Calling all Barlow Girls! We have a a question for you - what’s worse than ska? Answer: Christian ska. That’s right, on this episode, we’re diving deep into Contemporary Christian Music AKA CCM. Join us as we learn where it came from, where it’s going, and why it sucks. Spoiler - Larry Norman actually slaps.
Clint: Tell me about this “gays love Amy Grant” thing. I'm not familiar with this.
Jey: Apparently, Amy Grant has always had a queer following, and she's known about it since she was 18 and has kind of addressed it in interviews. She is just like, “I love everybody,” but never 100% support. But she came under fire for not being homophobic in the Christian community.
Clint: Indifference is not enough. You must actively hate the gays.
Jey: Yeah. And then a few years back she had I think it was her niece's wedding on her ranch. And so she officiated a gay wedding.
Clint: Wait, she’s ordained?
Clint: What denomination?
Jey: I have no idea. But I even follow a drag queen on Twitter who goes by the name of Flamy Grant.
Clint: Now I am familiar with Flamy Grant, and I knew the name was an Amy Grant reference, but I didn't know there was a larger gay appreciation for Amy Grant. Why? Where does that come from?
Jey: This is just speculation, but I think it's because Amy Grant came under a lot of fire early on for everything from just being a woman on stage in a Christian setting to “Baby, Baby” being way too sexual. And a bunch of people were mad about the fact that she got divorced.
Clint: Feels like they’re really holding her to a different standard than they hold themselves.
Jey: Absolutely. because she is the biggest breakout star in Christian music, or was at the time. And because of this, she's just gone under a lot of similar rejection. And so I think she's been our “leave Britney alone” kind of moment. It's like, “just leave Amy Grant alone. Just let her be.”
Clint: I did enjoy learning about Amy Grant’s story, although in the documentary we watched.
Jey: Jesus Music. It's on Hulu.
Clint: I really didn't really care for the last 20 minutes when it became a big ol’ whine fest, with Amy Grant talking about how much it hurt that people were so critical of her. I just don’t buy it. That bitch was laughing all the way to the bank. She didn't care. She just went back to her mountain ranch.
Jey: She made jokes about, “Oh, yeah, I bought all this back when the ticket sales were better.”
Clint: I don't feel bad for anybody in that documentary.
Jey: TobyMac is talking about how he's a perfectionist and all this stuff. Just even asking the documentarians, “Am I in the shot? Can you check?”
Clint: I wanted to reach to the screen and smack him during that part. And all of them were just fawning over each other, how they’re the best in the business. If they were the best in the business, they wouldn't be doing Contemporary Christian Music. Unless the business you're referring to is specifically CCM, they're not the best.
Jey: TobyMac, if you are uninitiated, he is a white Christian rapper. He is the Christian Eminem. He has a 30 year long career. He's the most famous white Christian rapper that I can think of.
Clint: He's the only one I can think of. When I was a kid, I thought he was one of the McDonald's characters. You know, back when they had Grimace and the Hamburglar.
Jey: I don't even know what to say to that. I just don't know-
Clint: He was Ron’s little rappin’ cousin - TobyMac. That’s my personal Mandela Effect.
Clint: Hello, everyone, and welcome to How Gay Thou Art, a comedy podcast about growing up queer, Christian and hella confused. My name is Clint Keller, he/him.
Jey: I'm Jey Austen, they/them.
Clint: And today we're talking about contemporary Christian music. None of that old shit, no hymns.
Jey: If you didn't listen to Christian music growing up, you're a sinner.
Clint: Well, as we will see, you might still be a sinner because not all Christians are CCM fans and that includes everyone I knew growing up. Anything more contemporary than a hymnal is just as bad as secular music. It may be even worse because it’s tricking you into thinking you’re doing the right thing.
Jey: Actually, I prefer it when you can't tell if you're talking about God or someone you're sexually interested in, in my Christian music, thank you very much. I thought about calling this episode “I Listened To Christian Ska So You Don't Have To” because like, if you think about the worst genre of music, it's ska. As you think about the worst genre of music, also, it's Christian. And so putting Christian and Ska together for like, The O.C. Super Tones and Five Iron Frenzy…
Clint: Honestly, I don't think that's the worst. I think the worst genre of music is contemporary worship music, so specifically the new-agey praise & worship songs the congregation sings at mega churches, which is technically CCM but it’s written with a different motivation than like, a studio album from a band.
