Scary Christian Clowns?

Several years ago, Insane Clown Posse (a horrorcore rap group) released a song called “Thy Unveiling” in which they admitted they follow God:


Saying that ICP is controversial  is HUGE understatement, so there’s a good possibility that they’re not your cup of tea.  If that’s the case, here’s a key excerpt:

Fuck it, we got to tell.

All secrets will now be told

No more hidden messages

…Truth is we follow GOD!!!

We’ve always been behind him

The carnival is GOD

And may all juggalos find him

We’re not sorry if we tricked you.

There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground on how people feel about this announcement.  While some people are willing to accept this it at face value, others vehemently deny that the members of ICP are Christian.  I have no idea what’s in someone else’s heart, so I’m not going to comment on whether Bruce and Utsler (ICP’s main members) are or are not Christian.  I do have some issues, though.  The content of their lyrics gives me pause, seeing as how they are filled with misogyny, hate and violence.  A little digging turned up a quote from Joseph Bruce on the matter, where he said “”You have to speak their language. You have to interest them, gain their trust, talk to them and show you’re one of them. You’re a person from the street and you speak of your experiences. Then at the end you can tell them: God has helped me.”  I can buy that; if you want your words to be understood, you have to say in a way that your audience can grasp.  Unfortunately, that way is offensive to some.

A lot of the backlash against ICP’s faith seems to be rooted in the fact that their lyrics aren’t what we’re used to hearing as Christian music.  They curse, use violent images, refer to women as “bitches” and “ho’s”, and talk about gratuitous sex.  Just because they don’t follow some of the accepted norms of Christian behavior doesn’t mean they’re not Christians.  Bruce and Utsler, like all of us, are products of their environment and that environment was the inner city and it was hard.  I got that.  I understand that they’re trying to speak to the inner city and people of the street in a way they can grasp.  My problem with what these guys are doing and have done is that they don’t seem to be speaking out against the abuses of their fans.  The Juggalos (a fan nickname from one of their songs) have been accused of gang activity, murder, kidnapping, assault, etc.  Bruce, himself, has been charged with assault or battery more than once.  If you’re a Christian, loving your neighbor is one the biggest things you can do and clubbing someone over the head with a microphone 30 times doesn’t seem to fit in with that concept.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  I like why they’re doing what they’re doing, but not how they’re doing it.  All I can do is practice some of that radical grace I go on about so much and love them.  Because, even though I hate the darkness in they’re propagating in their music, they are my neighbors, too.