Let the right be wrong? [CB]

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : September 24, 2004

So, I happened to be browsing the radio stations and picked up the Sean Hannedy show on AM 1500. It was just starting and there was a song on for the bumper music that perplexed me to no end. I remembered some of the lyrics, came home and looked it up on the web. The song is by a country singer named Martina McBride, and here are the lyrics to the chorus, which were used as bumper music for the show:

“Let freedom ring, Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It’s Independence Day”

The rest of the song’s lyrics seem to be about a young child who is the victim of abuse by her father, but the point is that the chorus was used as some sort of anthem for the conservative movement. I think the lyrics express perfectly the syncretism of Christianity and right-wing conservative politics. The last line is particularly offensive to me. Apparently the burial stone at Jesus’ tomb was rolled away for the expressed purpose of making the “guilty pay.” Incidentally, I’m also at a bit of a loss as to why it seems to be a good thing to “let the right be wrong.” These five lines of verse so stunningly mix Christian imagery with conservative ideology that I’m ready to explode. This is also another great reason to hate country music.

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6 Responses to “Let the right be wrong? [CB]”

  1. blorge on September 24th, 2004 3:34 pm

    As if there weren’t already enough reasons to hate country music?

  2. Jeremy on September 24th, 2004 8:25 pm

    OH COME ON!!! There was simply no good reason to take a shot at country music there. None at all.

  3. Chris on September 25th, 2004 1:30 am

    alright, fair enough, that was a pot shot, and I’m sorry. I would like to say that country music is irredeemably bad, but I can’t since I grew up on John Schneider (Bo Duke, and more recently, Superman’s dad), The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Ricky Skaggs, and Waylan Jennings. Yeah, that’s right, Ricky Skaggs.

  4. Van S on September 25th, 2004 11:45 am

    Let’s just say that MOST country sucks.

  5. Scott on November 4th, 2004 5:30 pm

    I heard this song for the first time on Hannity also, and I’ve been looking for more info about it. That’s how I found this site. I’m definitely going to explore this site more. Anyway, here’s my 2 cents:

    > Let the right be wrong

    Without ever having heard the rest of the original song, I hear this line as meaning, “let the old system that thought itself to be right be exposed as actually being wrong.” Similar to the Pharisees who “studied” the Mosaic Law being exposed by the Lord as hypocrites who didn’t understand the first thing about the Law.

    > Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay

    Again, not having heard the entire song, I hear these lines as different expressions of desire for justice, in different forms. I don’t hear these phrases as being expressions of the same exact thought; Jesus died for mercy (not justice) to be poured out on the guilty.

    Now, having heard some other Martina McBride songs, my impression is that one of the following is true:
    1. she is not a Christian, OR
    2. she is a Christian, but is not grounded in sound doctrine, OR
    3. being a grounded Christian, she separates her music from her faith. (This would mean that she can’t be grounded, so let’s just toss this third possibility!)

    Given these thoughts, I can’t interpret her songs to any significant spiritual depth. Therefore I’ll cut her some slack and interpret the song as being a desperate cry for justice, which re-affirms that we all desire justice, which further confirms that we are made in God’s image.

    > Let’s just say that MOST country sucks.

    See Titus 3:2. :) I like the storytelling in country music, even though the stories themselves typically present a twisted worldview.

  6. Chris B. on November 5th, 2004 2:48 pm

    I think Martina McBride’s purpose in the song was to show that an abused child has the possibility of hoping for “independence” from his abusive father (if I remember the lyrics correctly). However, the real point isn’t what Martina McBride intended the song to mean, but what Shawn Hannity intends for it as a conservative talk show host. I think he wants it to mean that conservatives will dispense justice through their judgement of society, and Jesus seems to fit in there somewhere.

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