I Used to be Christian Before I Kissed a Girl July 2, 2008

I Used to be Christian Before I Kissed a Girl

By now, you’ve probably heard the popular song I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry.

kate.png

It includes these lyrics:

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry ChapStick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Here’s the fun twist: Katy Perry used to be Katy Hudson — a Christian singer and daughter of two preachers.

And Christians aren’t too pleased with her recent transition:

… In her interview with Blender, Perry confessed she wasn’t “a typical Christian” and revealed she had done “lots of bad things” as a teenager.

“I just think it’s interesting that seven years ago she had a Christian album and what she’s doing now is clearly not Christian,” said Joanne Brokaw, who blogs about Christian music for Beliefnet.com. “I get the sense that maybe she was engaged in rebellious behavior back then. I just wonder what the decision was… did people not really know or were they looking the other way?”

“It seems like ever since the name change, she’s gotten this rep as a party girl,” [music critic Russ] Breimeier added. “You can still hear some of the talent that was there before, but it just sounds like she’s doing whatever she can to get noticed,” he said. “And that’s unfortunate. I feel bad for her folks.”

“The thing about her is that she decided to leave that scene behind,” said Joe Levy, editor in chief of Blender magazine. “I don’t think she fits in with other Christian music artists who transition to pop success. She didn’t transition… she stopped dead, reinvented herself, became an artist who has nothing to do with Christian music. It’s a footnote in her career. It looks like who she is now is who she wants to be, slightly outrageous and very cute. And right now that’s working.”

Despite what the reviewers of her old album have said, she doesn’t seem to have ever caught on with a Christian audience, despite comments like these made in Seventeen magazine:

Katy has a steady boyfriend, but she doesn’t believe in sex before marriage. “I know what it does to people,” she says. “One night my boyfriend and I went a little too far and I felt like I’d fallen so far away from God. I doubted myself and my strength. I was so weak at the time in my relationship with Christ.”

If someone is going to have sex, however, Katy absolutely believes that person should use a condom: “Some Christians think that if you use a condom, it’s premeditated. So nobody uses a condom at all and they have sex and get pregnant the first time.”

I’m trying to think of any Christian acts that have made it mainstream without changing their message, and not too many come to mind. There are a few you may have heard of — Amy Grant, Sixpence None the Richer, Sufjan Stevens — though I don’t know if any of them were ever classified as “cool.”

Katy Perry? Definitely popular. And definitely not singing about Christianity.

(via The Dallas Morning News)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]


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  • Those preacher’s kids, always getting themselves into trouble.

  • I’m trying to think of any Christian acts that have made it mainstream without changing their message, and not too many come to mind. There are a few you may have heard of — Amy Grant, Sixpence None the Richer, Sufjan Stevens — though I don’t know if any of them were ever classified as “cool.”

    Mostly artists who don’t/didn’t wield religion as a club to begin with. Others include P.O.D. and Switchfoot. Sixpence’s self-titled album is one of my all time favorites.

  • There are a few you may have heard of — Amy Grant, Sixpence None the Richer, Sufjan Stevens — though I don’t know if any of them were ever classified as “cool.”

    Sufjan Stevens not cool? Dude, sounds like being out in Naperville is already starting to affect your judgment. 😉

  • Sufjan Stevens not cool? Dude, sounds like being out in Naperville is already starting to affect your judgment. 😉

    Oh, I love the guy 🙂 But he hasn’t reached the mainstream just yet…

  • False Prophet

    James is on the money. Most CCM is derivative crap with overly-preachy lyrics. Same with a lot of Christian metal. That said, once in a while you get talented artists who can be subtle and on-message. Most aren’t very successful, though. Rock remains the Devil’s music. 😉 Country music is another matter, however.

    Then again, the Jonas Brothers are on the rise at the moment. But they’re also young. Let’s see what a few years of chart succcess under the auspices of the House of Mouse do to their Christian ethics. Look how well it worked out for Britney, Christina, Justin and company.

    I think more common are artists whose songs are more or less secular but they themselves profess strong beliefs off-stage. I guess that’s eating your cake and having it too: secular audiences can like the music because it’s not preachy, and “for-reals Christians” can enjoy it while knowing it’s not one of Satan’s temptations. But most of these artists end up falling into the same celebrity gossip cycles anyway. I think Jessica Simpson is a prime example of this type.

  • Aaron

    I think Evanescense is one of the more successful Christian > Mainstream transitions. They didn’t really change their message, either, but that’s a bit of a strange point, because their darker tone never really caught on with the Christian crowd in the first place.

  • I think Jill Sobule has the better “I Kissed a Girl” song. I give this Kate chick zero points for originality.

  • Faith+1 from South Park (not that it counts!)

  • Skylar

    As a Jewish example, Matisyahu.

  • I was waiting for the Faith+1 reference. That’s one of the funniest South Parks I’ve ever seen, but maybe I just think that because I was in that world for such a long time.

  • sam

    Am I the only one who doesn’t listen to the lyrics to songs on the radio? It seems the only songs I listen to the lyrics are in Spanish and I don’t even speak it.

  • John

    Does Sufjan actually make CHRISTIAN music, though? I admit I don’t really bother to listen to his words much (I’m more interested in the aesthetics of music), but I never caught any overt religious message.

  • Shane

    She may not be singing about Christianity, but her roots show through and I still find her songs fairly offensive. My brother finds her “Kissed a Girl” song offensive (the “it felt so wrong” part), but I think her other one song is much worse. It says something like “you’re so gay, but you don’t even like boys”. It really grates on my nerves. Completely separates the negative connotations of “gay” from the sexual orientation and uses it completely in a negative way to perpetuate stereotypes.

