Carrie Underwood doesn’t let “Jesus, take the wheel” on everything.by Don Lacey on Jun. 15, 2012, under Art & Culture, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Faith, Fundamentalism, Gay Marriage, God & Bible, Power of Prayer, Reason, Religion
Jim Wilson likes music and his taste in music is rather diverse. Previously in this blog, he expressed his views on Christian Rock Music. Today, he shares his views on a country singer, Carrie Underwood, a very popular, very Christian singer:
I tend to think of Carrie Underwood, despite her obvious talent, as part what is wrong with country music these days. After all, she is a photogenic American Idol winning blond singing radio friendly pop country songs that would have been considered strictly pop or soft rock only a couple decades back. Her biggest songs include one that glorifies vandalism and one that suggests allowing Jesus to drive your car during a snow storm. The target audience, of course, disagrees. Her pop star approach to country has made her one of the genre’s biggest artist with Forbes reporting her earning upward of $20 million between 2010 and 2011.
She appears to be a perfectly nice individual who worked hard to get where she is. She has a great sounding set of vocal chords and even had the normally harsh judges on American Idol falling all over themselves. She strikes me as the real deal having grown up on a farm in rural Oklahoma. My concern with Carrie is that she seems to represent a move towards more formulaic pop-radio friendly country which is not the direction that I’d like to see the genre go. I prefer it to be rough edged and somewhat subversive. Instead all I hear nowadays are pop songs, silly love songs, or ballads that are unbelievably sappy. It’s like Nashville decided that all new releases should target mini-van driving suburban moms. Then of course, there is the excessive flag waving, Bible thumping, traditionalism that manifests in one out of every six songs or so on today’s country stations. I’ve heard enough about “Boots to Asses” and I haven’t forgotten about September 11th. I don’t care why Big and Rich Pray, and letting “Jesus take the wheel” is a horrible idea in both my car and in my life.
In spite of the fact that country music is pop culture’s last refuge of reactionism, conformity, and traditionalism, Carrie, being the sweetheart she is, has taken a few surprising stands. She is a vocal vegan and has recently come out supporting marriage rights for same sex couples. She said, “As a married person myself I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love and want to marry… I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love and love publicly the people that we want to love.”
It is interesting that she claims to have arrived at her position through her Christian faith. She was raised Baptist but attends what she calls a “gay friendly” nondenominational church where, “It’s not about setting rules or [saying] ‘Everyone has to be like me.’ No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody”
Honestly, I wish more Christians were of the sweet, feel good kind of flavor. We need this kind of Christian to come out against the more bigoted Christians who are responsible for this being a controversial issue in the first place. There are many mutually contradictory ideas one can get from Christianity. The Bible truly is a “choose your own adventure” book and I mean that in the absolute worst possible way.
I wish Carrie Underwood well and appreciate the opportunity to let out long pent-up thoughts about country music, a genre I’ve listened to my entire life. I also got the chance to bring up the issue of Christianity and gay rights, which is always of high importance to us here at Free-thought Arizona. So there you go.