O Me of Little Faith

You know how, back in the day, everyone used to get upset when Christian pop stars like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith “crossed over” to mainstream radio in order to build their fan base? Katy Perry made the jump, too, and she’s taking it to new extremes.

Unless you’ve been immersed in “positive, encouraging” music all the live-long day, you’ve probably heard Perry’s hit single. It’s the unofficial song of the summer for 2008, and it’s called “I Kissed a Girl.” (And she liked it.) And that’s pretty much what it’s about. Perry’s hit the big-time since the song released. She’s performing on the Warped Tour and sitting pretty at the top of the Billboard charts.

What you may not know is:

1) Perry’s first album was released in the Christian market. Her name back then — it was 2001 — was Katy Hudson. Russ Breimeier at Christianity Today thought the self-titled album was pretty good. Katy was sixteen at the time, so apparently she had not yet experienced the likableness of girl-kissing and cherry chapstick. Instead, she sang about God.

2) Perry’s father is an evangelical pastor.

3) Perry’s pastor dad and mom are none too pleased about this development in her singing career. “I hate the song,” Mom told a newspaper. “It clearly promotes homosexuality and its message is shameful and disgusting. Katy knows how I feel…The first time I heard it I was in total shock. When it comes on the radio I bow my head and pray.”

Actually, Katy’s song clearly promotes making your boyfriend jealous by experimenting with the other team. It’s not so much advocating homosexuality as an end, but rather as a relationship tool. But don’t fault Mom for this. She hasn’t had time to listen to the full song because she’s been praying.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that it wasn’t so bad when Michael W. Smith left the Christian music scene so he could find his place in this world. It could have been a lot worse. He could have started singing about making out with George Michael. But instead he came back and sold a lot of worship albums and became good friends with George W. Bush.

I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson today.

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