Jey: I don't know what you're talking about. A 13 minute long song where you're just like, “break every chain, break every chain.” Every key change is important.
Clint: It doesn't matter how many times you change the key if it's the exact same four chord progression every time.
Jey: You know, Bethel may be a cult but they did have good music.
Both: That's what people say about Hillsong too.
Jey: Both Bethel and Hillsong had their own record label.
Clint: I found it interesting that they did not bring that up in the documentary.
Jey: Yeah, didn’t talk a lick about the Hillsong controversity? Controversity? Anyway.
Both: Let's get into this.
Clint: We've got to stop reading each other's minds. It's getting weird. Finish each other's…
Clint: Yes, that's what I was going to say. Goddamn it.
Jey: All right, so what exactly is Christian music? So there's a lot of different types of Christian music, obviously. You know, churches had hymns back in the day, but we're talking about specifically contemporary Christian music and the industry itself. So basically, in the 1960s, there were a bunch of hippies and they were all spiritual and shit. And so then they decided, “Oh, I know, let's go be spiritual by converting to Christianity.” And there was this whole thing called the Jesus movement. And from that came-
Clint: The Jesus music.
Jey: Yeah, Jesus music. And it's also around the time that the saying “Jesus freaks
- it had a negative connotation until the band DC Talk made a song called “Jesus Freaks,” which made being a Jesus freak seem cool.
Clint: I would still consider its connotation negative.
Jey: I don't know what you're talking about.
Clint: So what really happened is we had a bunch of hippies working toward revolution in California but then LSD was outlawed and a bunch of the movement’s leaders were arrested or died of drug overdoses. So a lot of them decided to just trade one delusion for another.
Jey: And you're not even wrong about that acid thing. So there was this guy, Chuck Gerard, and he was from the band Love Song.
Clint: Who is Love Song?
Jey: So Love Song was one of the first bands to blend rock music with Christian lyrics. He had a quote in the documentary that said, “My philosophy was God gave us LSD, and if you weren't brave enough to experiment with LSD, you'd miss God.” The whole Jesus Music documentary started out by talking about drugs. Then this guy was like, “I made a joint out of everything in my spice cabinet. Don't do it.”
Clint: Huge waste of that nutmeg. I was generally familiar with the hippie to Christian pipeline that popped up in the early 70’s, but I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the level of influence drugs had on early Jesus music.
Clint: The early music was also just a lot better because they were writing real songs. The early musicians were part of the hippie music scene, they lived in the “secular world.” Christian music wasn’t the circle jerk it is now. They were listening to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Arlo Guthrie and they brought that musicianship into Christian worship.
Jey: Yeah, talented musicians to look up to. But as you start getting into the eighties and then the nineties where you've had 20 years, so now it's already established as an industry and there's already these Christian house rules of like them raising their kids on only Christian music. So now kids are learning, you know, I only need to know three chords. It just gets dumbed down.
Clint: This point is a broken record, but it’s what they always do - take the best parts of secular culture, appropriate it, and then make it worse over time. The entire CCM industry was born out of hippie drug culture.
Jey: And they didn't even hide it.
Clint: No, but like you said, now it's its own genre with its own conventions. But Larry Norman, man, his lyrics hit hard. Researching this made me an unironic fan. Just listen to the lyrics of “Why Don't You Look Into Jesus?” It’s probably his most famous song. You couldn’t put this on a CCM album today. My God, you'd be run out of town.
Sipping whiskey from a paper cup
You drown your sorrows till you can't stand up
Take a look at what you've done to yourself
Why don't you put the bottle back on the shelf
Yellow fingers from your cigarettes
Your hands are shaking while your body sweats
Why don't you look into Jesus, He's got the answer
Gonorrhea on Valentines Day
And you're still looking for the perfect lay
You think rock and roll will set you free
You'll be deaf before your thirty three
Shooting junk till your half insane
Broken needle in your purple vein
Why don't you look into Jesus, He's got the answer.
