Cover story

Since I posted information about my forthcoming southern gospel book, there’s been some chatter about the cover, and specifically some curiosity about the image. One reader wondered about the propriety of using the image of these four celebrities to grace the cover of this book, which seems to take for granted a far greater symmetry of belief, behavior, and worldview among the people on stage and in the audience than I would assume (and too, there’s the long-settled legal status of reproduced images of public figures).

Another reader expressed a more general interest in the origins of the book’s cover:

The cover intrigues me; in that these are all current singers, and there are none of the “olt-timers.” Doug, could you gives us your thoughts on how you chose the cover?

Sure! I assume the reader’s calling out the relatively recent vintage of the image compared to “olt-timers” implies that he expected a more “classic” photo from one of the legendary quartets. And that’s a fair point. Why not seek out a renown group from the golden age of the 40s, 50s, and 60s?

There are basically two answers: action shot and permissions.

The best cover photos for most books are non-posed shots, which in this case means groups singing live on stage. There may or may not be a lot of high quality action shots of midcentury southern gospel acts in live performance out there, but they are hard to come by in my experience. And even if you can find them, you have to get permission to use them, and this can prove even more difficult for any numbers of reasons. Descendants of bygone stars or other custodians of historic, proprietary content such as midcentury southern gospel photographs guard celebrity legacies carefully. Some are skeptical of academic work. Just as often, some are, again in my experience, simply impossible to reach (literally, as in, they don’t respond to phone calls, emails, faxes, registered mail, and the carrier pigeons never come back … and my hunch is these are a lot of the same folks who don’t pay - and sometimes don’t even collect on - their royalties).

In a perferct(er) world, I would have used this image, or, perhaps, this one. But the obstacles to securing the rights in this particular case were just too difficult to surmount for an image that would have been used with such prominence.

In these contexts, it’s much more pragmatic and manageable to seek out what amounts to a free agent — someone who holds the sole rights to a good image (both in terms of composition and content, as well as resolution and reproducibility … that is, 300 dpi at 5×7 or or higher, ideally) and deal directly with him or her, without all the interference of industry politics and professional self-interest. At this historical moment, under these circumstances, that typically means more recent images of current groups or events shot with digital cameras by regular fans who have a knack for new media. Thus the post from several months back when I asked the hive mind of Avery readers to see what you could come up with. Which led to the generous Jeremy Bell and the image you see used above.

Jeremy has dozens of images up at his site, and I liked a few of the Hoppers, but no image more urgently captured as many related aspects of southern gospel as a distinct set of musical practices and experiences as this one: a quartet, singing (if my memory of the event serves) the staggered ending of a song, flamboyantly emotional, a clear connection among the group (note Fowler’s Youncesque gesture, lightly holding onto his neighbor’s arm, with a seemingly unself-conscious ease), a well-lit stage, and (rarer than rare), an actual face in the crowd, so subtlety lit in the reflection of the stage lights.

In short, one learns to be a pragmatist in these matters. A friend of mine was writing a textbook recently and thought, how clever it would be to place lyrics of content-specific songs from American pop and rock-n-roll above the title of each chapter in her book. Until her publisher came back and said, if you want to use all these lyrics, it will cost you just shy of a million dollars to secure the rights. Let us know when your check’s in the mail. Suddenly, my friend didn’t think those lyrics were nearly so clever, or at least not nearly as necessary.

And so it goes. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the possible etc.

But I don’t think I’m settling. It’s a gorgeous image that deserves an iconographic status separate from my book. But boy howdy am I happy to have access to it.

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  1. Brian wrote:

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that their photos can be used legally. It seems like it would be common courtesy to ask permission anyway. Maybe you did, but I doubt it, because I suspect I know what answer they would have given.

  2. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    In October, Doug wrote:
    “This is academic educational publishing, and there isn’t a lot money involved here for anyone, least of all the author”

    and I asked:
    “By “academic publishing,” do you mean the book is going to be priced at four times the ordinary rate…like a typical college textbook?”

    It turns out, it’s going to be $28 for a paperback or $80 for a hardcover.

    I’ll pass.

    The author may not be making anything, but somebody sure is…

  3. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    No, he didn’t ask. But you’re not the only one who thinks it would have been only courteous to do so.

  4. Wade wrote:

    Glad you did not use the Happy Goodmans pic unless the book was about what really started getting SGM Down!!!

  5. CVH wrote:

    I can understand the thought that using a photo of a classic group/quartet from the 40’s or 50’s might have best represented SG but that’s most likely coming from people who’ve been fans of the genre for years. A number of iconic groups could represent that era well but using an image of a current group helps bring the past into the present.

    While the book “reexamines the music’s historical emergence” it also focuses on “its function as a modern cultural phenomenon.” So having a shot of a current group makes sense too (along with the better tech specs and its availability). My reaction was “wow!”
    I saw my first quartet in concert in 1971 and the photo took me back to that night - the energy, the excitement, the ‘look’ of a group of artists at the peak of performance. In comparison, the shots of the Goodmans are amazingly blah. Vestal’s hair alone would probably elicit laughter and create a negative impression to non-SG readers.

    I’ve worked in rights and permissions for years. The legal right to authorize use of a copyrighted image rests solely with the owner(s) of the copyright, which in this case would appear to be Jeremy Bell. Unless the photo was taken during a private, closed-to-the-public event, there would be no further permission required. Now if the image was Photoshopped in an inappropriate way and published, the subject in the photo would have some rights, but otherwise it’s perfectly legal and ethical.

    Doug’s an academic so I’m guessing his motivation for publishing is at least two-fold. Communicating the content is fulfilling his passion but adding to his scholarly credentials by being published is an important accomplishment as well.

    I look forward to reading it.

  6. Aaron Swain wrote:

    I wonder how many people doing all this complaining about the cover are going to be buying the book (not telling anyone that they did, of course.)

    Count me in the number who like the cover and will be getting a copy when this book comes out.

  7. Brett wrote:

    Looking forward to reading! Cover photo is just right for SG book.

  8. Luke wrote:

    I love the cover. The picture is awesome and the design is superb.

  9. cynical one wrote:

    In case anyone wonders WHY the book is priced so high (like most textbooks), it’s strictly a function of demand. This is not something anyone anticipates selling millions of copies. It’ll never be distributed to retail stores (unless a college is using it as part of a class).

    That makes the cost of printing quiet high.

  10. Brian wrote:

    Aaron, the only book I would pay $28 for is The Book.

    Furthermore, I wouldn’t pay 5 cents for what will surely be pure trash. Doesn’t it give you pause that the publisher has tagged the book with the subject of “Queer Studies”? I doubt this book will be doing anything to promote the Gospel or gospel music. Quite the contrary, I’m afraid.

  11. 2miles wrote:

    Love the cover…to me it alludes to the fact that Southern Gospel is still being sung. If I was unfamiliar with southern gospel and saw one of those photos of the Goodmans I would immedialy assume it was a genre that no lnger existef or so obscure their where no up to date pictures.

    I also have no problem with the price…if its worth it Doug deserves the money and recoginition. If its not it will be in the .99$ bookstores next year like so many others.

  12. Joe wrote:

    I know Mark Trammell personally. He is a spiritual, godly, no-nonsense man. Had he been asked if he and his group could be pictured on the front of this book, knowing what all would be in it, his answer would have been a flat “NO”.

    When the book is described as containing material examining the “gay-gospel paradox…the experience of non-heterosexuals in gospel music”, the vast majority of truly born-again, God-fearing, and Bible-believing Christians would walk right past it, and read something much more worthwhile.

    The combination of gospel music and homosexuality may be a paradox in the author’s mind, and maybe even with some sad credibility…but it should actually be the starkest of oxymorons.

    The gospel OF this music, according to the Bible, gloriously saves homosexuals, changes their lives, and allows them to live as the Lord intended they live.

    That so many fail to see this point, only proves, yet again, that while they may know alot about this music, they know nothing of the gospel.

  13. cynical one wrote:

    Joe #12 — You may know Mark Trammell personally, but you apparently don’t know much about his group, as that’s not who is pictured. Yes, that’s Mark, but not the rest of the guys.

  14. Wade wrote:

    OMG here we go again!!!!… just all you queer haters go cut & paste the same garbage you been posting for the last 3-4 years!!!

