David Mankin blogs about a job he was hired for. He makes it fairly clear that he didn’t adhere to the music’s religious views (I’m guessing it’s from a contemporary Christian oratorio, as they are frequently called, or some such thing). I wouldn’t have had a problem with the viewpoint, as a person of faith, but I sure would have wanted to argue with the taste issue and, who knows, possibly a theological issue. And I would have been embarrassed. Sigh. Why is so much of that music so horrendous? Why is the singing so darn annoying? Ugh. It’s really the sort of music that can turn my stomach. Sorry to any of you who love this kind of music, but there you go.

But I ramble and I’m really didn’t intend to go that direction …

It caused me think about something I’ve pondered before. Where would I draw the line? Where would you?

I remember when I friend of mine was asked to play violin and be filmed for an advertisement for a presidential candidate. Not the one she would vote for. She was chosen specifically because she is Japanese American. She struggled. Should she take the money and run? Should she take a stand and say “No, I can’t play for and be seen in an ad when I don’t support the candidate”? What would you do?

David, you sound lovely, btw. But I couldn’t listen all the way through. It’s just the kind of stuff that makes me sad and frustrated, you know?

Oh … and the friend who was asked to do the presidential ad? She got another call canceling it, so she never had to make the choice.


  1. Personally I’ve certainly done church gigs where I didn’t necessarily agree with the doctrine (and it was interesting one time to get paid entirely in ones – makes an impressive roll – I figure they raided the offering bowl to pay us). On the other hand, if they were advocating child torture or vivisection or something I know I wouldn’t take the gig, even if my kids were starving.

    Well, I take that back – since I’ve never been there and don’t expect to be there I have zero perspective – I really don’t know where the line is when it comes to my family, since I’ve never been pushed anywhere near it. I’d love to think that I’d be one to walk away from Omelas, but if it were to actually come right down to it, I don’t know if I really would (dang, I hate admitting to less than super-human status).

  2. I did a gig a few years back that was billed as a “Patriotic tribute” at a church in Florida. What it really was, was a call to arms to attack the Supreme Court and promote conservative causes.
    They asked any prior service people to wear their uniforms under the guise of honoring them. I chose not to because once I’m out, I will not be subject to wearing a rank in relation to others. The minister wore a uniform, they had a military color guard, and the news anchors from Tampa showed up to Rah-rah everybody. An on duty Colonel from the Buckley Field in Tampa attended and made a speech; I’m certain that’s illegal.
    Honestly, it was the most uncomfortable I have ever been in a church. I would walk out if I was ever put in that situation again gladly, without pay. It was such a deception and every Baptist church in the area was doing the same thing. No offense to honest Baptists, but it really sickened me to have been taken in. The minister was extremely nice to me before and after, but his pleas with me to stay for the lunch afterward were unwelcome. Another woman who had offered me a job before the “show”, suddenly got icy when I was leaving and skipping lunch.
    The topic doesn’t need to be too extreme to warrant a response and I think musicians too frequently are just looking at the bottom line. You should always live your values regardless of money; I think everyone knows it, but not everyone lives up to it.