Jey: Because these people used to have real lived experience.
Clint: And that's the thing, right? The Jesus music was about real people and real struggles. It was about coming to religion in a very authentic way. Now it’s just sanitized feel-good music.
Jey: I think one other thing that's really interesting is kind of what we looked at with the TV Guardian stuff where it's all of these adults wanting a sanitized culture now rather than getting out and just like having experiences making mistakes, living life. And that is very apparent.
Clint: They don’t want their media to reflect reality anymore. They want it to be an idealized vision of the world or a persecution fantasy or something. Anything except reality, really. Now we should mention that one man is really responsible for pushing Jesus music into the mainstream and facilitating its evolution into CCM - and that’s Billy Graham. The turning point was an event in Dallas, Texas, called Explo ‘72. It was basically a Christian Woodstock and it was heavily endorsed by Graham, which caused a lot of controversy at the time. White Christians did not like the idea of inviting a bunch of candy-brained hippies into the fold. Newsweek even described the crowds as being "militant Christians,” which feels a little ridiculous now that we have actual Evangelical militias running around. But this was a big to-do. Popular Jesus music artists were there - Love Song, Larry Norman, Children of the Day - but there were also mainstream artists like Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson there singing Christian music. Billy Graham actually had a really interesting quote from one of his addresses at the event that is wild to read today considering current evangelical beliefs. He said, “True faith must be applied to the social problems of our world today. Christian young people ought to be involved in the problems of poverty, ecology, war, racial tension and all the other problems of our generation.”
Jey: They say that still. They just don't believe it.
Clint: Bullshit. Evangelicals actively fight against ecological conservation. And perhaps a few churches try putting a band aid on poverty but setting up a soup kitchen is different from trying to actually make a systemic difference. Their voting record shows exactly how few shits they give about poverty.
Jey: But they want people to come to the church now.
Clint: But then the church doesn't actually do anything. I used to hear that shit all the time when I was a kid. My mom would say it. People at church would say it. “It's not the government's job to take care of people. It's not the government's job to give handouts. It’s the church’s responsibility to take care of people.” Then our church would proceed to do absolutely nothing to help the community.
Jey: Yeah, and then they would vote against it.
Clint: OK, so we talked about the origins of Contemporary Christian Music. We have the Jesus music, we have worship music that churches sing, but what defines CCM now? Is it literally just playing the musical stylings of the day with the lyrics changed?
Jey: Well, yes. So there was a hair metal band named Stryper.
Clint: Stryper! They rock, dude.
Jey: Dude, I had never heard of them really, before doing this research.
Clint: The lead singer literally said, “the music was the same, we just changed the lyrics.” And Stryper was the primary target of the anti-Billy Graham - Jimmy Swaggart. He was a televangelist who absolutely hated CCM and Stryper in particular.
Jey: My ex's parents used to work for Jimmy Swaggart, and Jimmy Swaggart fired both of them on Christmas Eve when they were pregnant with my ex and had a hole in their roof.
Clint: Well, nobody's good enough for Jimmy Swaggart.
Jey: Jimmy is a terrible person.
Clint: Oh yeah, he's the worst. And this Billy Graham/Jimmy Swaggart divide really is the beginning of the split between churches that accepted CCM and churches, like the ones I attended, that are still just singing hymns. And you really were either a Jimmy Swaggart person or Billy Graham person. When I was a kid, everybody said that Billy Graham was a liberal sellout piece of shit. We all hated Billy Graham.
Jey: That's insane. I grew up in Billy Graham world where everyone loved Billy Graham. He was like a saint among men.
Clint: There are a lot of reasons IFB-types hate Billy Graham but his endorsement of Jesus music was one of the first big rifts.
Jey: And Billy Graham's over here, just like we got to make Christianity relevant and music is one of the ways. So he was like, down with DC Talk when they came out.
Clint: Oh, yeah. He was a big DC Talk promoter. Honestly, CCM probably wouldn't exist as the industry it is today without Billy Graham. And now his kid, fuckin Frankie, is out here doing a Donald Trump apology tour, doing everything he can to make Christianity less relevant.