    SO OLD… So SAME… SO WRONG!!!!… because all your queer haters are here all the time. If you WERE REALLY following YOUR biblical PRINCIPLES you could not even click on this blog!!!

    At least be like Alan and admit it is Amusing Entertainment for you to come here!!!

    I am PROUD to be known as The Straight Guy who Love My Gayz!!!

    ode & irishdude…TGIF… take it from here!!! I am TIRED of it!!!

  15. cynical one wrote:

    And Joe, yes, let’s bury our collective heads in the sand, and believe there are no non-heterosexuals in gospel music, or the church in general. And you make it sound like that’s all this book is about. The blurb you referenced only indicates that’s one topic Doug addresses.

    Since I’ve not read the book, or even seen the Table of Contents, I don’t know what percentage of this tome he commits to this subject. Do you, Joe?

    So, do you think there should be no discussion of the sexuality of people in sgm?

    What if the discription had said he also discussed the heterosexual adultry of gospel music personalities, and that parodox? Would that be more palatable?

    Whether we agree with the author’s lifestyle or premise, it still may a subject worthy to be discussed.

    And if you don’t want to read it, here’s an idea: DON’T.

  16. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Looks like it combines the worst of modern English crit. with the worst of modern sociology. I’ll pass too, thanks. That flushing sound you just heard is the quality of university education going down the toilet…

  17. Brian wrote:

    The discussion about homosexuality needs to take place between Christians and their God, at the altar, begging him to draw them to repentance and remove the stain of that sin from all parts of society, including gospel music. A person with an accepting view of that sin writing about it in a book will accomplish nothing toward that end.

    That said, the author is free to write whatever he wants, and people are free to choose to read it or not. If someone asked me for advice, I would tell them not to read it or support it in any way. Unfortunately, there are four godly gospel music artists who will be permanently attached to this work, and against their will.

  18. Backwoods Philosophe wrote:

    Well, to add my two cents worth about the “gay-gospel” section……..and this is not meant to sound or be offensive……….just honest observation.

    I don’t support the homosexual lifestyle due to Biblical teachings in the Old and New Testaments. Then again, I don’t support adultery, fornication and drunkenness. I don’t believe the Christian life can be driven down a broad road. It’s the broad road that leads to destruction. Now, with that said……..

    First of all, Doug is an excellent writer and wordsmith. He actually understands the genre of Southern Gospel Music, to include the various characters who perform the music. He also appreciates well-tuned vocalists who take their craft seriously.

    If Doug honestly covers the Southern Gospel Music genre in the current climate, he has no choice but to include the “gay-gospel” chapter. Why? Because there are many gay folks in gospel music, whether it’s Southern or Contemporary.

    Those who pretend to not know are still in denial while others who know pretend it’s not true.

    Doug knows it and has openly written about it on Religion He is not trying to cover up the much ignored “closeted secret” of Southern Gospel Music. The “secret” is basically in your face, but still hidden behind the “Amens”.

    Now, I personally believe that performers who are professing Christianity and singing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ…….while living lives totally opposed to the teachings of the Bible, should concentrate on secular music instead of Gospel Music. The secular world doesn’t care, but the Conservative folks do.

    The Southern Gospel industry as a whole has been infiltrated with drinking, adultery, fornication, homosexuality and the “beggar on the bus” routine for a very long time. If you are around the industry or participate in it, you have to live in a cave to not know the truth.

    Listening to some group members give an offering plea at a concert is like listening to a graduate of the Benny Hinn Institute for Sheeple Con Artistry.

    Fortunately, Southern Gospel has a rich history of good, solid music……such as The Happy Goodmans, The Hinsons, Dottie Rambo, The Statesmen, The original Blackwood Brothers and the many talented singers who relied on their vocal chords instead of overbearing soundtracks. Remember back in the day when you actually had to sing?

    However, the temptations of worldliness and celebrity has taken over the necessity of providing audiences with good, solid performances followed with honest Christian lifestyles. And, the need to “shake hands with the world” has overshadowed the need to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    On the other hand, and to be fair……was it ever really about the Gospel……or has it always been just another selection of musical entertainment?

    If we want to study a person who could charismatically and wonderfully perform a Gospel song, it would be Elvis Presley. Listening to Elvis sing “How Great Thou Art” is like listening to the song for the first time all over again. The performance can still give you chills. Somehow, his performances seemed more honest than most we hear today.

    Yes, there are some good Christian people in the Southern Gospel industry, but sadly, this genre of music has taken on a Hollywoodish celebrity persona that has replaced the purity of rehearsed, harmonic voices sincerely singing about the work of the cross.

    Thank God we still have incredible groups such as The Dixie Echoes, the Collingsworth Family and others who still adhere to quality and discipleship over entertainment value and con artistry.

  19. BigJohn wrote:

    So I am as disappointed as Wade in that we seem to have a lot of haters here to discuss a subject that seems to boil their nylons. If it is true you are fighting for the church and what God would want then why are you spewing such hate. Did Jesus do that? If you view the author’s lifestyle with such distain and it is a sin then why not show the love that Christ did. The author has taken a great many hours to create this work about the music he loves. As with any book it has to have a point of view and basis or it is nothing more than a scrapbook of memories. Before you start throwing stones perhaps you should sit down and read it.

    You are the same people that follow Republican leaders blindly because you or your church leaders have convinced you that you cannot be a democrat and enter the gates of heaven. You would beleive that Newt Gingrich is a better Christian not because of the life he lives but because of the party he affiliates himself to.

    It is not for me nor for you to judge a persons life there is only one perfect one last time I checked He has not posted to any blogs. Nor does He defer his powers to those that do.

    This is what is wrong with the church is that we are so busy attacking those that are viewed as having sin that you forget to love them. Maybe churches took the view that sinners are who we built the churches for and why the singers are out on the road maybe the concert halls would be a little fuller and so would the pews on Sundays. But hey that is my opinon….

  20. irishlad wrote:

    Brian,setting aside Joe you’re one of the biggest pricks ever to grace this blog.Take your narrow minded hatred somewhere else please.

  21. Gayla wrote:

    #4 - Oh my Wade, I so love it! There are so many worthy arguments that prove that point exactly!

  22. Joe wrote:

    Cynical- I didn’t say his quartet; I said his group. That is a group of all-stars, from L5, MTQ, and maybe another “Cathedral reunion” voice. And I won’t read the book, but thanks for the advice.

    And if there are, as you say, “non-heterosexuals” in gospel music or the church in general, just because they’re there, doesn’t make it any more “right” than pedophiles being football coaches.

    When you use the lame standard of “what is”, to try to justify the status quo, you are essentially cutting off both of your feet. You don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Compare this to God’s Word. Then come talk to me, and tell me it’s OK.

    By the way…God hates adultery as well. That did not happen to be one of the book’s bylines that I read.

  23. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Publishers release modest selling books all the time at a reasonable price.

    I bought Daniel Mount’s book on American presidents in a hard cover for less than the cost of Doug’s paperback. It has nearly twice as many pages, and took a considerable amount of research to assemble.

    The only reason Doug’s is priced so high is because it’s published by an “academic” press.

  24. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    I do like the cover photo, for what it’s worth. Good choice.

  25. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #10: I see. I’d like to know what kind of place would sell $28 Bibles!

    I’d address your other comment, but cynical one and Backwoods Philosopher took the words right of my mouth. (#15 and #18)

  26. Solo Deo Gloria wrote:

    Tell you what, Joe, let me know your address and your copy of the book is on me. Frankly, you really can’t have any spiritual objection to the book considering how frequently you visit this site. Perhaps it’s cost-prohibitive for you, in which case I’m happy to help a lesser brother. Whatever the reason, I am concerned about your propensity to make a fool of yourself by criticizing something you have never read. Thus, I am happy to help you, my friend.

    And ygg, absolutely no one here buys your smartest commenter in the room routine, so why don’t you go peddle it elsewhere?

  27. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    I might just as well suggest the same thing to you Soli.

  28. Joe wrote:


    Sincere thanks for the offer. I am certain, however, that you have never read the Book of Mormon, The Watchtower Bible, the Koran, or the Satanic Bible, to know before you read, that you honestly have no interest
    whatever to find inside what you already know you will find.

