Christianity and American Idol

As my wife and I tuned into the end of “American Idol Gives Back” we witnessed one of the most bizarre and confusing endings to a television broadcast.  Through the course of the show it has been obvious that Brooke White, a delightfully innocent contestant, is devoutly religious and I have heard a lot on the Texas TV stations about Rockwall native Jason Castro’s church involvement.  However, after American Idol’s stage hosted a cavalcade of celebrities with their manifold agendas, sexual preferences, and dirty jokes the remaining Idol contestants got together and ended the night with a Christian worship song. 

I heartily commend American Idol’s charity work and I am given hope by the compassion and generosity of many of the celebrities.  Most of the songs I saw performed (Miley Cirus is an exception) highlighted the purpose of the tonight’s show.  Though I am thrilled with people and corporations that have the fortitude and courage to maintain their Christianity when under the spotlight I am also allergic to lip-service “Christianity-dropping”.  I am so befuddled by this song – and generally the ending to the show – that I can’t say that either reaction applies to this.

 Anyone know what to make of this, or the story behind why they sang this song?

P.S.  Immediately following the song they played a clip of a faux-punk’d Ben Stiller showing up at the wrong time and theater for the show, which causes him to say several things that had to be bleeped out.  While this doesn’t offend me it certainly made my reaction to the whole last three minutes of the broadcast even more confused.

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3 thoughts on “Christianity and American Idol

  1. So we grew tired of the show about 945 and apparently missed the most exciting/confusing moment of it–good thing for YouTube.

    When I first heard that they played Shout to the Lord, I laughed–I mean, really? …really?

    After viewing that it was in fact true, I still am not quite sure what to think or how to react to it other than some sort of confused wariness. The write of that song was told when she first presented it to her pastor that it would be heard by all the nations–apparently that is now true; but, Idol?

    On the one hand it seems like a nice gesture, the sort of forced but somewhat respectful sign of peace between two parties or the meaningless action of rote tradition. On the other hand it seems grotesquely out of place and even abhorrent–a blatant hypocrisy and poignant portrayal of the state of Christianity in America today.

    While talking with some people today, it became clear (in a saddening way) that the entire show was the perfect vision of American Culture. Everything from the sex, the bad jokes, the kind laughter and cheers, the exhibitionism, music, and–not to be forgotten–worship to God. Really, how more “American” can you get? We do whatever we want, even laud it, and then turn to give our respects to God–we are after all, a Christian Nation.

    God help us all…

  2. I too am wary – it can’t seem that a confusing ending to an otherwise commendable show cannot be lauded, even if it was from the best intentions.

    Perhaps the biggest threat to Christianity in America in our generation is “Popular Monotheism”: that Jungian style Universalism that tries to envelope and account for Christianity in an attempt to move beyond it.

    It seems likely to me that this song is born from this sort of arogant paganism.

    And on a slightly different topic – do you think that America is a “Christian nation”?

  3. well, as I wrote it–Christian Nation–it was meant to be exactly what we collectively as Americans think it to be–a nation that has moved “beyond” being Christian and merely professes it for the sake of doing so (tradition or a remembered ideal perhaps). Statistics still show Christianity as the largest religion (80% I think); but, it means little more than than ink on paper.

    I think Christianity has become much like the ideal of family life in the 50’s–something some people look back to longingly with fond remembrance and which others look back to as oppressive patriarchy from which we have been liberated though some home-school moms who don’t know any better still hang on to.

    It is sad and in no way actually a vision of Christianity–just a distorted shadow.

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