Jey: In an article about Amy Grant officiating the gay wedding, it was like, “And Franklin Graham wants everyone to know that he's against it.”
Clint: Yeah I’m sure everyone was very concerned about his opinion.
Jey: Okay, so in the eighties, Amy Grant came to power.
Clint: Amy Grant came to power. It's really true though. She took that shit over.
Jey: Oh, man. And the way that these men described her in this Christian music documentary, I mean, it was like, “she was just so demure” and exactly what they wanted out of a woman. And because she was meek and humble and I'm just like, “Y'all are so sexist and you don't even realize that you're being.”
Clint: Yeah but they gave all that talk up when she came out wearing that leopard print jacket with the perm.
Jey: Which wasn't even bad. It's just a leopard print jacket. Like, she was still fully covered.
Clint: Sure but it ain't exactly demure.
Jey: Okay, so Amy Grant, if you don't know who she is, even though we've mentioned her about a thousand times already, she is a breakout Christian darling that topped both Christian and secular charts. She was the first-
Clint: She's a top, huh?
Jey: Mmhmm. Anyway, just thinking about it. Nevermind. I’m not sexualizing Amy Grant. Anyway, so she topped Christian charts and secular charts.
Clint: You just keep saying it.
Jey: Stop it! “Baby, Baby” was actually the second time that she was on the Billboard Top 100. But it was the first time that she was on it by herself.
Clint: “Baby, Baby” is not a Christian song, though, right?
Jey: No, Amy Grant was one of the first people who you couldn't tell if she was singing about god or boys.
Clint: I think it's pretty clear she's not singing about God.
Jey: Yeah, no, it's not. And people were pissed that how dare she sing about anything other than Jesus. She stopped getting played on some Christian radio and whatever, which was fine because then she just kept making more billboard hits.
Clint: Yeah she was on regular radio. She didn’t need Christian radio.
Jey: Also, people got really pissed that she had the audacity to get divorced and remarried. A lot of controversy with Miss Amy. And then Michael W Smith - I didn't know this - but he was originally Amy Grant's pianist before breaking out on his own. Curtis Chapman was also popular in the eighties.
Clint: And this is where CCM starts becoming an industry. Amy Grant really pushed it to a new level. In the 80’s and 90’s, the whole thing was a money-making machine. Turns out Christian commercialism is very profitable. The 90’s also brought CCM’s next game-changing act, DC Talk.
Jey: DC Talk - it was TobyMac, Michael Tate, I think.
Clint: And Kevin.
Jey: And Kevin.
Clint: I don't remember what his last name is. I saw a quote from him where he said something like, “we were just trying to create something that hadn't been created before.” I heard quotes similar to this from a lot of CCM people and it simply isn’t true. None of it is original. They didn’t invent anything. All CCM artists do is take existing music genres and add Jesus.
Jey: But not according to that documentary. Twice in the Jesus music documentary, it said Christians invented rock and roll. God gave us rock and roll and then we didn't want it. So he gave it to the seculars. And I'm over here like, No, that is inaccurate. If you want to know anyone that made rock and roll, it was stolen directly from black churches and culture. And white Christians hated it when it first came out.
Clint: Yeah that whole bit was very frustrating. White Christians did not create rock & roll. Some major revisionist history was happening there. In no other context do white Christians consider the legacy of black churches when it comes to American church history. But now, conveniently, they want to claim them.
Jey: It didn't provide any source for where Christians invented rock and roll. Kirk Franklin was another one in the nineties - black gospel recording artist who topped secular charts with the song “Stomp” and then White Christianity started to accept him after he had already topped secular charts and then pretended like they'd been behind him the whole time when they had not.
Clint: Oh so exactly what the documentary does with the entire concept of rock & roll. Got it.
Jey: And instead of a hit compilation like “Now That's What I Call Music,” we had “Wow Worship,” which is even more funny when you think about the fact that TVG changes-
Clint: Fuck That’s What I Call Music!
Jey: This episode we're just changing all of the words back. So any time we say, “wow,” it has to be “fuck.” So “Fuck Worship.”
