Should Charlie Daniels shut up and sing?

Music | Marvin Olasky

Should Charlie Daniels shut up and sing?

Charlie Daniels
Associated Press/Photo by Josh Anderson (file)

Pundits are supposed to make assertions, but every once in a while I like to ask readers questions. It’s that time again: Do you think a Christian musician with strong political views should utter them? Or, should he follow the advice conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham offered 10 years ago: Her book, titled Shut Up and Sing, asked left-wing musicians to stop their political and social pronouncements.

I raise those questions after going this month to a Charlie Daniels concert at a Texas rodeo that could have been a cultural and political rally: It started with prayer and concluded with horses running through the arena as the announcer intoned, “These horses are a symbol of what free America is all about.” Then Daniels sang, “What This World Needs Is a Few More Rednecks,” with lines like: “What this world needs is a little more respect / For the Lord and the law and the workin’ man,” and, “I’m full of American pride / I keep a Bible on my table / I got a flag out on my lawn.”

By the way, before the concert I asked the 76-year-old singer about the “Soapbox” page on his website, which he’s been filling with strong statements since 2000. He said he writes them himself, typing away—and he doesn’t mess around. For example, on March 8 he wrote:

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“Fifty two million unborn children have already been sacrificed on the altar of ‘a woman’s right to choose,’ which actually makes the woman perpetrator, judge, jury and executioner, and no ‘blob of flesh’ semantics is going to change the fact that abortion wittingly puts an end to a human life, known in a more common term as murder.”

Thoughts, anyone?

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