Gospel Soundcheck

RickHendrixBillClinton.jpgThe Washington Times reported on Friday that the Democratic party is teaming up with Christian music industry professionals, including Democratic Congressional candidate and music promoter Rick Hendrix, to try and reach voters who listen to Christian radio.
Democratic candidates aren’t just reaching out to religious voters but to Christian music fans specifically, placing ads on Christian radio stations and teaming up with Christian music artists for events. Hendrix, for example, staged Hillary Clinton events at Christian concerts during the primary races, with some very negative results. (Someone tried to run over a volunteer with a car, someone threw coffee in Hendrix’s face … wow, not very Christian, eh?)

The article explains that artists like Derek Webb have also paid a price for being vocal about politics. The lyrics from Webb’s 2005 “A King and a Kingdom” are one example:
There are two great lies that I’ve heard
“The day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
And that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class Republican

Apparently that sentiment didn’t sit well with listeners and Webb, who the Post said “considers himself politically independent,” says that churches stopped inviting him to play after that.
I’m not sure what the big deal is or why people would be offended by those lyrics. I’m a Republican and pretty conservative, and even I know that Jesus wasn’t a white, middle-class Republican – despite the lengths that most American Christians have gone to to paint that picture of Christ.
The problem might be mixing politics and the stage.
Back in August, Future of Forestry lead vocalist Eric Owyoung cancelled a gig that started out as a day-long worship event and ended up with a political speaker on the bill. He wrote on his blog, “I have told my fan-base that they will be attending a worship concert. If they are not getting exactly that, then I can’t play with integrity.”
The demographics of Christian radio listeners show that older listeners tune in for teaching and talk, and younger listeners for music – and Christian radio is much more heavily geared towards the former. Not what you’d expect to be the typical Democrat voter.
Anyway, it’s an interesting article and I’m curious to see how the Democratic effort plays out during the election.
Are you an average Christian radio listener?
Music promoter Rick Hendrix makes a run for Congress; do music and politics mix?
Diamond Rio meets presidential candidate John McCain
Future of Forestry cancels gig when event adds political speaker

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