The other day I wrote a post about music that celebrates marriage. I included one of my favorite songs, Just Another Day in Paradise by Phil Vassar. For years, country music has been one of the last bastions where normal people with Christian values felt welcome, where marriage and the nuclear family were still celebrated. Of course, Vassar's song is almost 20 years old and the world is a far different (not to mention crazier) place than it was then. It was crazy but not quite as crazy. Demonization of Christians was mild compared to today's atmosphere. I wonder how long it will be before Christians can't work anywhere, even in a volunteer role.
In the wake of Huckabee's resignation from his volunteer position on the board of the Country Music Association Foundation, the family-friendly assumption about country music has collapsed! Lesbians and gays in the industry went ballistic over Huckabee's appointment and threatened economic sanctions. According to the Family Research Council (FRC):
Jason Owen and his husband -- both LGBT activists whose Monument Records and Sandbox Entertainment represents some of the genre's biggest stars -- called the selection of Huckabee a "grossly offensive decision. Owen, who counts Midland, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shay, Faith Hill, and others among his clients, claimed Huckabee's involvement would harm the very kids the foundation was created to help. "Not to mention," Owen went on, "how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice." Others, like Sugarland's manager Whitney Pastorek, accused Huckabee (and the 53 percent of Americans with natural marriage beliefs like his) of "bigotry, racism, and sexism." With breathtaking prejudice, she insists, "While Governor Huckabee's tenure in Arkansas may have resulted in valuable education reform over a decade ago, I find his choice to spend the past 10 years profiting off messages of exclusion and hatred (not to mention the gun lobby) to be disqualifying."Huckabee resigned but not quietly. In his letter of resignation (only 24 hours after his appointment) he wrote:
"I genuinely regret," he wrote, "that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained. I'm somewhat flattered to be of such consequence when all I thought I was doing was voluntarily serving on a nonprofit board without pay in order to [continue] my decades of advocacy for the arts and especially music." All of us, he went on, "have deep passions about our beliefs. I do about mine. But I hate no one. I wish upon NO ONE the loss of life or livelihood because that person sees things differently than me."
"If the industry doesn't want people of faith or who hold conservative and traditional political views to buy tickets and music, they should be forthcoming and say it. Surely neither the artists nor the business people of the industry want that."
"Until recently, the arts was the one place America could set aside political, geographical, racial, religious, and economic barriers and come together. If the arts community becomes part of the polarization instead of bridging communities and people over the power of civil norms as reflected in the arts, then we as a civilization may not be long for this earth." (Read full letter here...)FRC recommends contacting the country music recording artists represented by Owen. Do they want people of faith excluded from their concerts and maligned the way Huckabee has been?