Clint: Fuck, worship, kill - that's a fun new game.
Jey: Oh God. Fuck, worship or kill - Amy Grant.
Clint: All of the above.
Jey: Speaking of killing and Christian music murders, I was just doing some research and Tim Lambesis. He was a Christian. I don't know if the band was technically Christian. I guess the only way to differentiate if the band's Christian or not is based on which record label it's on. So like if it was on Tooth and Nail, definitely Christian. But if it wasn't, who knows?
Clint: So the band is called As I Lay Dying. They were never an explicitly Christian band but they toured with a lot of CCM bands. They had clean lyrics and the band members were allegedly Christian.
Jey: But anyway, Tim Lambesis, he went to Liberty University, he became the lead singer of the Grammy nominated metal band As I Lay Dying. He was arrested for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
Clint: The band actually recently released a mini documentary called Misery Evolved: The Untold Story of As I Lay Dying. It was released to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month and it illustrates the personal side of their experiences through the years after returning to the stage following Tim's release from prison.
Jey: So he got out?
Clint: Yeah, well, it was just attempted murder, so that's a shorter sentence. He also recently said that CCM is total bullshit and none of the musicians are actually even Christian. They’re just doing it for the money which is literally the least surprising take I’ve ever heard. Since you mentioned As I Lay Dying, when I got older, I was into Underoath for a while, so that’s a CCM band I’m somewhat familiar with. I also had a friend who was in a Christian metalcore band called Dying with a Smile.
Jey: That sounds Christian metalcore for some reason.
Clint: I think it was a reference to Christians dying in the Roman coliseum, which didn’t really even happen apparently. I saw them play a show at the old Bryant & Pack Lumber Yard in Newport, Tennessee around 2010.
Jey: Oh man, I was looking for other shit that was just like wild and one of these was Michael Guglielmucci, youth pastor of PlanetShakers City Church.
Clint: What? This is not real.
Jey: He had a long history of faking ailments and injuries and then receiving miraculous divine healing from them. So broken bones to weirdly specific and rare forms of cancer.
Clint: Probably easier to fake diseases no one has ever heard of.
Jey: Yeah. So he wrote about his struggle with the disease and wrote and performed a song called “Healer,” which was a hit in the Christian music industry. But in 2008, he admitted he faked his illness in order to cover up a porn addiction and apologized for the deception.
Clint: How did that help cover a porn addiction? Was he like, saying he was going to the hospital for chemo treatments, but going somewhere to jack off instead?
Jey: I don’t know. At one time, apparently, he was faking a broken leg from a supposed hit and run, which miraculously got healed at a prayer service.
Jey: You didn't think it could get any worse? There was Christian ska, which apparently wasn't even the worst part of CCM. Like the Christian ska was actually relatively okay.
Clint: Here's the thing about the Christian ska - your expectations are already really low. It can't be worse than regular ska.
Jey: Exactly. That's the thing. And I just wanted to mention Christian ska because I have a friend in a ska band.
Clint: I hope they don't listen to our show.
Jey: He actually does. His name is Ben. He played Jesus in a hell house and then got notes of being too aggressive and is now in a ska punk band called Younger Than Neil. So everyone go listen to Younger Than Neil if you like ska punk.
Clint: Are they Christian?
Clint: What did you say the band name is?
Jey: They’re called Younger Than Neil.
Clint: I see. Like Neil Young. When you first said it, I thought you meant kneel as in k-n-e-e-l.
Jey: That’s the CCM parody band for Younger Than Neil.
Clint: I see. Okay.
Clint: Did I ever tell you that body piercing saved my life?
Jey: Oh my god. So Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock by Andrew Boz on has a picture of someone wearing a shirt and it's got hands with a piercing in them and it says “body piercing saved my life.”
Clint: I want that shirt.
Jey: I really loved it just because I was looking at the index of the book and the first chapter I guess, is called “No More LSD for Me, I met the Man from Galilee.”
Clint: Is that a song? Because if it's not, it's about to be. Wait. It's a Larry Norman song!
Clint: Of course it is. Of course it’s a Larry Norman song. Oh my god. This is my new favorite song. I am putting this on my psychedelic playlist right now.
