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Sensitive word on American Idol: “Jesus”

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 11, 2008 10:41 AM

I didn’t watch the show this week, but reader Ricky e-mailed that during the American Idol charity special on Wednesday night, eight finalists performed Darlene Zschech’s Christian-pop crossover hit “Shout to the Lord.” The first line of the song is “My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You.”

But instead of “Jesus,” the show substituted the word “Shepherd.”

What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was that all about?

Here’s the video:

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial gave the altered performance two thumbs down. Way down:

Jesus, regardless of one’s faith, is known as a philanthropist.

But not on “American Idol,” which has apparently decided that “Jesus” can’t be mentioned on national TV – even when the theme is giving. Instead of singing the song as millions know it, the “Idol” stars sang, “My Shepherd, My Savior…”

As Judge Randy Jackson might say: Yo, so listen up, American Idol. A big part of this show involves smart song selection. Everyone knows the lyrics to “Shout to the Lord.” It’s a song about Jesus. If that’s no good for you, pick another song.

Removing Jesus from a song about Jesus? That’s not cool, Idol. Pick another song, or have the guts to say “Jesus.”

Josh Harris wants to know what the show producers were thinking:

I’m not the kind of person that gets worked up about things like this. I’m just curious. I’d love to know what the decision-making process for the producers looks like. Are there Christians involved who are trying to get songs like this on the show? Or to take a more cynical view, do they just realize that a huge portion of their base (and a lot of the people who will be quick to contribute) are evangelical Christians so they throw us a bone once in awhile? But then if that’s the case, who made the decision to cut “Jesus” out of the lyrics? Are there factions at Idol who don’t like bringing in Christian themes so they had to make this compromise? Ahhh, the intrigue of it all.

Well, someone must have had a come-to-Jesus moment. Because last night, after Fox’s message boards lit up with complaints from Christian viewers, the same song was featured again–and this time, “Jesus” was allowed to be sung.

So, Jane Fonda says the c-word on national morning TV and it’s a light-hearted joke. But some young people want to sing the J-word and it gets whitewashed out of a gospel song until there’s a public backlash?

Secularism run amok. P.C. cluelessness. Just plain nuts. Take your pick.

Question: What will they do if one of the American Idol finalists wants to sing Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus?”

“Personal Shepherd?”

Here’s Johnny Cash’s cover of the song:


Some good perspective from blogger Soren:

My family watches “American Idol” regularly. We were pleasantly surprised to see the contestants on last night’s “Idol Gives Back” show singing one of my favorite songs, Shout to the Lord. Yes, they edited it a bit, changing “my Jesus” to “my shepherd”, and some of the bloggers are upset about that. And I could have done without Ben Stiller’s bleep-filled rant that ended the show (someone’s idea of humor, I guess). But still, I’m going to rejoice that the #1 show in America aired a song of praise to the King. Someone made that decision. The song will be downloaded from iTunes all over the world. How awesome is that?


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