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07/08/2009

Audio: Eh, who needs another Dove Award anyway?

by Jeremy Hooper

His Stockholm Syndrome album doesn't officially release (we feel to old to say "drop") until September, but Christian singer Derek Webb is starting to draw up all sorts of controversy in the gospel music world. Now, people are primarily saying that the hubbub is because a song on said album uses the word "sh*t." But listen to the lyrics of that same song song, titled "What Matters More," and see if you hear some other reason why the song might possibly make the evangelical world nervous:


"You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
'Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin' all the dyin' of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it's about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin' the wind while the pendulum swings

'Cause we can talk and debate until we're blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he's comin' to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don't give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin' today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?"

Something tells us that they could handle a "sh*t." But calling the evangelical community out on treating gays like the same? That's sure to come across as much more profane to far too many ears.

(H/t: Jonathan Elyea)

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Your thoughts

I like it. And by the way, there is a famous African-American sermon in which there is a joke with the punchline - "who in the hell left the gate open."

The sermon was taped live and when this line was spoken, the audience erupted in laughter.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jul 8, 2009 3:51:17 PM

Nice. I'll be hat tipping on my blog in a sec, but I found the lyrics on another blog where a commenter suggested the following two correction from what you've got here. I think he's right. They're both from the same stanza:

'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin' all the dyin' of the remedy

Becomes:

'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silently *CONSENT* when the liars speak
Denyin' all the dyin' *OR* the remedy

***

Also, the 'shit' line apparently comes from a speech by Tony Campolo. "While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s more is that you’re more upset with the fact that I just said ’shit’ than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."

Posted by: Matt Algren | Jul 8, 2009 4:42:12 PM

Good for him. I know it takes guts to stand up to that type of community and say--especially with your livelihood at stake--what you believe.

Ironic, though, that contemporary Evangelicals pride themselves on doing exactly that.

Posted by: Garet | Jul 8, 2009 5:39:29 PM

I've been a fan of Derek Webb for almost a decade now. This song is really different for him and from the band he came from. My university brought his former band to preform and I got to show them around. They're all a good group of people. He's always been edgy though and i'm glad he made the song!

Posted by: Pomo | Jul 8, 2009 5:56:50 PM

cool song.

Posted by: Bill S | Jul 8, 2009 7:39:33 PM

Matt A., Having heard Tony Campolo speak I have no doubt he said this and fully meant it. I can even hear him shouting it as he preaches. He is know for stiring up things and he pulls no punches when he is speaking. While he is a Baptist minister he also taught Sociology at Eastern University near Philadelphia. I think he could agree heartily with the text of this song and with the "reaction"

Posted by: Bob Miller | Jul 9, 2009 12:06:05 AM

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