Jey: It's just going to be that and Phish. Just back to back.
Clint: Oh, my God. What if I do a CCM parody Phish band? What is that Jesus fish called?
Clint: That's the name of the band - Ichthys. Holy shit. I always wanted to do a bluegrass Phish band called The Blue Gills, but this is so much better.
Jey: This is how you're going to win a Dove Award.
Clint: Honestly, honestly, maybe I could. Here's what's interesting, though, is I think maybe we could recreate this whole 1960s thing. Unlike the CCM crowd, people at Phish shows are still doing acid. I go down there, I start handing out Ichthys CDs. We’ll have a following before you know it.
Jey: I bet you can because of all these Christians that got their start in Christian music by doing acid.
Clint: It's true.
Jey: What else haven't we talked about? Oh, we talked a little bit about sexism towards Amy Grant, but we didn't talk about purity culture and sexism within the lyrical content of CCM.
Clint: Yeah, CCM propped up purity culture in a lot of ways, right?
Jey: Yes. I was obsessed with the band SuperChick. I've already talked about that a little bit. SuperChick, you know, toured with Susie Shellenberger. Amazing. I never actually saw SuperChick live, but my friend said that she went to a concert and brought me back a CD signed by a SuperChick, but it was actually just signed by my friend because she felt bad she never got it signed for me, but I figured it out because I knew my friend's handwriting, so I just had this CD signed by my friend. Anyway, so SuperChick wrote a song called “The Barlow Girl.” Barlow Girl is another Christian band, by the way. I'll just read like, maybe a verse and a chorus.
We met these sisters, Barlows their last name
Ordinary girls, they don't live in the fast lane
They don't rate with the guys that score
Cause they don't flaunt what the boys want more
They don't date, they won't date
They wanna see how they're gonna grow up who they're gonna be
But in the meantime, they might feel unloved
When all the girls around them are hooking up
But I know for sure, it's never popular to be pure
And while some guys might be passing them by
I think they've caught someone's eye
All the boys in the band
Want a valentine from a Barlow girl
Boys think they're the bomb
Cause they remind them of their mom
You can get noticed with your body
Sexual hypnosis by being hottie
You might feel like public property
You might you might, you shouldn't be
No girl should feel she has to trade her body
For love or be an old maid
And yes there are guys who are willing to wait
Ask a Barlow girl on her wedding day
Some of this is good in that you shouldn't be an object, you shouldn't be whatever. But also they're saying that any woman that wants to feel hot and stuff, they're saying, well, you should have waited for your wedding day. It's all sticky and it's all it's very you know, it's purity culture callouts. Then they remind them of their mom.
Clint: That’s the weirdest part. But effective for making listeners whatever the opposite of horny is. This just feels like a shitty “Sk8r Boi.”
Jey: That's exactly what it was. It was the Christian version of the “Sk8r Boy.” Except there was no boy. She’s going to save it till her wedding day.
Clint: Who is this Barlow Girl?
Jey: I'm going to look it up right now. But I know there was another Christian band named Barlow Girl.
Clint: Well, in Urban Dictionary, it says, “a Barlow Girl is someone who's unhealthily obsessed with purity culture.” That checks out. Relient K is in this purity culture ballpark too. Relient K is the only Christian band anybody knows about that I actually saw in concert. But that was only because they opened for Paramour.
Jey: Also Reliant K later recanted some of their like worst stuff, one of their worst stuffs being the song “Mood Ring.”
Clint: Oh, I remember that one.
Jey: We all thought we were so edgy. I wore a mood ring. I loved that song.
Clint: Let’s read some of these lyrics here:
And I've contrived some sort of a plan to help my fellow man
Let's get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
So we'll be tipped off to when they're ticked off
cause we'll know just what they're thinking...just what they're thinking
Jey: Bro, You could just communicate.
Clint: That’s what the mood ring’s for. Are there any gay related CCM things we need to talk about?
Jey: So a little while back, I don't remember what church it was, but I feel like it was like an IHOP or Bethel.
Jey: International House of Prayer in Kansas. It's kind of a cult.
Clint: You know, it’s also a restaurant.
