Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol Gives Back: Mariah Carey (and Jesus)

26 performance and backstage photos from Idol Gives Back: are all here

Mariah Carey takes to the stage, the woman who recently passed Elvis and now has the most #1 songs all time, with 18. I'm not a huge Mariah fan, so to quote Randy, it's just okay for me.

And--that's it. It's 10:05 EST, so they're running a bit late; then the Idol contestants come up on stage, all dressed in white--they're singing Shout To the Lord.

See, this drives me nuts--most of the people in Africa the show is intended to help aren't Christian, a lot of people watching this show in the U.S. aren't--so why would they close with a song about Jesus Christ?

It's a bit ridiculous, actually. The backbone of aid efforts in Africa often times are religious organizations (Christian, but also Muslim and Jewish and Hindu), who have done a tremendous amount of good. But many of the big organizations--Bono's, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID--have nothing to do with any religion.

And, if you've ever read books like Harvard professor Caroline Ekins' Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, or know anything about the history of South Africa, or the Congo, or pretty much any other country in Africa, you're probably blushing right now.

Because the history of Christianity in Africa has been, at best, a mixed bag. The church has just as often supported slavery, racism, war and human rights abuses as it's supported things to be proud of.

So I'm not sure what FOX was thinking; tonight's show is about donating money to help fight poverty in Africa and the U.S.

But I guess taking a page from President Bush and his faith-based charity programs, FOX feels like you have to praise Jesus to do that?

I really have no problem with the song--but at least put it in the middle, in context; let's not cap off the entire night with it.

Oh, another thing I just thought of and am adding after the show has ended--Chikezie's parents are from Nigeria!

Why not have him talk at some point about his heritage, his family?! It'd have been nice to hear a personal perspective, break up the parade of celebrities a bit.

Really, this show drives me nuts sometimes; on balance, it was a great night and the money Idol raises will do a lot of good; plus they've brought a lot of attention to an issue that is too easy to ignore on a day-to-day basis.

But then they do something stupid or overlook something obvious that just makes you wonder who's really running things over at FOX.

At any rate... you can donate at 1-877-436-5243 or

And your regular blogger Eileen will be back tomorrow night!

AP photo of Mariah Carey


Danny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danny said...

settle down, sheesh. tonight should indeed be about giving back, not your whining about a song selection.

Anonymous said...

Actually the show ending was ruined by typical American Mentality of thinking a person being bleeped out was funny. Get over it...Jesus Christ created this world he deserves the Honor and Glory...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the lyrics for "Shout to the Lord" were changed in the Idol version. The first verse is supposed to be, "My Jesus, my Savior, Lord there is none like you," but the Idols sang, "My Shepherd, my Savior, Lord there is none like you." So, in fact, they never said the word Jesus, and anyone who believes in a higher power (God), which actually is most of the world, could have related to and been moved by the song.

Anonymous said...

Jamshid, when good comes out of people, it is from Jesus. Even when it comes from you. Obviously you don't have to be a Christian to express goodness. It is whether you choose goodness or not and act upon it that counts. Take a deep breath and just enjoy the's alright, it won't kill is from love and goodness, not hate and death. Get it? You are overanalyzing ulterior motives. Confusion is from Satan. If you are confused, try doing something will transform your thinking. I'm sorry you are so angry. You really shouldn't let it cloud your mind. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. God is in control, not people. Pray that He will help you overcome negative thoughts and things will clarify. We all have free will, let's use it for positive results. God helps!

Anonymous said...

Danny, I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how Jesus wasn't mentioned in the song, yet everyone knows that's who the song was about? Cool. Even our own Spirit recognizes Him when His name isn't spoken. Good one, Anonymous 11:34pm!

Anonymous said...

If I have to see Mariah's "Look at me and my big boobies" trashy fairytale crap one more time I'm gonna puke it up! Really, when was the last time she wore a real shirt? Shamid, get a life, you have diarhia of the mouth.

Anonymous said...

Jesus represents selflessness....that is the theme of Idol Gives Back -- giving freely of yourself to help others. Most of our nation is Christian, overwhelmingly so. Jesus, himself, was a Jew. Islam and Judaism originated in the same geographical area. All three religions are about love for God and for your fellow man. Try to look past religious differences and look at what unites us -- our faith in our God and in humanity.

Anonymous said...

After reading the main rant about was extremely nice to see 7 comments praising the Lord versus defiling him. Thank you to those who draw power from their Faith in Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I was offended by the song selection. Just changing/removing one word doesn't change what the song was *really* about. The question is what was behind the song choice? If I were judging this performance and song selection, I might say something like what Simon did to Cook after her "patriotic" performance: "Clever."

What the commenters are forgetting is that this is still a song about Jesus, not all the viewers are Christian (or of *any* religious affiliation), and maybe (I don't know) some of the contestants are not Christians.

If you're on stage, singing a song that *is* about Jesus, how would you feel if you were a Jew, Muslim, or atheist?

Play the believing game, folks, and walk in those shoes for a moment.

How would you feel if all the idol folks sang some song praising Muhammad?

Just asking for a little understanding and compassion . . .

Anonymous said...

So what if the song is about Jesus Christ? Focus on what's important and stop the pettiness! You're not even African so hush!

And as for anonApril 11, 2008 7:30 AM, RELAX. If the song mentioned Muh'd and was positive I don't think anyone would be crying so you have not a point!

For those that always feel the need to bash Christianity anywhere they see it mentioned, go get lives! It has always been around and always will be. You're just jealous and insecure because of obvious reasons.

Beth said...

As an educated choral director who IS a christian, I was sitting at home watching "Idol" amazed and impressed by what I was seeing. My 17 year old son said "Wow! They must have a new producer or something". We are so used to anything of a christian affiliation being not done, that when someone finally has the intelligence to look at a piece of music that is uplifting and use it for its musicality, it is surprising. So many schools are not allowed to do anything religious...yet that is exactly where 2/3 of our historical music came from. So...I was very pleased to see it, and I do feel that God is going to get praise in this country that was founded on Him! Noone did a "testimonial"...they didn't lift their hands in praise...they just sang a song. How did you know the words anyway? I think there are more people in America that watch the show that also worship Jesus than you realize. Maybe just not in your social circle!