I have always had this problem with music. I like to listen to a variety of things, but there’s always this moral difficulty. There’s an artist I like, but there are some objectionable lyrics that allude to something offensive or simply promote a lifestyle contrary to Christian living.
I recently grew a new liking to punk. It started with Descendents. I used to really like underground, independent rock with intricate songs and obscurity. I still do, but I also like punk because there is no formality or attempt to become a great technical musician. It is simple, fast, and very honest. They employ a lot of humor, such as their 23-second song called “I like food.”
However, their songs aren’t always in good fun. They have one called “My Dad Sucks” and “pervert.” Another band I would listen to often, Operation Ivy usually have a political bent to their lyrics. However, I stopped listening to them for a while because of their song “Missionary.” Being weak in temptation, I started listening to them again because I told myself it wasn’t directly anti-Christian. But I mean, who knows?
Should I stop listening to a band entirely because of some of their songs?
They’re honest about how they feel. A lot of punk is counter to mainstream pop and hiphop, where the meanings are about sex, the glorification of sex, and nightlife.
On Sunday I went to a concert where the Descendents were headlining. The population was mostly heavily tattooed adults (they could have been my parents’ age) and some high schoolers. No college-aged people like me. The bands playing before the headliners were anything but holy. For one song, another band held out a puppet that was in a very phallic shape. Honestly, the event itself was not holy whatsoever. There was LOTS of pushing and shoving just because that was the nature of a punk show. However, I was happy to see the Descendents come out. Being able to scream the lyrics along with an audience that also have an affinity for the band for such a long time was a unique experience.
Even when I bought the ticket I had to debate with myself whether or not this was morally okay. What was I supporting? I was much more sensitive in my early teens, and definitely would not go to something like this.
I convinced myself that I was going to regret not going, and I was still going to stay grounded in my faith.
My dad is going to Confession today, and he offered to go together but I told my parents I already confession last Monday before the Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day mass. I was wondering, was going to the concert something I should have confessed? If anything, I should confess being a hypocrite. At this last confession, I mentioned buying the tickets. If I was truly repentant, I wouldn’t have gone. But I did it “just in case it was really a sin,” which is a terrible way to approach a confession.
I know very well that the goal of each Catholic should be to become a saint. It feels like the older I become, the harder it is to really sticking to this aspiration. That or I’m just making excuses (I’m only nineteen, so I’m probably just copping out). Is the music I listen to bringing me farther away from this goal?