And I guess I have problems with Christian Rock in general. At least, in western world. It is, in a way, music that celebrates the dominant religion. It strikes a particularly sour note for me, given how often I hear Christians complain that they are being persecuted because some of us want them to stop forcing their beliefs on others. I get the same sort of feeling from music that's all about the virtues of being Caucasian (usually from folks who whine about how white people are being oppressed), and I suspect that I'd feel similarly about music that celebrates financial sector deregulation, multinational oil companies, and strip mines while whining about how oppressed rich people are.
Music "without a message," like art, often simply reproduces the status quo. Which isn't necessarily bad, or necessarily good. It's just what it is. Music "with a message" that celebrates dominant forces really needs to rise to an exceptional level of musicianship and composition for me to overcome my feelings of having other people's ideologies forced down my throat for me to be able to appreciate it. Unfortunately, Iona failed to be exceptional. They were very good, competent, personable. And had they not been preachy, I'd have probably really enjoyed them. Alas.
Give me music in opposition - music that fights back against dominant forms of power.
"Rock is a struggle, a protest against injustice, a way of resisting everything that degrades the human being and his environment…
A way of building a world more like us, a world based on self- and mutual respect… With no constraints and no concessions…
More than ever, Rock has to innovate, provoke, confront… More than ever, Rock has to be in opposition…"
And I did stumble upon a festival, taking place in the south of France, called Rock In Opposition. Looks like a fascinating lineup.