    Mind you, I am not parallelling ANY of these with the book under discussion. I am just negating your point that one must read something, to then know it’s not worth the time. A “fool” is not one who doesn’t read yet has an opinion. A “fool” is one who knows there is error, and still reads.

  29. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Good point Joe. Cracks me up when people say “X looks like total trash,” and WHATEVER it is, the universal question [best delivered with an accusatory stare] is “Well, have you read it?” Gee, you’re right! *smacks forehead* I have no idea what I’m talking about. For all I know, the Twilight books could be high art. How dare I venture to pronounce they could be anything less before actually subjecting myself to every excruciating page? I’ve gotta get me a copy of that ASAP.

  30. Hector Luna wrote:

    Great idea Soli. And I’ll buy ygg’s copy. There’s so much she could learn about the Church, politics, history, writing, and so on. I think a book on southern gospel culture would be a nice fit as well. Perhaps it may help her on blog.

  31. Mayor-of-Mayberry wrote:


    Clearly, the break from the blog and the focus of writing your book has served you well. Your writing style, while always good, has only gotten better.

    In fact, I’m not so sure that the “before” and “after” discipline of the book is not evidence to support the avoidance of blog writing.

    However, before the discussion of your book I had never heard anyone relate the price of a book to its size. I guess if there is a choice between the Gettysburg Address and Webster’s Dictionary, go with the Dictionary. There is more of it.

  32. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    #30: I’d be particularly interested to learn where my history is faulty. Would you care to elaborate on the things I have yet to learn in that area?

  33. CVH wrote:

    My God, you people are amazing. The discussion began with the issues surrounding choosing a suitable cover for a book and look where it’s ended up. I realize some of you don’t have enough outlets for your vitriol and simplistic rhetoric, but really - do you have to waste everyone else’s time here? Wait…of course you do. Because you don’t care about the subject matter; you’re too busy finding ways to tear people down or reduce complex issues into black and white equations. Well my simple-minded friends, life…and faith…are not that uncomplicated.

    Of all the comments so far, I agree with Aaron that Backwoods Philosopher has the healthiest and most realistic perspective. Some of you - and you know who you are - should Google the Dunning–Kruger effect and, if you’re capable, learn from it.

  34. Solo Deo Gloria wrote:

    Joe, your example is so flawed I’m not the least bit surprised the intellectual wannabe ygg ate it right up.

    You’d have me dead to rights if you had merely said you had no interest in reading this book based on its subject matter. But you didn’t do that. Instead, you unilaterally condemned the book based on a publisher’s description tag.

    Furthermore, you claimed that no God fearing, bible believing, etc person would read this book. Again, this is based on a description of said book. Therefore again, you are pronouncing judgment on something you know absolutely nothing about, namely the actual content of this book.

    Finally, if your rationale is correct, i.e., that no God fearing whatever person would read this book, why doesn’t that same logic apply to this website, which you seem to be unable to stop frequenting? That would seem to beg a question concerning you and God fearing status, wouldn’t it?

    Game over, Joe. Enough with the Pharisee stuff already.

  35. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Book size is one of several factors that directly affects production costs, which in turn affects the retail price.

    Projected sales volume is another. They can print ‘em cheaper if you want a ton of ‘em.

    There are figures available from a variety of printers for anyone who wants to know the actual price of printing a book.

    For example, using CreateSpace, an author or publisher could have a 300-page paperback printed in a 6X9 trim size for as little as $4.45 per copy. (There’s a $39 fee the first year to get them at that price, then $5 each year after.)

    And by the way, CreateSpace sells print-on-demand. The author or publisher can buy just one copy for that price if they want.

    Of course, they have some limitations. Those figures don’t take marketing, recouping advances, etc. into account, but they do offer an accurate view of how much it costs to print that many pages.

    I’m not taking Doug to task personally for the way his book is priced, by the way. I’m sure he’s entirely at the mercy of his publisher.

    I just have a general problem with “academic” publishers deeming their products to be worth three to four times what you’d pay in the general market.

    If recording artists did the same thing, you’d pay $10-15 for a pop, folk, or Southern Gospel CD, but you’d have to fork out $50 to get a CD by a bonafide jazz or classical artist.

  36. Hector Luna wrote:

    I’m a God fearing saint who likes and appreciates the works of Jack London, Arthur Miller, and Stephen Hawking. I’ll probably go to hell now.

    Doug, I’m amped up for this to hit the shelves (or the web). It’s about time we have an academic work on southern gospel, rather than some bull, catering to all the sweet and hyper-religious workings of southern gospel.

    I’d rather hang out with drunks and tax collectors and preach on a healthy dose of apostasy in our Church. Many “Christians” who read and comment on this blog, who attack you, are exactly that…apostate. They don’t know the grace of Jesus.

    You handle it with dignity.

  37. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    I think the book will be a very interesting cultural study of Southern Gospel Music and its various performers and groups. I’m looking forward to purchasing the book.

    To those who are upset by the “gay-gospel” section, look at it like this. How many times have you read material in history books about behaviors or events that you completely opposed? How many times have you read about religions, countries or political leaders who did not follow your particular belief system?

    For example, if you read a true account of history, sometimes you will read things that you don’t agree with. I didn’t agree with President Andrew Jackson signing the Indian Removal Act during his presidency back in the 1800’s. This resulted in the tragic “Trail of Tears” where over 15,000 Cherokees, Choctaw and various tribes were forcibly removed from their land. But, it’s a part of U. S. history. If we’re honesty about Andrew Jackson, we must hear about the “Trail of Tears”.

    Historically speaking in today’s modern musical climate, gays in Gospel Music are a part of SG and Contemporary Gospel music history.

    Obviously, you can’t discuss Country Music without discussing “cheating songs” and you can’t discuss Rock Music without discussing Elvis or The Rolling Stones. Now, is Mick Jagger my favorite Rock artist? No, he isn’t, but he’s a part of the historical perspective of Rock Music.

    If we’re totally and completely honest about history during any era or in any culture, you have to be willing to include the facts, documents and happenings whether positive or negative. Accurate historical accounts cannot be told in a one-sided manner. So, let’s try to look at this from a completely historical and educational perspective.

    Yes, I’m politically Conservative, but I also read Alternet, Mother Jones and other Liberal publications to try and understand what is going on…..on both sides of the fence. I even listen to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC because she’s an excellent reporter. Does that make me Liberal? No, it keeps me informed. It’s possible to remain balanced and be Christian at the same time.

  38. irishlad wrote:

    34…haha,”dead to rights”,we call it “bang to rights”(actually originally a London phrase) meaning cornered or caught red handed, i’m sure that’s what you meant.
    As far as the picture goes it’s a great pic however my choice would’ve been a silhouette of the same or a similar photo, i say this simply as that would’ve prevented distraction from the content of the book,or one of those drawings found on old and new album/cd covers,you know the faces are nondescript but the pose with the arms outstretched the heads thrown back mike in hand is unmistakably quartet,no-one would be in any doubt what the content of the book was. I just hate the thought of all the yak yak yak “what’s he doing on the cover? does he know? is he queer? no? does he like que….

  39. Mayor-of-Mayberry wrote:

    #35: David said, “I just have a general problem with “academic” publishers deeming their products to be worth three to four times what you’d pay in the general market.”


    Question. Is that problem based on direct knowledge of the academic publisher’s situation, the academic’s need to publish inside a system that provides credibility as well as offering a market? Or, is it a conclusion drawn from the simple process of comparing the cover prices of books?

    We all know the book could have been tossed into the slush pile at Amazon and sold for .99 or given away.

    That would have helped him toward tenure about as much as hitting his thumb with a hammer. There is more at play here than selling books.

    The academic system is as closed as the gospel music system.

  40. CVH wrote:

    There are two kinds of readers; those who prefer the rose-colored glasses approach where nothing shocks, reality is avoided and every chapter reassures them that what they think and believe is true. Then there are those readers who have a genuine love for the subject and whose interest is not blinded by fear of reality.

    The former group tends to tsk-tsk the latter for being unnecessarily crude and bringing up subjects they’d prefer to think don’t exist. But reality, if presented in a credible and honest way, is threatening only insofar as truth itself is threatening.

