 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm


I have no idea what this guys believes. Looks like he wants to be all things to all people. We have enough of those types. We need someone who will stand up for what he/she believes in, not some middle of the road guy who wants everyone to think well of him. I don’t think Rick has the stomach or spine for this job.



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