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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Coming Civil War in America

Phyllis Chesler's points out some stylistic differences between the Republican and Democrat National Conventions which portend and even larger cultural divide to come in America. Can the same thing be said about the "conservative" and "liberal" churches as well? Is it me, or is it strange to walk into a church and see a long-haired reformed hippie jamming on his guitar or banging on a snare drum just prior to taking communion?
The Democratic National Convention had music by the great Stevie Wonder; Jennifer Hudson, like Senator Obama, a sudden and recent star who won an Academy award for her supporting role in Dreamgirls; Melissa Etheridge; Sheryl Crow; the very popular soul singer, John Legend who performed twice, once alone and once with, a member of the funk/hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas. Robert Moore, a Rosebud Sioux tribal Council member, sang a traditionally non-traditional version of the national anthem.

The entire convention, especially the last night when Obama spoke, was the equivalent of a rock concert. To many people, especially younger people, this is what moves them, what is real. Only celebrity, “spectacle,” performance, and popular music have authority, are familiar, and command their respect.

The Republican National Convention had very little music. I myself saw and heard only one young Christian rock singer. Maybe there was more music and I missed it. Perhaps the Republicans decided to focus on the speakers and not on the entertainment. The RNC website lists no musical entertainers, probably courtesy of Hurricane Gustav.

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