    The reaction here to the inclusion of a section on the “gay-gospel paradox” is not surprising but a little disappointing. I would hope readers, at least those with an open, inquiring mind, would want to learn more about this perspective. As others have noted, there is no shortage of LGBT people in all areas of Christian endeavor - from colleges and universities, to churches of many denominations to every aspect of the religious music and publishing business. To insist otherwise is foolish.

    Now what you do with that fact is up to you. You can react with guilt-laden condemnation and denial or you can learn from another’s perspective. You don’t have to agree, but to arbitrarily dismiss the entire book shows the kind of ignorance that has kept this and other controversial topics like it from being discussed in a thoughful and insightful manner for too long.

  41. Joe wrote:


    Nobody is “insisting otherwise”. However, taking the Biblical stance that this is dead wrong, is routinely mocked, lambasted, belittled and scoffed on this site.

    You have fallen into the trap, as others here have, that all is OK, because “it is”. That is the very same thinking that has torpedoed Penn State football.

    Hector Luna has called me, because of the stance I have taken here, an apostate. Hector- please look this word up Biblically, and realize that it is a professing Christian who TURNS AWAY from the truth. It is NOT one who defends the truths of Scripture!

    From Genesis to Revelation, homosexuality is soundly condemned. Yet, there are those here who ignore the God of the Bible, and condone this aberrant behavior.

    I will say this. The only author who feels the need to mention homosexuality in a history book of SGM, has to have a reason to even consider things from that side of the fence. Were the author here not laboring under his choice of lifestyle, this book would have a whole different slant.

    Homosexuality is condemned by the God of the Bible. The gospel saves, cleanses, redeems and changes homosexuals (1 Cor. 6:9-11). No homosexual will be in Heaven (1 Cor. 6:10, Rev. 21:27). Yet just my quoting of these Scriptures, will be condemned, mocked, and argued against by those who actually profess to be “christians”.

    That, by definition, is apostasy.

  42. Mayor-of-Mayberry wrote:

    CVH. Thank you. I appreciate your comment, “to arbitrarily dismiss the entire book shows the kind of ignorance that has kept this and other controversial topics like it from being discussed in a thoughtful and insightful manner for too long.”

    I think you broke the code. “We the people” are stalled. No communication. Not even informed debate. Only non-productive conflict that ends in deadlock not even in a clean win-lose. We stagnate.

    If we were a vigorous people actively seeking for solutions, there would be no controversial issues. There would be only issues.

  43. Wade wrote:

    soli….HIGH 5!!

  44. Ode wrote:

    2, 23, 35, etc…..DBM, enough whining about the price,you sound are like an old yenta.Were you born yesterday?Yes, textbooks and anything that has potential to be used as such are being outrageously overpriced by publishing companies. Duh. In other news, sun rises every day. I’d paid 200$+ for technical paperbacks of such poor quality they ‘d become dogeared in a week and mauled beyond recognition by the end of the semester, despite most gentle use.I won’t even mention prices for MOC (Microsoft official curriculum) books because that’ll surely give you a heart attack.

    Why do “they” get away with it ?why do hospitals charge your insurance 170$ for 2 tylenol pills or 250 for a box of Kleenex that you barely touched, billing it as “mucus removal system”, and H1 visa holders are forced to often work weekends and nights to put down our companies’ fires?

    For the same reason dogs lick their balls, Murray. Because they can.

    Gentlemen with means,please, as a part of Averykingdom Book Aid to developing nations, get one for Murray. So,by God’s mercy,he shuts up about it already.

  45. Ode wrote:

    14, :) Thanks, Wade, it’s pleasure to see that many capable people have already kicked our lil Joe’s ass with an old school efficiency. God bless the USA! Hope for christianity is not dead yet

  46. Ode wrote:

    37, You are comparing thick with green, or, as you say in US, apples and oranges. There is no correlation b/n political affiliation and faith. A christian can be a liberal, conservative, democrat,republican, indie, etc.

  47. Ode wrote:


    So you are suggesting that Mark Tramell and the rest of the boys are ungodly hypocrites?

    They sing songs written by gay people , pay various flashy tributes to artists that are known as fornicators and openly adulterers, and would say NO to being pictured on gay author’s book cover? You also think they are idiots?:D

  48. JM wrote:

    The history of 20th century journalism brought into our cultural jargon the term muckraker. I’ve always viewed these sort of watchdog or reform journalists as those who desired to confront society with issues that society would just as soon not confront. While I may be somewhat off-base, I see Doug as SGM’s resident muckraker. However, I do not see him as a simplistic, johnny-one-note.

    Some of our fellow posters to this site look for every opportunity to take Doug to the wood shed on the issue of homosexuality. Others, just as passionately, look for every chance to spring to his defense when the same topic is broached. Candidly, I tire of both sides! Doug has gone to great lengths over time to enlighten his readers as to many of his viewpoints and personal sensitivities. Without doing a search through back threads, I can still identify his admiration of excellent pianists, singers with a well-honed sense of pitch and originality within SGM. He has highlighted many other likes, dislikes and preferences over the years. But let me get to my point.

    Perhaps Doug does allude to or suggest that there exists a homosexual element within certain SGM groups, both now and over the years; however, to attempt to devalue his observations because he brings certain subjects to light is silly. All of us tend to reflect on and speak about things which we feel are important or deserve notice. This is appropriate. I would suggest that there are a greater number of posters to this site that stand in opposition to homosexuality, than to those who are somewhat sympathetic. However, if we allow ourselves to be defined by a specific given focus or topic (homosexuality in this case), our voice is narrowed and risks being ignored. I have been fascinated to see postings from Irishlad, Wade, Joe, Ode, Backwoods and others over the last few years. I genuinely appreciate the contributions and viewpoints of everyone, even, Yankeegospelgirl! Occassionally, I read a comment with which I agree; more often, I don’t. But, I do not choose to “pigeon-hole” any poster, as a one-dimensional soul. Rather, I see all of us as people of multiple priorities, sensibilities and facets.

    I assume there are homo- and hetro- sexual folks in SGM. I also assume there are left and right handed folks, fat and skinny folks and kind and cranky folks. Believe and stand for whatever you wish, but don’t force feed me your world view. I was in a church worship service yesterday with about 100 folks. Do I believe that all of them were Christian or SGM fans or Chevy owners? It has no bearing on my being there! I was there to worship; not to impose my worship proclivities on others nor to excise them because they possessed a different belief system. I live; I’m counseled to love others; God sorts out at the end. Nuff said!

  49. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    You want some scripture references, Joe? Why don’t you start in Matthew 23, and pay particular attention to verses 23 and 24.

    Bravo, Hector, for calling out the blind guides on this blog. Perhaps we could collaborate on a book about the jacked up theology of the southern gospel industry.

    And I say we put a quartet of Avery commenters on the cover…any suggestions on who to include?

  50. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    “They sing songs written by gay people , pay various flashy tributes to artists that are known as fornicators and openly adulterers, and would say NO to being pictured on gay author’s book cover?”

    Ode, I ask this with all due respect… what the deuce are you talking about? Even if more than one writer of the songs they sing is gay, that doesn’t mean any of these guys knows it. I can only think of one everyone knows, Kirk Talley, and there’s nothing hypocritical about singing a perfectly good, straight-forward gospel song like “Wedding Music” which was written years ago before anyone knew anything about his orientation. Now, if he were asking people to keep recording fresh songs from him, I would feel differently. But that’s not the same kind of thing.

    I have no idea where you’re getting the “tributes to openly fornicators and adulterers” thing either. You make it sound like every other venerated gospel singer is a Freddie Mercury. Examples please, WITH evidence? Otherwise, never mind.

  51. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    #46: Ode, I wasn’t trying to compare religion to politics. I was simply making a point. I was using various examples, some of which included politics.

    By the way, I would like to invite you to become President of my Fan Club. Wade can be Vice-President. LOL LOL LOL LOL (Sorry, I know that was tacky, but I thought it was funny) Laughter is good for the soul!!!

