Sunday, April 18, 2010
One of the hardest parts of leaving Christianity when I was younger was the need I had to redefine myself and my interests when it happened. I had been having doubts for a long while, but I was still very much a "good-little Christian girl" as much as I could be in the months leading up to my de-conversion.
I had an extensive collection of books, movies and musicians that I no longer felt comfortable listening to. Christian musicians whose lyrics and ideals just made me sick to my stomach. Granted, this probably had less to do with their beliefs and more to do with a severe backlash that came with my depression and suicidal problems at the time, but still I found myself pulling away from the things that I had used to define my interests for years.
When I came out as bi-sexual to my friends and myself less than a year later, I was less angry at religion, but I felt as if listening to some of the music I used to listen to would be hypocritical. Also, I had thrown out my CDs, t-shirts and posters. I kept right on collecting an extremely eclectic and controversial new set of favorite secular bands, which I will never regret doing. Ani Difranco, Bright Eyes, Counting Crows, Collective Soul and My Chemical Romance were very much outlets for my teen angst and creativity.
I always felt it was a little unfair though. I had been forced to leave musicians, that I had otherwise enjoyed, behind because I had to redefine myself around a whole new set of ideals that had been set out for me.
After as many years as I've been de-converted and out I've finally realized that I'm not required to live by anyone else's set of rules, but I guess I'm still uncomfortable with the majority of the media I consumed as a Christian. At least now I can pick up my Bible for research without crying, raging and becoming depressed.
The real point of this post is to applaud the brave actions of one of my former idols of Christian music. Jennifer Knapp was one of my favorite female singers, talented voice and amazing guitar skills. I always adored her music and years after throwing out her CDs I came to regret that action.
In 2003 she dropped off the map of Christian music and went on an hiatus that lasted for 7 years. She came back to the states last September and announced her new album "Letting Go" would be coming out on May 11th. Not only that, she also announced that she was a Lesbian and had been in a relationship with a woman for the past 8 years.
Christian Forum members have some good things to say about her, while others snipe at her for " forsak[ing] the truth of God's Word for her perversion" as one forum member writes.
I know that she will lose some listeners, some Christian radio stations will boycott her music, but I feel sure that music will soldier on and she will gain new fans.
I know for a fact that she has already regained 1 old fan. I'm returning to the flock of Knapp fans with the release of this new album. I've already fallen in love with the tracks she has posted on her website and I can't wait to hear the rest.