    I think it really is one of those “consciousness raising” things that Dawkins always talks about. Once you’re aware of LGBT and queer issues you really can’t believe anybody would write songs like these. Probably just to irritate her preacher parents.

  • Oh, I love the guy 🙂 But he hasn’t reached the mainstream just yet…

    Which is precisely why he is cool.

  • Does Sufjan actually make CHRISTIAN music, though? I admit I don’t really bother to listen to his words much (I’m more interested in the aesthetics of music), but I never caught any overt religious message.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Swans

  • P.S.

    John: Illinois and Avalanche weren’t terribly Christian, at least not in the same way that CCM is Christian. Though certain songs did have a number of allusions to Christian doctrine and practice, with the possible (debatable) exception of “Gacy” you get the impression the influence of Christianity is used more for artistry than homily.

    Seven Swans is far more overtly rooted in the Bible and theology, though. My old church actually used to sing Transfiguration together, if that gives you any idea.

    EDIT: Mike beat me to it.

  • The following link is more entertaining to watch…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAp9BKosZXs&feature=related

  • Vincent

    There are some cool performers with Christian songs that were hits.
    Joan Osbourne: What If God Was One of Us
    and the fantastic
    Los Lonly Boys: Heaven

  • Ralph Reese

    She’s just trading one kind of cheap hucksterism for another. I guess there’s more money on the Madonna end.

  • Sam Phillips (the singer, not the record producer) did it. She’s done a series of fairly obscure pop albums, and her closest flirtation with fame was doing the music for Gilmore Girls.

  • Tyler Nothing

    At first glance I thought that was Zooey Deschanel, but Zooey is cuter… and a better singer as well.

  • Jen

    This discussion is reminding me of Rapture Ready! which has a chapter on Christian music. The author did make me a little sympathetic towards CCMers- it makes sense that they want to share their faith, although it often comes off as a marketing decision- but not much different than any other music, I suppose.

    I think Katy Perry is brilliant. I want to shake her hand. Her new image and faux-Girls-Gone-Wild song get her much more attention than when she was a CCM singer. The virginity discussion- well, Britney Spears said the same thing, so we’ll see.

    Evanescense specifically was disgusted to be starring on Christian music lists, and said so. I don’t think they ever were Christians.

  • Sufjan Stevens is definitely considered cool. Indie cool, but cool/quirky nonetheless.

  • I know many people who would cite U2 but personally I am not that into them. I prefer grunge rock and metal for the most part. And to be honest I am not as interested in the lyrics, its the music that grabs my attention, so I like what I like wherever it comes from. Creed and Extreme were two bands I have got into at one stage that went big and had a Christian edge to their lyrics but they didn’t wear their faith on their sleaves. And the fact was I got into them before I realized they were Christian so that had nothing to do with it, it was just a nice later discovery. Actually I could say the same for Evanescence.

  • Rawley

    Jill Sobule’s song is waaaaay better than this one.

  • I think Jill Sobule has the better “I Kissed a Girl” song. I give this Kate chick zero points for originality

    Agreed. Glad to say Jill’s song is running through my head. If you are going to go with the lesbian angle to sell some records at least mix it up a bit.

  • Since you mentioned this song my local radio station has played it to death. Once or twice was fine but the twentieth time made me want to hunt her down and club her to death like an Icelandic seal pup.

    That or find a different radio station.

  • I was going to mention Creed and Jars of Clay. I thought they were pretty cool.

    But in a world where the genius behind Megadeath has stopped playing a lot of their greatest work because he’s bought into Jesus, who knows which groups are Christian, or Christianity-inspired anymore?

    (Except the Hip–the world’s greatest band is all about hockey. And apparently chicken, and kittens.)

    As to Katy Perry, she’s heading down some variant of the Spears Treasure Trail. Having promised to save her Great Seal for marriage, she’ll end up giving it away, possibly on stage, before she’s twenty.

    Speaking of seals: “I’d hit that.”

    As to the song itself … well, uh, who cares? Is there something I’m missing here that makes this exceptional? Or is it just that the Christian Right regards her as the budding successor to Marilyn Manson because she sings about smooching sisters? Biiiig whoop.

  • The upcoming band Mute Math is made up of the same members of the formerly Christian band Earthsuit. Mute Math is not overtly Christian–in fact, they deliberately avoid the typical Christian-music stereotypes, which involved a lawsuit with their label–but they do have some spiritual undertones in their lyrics.

  • Metro, agreed on the Hip. I have no idea what their religious affiliations are though. I saw a bunch of them play hockey in an oldtimers tournament in Kingston a few years ago. A couple of them are really good players. Gord Downie sucks monkey balls though.

  • blk

    Actually, one of the artists I can think of who still claims Christianity is Moby. I wouldn’t exactly call him “mainstream,” but he is pretty well-known in the non-christian music scene.

  • Hey, King–don’t tell me what the poets are doing!

  • Yea, Moby is into Jesus big time, but he is part of the religious left and he does not like the ones who are judgmental. Happens to be vegan too.

  • Mike

    Flyleaf started out as a Christian band but like Evanescence, they were to hard for the churchy people.

  • SuzyQ

    Ya for sure Flyleaf! They are getting mainstream popular and are outspoken about their faith at all of their concerts. Their newest album “Momento Mori” is full of Christian themes and lyrics as well! Just thought I would throw that out there…