  52. Hector Luna wrote:

    ygg, if they gave evidence of gay people in southern gospel, or those affiliated with them, you’d never listen to southern gospel ever again. If you knew of all the adultery, porno addicts, and dirty business in any Christian music genre, you’d have nothing else to listen to except for Freddie Mercury. Whatever struggles they may have, most that I know are among the friendliest and work very hard at their craft, so you can enjoy listening to southern gospel.
    As far as Talley goes, people knew. And the same goes for the other former Cathedral who was found to be a probable child mollestor.

    The gospel is the thing. But if you want to ruin lives in the process, I want no part of it.

    I think to get your answers, you may need to write a letter to each “rumored” homosexual or each person or group affiliated with homosexuals in southern gospel and simply ask them if they are. That might be the best way to go about it.

    Regarding the book again, I’d like to see the world the way the Doug sees it, whether I agree with everything or not. But since it’s an Academic work, I’d say much of it is pretty objective anyways.

  53. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #52: I must have missed it about that child molester one.

    I’ve heard it said by someone involved in a facet of the SG industry that if the Rapture took place during NQC, they’d still have enough singers there to keep it going. The sad thing is the amount of truth there is behind that statement.

  54. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    #52: And where do you get your evidence?

  55. Deron wrote:

    48, JM, thanks and kudos to you for what is one of the most thoughful, articulate, and well-reasoned comments I’ve read in years of following this website. I sincerely wish that more Christians shared your sentiments.

  56. cynical one wrote:

    Ode — #46 — Thank you. Many people forget that Jesus was a liberal.

  57. quartet-man wrote:

    I have many times defended God’s stand on homosexuality as I understand it in the Bible. Nonetheless, I am not the one who brings it up. It is always as a defense on those who claim there is nothing wrong with it. I would prefer to stay out of that discussion actually. We each make our points and no one’s beliefs change.

    There are people at my own church whose lives aren’t where they should be I am sure. I am also sure that since my life is not perfect. people feel the same way about me. :D This is not to justify sin, but just to say none of us are perfect. The difference is if one of us stands up and says there is nothing wrong with our sin and we should be accepted. Then the others have a right, nay a responsibility to say otherwise.

    Now, with all that said, I have had discussions with Doug here on the board and in a few emails in regards to posts and we have always gotten along fine. I have no doubt he knows how I feel about that topic and I have a good idea how he feels even though he typically avoids getting in the fray. I enjoy his musical posts here and he is pretty good about allowing free discussion (although he did put the brakes on things the last time homosexuality came up. He was trying to keep it from going and going. I tried to convince him he could let me have the last word and then stop it. ;) )

    As far as the book, I would enjoy reading it if it is truly about the music. I don’t mind the subject being broached if done in the correct way. If it is a more detached way in saying it does exist even though many in the audience disagree with it, no problem. If the book’s point is to say it is fine or has an agenda to promote it, no thanks. It is certainly his right to do so, but I have no interest in reading that sort of book any more than he would probably want to read a book where people were trying to abolish it. Granted each could learn about the others’ position by reading such books, but I already know the other side’s view and their opinion or mine doesn’t matter. What God says does. Now, it would be different if I were convinced that my interpretation of the Bible was wrong, but no one has convinced me of that and God has the final word. I would also not want to read the book if it says all of these other sins exist in the music, and tries to justify them or slam the entire industry because some do these things. I say that because there are those in the industry who are good. Do they fail? Sure. I haven’t met a Christian yet who was perfect. I have met some who appear to think so, but Christ was the only perfect one.

    Doug obviously has a deep love for this music and performers. He is a critic for sure, but at least he is open about it and can back up his opinions why something isn’t as good as it could be. In a music field where the least little bit of criticism is often met with hush hush, censorship, or accusations of attacking the person, he holds it to a higher standard as far as performance goes. I hate the word performance, but I am using it the way of doing it NOT saying that none of the singers don’t believe it or aren’t doing it for the right motives.

    So, is the book about the music while touching on the people in it, their imperfections, but their desire to sing the music, or is it about promoting an agenda? I would think it would mostly be about the first while presenting the conundrum of some singers singing one way while living another, but I don’t know.

  58. Mayor-of-Mayberry wrote:

    #36. Hector said,

    “I’m a God fearing saint who likes and appreciates the works of Jack London, Arthur Miller, and Stephen Hawking. I’ll probably go to hell now.”

    Hector, you will have a roommate. Me. I’m short on sainthood, as in none. But, long on enjoying the authors you like.

    If Southern Gospel every figured out that the lamentations at the heart of its music are the lamentations of Author Miller’s “Crucible” and “Death of a Salesman” we could all talk. But, alas, it can’t and we won’t.

    Give William Stringfellow’s ” An Ethic For Christians and other Aliens in a Strange Land” a read. Hint. He was not published by Zondervan or Sunday Digest.

    But, I’m guessing he is in David’s price range. $14.95.

  59. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Quartet-man has put things very well, though he is far too generous to Doug.

  60. Ode wrote:


    Logic completely eludes you, ygg - K.Talley didn’t BECOME gay when people learned about it, he WAS gay when he wrote his songs.

    When we find certain actions morally objectionable, we don’t decide to “buy that pastor’s books dated released only up until ’98 when he got convicted of molesting kids”. We dismiss the perpetrator’s legacy altogether, to stay consistent with our proclaimed moral values. If they were against gay artists, they wouldn’t be perfiorming his songs

    It’d be hypocritical of them to sing K.Talley’s songs and yet refuse D.Harrison their pic for the book cover, in other words, to benefit from one gay’s work while dismissing another’s based on his sexual orientation, it’s a double standard.

    Open womanizers and adulterers they played tributes to on stage and by using their work and services? Sure. Elvis, JD Sumner that was despised for his drinking/womanizing ways by many, esp.The Blackwoods(acc. to B.Gaither’s book), all the divorced and remarried singers and songwriters like Crabb family, as well as Dollywood owner Ms. Parton,huge supporter of gay issues and rights, Dottie Rambo and her gay supporting daughter etc… these names were dicussed and complained about ad nauseum on SGforums I used to read.

    Divorcing one’s wife, as well as remarrying a divorcee is biblically an adultery, the truth universally respected until just a few decades ago, when it became too common to still label it as sin. Presuming you do not hold the popular belief that sins accepted as norm are not considered sins anymore….

  61. Ode wrote:

    When they reach critical mass, rumors are as bad as truth in their potential to damage one’s reputation- sadly, a well-known PR rule, as unfair as sounds.

    Mark Tramell, etc. can’t ignore their fans’ firm convictions, expressed by so many here, that “industry is ridden with sin of sexual nature and addictions” without sounding as hypocrite.That alone is enough not to play “holier then thou” with Doug, if the said singer has brains and business sense

  62. Hector Luna wrote:

    #54 - From a guy on the bus.

    #56 - Although would clarify it was more of the “social” liberal.

    #61 - And yes, some of the artists have distanced themselves somewhat from Talley, but not altogether. I don’t think Trammell would reason that it’s a hill were bleeding over given the fact that he sung with Talley in the first place (and Talley isn’t even the main issue, it was brought up, not surprisingly of course). Especially, if he were given a courtesy copy.

  63. quartet-man wrote:

    #60 Ode said:

    “It’d be hypocritical of them to sing K.Talley’s songs and yet refuse D.Harrison their pic for the book cover, in other words, to benefit from one gay’s work while dismissing another’s based on his sexual orientation, it’s a double standard”

    Not quite. Kirk Talley’s songs are not promoting homosexuality (at least I haven’t heard any). So, although a homosexual (at least then…not getting into the whether he still is or isn’t because I don’t know. Even if he is, the acting on it is the sin) wrote the songs, the songs can still minister the same way other writers’ songs (who are imperfect) can. We don’t know whether Kirk was active then or not nor do we know if he was in open rebellion doing it regardless of what God says, or struggled and failed if he did. Sure it will taint the songs for some, but hopefully my point is clear.

    On the other hand, it depends on what Doug’s book is. I want to believe it isn’t a pro-gay agenda book. However, even if it isn’t one could argue it is a book about the art form and not a book to minister as a gospel song. So, even then one could maybe understand the difference in the two things even though the difference is far less. I would at least understand both sides in that.

