Could someone explain the big flap over Rossford schools' decision not to let a Christian rock-rap band play at a high school anti-drug event?
This ruckus over the cancellation of Pawn, a band with current and former Rossford High students, reached the point where the band is booked tomorrow on (I'm biting my tongue) Fox News.
In a story about the avalanche of national attention to the canceled gig, one Pawn member said: "I hope we can get more publicity to take Jesus Christ to more levels and follow whatever His plan is."
Well, spreading the Gospel is the point of evangelical Christianity, right? It should surprise no one to hear a Christian musician explain the symbiosis of music 'n' message, but check the band's Web site for confirmation (emphasis original):
"Pawn's main purpose is to spread the word of God to those who do not know Him, and in doing so, give people the love of Christ. We want to reach people for God. You can expect a couple of things from us: First, we will always try to get to a gig early to talk and associate with the people coming to or organizing the gig (and we will probably stay late). We believe that evangelism at its best is created through relationships."
Some lyrics from Pawn, as posted on the Web site:
The Christian Coalition commin' up in a vision/ Ain't no stoppin' us now because we're soldiers on a mission./ Cause when we rock it, we're gonna sock it to 'em. (False teachers better get down, get down!)/ Well I got a scripture fist full of iron and the other of steel. If I miss with one, the other's gonna tell you how I feel.
What's the harm in letting high school kids witness that kind of strength?
Here, sample more lyrics:
I know the Christians who are into this world/ But I have a question, have they forgot/ About the warning from God about the place where it's hot/ Maybe not 'cause all we got is our brotherhood/ A religion from God, a religion that's good/ And recognize the blessings that God can give/ And spread Christianity throughout the land.
Oh, wait. I'm mixed up.
Replace "Christians" with "Muslims," "God" with "Allah," and "Christianity" with "Islam."
Then you've got the corrected lyrics to "For the Cause of Allah," a song produced by MYNA - Muslim Youth of North America.
They're a great bunch of kids - like Pawn, no doubt - whose purpose is to bring "many to a new consciousness about Islam," and help increase "your taqwa (God-consciousness)."
Would everyone now agitating for Pawn to take the stage also insist that MYNA rappers - whose message is certainly no less worthy or inspiring - get their turn at the microphones?
Or are we back to that thorny question of just whose religion gets the spotlight?
For the life of me, I cannot understand what's so unreasonable about asking public schools to provide a secular education appropriate for EVERYONE, and leaving religious expression to take place in churches, mosques, or temples.