Monday, October 10, 2011

Killer Queen

Several years ago I was helping to plan a campus ministry conference. The theme was One Vision. As a classic rock nerd, I knew the perfect theme song. One of the campus ministers agreed, borrowed my "Queen: Live at Wembley CD" and started to work on a highlight video. The video and song, however, were never used.

Of course, I can understand why. There is the need to be sensitive to a broad range of convictions when putting on a large event like that. And some just didn't feel comfortable with a conference theme being sung by someone who was gay and died of AIDS.

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind... Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way." (Romans 14:5,13)

Marc Martel of the Christian band, Downhere (my personal favorite song: "My Last Amen") is auditioning for The Queen Extravaganza- a Queen tribute band that is sponsored by the surviving members of the band. (Sadly, this is only a tribute band. I had to swallow this news at the same time I saw a headline that the actual band was considering Lady Gaga as their lead singer on their next tour. No, I'm not going to link that in principle.)

Instantly Marc became a youtube sensation. With over 4 million views in two weeks (as of this writing) he scored himself a writeup in the Wall Street Journal and a performance on the Ellen Show. But not every Christian is happy for his new found popularity.

Some are criticizing Freddie Mercury's lifestyle, his legacy, the rock and roll drug culture, and every other reason they can think of for a self-proclaimed Christian not to do this. I could go on and on, but I'll let Marc defend himself:

"Freddie Mercury wrote songs that were real and true. Rock and roll reaches people because it’s honest, and doesn’t shy away from the issues. You can have a great voice, but people can spot a fake from a mile away. Our music may come from a biblical standpoint but we don’t shy away from true experiences – doubt, loss, pain, sorrow – we want to deal with all of that. Queen’s repertoire deals with those emotions and feelings too and I love singing their music because at the end of the day, it’s just true."

Amen.

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