    The one side would say your problem isn’t the content of the book, but the writer whereas you don’t mind the writer of the gospel song. The other side would say that they are trying to use them to condone or give affirmation to the lifestyle. I am merely stating what both sides could believe. Even if I don’t think that is the agenda.

    Then there is another thing to consider, Ode (whether you think it is right or not). They should have a right to decide which songs to sing, what they have their picture used for etc. If they decide to use the song(s) they either think that the benefits of the song outweigh the risk, or at peace with using them as being from God. On the other hand, their picture being used not only get them nothing in return, but right or wrong could be harmful to the artists reputations and livelihoods whether it was justified or not. I don’t look for it to, but it is possible.

  64. Richard Allen wrote:

    Why does this site continually get off on the “homosexuality, adultery and swearing stuff? Sure, it’s out there and I hate it, but my gosh, give it up people. A wise old man once told me that “experience in a subject makes one knowledgeable”. Just sayin…

  65. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Just because someone is divorced and remarried doesn’t mean they were the party at fault.

  66. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    As for J. D. Sumner and the Stamps, I previously hadn’t been aware of their antics on the road with Elvis, but if true, well that was wrong and I condemn it. So there. Happy?

  67. cynical one wrote:

    Are we majoring on the minors, here? Is the one chapter on homosexuality in gospel music really enough material to make us not want to read the book?

    If there were a book on Civil War history that included a chapter on homosexual soldiers of that day, and you were a Civil War history buff, would you refuse to read that book, based on the one chapter?

    As in most topics, there is more information than will fit in any one book. That’s why there are multiple books on most subjects. Even the Bible states there was much more that hadn’t been written.

    It just happens that this subject is of importance to the author, so he has included one chapter. It’s not the whole book.

    Just because we don’t agree with the author’s beliefs on this one subject, does that make it wise to dismiss the entire book? Does that make the entire book invalid?

    And since none of us have read the book, we really don’t know, yet, what Doug has to say on the subject. I would assume he probably only states the facts of issue’s existance, and not make editorial comment.

    Again, not really different than if someone wrote a book on sgm history and included a chapter on womanizers and drunks, and the contradiction of the lifestyle and the message.

    Some of you pious posters would probably read that, yet you say you won’t read this one, because of that one chapter. Really?

  68. JW wrote:

    I always read in amazement why homosexuality is even a debate here.

    All it takes is reading the owner’s manual, aka The Bible. The Bible clearly condemns it. Why is there even a debate if you actually believe The Bible and take it seriously? If you don’t take The Bible seriously, I won’t attempt to convince you, otherwise.

    If you don’t believe The Bible, just say so and that settles the issue once and for all.

    You don’t have to keep bringing up the tired old “Well, there are adulterers, porn addicts, etc. etc. etc.” issues. What’s the point? It’s not like Christians think that’s any better behavior. Do people who don’t sympathize with the gay lifestyle say, “Homosexuality is evil but adultery is not so bad?”

    It really is a settled issue if you believe The Bible. No debate is needed.

  69. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Since the subject of JD Sumner’s “antics” has come up, I ran across this clip of JD on Geraldo talking about some of those days. Very interesting look at both parties.

  70. Wade wrote:

    ygg there is MUCH you do not know and every time you post it shows!!!

    Why any one would start a blog on a subject and/or try to control so much of OTHER related blogs when you maybe been exposed to this music for 3 years or less is still amazing to many of us… just admitting you did not know about JD just continues to show you open your mouth and leave no doubt!!

    You have to come here to get anybody to read ya much from observing your blog. Think it appeared you were averaging 2-4 post per thread and half of those were YOU running your mouth. The only credibility you have is you are a pain in the ass!!

    Am glad you do not show up much at AAP it had FRESHENED that blog up some.

    cynical wrote — “Some of you pious posters would probably read that, yet you say you won’t read this one, because of that one chapter. Really?” — Ha Ha so True!!!

    All the pious posters are hypocrites for even clicking on this blog!!

    Happy HuMp Day!!

  71. Brian wrote:

    I would just like to say that my objection to the book’s content isn’t just based on the subject of homosexuality specifically. That’s just the specific way in which my objection manifested itself in the book’s description.

    I would not support any book on southern GOSPEL music that is not written by someone who is born again, from a Biblically sound perspective. I would say that whether it was about homosexuality, adultery, finances, or piano licks.

  72. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    #62 - Well, unless you’re lying, that at least has some credibility, unlike sheer gossip. Was it a person on the Cathedrals’ bus at the time, or somebody in a new group with the former Cathedral in question right now?

  73. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    “The only credibility you have is you are a pain in the ass!!”

    Couldn’t have described you better myself old chap.

  74. Dean Adkins wrote:

    Some of these posts bring to mind this heroic couplet:

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing.
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring;
    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    and drinking largely sobers us again.”
    ― Alexander Pope, An Essay On Criticism

  75. Wade wrote:

    Brian then why do you even come here???

  76. irishlad wrote:

    71 Brian,ever think of plantin’ a church? Because you’re just a big enough of an arsehole to get away with it.

  77. Hector Luna wrote:

    #71 - So the real question is: would you rather read a book on gospel music by a lost man or hear lost men sing gospel music. I can guarantee that you do the latter.

    (and I’m not claiming the editor of this site is lost. He might not be. I’m just running with Brian’s assumption.)

  78. Brian wrote:

    Wade, to say something I felt needed to be said and read by others. If Doug let me write something into his book, I would take that opportunity, too.

  79. Brian wrote:

    Hector, I don’t want to do either one. I’m sure I do listen to lost southern gospel singers, but not knowingly. There are some whose fruit I’ve examined and found lacking, and I don’t support those singers.

  80. Ode wrote:

    using more prosaic modern expression “Knows just enough to be dangerous” ,or have heard enough biblical verses to become religious and spook away any possible converts to christianity ;)


    Commendable tolerance,even though it was short lived, as your further post showed. Also “I appreciate the contributions from everyone” and “dont feed me your worldview,I am tier of both sides” is self-contradictory. So you want different opinions or you not?

    JM ,you can afford sitting on the fence and bragging what a peacenik you are only because OTHER PEOPLE ALREADY FOUGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO DO IT.
    What if your lovely all-inclusive church was still pro-slavery, or discriminating against minorities, or women? you, as an honest godly believer would fight it, correct? That’s were your present hippie attitude would fly right out of the window, and you’d be hated by, and bloody argue with, many. So, dear, don’t be so proud of yourself or at least throw some humble gratefulness in there….


    YES! Many SG fans are ok with currently socially acceptable adultery but bash not-yet-widely-accepted homosexuality, that’s what we arguing here exactly! Are you reading the thread or talking to yourself?

  81. CVH wrote:

    Brian (#71),

    You said something in your last post that exemplifies the mindset of some AFL readers: “I would not support any book on southern GOSPEL music that is not written by someone who is born again, from a Biblically sound perspective.”

    On the surface that sounds like a reasonable pre-condition to reading the book; you want to be sure that the author is writing from the same viewpoint you hold, has the same values, etc. But in reality, it doesn’t make any difference whether the author is “born again” or not.

    This book is focusing on the historical and sociological aspects of the genre of music, not the spiritual. Thus, I expect the author to be knowledgeable about music, religious music, sociological and cultural trends and have the ability to bring those threads together into a work that, as the UI Press catalog describes it, “presents southern gospel as a network of interconnected messages that evangelical Christians use to make individual sense of both Protestant theological doctrines and their own lived experiences.” Being “born again” isn’t a necessary criteria for writing such a book.

    In fact, I’ve read a number of books over the years on a wide range of subjects, and often the ones written by professing Christians are substandard compared with those written by secular authors. Why? Because too often the Christian writer boogers it up by trying to make a spiritual conclusion when the evidence for such a conclusion doesn’t exist. They have a subtle, unspoken agenda which can mislead people in their search for truth. At times they are as intellectually dishonest as their secular counterparts.

    If you’re not comfortable with mystery and ambiguity or examining subject matter from another’s perspective, you’re much better off staying within the confines of safe, non-threatening literature. And television. And film. And music. And life.

  82. Wade wrote:

    See Brian I would respect you if you were just honest and admit you can’t stay away!!! Considering your feelings about the book I do not see how you could dare come to this blog and even read it knowing the man who produces it is Gay!?!?!?

