erotic, meme, modern nation-state, music, violence

How is this for a Meme?

There has been talk around the theoblogosphere about creating a new meme. I have an idea: In your opinion, theologically, what is the worst song, ever? And why?

Now I elect to stay away from songs of worship like hymns or modern day worship songs, mainly because I’m not interested age-old debates like Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Actually this is really an excuse to talk about one of my least favorite song. Ever. However, everyone else, feel free to name your own least favorite, and then a song to replace it.

My father came into town this last Friday and we went to see the Yankees get beat by the Mets up at Yankee stadium (much to the disappointment of my father), even with Clements pitching. During the seventh inning stretch, the people in-charge played the ever so popular “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song over the speakers, but then a second song, one that churns up a deeply-rooted negative emotions inside of me, was played – “God, bless America.” Now of course this reaction stems from the critique about the nation-state, yoking church with violence, nationality vs. ecclesiology, blah blah blah. Same old stuff really. Good stuff, but not particularly new stuff if you know me or have read this blog much. My single greatest objection to the song is to the idea of a divinely sanction modern nation-state. So how about God blesses all people? That sounds like something God really does like to do. Since when were we ever so good to be divinely sanctioned, or even actually graciously blessed above all the other nations? Stupid false myths. We’re “blessed” because we have taken from the poor and killed many others for our “freedom” and “liberty” – our riches are blood money.

Anyways, I do have a song to suggest, and a song that in fact proceeded “God, Bless America” by five minutes at Yankee stadium – “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Yep, you read it right. It was only a couple months ago that I first really paid attention to the lyrics. Good lord it was nearly scandalous. Funny enough though, and perhaps not all that surprising, I can find a theological parallel – “Song of Songs.” Honestly, the only reason we do not blush the hues of the sun when we read that book in the Bible is because we don’t understand really what “his banner over me is love” really means. Yes, next time at church, when people up on stage sing that song, you can see how much we misunderstand the text. So “his banner” means God’s protection for us? Right…. See what happens when the church acts repressive? We miss the erotic power, we cleave off parts of our humanity – vitality and zest (the spices of life if you will), and get that god awful “Christian dating/courtship” subculture.

I “create” the podcasts here at Union now. I say this because soon I’ll be posting up a podcast that should help open one’s eyes to spices in the Bible.


5 thoughts on “How is this for a Meme?

  1. d.w.,

    nice blog. I appreciate your willingness to not sanitize the Song of Songs. i honestly don’t know wha to do with th erotic imagery in regards to my relationship with God, but i tihkn being uncomfortable is better than being wrong.

    Anyway, i will take up your meme idea to my blog, and see what i can come up with.


  2. d. w. horstkoetter says:

    I can’t wait to post up the sermon from Union, however, the administrative tasks have slowed down certain things so its not out yet. Nevertheless, when it does come out, I’ll give it a mention. I think its something very helpful to listen to. Not only is it eloquent, but it more importantly shows how one can think of the erotic – embrace it (no pun intended).

    Also, I wonder if we put too much stock in God when talking about Song of Songs. Now let me nuance that statement. Song of Songs is about people, vitality (mostly sexual vitality), and reveling in creation; Song of Songs is enjoyment of ourselves and those we know, those we can touch. It seems less God centered and I think that is okay. There is a time to talk about the gifts God has given, without always relating them directly back to the creator. Simply said, the erotic imagery is for us to have fun with. Now if only our Christian culture wasn’t so afraid of it.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Interesting, but have you considered that Madame Guyon had a different perspective regarding the Song of Songs – the man is Christ and the woman is each of us individually, making it very focused on relationship with Christ. Ever tried reading it that way? Consider how captivated the Lord is with each of us. Does this not relate to the charasmatic experience – the Bible is foundational, of course, but shouldn’t our experience be commensurate with the Bible rather than devoid of the experience of what God says in his word to us is true?

  4. d. w. horstkoetter says:

    Yes I have and I’ve rejected that interpretation because it is individualistic, the text has no original intention to be analogous, much less for the Christian relationship to God, and thus this re-interpretation is the only way that a Christian culture that avoids the eroticism can maintain such a text within their canon. In short, I reject the interpretation because of its presuppositional roots.

  5. Halden says:

    Yeah, I’m not so much in favor of the “God wants to have sex with you” interpretation of the Song. Ick.

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