Some readers suggest my Faith and love of heavy metal music are an odd combination. Some of the rock crowd think my religious beliefs are at odds with the spirit of metal culture. Some of my church friends think metal is the devil’s music. You’re both wrong.
You’ve heard my story. Faith has been central to my recovery from OCD and addiction. Metal was there for me as a confused, tormented kid, wringing out just enough of the anger to keep me from doing very bad things.
Call me a whack job, but I’m pretty sure God put that music in my path to help me along, just as He puts certain people in my path today to help me along.
Sometimes I rely too much on the music and not enough on God to pull me through tough scrapes. I’m working on that.
I realize no two people are the same, and I may indeed be an anomaly. I’m a puzzling presence in other ways — a man of multiple personalities. My interest in politics and history don’t really fit the metal image, either.
But they are all tools in my arsenal of living.
I’ve been spending my Tuesday nights in planning meetings for an upcoming Cursillo retreat I’ll be on team for. During that weekend, I’ll be giving a talk on how study fits into my spiritual journey. Not study in the bookish sense, though that’s part of it. It’s more about study through experiencing things — the goodness of people who inspire me, the power of recovery and the purging of fear, and yes, metal WILL come up at some point. It’s too intertwined with the rest of the story. It’ll make for an interesting talk.
To those who call it the Devil’s music: True, there are bands that glorify evil, but most of it is just theatrics. You say metal has influenced murderers and suicides? Maybe. But I know of many evil people in history who were just as passionate about their Classical music, Jazz and Country-Western. If there’s evil in your soul, the musical tastes don’t matter. The evil you already had is what’ll make you do bad things. The Beatles’ “Blackbird” is a beautiful piece of music. But that beauty didn’t keep an asshole like Charles Manson from interpreting the lyrics to mean it was time to start a race war by killing white people and making it look like the Black Panthers did it.
I only know my personal truth: That my choice of music helped me through tough times and set me on a journey that grew more spiritual and grounded with time.
And besides, why the hell should Satan get all the good music?