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False Prophets

The Gospel Music Association recently commissioned the Barna Group to survey the attitudes of Christian youth toward music “piracy.” The GMA wasn’t too happy with the results, which revealed that only 8% of Christian teens think sharing music files or burning CDs is morally wrong and that 80% of them had done the deed during the past six months.


“A lot of students think it’s a cheap way to witness the Gospel,” Scott Flagg of the University of North Texas told the Dallas Morning News.  “They go out and buy a CD, then burn several copies to give away.”


“That’s a convoluted logic,” responded Barry Landis, president of Warner subsidiary Word Records. “You would never steal Bibles to give them away. You shouldn’t steal Christian music to give away.”


In Landis’s convoluted logic, if you can’t afford to enrich a corporation by purchasing a book or CD, you have no right to the word of God. This flies in the face of the life of Jesus, who took his stand with the poor and drove the moneychangers from the temple. In the Book of Acts, the Bible calls for distribution to whoever has a need. Religious historian John Dominic Crossan says Jesus preached “a dream of what kind of world we would have if the hierarchies were gone, if everything were shared equally.” Jesus had the last word on file-sharers, too: “Blessed are the reviled.”


Burn, baby, burn.



Rock & Rap Confidential / 2004

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