I love Christian rock music. There are a wealth of great bands out there that play amazing music inspired by their love of Jesus Christ. (Although, as an aside, I do have to admit that I have some reservations about Christian rock music itself becoming sort of a false idol when the worship of the bands supercedes the worship of Christ).
That being said, to the uninitiated, Christian rock has a reputation of being lame, cheesy, and just terrible all around. This stereotype is not helped when references to Christian rock largely reinforce these stereotypes. I’m not saying that the jokes aren’t necessarily funny, I’m just pointing out the fact that the jokes don’t necessarily reflect reality.
Here’s a list of some pop culture references to Christian rock:
Christian rock makes an appearance in the much-loved sitcom “Seinfeld” in the episode, “The Burning.”
Here’s the little exchange that goes down:
Elaine: Here’s one. I borrowed Puddy’s car and all the presets on his radio
were Christian rock stations.
George: I like Christian rock. It’s very positive. It’s not like those real
musicians who think they’re so cool and hip.
Elaine: So, you think that Puddy actually believes in something?
Jerry: It’s a used car, he probably never changed the presets.
Elaine: Yes, he is lazy.
Jerry: Plus he probably doesn’t even know how to program the buttons.
Elaine: Yes, he is dumb.
Jerry: So you prefer dumb and lazy to religious?
Elaine: Dumb and lazy, I understand.
I was actually kind of surprised by this joke. It seems somewhat disrespectful to Christians in general, not just those that enjoy Christian rock.
King of the Hill
In the King of the Hill episode “Reborn to be Wild,” Bobby joins an edgy Christian youth group and gets into Christian rock music. When Bobby insists on going to a Christian rock festival against Hank Hill’s wishes, Hank tells someone at the festival, “You people aren’t making Christianity better. You’re just making rock n’ roll worse!”
A love interest of Ned Flanders named Rachel Jordon fronts a Christian rock band called “Kovenant.”
In the South Park episode “Christian rock hard” (do I need to explain why that episode name is offensive?) Eric Cartman fronts a Christian rock band called “Faith+1” (a reference to the group “Plus One,” perhaps?).
This sketch show featured a skit in the episode “Patriotism, Pepper, and Professionalism” wherein a character played by Bob Odenkirk reunites with a girlfriend he’d temporarily separated from. She discovers that during their brief separation, he’s engaged in a variety of odd activities, including joining a Christian rock band. (He also got engaged and starred in a porn film . . . “Mr. Show” is an odd and absurd show).
Sex, Drugs, and Christian Rock
The first time I saw the “Sex, Drugs, and Christian rock” t-shirt, I was in Croatia and saw a TV commercial that had Woody Harrelson of all people promoting a Croatian film festival. He was wearing the “Sex, Drugs, and Christian rock” shirt. I have to admit that it made me chuckle, although that was partly due to my surprise at seeing Woody Harrelson on Croatian TV. The shirt can potentially be viewed as offensive, but I suppose you can also look at it from the perspective that it makes a statement about Christians that are Christians more for the sake of style rather than genuine belief in and love of God and Jesus.
Between Christian Rock and a Hard Place
“Between Christian Rock and a Hard Place” is the name of an album by the band Good Clean Fun. I am actually not that familiar with them, but I’m pretty sure they’re not a Christian band and have no affiliation with Christian rock beyond the title of this CD.