Why the Christian music category shouldn’t exist

Michael Gungor

Michael Gungor wrote am interesting article about Christian music category.
In his opinion Christian music category is inappropriate. It might be controversial, but let’s hear his ideas:

Does anybody but me find it not only odd but actually offensive to walk into a record store and see a “Christian and Gospel” section? Let me explain…
There is no other music that is labeled by the lifestyle choices of the artist or the philosophical or religious content of its lyrics. There is no “atheist” music section. There is no “hopeful agnostic” industry. You don’t walk in looking for the newest Rufus Wainwright cd, only to be pointed to the “gay section in the back.” That would be ridiculous and offensive. Why categorize someone’s music by whether that person is gay or straight, republican or democrat, optimistic or pessimistic, or whether or not he or she believes in intelligent life on other planets? Is it not just as ridiculous to categorize someone’s music by whether they believed that Jesus rose from the dead or not?
I think that having a Christian music section is as silly as having an “heliocentric dog loving Buddhist” section. So why does it exist? Why is there only one section of a music store that is defined not by the genre of the music (certainly, KJ-52 does not belong in the same category, musically as Sandy Patty), but by something else…

He tries to figure out the possible reasons for accepting the label Christian music category:
– the lyrical content
– the artist is a Christian
– the record label
And finally he concludes.
The real reason is: money.

Somehow I agree with Michael Gungor, but on the other side something is bothering me.
I know that right now money is a strong motivation, but yet, I cannot believe that all musicians are driven by the same motivation.
Michael Gungor is right in terms of the formal aspect, but the real problem it is not this one. If tomorrow this label will disappear, how things will change?
I suggest making a distinction between „Christian Music Category” and „Christian Music”. It’s hard to define Christian music, but like it or not, it’s a reality. A parallel discussion could help.
See Michael Gungor’s Twitter profile: I lead a band that plays music about God.


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