Personal taste and a free market are two big arguments against censorship. If music buyers want to hear a fellow human being scream obscenities with synthesizers in the background, then I support everyone’s right to let the cash registers ring.

I support that right for everyone except for my own kids. I don’t even let them watch “The Rugrats” on Nick Jr. because Angelica is such a self-centered smart-aleck. I know – I’m a mean mom. But I’ve convinced my 7-year-old and 5-year-old that my job requires me to serve as the omnipotent rule-maker and enforcer so that they can one day have enough sense to rule themselves.

I’ve been to enough concerts and taught enough students over the years to know that music is often more than entertainment. It often reflects an existing lifestyle or the desire to emulate a romanticized image.

‘Just a phase’

We moved into the country because our neighbors believed that they had a constitutional right to shake the foundation of our houses with stereo systems that repeatedly pounded out the f… word and sometimes worse. They’re just teenagers, it’s just a phase, you remember how it was, their parents said. Only a couple of months after we moved, we read that Drug Enforcement Agency officials had raided those same two homes and made several arrests.

So what are the options? At a recent concert at the Colisee in Lewiston, I saw parents with their kids listening to music with positive messages. One father propped his son, who looked to be about 6 or 7, up on a chair to get a better view of Big Daddy Weave.

Mothers and their teenage daughters danced in the aisles. The concert opened with prayer, and all of the lyrics performed that night referred to love and hope. These were contemporary Christian music performers. Based on the sound alone, we could just as easily have been listening to Hootie and The Blowfish or The Dave Matthews Band.

But just because a CD shows up in the Christian section of record stores doesn’t mean that, as a parent, I’m going to give it an automatic pass.

For example, P.O.D., a Christian music band, is one of the fastest selling groups in this part of the industry. More than 4 million listeners have bought their music.

But their focus on death and just plain depressing stuff, albeit in efforts to make hope more attractive, don’t belong in my kids’ ears. Besides, I’m one of those prudish parents who insist that my kids tuck their shirts in, keep their hair out of their faces and sit up straight. It’s a lifestyle choice.


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