Not long ago, I read one of the best books I’ve ever read on the Christian subculture, “Rapture Ready.”
The book was written by Daniel Radosh, who, after a day at Shoutfest Christian music festival, realized there was a teeming Christian subculture that paralleled mainstream pop culture but went completely unnoticed by most of mainstream America. He was intrigued, so he spent a year immersed in the subculture and then wrote about it.
In the book, Radosh, who is Jewish, takes a fair and funny look at everything from Passion Plays to the ICRS retail show (or as I like to think of it, God’s Garage Sale). It’s a fascinating look at the Christian subculture from someone completely outside the tribe, and a must read for every Christian.
Radosh talked recently to the blog 92Y.com about his experience in the Christian subculture, and I thought he made two points worth sharing.
First, he said that he still listens to some Christian music – but not the stuff you’re hearing on the radio. He pointed out Larry Norman and current bands mewithoutYou, the Myriad, Over the Rhine, Jonathan Rundman, Pedro the Lion, and Derek Webb as artists that “write really compelling and enjoyable music that challenges stereotypes about Christian rock in ways that befuddles non-Christians and freaks out other Christians.” Spot on, Daniel.
Second, he compares Sarah Palin to “Becky,” the fictitious demographic Christian radio aims all of their programming at. (“Becky” is a woman in her 30s or 40s, married, with kids, typical soccer mom – or in this case, hockey mom. Read more about “Becky” in this post about Christian radio listeners.) A few days ago, Radosh asked my thoughts on Sarah Palin, and I told him that while none of the candidates thrill me, she’s the only person in politics who is actually is like me.
But when I read that he compared her to “Becky,” I had to stop and think. I totally get why he made that comparison … and yet, while I see myself in Sarah Palin, I’m absolutely nothing like “Becky.” I never listen to Christian radio and am most definitely not the demographic they’re aiming for. Yeah, I fit the age group, and yeah I’m married and have a kid – but she’s 23. I’m no sports mom, soccer or hockey, and I’m definitely not the typical Christian community church lady image.
So I’m curious: are you a woman who sees herself in Sarah Palin, and if so, do you listen to Christian radio? And if you do listen to Christian radio, do you think that the “Becky” model defines you?
Are you an average Christian radio listener?