    You are a Straight Up Hypocrite!!!

    This blog is FREE and no one wants to hear it I am sure nobody would who would pay for it!!

    I am proud that it appears now there are more ppl than irishdude, ode & myself have the insight to the real world some of you can’t get the sand outta your ears from your head being buried in it.

    Hector is right… if you really know some of the ppl singing the songs you would be so sad as even I am occasionally.

    But am sure if you listen to secular music you would be sad by some of those ppl too!!

    But come on Brian admit it… you will feel better and more honest. YOu can’t stay away from this blog because you want to hear the latest gossip and participate in the BEST Blog about SGM on the sphere!!

    Come on we are waiting at the blog alter to pray with ya!!!

  83. Ode wrote:

    Amen, in some cases. But remarriage is a personal decision. Unless G.Crabb’s new bride brought him to the altar at gunpoint :)

    -the only way I’d possibly be rejoicing in adventures of JD Sumner’s unruly dick becoming a public knowledge would be if the old fart was still alive and I was Mrs. Sumner, hoping for a hefty divorce settlement.

    No,I’m rather saddened at how sinful we all are, you, me, all of us..

  84. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Somebody said he’s tired of the “Well you accept blah-blah-blah but you condemn bling-bling-bling, therefore…” Um, actually I think adultery and porn and all that stuff is sin too. I don’t “accept” it. Just because I don’t boycott people who are divorced when I have no details means ZILCH. I’d be just as chagrined to discover for CERTAIN that someone was cheating on his wife heterosexually as I would be if he was gay (though of course homosexuality has another layer of “grossness,” as it were, because it’s a crime against nature as well as God).

    And I’m sure there’s many a “hypocritical” religious right-er who shares my opinion. So quit punching your straw man and leave him to the crows.

  85. JR wrote:

    @CVH I would tend to agree with another surprising example: The KJV Bible! It was written by secular writers without an agenda, therefore it is the most accurate translation. The other versions have hidden agendas in their translation

  86. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    I will post an extensive and comprehensive review of the book on my site in May.

  87. JM wrote:


    I don’t wish to attempt to monopolize this thread; however, when someone takes the time to comment on a particular observation I’ve made, I sometimes will reply.

    It is unfortunate that often AVFL is reduced to a playground for bullies, trying to bait each other into a fist-fight. I prefer to stand aside and let others battle to the bloody end. In these types of public forums, little is accomplished by taking hard, fixed positions and riding them into the ground. Rather, I believe that listening carefully, looking for common ground and respecting divergent opinions has some value…even in today’s decidedly polarized society. When someone chooses not to bring a hard, intractable position to this place, you shouldn’t assume that they lack a strong belief or conviction on the topic. Like myself, they may have determined that it is better to attempt to generate light, rather than heat.

    In my opinion, this blog has handled the topic of homosexuality, in SGM and the Church, in a very exhaustive manner over a long period of time. If one wishes to review older discussions, you can pretty much see where various posters come down on this issue. I seriously doubt that in this or any near-term discussion we cover any new territory or explore any new parameter of the issue. This is why I suggested that I am tired of both sides of the discussion. As always, I enjoy the banter…the back and forth suggestion of ignorance by the other side…the supposed “divine wisdom” which both sides claim in holding forth their point of view. However, we’ve said and done this all before. Sometimes repetition is merely a lack of orginal ideas or thoughts. I do genuinely appreciate the various points-of-view that find there way to AVFL. It helps me to continue to challenge and clarify my own convictions. This is a good thing.

    Ode, I appreciate those who feel persuaded to spit and scream and howl for a particular issue. My howling days are behind me. But, please feel free to tilt at windmills; I enjoy passionate people! Be blessed.

  88. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Speaking of straw men, surely someone of your intellect and education understands that the overarching objection to you, Joe, Brian, et. al. is NOT your stances on homosexuality but the loveless, self-righteous manner in which you espouse said stances.

    And JR (No. 85), if your post is meant to be sarcastic, it’s the best post I have ever read on this site. If not, it’s possibly the dumbest.

    Someone call me when this blog gets back to music, which is really the one thing I can stand about southern gospel.

  89. Ode wrote:

    so Dollywood’s owner Ms.Parton openly supports,as you call it,” the gay agenda” – their rights to marry, adopt kids, acceptance of their lifestyle choice- and that’s fine with SG artists and fans,who love performing at and attending the gay friendly park, but Doug Harrison’s book wouldn’t be?

    Is it because the book makes one read, but theme park is all entertainment, food and shows? ;)
    Soli Deo Gloria, i am fully with you, i only WISH music was the topic here, but a newbie like me loves to laugh at the hypocrisy of this culture, its just like poking fun at prosperity preaching. (blushing) i am sorry

  90. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    What’s loveless and self-righteous about calling a spade a spade and a sin a sin? Are you SURE we’re reading from the same Bible?

    I’ve never said people should be condemned for having feelings toward people of the same gender. However, they should regard it as a sinful impulse, just as a normal person regards the impulse to fornicate heterosexually as sinful. If a person acts on those impulses, he’s disobeying God. That simple.

  91. Ode wrote:

    87, JM,

    I usually don’t answer people that are too dishonest to stand up for their words, their faith and to sincerely address the issues they attempt to bring forward, but when one makes personal remarks, I will reply. Nobody asks you to spit or scream, JM, that’s a windmill you tilt at.

    Regarding gay issue… Sometimes finding happy middle between plus and minus, yes and no, would be like being “somewhat pregnant”. When it comes down to it, one is or a supporter or a denier.

    Even though your stances are a tad too heavy on demagoguery and are shallow, they are sadly very common and reflective of the poor spiritual condition of today’s church - so please, feel free to continue,watching you spin is highly entertaining; I love fun! Be blessed.

  92. Alan wrote:

    Soli - I’m curious about something off of the subject at hand. In your post (#49) you encouraged Joe to read Matthew 23: 23,24. What I find there is that Jesus was calling the Pharisees hypocrites. Yet any Christian should know that the Pharisees were the most bitter and dangerous opponents to Jesus Christ and His message. Correct? Some of the strongest language in the NT is reserved for scribes and Pharisees.

    What I’m wondering is why you would call a Christian a term always used to describe the most strident opponent of Christ and His teachings, when said person is stating what he honestly believes Scripture teaches, in defense of the Bible? This strikes me as not only utterly flawed theology, but dangerous… I truly am curious about this, and note that I’m asking it in the most general terms, and not apropos to the subject wrangled over here at all.

  93. Wade wrote:

    Soli… do not asssume ( spelled incorrectly on purpose) that straw girl (ygg) is actually educated, intelligent!!

    Have never seen any one who comes to the table so recently be so DEMONSTRATIVE on a subject she by evidence knows so little about!!

    We know what Dr. DH creds are… but none has seen a pic of her or her academic creds. For all we know she is going to a community college in Philly or Upstate New York both faux educational arenas!!!

    Have never seen her ( what does she have to hide ) really contribute anything except she did not know that or trying to take over & bully not only this blog but all others about SGM.

    She is nothing more than a Diesel Sniffer trying to catch up from years of being WAY BEHIND!!

    It would be like me going to ALL blogs about physics, abstract mathematics or formal English writing and claiming ALL others knew NOTHING & I was the expert.

    Nobody likes a NO IT ALL coming late to the show and claiming to be an expert & all other opinions are ignorant because SHE SAYS SO… She even has the bitchiness to try to tell other bloggers with way more exposure to SGM how to write and run their blog!!

    She is the Biggest Straw Expert on SGM that I have ever came across!!

  94. Ode wrote:

    92,”when said person is stating what he honestly believes Scripture teaches …”"

    that’s exactly what scribes and pharisees believed,too, Alan. They were confident they thoroughly knew, believed and strictly followed the Scriptures. Yet their adherence was to the letter alone, not the Spirit of it.

    Yeshua,jesus, whatever language you want to call his name in, didnt bring a single new word of teachings, all he taught was well known before.Except onw thing - his divinity. So they could’ve been godly, but they werent. Like our lil Joe here :)

  95. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:


    In Matthew 23, Christ goes after the Pharisees in their capacities as the self-appointed uber-righteous elites of the day. Particularly in v. 23-24, Jesus is lighting the Pharisees up for their alleged strict adherence to the law while neglecting what he calls the “weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.”