Jey: Yeah, no, not the same thing. I forgot-
Clint: Mmmmm. Pancakes.
Jey: No! This Is the International House of Prayer. There are dating rules. They will make you break up with your fiance for holding hands.
Clint: Butter my biscuit and call me Beelzebub, cause this is the best damn breakfast I've ever had.
Jey: Anyway, so recently on TikTok, there was this girl, and she was singing some worship song. And it was like, “you take me up and you take me around and you place my feet on solid ground, hallelujah” or whatever. And she went VIRAL on lesbian TikTok, and she didn't realize that she had gone viral on lesbian TikTok. She was like, “when your worship song that you're singing for Jesus goes viral.” And then all the comments are like, “Honey, we are into it because we think you're like, a hot ass lesbian.” And she's like, “I'm not. This is so wrong. Like, I'm not even a lesbian. I think that it's not okay.” And so there was like all this discourse about can you sexualize a straight girl? Should lesbians sexualize the straight girl who's very against being gay?
Clint: I'm fine with it.
Jey: Can you sexualize a homophobe? How dare you?
Clint: Honestly, it feels like the sweetest revenge.
Clint: OK it’s game time! So you were a big contemporary Christian music fan. But how big of a fan were you?
Jey: I was obsessed.
Clint: Well we’re going to put that to the test. I’m going to play you a snippet of a song and you have to guess the name of the song, the artist, and there are bonus points for the album name. We're going to start off with an easy one, one that even I know.
Jey: Okay, “That's Sadie Hawkins Dance.” You didn't even get to a lyric.
Clint: That was just a guitar riff. Impressive. Ok next one.
Jey: Oh, my God. This is. This is LeCrae, “Jesus Music.” And I think the album was Rebel.
Clint: The album is After the Music Stops actually.
Jey: Oh, damn,
Jey: This is Kirk Franklin, “Stomp!” I don't know the album.
Clint: You’re on a roll!
Jey: For a second I thought it was “Cotton Eyed Joe,” but I would recognize that man's voice anywhere. That is David Crowder singing “I Saw the Light.”
Jey: Oh, God, this is Big Daddy Weave.
Clint: Incorrect! Finally got you.
Jey: Wait, okay, name the song - “Big House.” If it's not Big Daddy Weave, Audio Adrenaline?
Clint: Correct but too late unfortunately.
Jey: Yeah, that's the Newsboys, “Entertaining Angels.”
Jey: Oh, my God. This is Skillet. It's on the album Alien Youth, but I don't know the name of the song.
Clint: It's also “Alien Youth!”
Jey: Yeah, Imagine that. Yo, my sister burned this album onto a cassette tape and I walked around - the only cassette player I had was my Fisher-Price cassette player that had a microphone
Jey: It's Hawk Nelson. I don't know the name of the song. Maybe it's California?
Jey: Oh, my God. Of course it is.
Clint: All right, last one.
Jey: That was SuperChick, “Princes and Frogs.” Yeah, that was another purity culture one. It's literally talking about how “it seems cute enough to kiss. Don't give away your Purity.” On their album that is- It's black with graffiti on it. I can picture it in my head, but I can't tell you the name of it.
Jey: Oh, my God.
Clint: You did a pretty amazing job here. Nearly perfect score.
Jey: I was obsessed. I had every Wow Worship album.
Jey: Back in the old days, there used to be a bunch of hot air balloons that would come from New Mexico, and then they would all land at Baylor.
Clint: Float over to Waco.
Jey: Yeah, and the ones that stayed around would put on a Christian concert. One year, it was like, Stephen Chapman. One year it was Big Daddy Weave.
Clint: You know, people come from all around to hot air balloon shows. People absolutely love them. But I have to say - and this is an unpopular opinion - hot air balloons are the dumbest fucking thing I've ever seen in my life.
Clint: It is the most impractical mode of transportation ever invented.
Jey: Could you imagine if instead of private jets people took hot air balloons, the world would be a better place, right?
Clint: Well, yeah, the environment would benefit for sure. But I have zero interest in ever being in a hot air balloon.
