Christianity Is Stupid

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"Christianity Is Stupid" is a song from Negativland's 1987 concept album, Escape from Noise.[1] In the song, Negativland rearranges words and phrases to form a different meaning. They sampled phrases from a 1971 sermon by Rev. Estus Pirkle (from his film If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?).[2] Pirkle's narrative included an imagined visit to the U.S. under Communism where public loudspeakers constantly proclaim "Christianity is stupid! Communism is good! Give up!" These phrases were taken out of context and mixed with appropriately march-like heavy metal music and various other sound effects.

In 2004, the song was made into a video entitled "The Mashin' of the Christ" that sampled many Jesus Christ-topic films and footage from Marxist-Leninist countries.[3]

Controversy[edit]

Because of a shortage of funds and free time, Negativland was unable to tour in support of their 1987 album. To explain the absence from touring, Negativland issued a mock press release saying that the song "Christianity Is Stupid" had played a role in the David Brom murders.[4] They said that "federal authorities" had directed them to stay close to home for further questioning.[2] Brom, 16 at the time, had killed his family with an axe. Negativland's press release was picked up by San Francisco Bay Area media, including CBS News. Negativland recorded much of the news about their supposed influence on Brom, and in 1989 worked this material into another album called Helter Stupid.[5] Eventually, Negativland exposed their own hoax during an NPR interview on the subject.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide To Rock (3 ed.). Rough Guides. p. 713. ISBN 1-84353-105-4. 
  2. ^ a b Eric Dregni, Mark Moran, Mark Sceurman (2006). Weird Minnesota. Sterling. p. 24. ISBN 1-4027-3908-7. 
  3. ^ "Negativland—Our Favorite Things". CMJ New Music Monthly: 51. December 2007. ISSN 1074-6978. 
  4. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir (2001). All music guide to electronica: the definitive guide to electronic music (4 ed.). Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-628-9. 
  5. ^ McLeod, Kembrew (2005). Freedom of expression®: resistance and repression in the age of intellectual property. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-8166-5031-4.