    This is exactly what Joe, Yankee Straw Girl and the rest are practicing in this thread. They are not merely calling a spade a spade; rather, they are browbeating. They’re tithing out of their spice racks and neglecting the truth of the Gospel, which is faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone. And this is exactly the behavior that Christ is calling the Pharisees out for in Matthew 23.

    This thread is rife with the sort of Pharisee-like self-righteousness that is far more concerned with behavior modification than grace. And that’s why I dropped a Matthew 23 bomb on Joe. He earned it.

  96. Auke wrote:

    Man…….i just love SGM…it’s only a shame actual human beings are involved in making/singing/playing/producing it…..
    Lord have mercy!

  97. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    “NO IT ALL”?

    Well, I may not “no” much, but I think I “no” how to spell. :D

  98. Wade wrote:

    ygg Thanks So Much for helping me continue to make my point to show you for what ya are.

    If using a ALL CAPPED word for emphasis and brevity is all ya got when I was posting at 3am cool.

    Just continues to show your attempt to bully and belittle any one who does not share your opinion or self importance. Even on OTHER ppls BLOG(s)… THAT is the most amazing thing to me!!

    Why do you not drop a pic or some academic creds on your site???

    What academic article much less a book have you ever had published???

    As the unofficial caller of BS here I have guts enough to post a link to my facebook site… Even have enough guts to make it a PUBLIC page where ANYONE with a facebook account can go to and even comment on. I’m not skeered why are YOU???

    You say you do not have a facebook account. You have to be the only college student who does not!! That shows you are either a liar or REALLY Strange!!

    You have not answered directly to any of the last 3-4 post even from other REALLY Smart ppl challenging you!!

    You have been exposed as not being the smartest person in the room. Your mom & dad musta really pumped up your self confidence as a child. They should have taught ya more about humility, fortitude and playing nice with others!!!

    NOBODY likes a Bossy Bitch!!

    95 Soli — Amen… see ygg that is a REALLY smart person and Soli & I do not always agree but I have respect for him!!

  99. carl wrote:

    Not having checked in for awhile, I was catching up last night and saw #2, DBM, about the price of the book: “The author may not be making anything but somebody sure is.”

    It’s an industry I know better than I know SGM so I’m going to pipe up. Even if the total sales of this book are twice or three times the average academic title, no one is going to make much, if any, money on it. It’s not just production costs. The cost of pre-production of most academic monographs is huge, even though a fair bit of the work is done for love, not money. The real money costs for an author can be daunting and the author eats those costs. For the press, the long process of administering peer-review is labor-intensive, even though virtually all peer reviewers get pennies an hour, if that, in token honoraria.

    The editorial bar in academic works is higher than in trade publications, and editors and proofreaders aren’t cheap. And by the way, it’s bloody hard work. In academic works, even when an author is an editorial genius, the press’s editorial costs are several thousand dollars. The costs of marketing to a small, specialized international market is high. Those are some reasons why university presses depend on their catalog of “trade” books, amongst other things, to subsidize the cost of publishing a book like this one. The main market for the $80 hard cover will be financially-strapped academic and reference libraries. The textbook market can be financially rewarding in popular course like intro to psych, but I can witness that the itty bitty total of college and university courses that are offered in the US that deal in any way with southern gospel music isn’t what motivated UI Press to publish this book. When we pay $28 for the paperback, it’s unlikely we’re covering real costs.

  100. irishlad wrote:

    Haha 98 Wade take it easy on yankeestupidgirl…she’s messing w/the wrong sort here.

  101. irishlad wrote:

    carl, that’s exactly why i’m going to buy it.

  102. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    That’s RIGHT. I DON’T have a facebook account because I like my PRIVACY and I don’t really NEED it at this stage of my life, and I have BETTER things to do than play FARMVILLE!!… Plus it’s a big HASSLE to have a system where FRIENDS can get offended if you UNFRIEND them, and that sounds like a PAIN IN THE BUTT. So YEAH I’m really strange!!

  103. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    And NO I haven’t answered any of the last few posts because I’d STILL like to keep a little DIGNITY instead of ANSWERING A TROLL IN TROLL’S LANGUAGE…


    (Wow, writing like that is hard work. Dunno how you do it.)

  104. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    Ya know…….I’m really starting to feel the love on this here particular posting. It’s beautiful how we can all come together, sang a little “Kum Bah Ya” and throw a stick in the fire.

    I would like to recommend some Lisinopril 40 mg to Wade and YGG. (That be sum blood pressure medicine) LOL LOL

    I want to dedicate this next song to the resident AVL lovebirds Wade and YGG. ;-) May this minister to them in a special way. LOL LOL LOL

  105. Wade wrote:

    Don’t know if I will be able to wait until DBM’s MAY review!!! He must really be backed up with reviews from exciting important artist.

  106. quartet-man wrote:

    Wade, it wasn’t David that is reviewing, it is Daniel Mount. I presume May is the review date because it is set to release then.

  107. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    The book is being released in May. The 25th, to be exact.

  108. CVH wrote:

    Brooke (aka ygg),

    Would you like me to pre-order one for you?

  109. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Brooke who?

  110. Ode wrote:

    Don’t twist it . We are not talking about
    you but about the singers that have accepted adulterers, and pay tributes to them. Read my post 60. As well as all the SG fans i ever talked to,they are fine with their kids having live-in boy
    (girl)friends and don’t mind committing biblical adultery themselves.

    They – singers and fans –accepted adultery, so will accept homosexuality soon, too, we’ve been thru this already….

  111. Ode wrote:

    90 ,”"a normal person regards the impulse to fornicate heterosexually as sinful. If a person acts on those impulses, he’s disobeying God”"

    Sure. Like when Gerald Crabb decided to act on the impulse to fornicate by marrying his 3rd wife. But you only condemn gays!
    You seem to be just fine with heterosexual singers who are aduterers ;)

  112. Wade wrote:

    Thanks for the correction qman!!! My apologies to both young men!!!

    Thanks too ygg if any body is going to be exact or EXACTLY WRONG we can count on you!!

    Oh CVH don’t be humanizing the KNOW IT ALL!!! After further reflection we should let her have ALL the privacy she wants!! I hate OUTTING ppl who are skeered!!!

  113. Ode wrote:


    “Straw Girl” -LOL that’s funny, Soli, thank you. Well, as Wizard of Oz told the brain seeking Straw Man about smart people in his homeland, who are “.. with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma”

    YGG will graduate eventually…


    ” lovebirds”

    that’s why there is poop everywhere whe she flies in! ygg is a dove, perpetually seeking her monuments.I am tired of shoveling away the edivence of her visits.
    Ygg, you come here bashing Doug and his posters,our views and positions, so what do you expect in return ? Wanna talk about music- great, I will be very grateful, honestly. But come with evil…remember, ” who comes with a sword…..”

  114. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    LOL. Honestly, no clue where “Brooke” is coming from. Not trying to hide anything… nothing to hide there. I’m curious though CVH, how’d you come up with that? Pull a name out of a hat? :-P

  115. CVH wrote:


    No, it’s the name I’ve given you. YGG is just so…non-descript and asexual.

  116. Wade wrote:

    Well Brooke if you are not trying to hide everything come on out!!! See YOU ARE SO FULLA SHIT!!! Busted AGAIN!!!

  117. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    I meant I wasn’t trying to hide the fact that my name is Brooke (e.g. “Um [nervous shuffle] Brooke who? Don’t know no Brooke”), because that’s not my name.

  118. CVH wrote:


    It is until I have evidence to the contrary. And hey, Brooke’s a pretty name so you might as well just go with it. It’s better than some of the other names you’ve been called here. :)

  119. Wade wrote:

    A Brooke by any other name is still ygg… thanks for not naming her Suzan, CVH!!!

    CVH how did you come up with that name??? We could call her Brenda cause that is my mothers name and God Bless her I love my Momma but she is a Loud Mouth KNOW it ALL TOO!!!

    That way if I met a Brooke I liked, it would not ruin it like the name Brenda has for me a few times!!! :-) ;-)

  120. irishlad wrote:

    119 Babbling Brook :)

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