Politics in “Christian” Songs: Part I

Matthew Teutsch
5 min readJun 6, 2021

Over the past few months, I’ve been noticing a trend in a lot of the older bands and songs that I really cut my teeth on during college during the late 1990s and early 2000s. During that period, I was really into the “Christian” punk, ska, hardcore music scene that initially revolved around Tooth and Nail. I purposefully put “Christian” in quotation marks because as the years have passed, I really do not like that label in this context, or really any context related to art or media. What started standing out to me, as songs popped up on my phone while I was shuffling through, was the ways that these bands either addressed political or social issues during their early years or as their careers progressed. I have never been surprised by these discussions in hip hop artists such as Sho Baraka, Lecrae, or Propaganda, but I should not be shocked about them appearing in the bands I discuss here. However, what kind of shocked me was how much I missed and how much these topics got sidelined through the major Christian retailers. Over the next few posts, I’m going to discuss some of these songs.

Squad Five-O “Sour State Flag” (1997)

I had Squad Five-O’s debut album, What I Believe, and I know I played it, but I don’t think I played it as much as I did other albums at the time. That’s probably why I totally missed or overlooked “Our State Flag,” a song that…

--

--

Matthew Teutsch

Here, you will find reflections on African American, American, and Southern Literature, American popular culture and politics, and pedagogy.