How “Christian music” is like “heliocentric dog loving Buddhists”

Apropos our ongoing conversation about the mediocrity of “Christian” art and music, a call to abolish “Christian” music:

[H]aving a Christian music section is as silly as having an “heliocentric dog loving Buddhist” section.  So why does it exist?  Why is there only one section of a music store that is defined not by the genre of the music (certainly, KJ-52 does not belong in the same category, musically as Sandy [sic] Patty), but by something else…

And what is that something else exactly?  Is it really the lyrical content?  Bono straight up quotes the Bible sometime in his songs.  Bob Dylan used all sorts of biblical imagery along with countless other mainstream writers and artists, and none of these albums are found in the Christian section.  Furthermore, there are albums in the “Christian” section that certainly have nothing about them that would make one think that they are Christian..

Full thing here (h/t, JE).

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  1. Bob wrote:

    I didn’t quite understand what his big concern/offense was.

    My grocery store has a small aisle for ‘Hispanic Food’ and another for ‘Asian Food’. Sure, it’s all stuff you eat, and contains the same ingredients you find in other parts of the store.

    But when I need a jar of jalapeno peppers or rice vinegar, I know where to go…

  2. melvin klaudt wrote:

    Is Christianity too inclusive? The Oaks are constantly criticized for straying from the Christian so-called mold. We’re afraid of becoming tainted. Could it be Christians have adopted the Las Vegas theme, “What happens here stays here”.

  3. Janet B wrote:

    Oh, Bah Humbug.
    Much more important things to discuss & analyze than this.

    Besides, the Soundtracks section isn’t defined by the style of music, either. So there, Mr. Gloomy Gus.

  4. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Evidently, Michael Gungor has never been in a Barnes & Noble bookstore.

  5. Drock wrote:

    This morning on Talk of the Nation on NPR there was a wonderful interview with Tom Jones regarding his newly released gospel album entitled ‘Praise and Blame’. Here is a link to the interview in its entirety.

  6. BUICK wrote:

    What does this thread and our ice storm have in common? No traction. 6 days and only 5 posts. And most of them said “So what?” Doug might want to throw out some fresh chum ‘cuz nobody’s hittin’ on this.

  7. bayougurl wrote:

    And….Elton John and Nine Inch Nails can both be found in the Category of “Rock” — methinks somebody was just dying to use the word heliocentric. Too bad he wasted it.

  8. cdguy wrote:

    In most Christian bookstores, the music is categorized “Contemporary”, “Rock”, “Southern Gospel”, “Instrumental”, etc. I’ve said for decades the stores need to stop doing that. Too many artists could fit in multiple categories. Some really don’t fit any of those molds.

    But store managers think the customers don’t want to look through an alphabetical listing to find their favorite artists. I contend they might find something they weren’t looking for.

    Just alphabetize them by artist.

  9. quartet-man wrote:

    You know though, there is a possibility that everything alphabetized only could make it harder to shop too. Some of the most popular letters for last names could be congested when stores were busy (more than that are). For instance, if people were in the store at the same time looking for Shenandoah, Paul Simon, Paul Smith, She Daisy, Stamps Quartet, J.D. Sumner, Signature Sound (at least before the name change), Frank Sinatra, Doug Stone, Survivor etc.

    It may seem like a stretch, but how many times have we been in a store and have the section we want be blocked by someone? At least with genres, the people are more spread out. It doesn’t even have to be one letter. What if a couple or more are looking in a genre for no one in particular and are covering over quite a big part of the section. At least with genres, if someone is in the way in pop, country might be free.

  10. j-mo wrote:

    Categorizing music makes sense from a retail perspective and does not from an artistic perspective. This is nothing new, artistry and business do not typically go well together.

  11. cdguy wrote:

    I was more talking specifically about Christian bookstores (usually not as crowed as Best Buy or WalMart), but in any other store, how is this any different than there being other people looking at the iPod you’re interested in, or several folks looking for the same size blue jeans?

    We be polite and wait our turn.

    SURE we do.

  12. quartet-man wrote:

    #11 It differs in that people tend to hang out in music sections longer and the fact that stores want to keep people from giving up and leaving without a purchase as much as they can.

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