Adventures in Christian Rock (and Rap), Part Two

Hopefully you all saw that terrible Christian rock video floating around the other day.

The song is titled “Shine”, which is also the name of my favorite Christian song of all time, by an Australian band called The Newsboys. I still love it to this day.

My other favorite Christian song is a rap-infused New Jack Swing cover of “Jesus is Just Alright” by the bad-ass group D.C. Talk. IT IS THE MOTHER-FUCKING JAM. If you were in a youth group around this time, it was the soundtrack to your life. If you were a girl (or an extremely oppressed closeted boy), you wanted to wait until marriage for Toby Mac. This video is like time travel for me. It makes me want to throw on some jungle-green stirrup pants and a B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt and do The Running Man. P.S. I know all the rap breakdowns by heart.

In high school I was really into Christian Ska? My favorite bands were The Supertones, Skillet and Value Pac. (I also saw MXPX before they decided to “go secular”.) I still listen my dubbed Supertones cassette sometimes in my car; they were really fun (you know, relatively speaking).

I had a Value Pac t-shirt that I wore religiously (pun not intended, sorry). Unfortunately I also had giant boobs and lots of male friends, so “Value Pac” became my nickname for at least a year. My friend Adam still calls me this when he’s very drunk. If you call me this, I will punch you straight into Heaven. The Value Pac t-shirt met a tragic end when my friend Shawn borrowed it, then barfed a bottle of tequila all over it.

For all my years of Christian music, I only have one truly negative experience. A rap group came to my Christian School when I was in third grade and gave us all cassettes. There were two versions of the cassette and you had to get permission from your parents for one version because it had the song “God Made Sex”. My brother had that version. That made me cooler than my friends.

The part that is negative is that “God Made Sex” actually includes the line “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Which makes me so sad for many reasons, one being that otherwise the song should be in a time capsule about hip hip; it’s such a relic and worth a listen if you can stomach that one line. (Did you know that’s one of only two homophobic things I heard while going to church? That’s probably pretty rare.) I believe I still have this cassette somewhere; expect a Part Three if I find it.

Anyway, the rap group is called The Firefighters and someone made a Myspace page for them. (Insert some Beevis “YYYYEEESSSS”es right here.) According to the page, “your detached, ironic, cool sensibilities may be shaken by The Firefighters. You will first laugh at them, then listen to them, and then embrace them. Years before Run DMC became 1/3 preacher and Jesus walked with Kanye West, The Firefighters were keeping it real. Real Christian!”

Back to “Jesus is Just Alright”: This is the moment I fell in love with Freaks and Geeks:

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