Clint: I do not want to be in a little basket up in the air attached to a fucking balloon like Danny Deckchair.
Jey: I want to go in a hot air balloon so bad. I think they're so cool.
Clint: It’s just not for me.
Jey: Let's see, for you, since you didn't grow up with Christian music, I think it would be really fun to quiz you on - are they a Christian band? Or are they not?
Clint: The trick here is that you're not supposed to be able to tell, right?
Jey: But CAN you?
Clint: I'm going to try. Lay it on me
Clint: Not Christian. But who was that?
Jey: That was “Never Let You Go” by Third Eye Blind.
Clint: Oh, Christian.
Jey: Yep, that's Switchfoot.
Clint: That chord progression that was obviously Christian.
Clint: Yeah, I think that's probably a Christian song.
Jey: It's not! It's called Cocaine Jesus by Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
Clint: Goddamn it.
Jey: I'm really happy I tricked you.
Clint: Yeah, yeah, that was a good one.
Jey: That's called “Hey, Hey” by The Elms. It was on Wow Worship 2002.
Clint: 2002. Good year.
Jey: Yeah, I had that one. I was like, “Oh man, I'll break this one out from WOW. He'll never know.
Clint: He kept saying “guys.” That's what gave it away for me. That feels like a very youth pastor thing to say.
Clint: This is good. This is a bop.
Clint: Okay. Christian.
Clint: Coming in hot like a fajita? Get out of here. That totally ruined it. I was with it until that but no self-respecting secular rapper is going to say they're coming in hot like a fajita.
Clint: No, not Christian.
Jey: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Clint: Not Christian.
Jey: Yeah, that's “Jesus Is the One, I Got Depression” by Zach Fox.
Clint: Come on, the first word was bitch.
Jey: I forgot about that.
Clint: It's Christian.
Clint: I think that identifying marker is that it always sounds like they're trying too hard.
Clint: Not Christian.
Jey: They are not Christian. That was Creed.
Clint: I would recognize that voice anywhere.
Clint: Oh, not Christian. Is that it? That wasn’t so bad. I feel like it did okay.
Jey: Yeah, you definitely did. You got it almost all right.
Clint: This just goes to prove my point. The only reason I knew any of this is because Christian music is subpar. The shitty songs were obviously Christian.
Jey: Except for Lecrae until he said that thing about fajitas.
Clint: Alright, I think we’re done here. What do you want to plug?
Jey: Buy our merch if you want to support the podcast! Let's see, what else? Patreon. We're releasing additional minisodes now.
Clint: What's our next episode about? What are you researching for the final episode of the season?
Jey: That is a... great Question, Clint.
Clint: What if we did it about the God’s Not Dead series?
Jey: I have never watched God’s Not Dead.
Clint: Me either.
Jey: We could do that. We could learn about the history of God's Not Dead.
Clint: He's surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like Poseidon. What is it?
Jey: The words are hot like a fajita.
Clint: Right, right, right. My mistake. Living on the inside, hot like a fajita.
Jey: Thank you. Also, if you like our show or you have better lines to Lecrae songs or you've done secular parodies of them so that we can like it. We would love to hear about it.
Clint: And also leave us a review on your podcast platform. Give us five stars or one star. I don't care how many stars. Just rate it.
Jey: Some people fight God, some people give us one star, it's cool.
Clint: Tonight's the night you fight god. “Tonight's the night you fight your dad” is the slogan for my favorite liquor but I think I’m going to change it to “tonight's the night you fight god.”
Jey: It's your heavenly Daddy.
Clint: Exactly. Cool. So we’re back in two weeks, we're going to talk about God's Not Dead. I can't wait to sit down and watch all of those. I might be dead by the time that's over.
Jey: Anyway, I'm Jey Austen, they/then.
Clint: You can't even get your own pronouns right, you expect other people to?? They/then?!? They/then what?
Jey: Anyway. I'm Jey-
Clint: I'm Clint Keller, He/Him. This is How Gay Thou Art. We're done. We're out of here. We'll see you in two weeks. Go listen to “Baby, Baby.” I guarantee you will love it.
Clint; any warm object would have been better
Clint: Coming in like cuuummmm