(RNS) – Christian musician Matthew West thought he was making fun of overprotective fathers with a new song “Modest Is Hottest.”
Instead, he entered a firestorm over the cultivation of evangelical purity.
The song, which he posted to his YouTube channel, featured lyrics such as “Modest is Hottest, the latest fashion trend. It’s a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian,” and claims boys love it. really “a turtleneck and reasonable pants”.
A video for the song showed West trying to cover up his teenage daughters, who salute his efforts with a series of eye rolls.
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The lyrics also include a line about West condemning his daughters to wear crop tops and a prayer asking God to make them “more like Jesus and less like Cardi B”.
Critics say the song – which garnered attention at the recent Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting – promotes a culture of evangelical purity that blames women for inappropriate male actions and has been used to blame survivors of abuse for tempting their attackers.
Singer and songwriter Audrey Assad described the expression “modest is the hottest” as well as “humiliating for women AND men”.
“Modesty is hottest” still focuses men and their preferences on female appearance – still defines being found hot by men as the ultimate goal for women – and positions all men as women. creeps that can’t bear to see a woman’s bare skin without turning into out of control monsters.
– Audrey Assad (@audreyassad) June 20, 2021
“‘Modesty is hottest’ centers men and their preferences for how women should look – always being found hot by men as the ultimate goal for women – and positions all men as creeps. who cannot bear to see a woman’s bare skin without turning into uncontrollable monsters, “she said. wrote.
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The video for the song was removed from West’s YouTube channel. The song himself can still be found on Spotify.
“I am fortunate to be the father of two amazing daughters,” he wrote on Twitter after removing the song. “I wrote a song that made fun of me for being too protective of a father and my family thought it was funny. The song was created as a satire, and I realize that some people didn’t receive it as expected. I took the comments to heart. The last thing I want is to distract myself from the real reason I make music: to spread a message of hope and love to the world.
Well-known Christian songwriter and artist, West has been nominated several times for the Grammys and has been named Christian Songwriter of the Year by Billboard. He performed “Modest Is Hottest” during a lunch at the SEND conference which preceded the annual meeting of the SBC.
His 2020 satirical song “Quarantine Life” was play over 2 million times on YouTube, and he said he tries to make fun of himself in the song.
– Matthew West (@matthew_west) June 25, 2021
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Christian attempts at satire have backfired on him in the past, most notably in the case of Babylon Bee, which started out as an Onion-style publication poking fun at evangelical church culture to be part of culture wars and fake Trump news. time.
Evangelicals have long promoted the so-called “sexual prosperity gospel,” which promised that God would bless those who postpone sex until marriage. This often involved young women attending “purity balls” and wearing rings to symbolize their promises to abstain from sex.
In recent years, evangelical churches have faced a series of abuse scandals in which pastors and other leaders have been accused of sexual misconduct. In one case, a pastor at a mega-church received a standing ovation after admitting his past ‘sins’ after being accused of coercing a teenage girl into oral sex while serving as a youth pastor while he was a student.
At the recent Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, the messengers passed a resolution calling for a permanent ban from the ministry of anyone who commits sexual abuse.