Jun 28, 2014

If you ain't on the side of God / You his enemy

Christian rapper B., of the group GoGettaz For God, has released a single calling for Americans to pledge themselves to Jesus. The track mixes American patriotic references with scripture verses and descriptions of Jesus' death, urging Americans to realize that "In God we trust / ain't the quote it's the antidote."

The Pledge:

One nation under God
One principle, indivisible
We stand like one individual
All individually taking the invisible
And live it out visibly
Truth, Justice, Liberty
If you ain't on the side of God
You his enemy
If you offsides
You better cross sides
And thank God for the cross
Now all rise
I said all rise
And thank God for the cross now
All rise
I said all rise and thank God for the cross now
The sacralized politics and politicized religion has not brought any special attention to the song. However, the brief appearance of Justin Bieber talking about Jesus' death at the end of the music video certainly has.

The YouTube video has been viewed more than 125,000 times. By comparison, B., who also goes by his full name, Brandon Burke, has other music videos that have been viewed about 350 times each.

Some are skeptical of Bieber's professed faith. Critics of the pop star have said news he was recently baptized by the pastor of New York City megachurch and now appears in this Christian rap video are simply publicity stunts, part of a plan to clean up his image following a series of scandals.

Bieber's faith also has defenders. Christian blogger Alexander Griswold writes,
Why are people skeptical about Bieber's newfound faith to begin with? Is it because he's in the midst of a public scandal, and he has something to gain by feigning religion? I suppose there might be something to the idea that the timing is suspicious. But at the same time, the timing seems perfectly natural. It's often when we're at out lowest that we turn to God. Justin Bieber has the misfortune of having his lowest moment being plastered all over the Internet and television . . . What worries me the most is the sense that many people doubt Bieber's faith simply because they don't like him.
B. said he and Bieber have conversations about spirituality all the time. "Justin is being transparent," he said in an interview with an entertainment magazine. "There's an opportunity for change, there's an opportunity for growth and maturity through God's forgiveness."

B. plans to follow up the single, The Pledge, with a documentary called Christianity in America. The GoGettaz for God website says, "In this documentary we take a look at Christendom, its roots in American history and today's public perception of the world's largest religion. We analyze the state of Christianity today as it relates to its origins."

Bieber, incidentally, is Canadian.