With modern Christianity facing something of a crisis in the United States, it’s just getting harder and harder to get those youths in the doors of the heartland’s mega-churches, throw their arms up and worship, and collectively plot to retake America. After all, in order to understand these kids today, you have to peel back several layers of irony and cultural references to get down to that immortal soul of theirs, so the difficulty of trying to squeeze a two-thousand year old dead Jew into the mix is through the roof. So how does one best get these teens and tweens to understand just how cool Jeez-o can be? One could look to this, and take a little quiz, and be asked “Are you a Christian, but not in the George W. Bush sense?” but only the trendiest of Christians need apply. Or one could make use of the art form known as hip-hop and throw together a slightly racist rap about the dangers of hugging at a youth group conference.
Yes, it was roughly three years ago when the Christian Side Hug emerged and took the entire nation by storm (at least in my estimation) and informed us all about the dangers of front hugging and kissing that is plaguing all of our young culture warriors across the country, male and female alike. How is today’s Christian teen going to fight the onslaught of sexual depravity that is held under his or her nose on a daily basis through the Satanic forces of basic bodily contact? Who knew that the modern secular hug, placed the genitals in such proximity, that you’re in danger of becoming a full-fledged sexual deviant.
Now I hope we’ve all had a good laugh about all this, since I don’t know if there’s another single other video floating around on the internet that quite encapsulates just how hopelessly out of touch all the youth ministers and Young Republicans of the new millennium can be. But what is the story behind the story of the Christian Side Hug? Well, if you’ve studied the term’s own Wikipedia article as extensively as I have, you’re no doubt already aware that the song was penned by one Ryan Pann and performed at the 2009 Encounter Generation evangelical youth conference. And not long after the video was uploaded, and the dark, trolling, commenting forces announced in one voice, their unanimous disapproval and emitted a laughter that was far more “at” than “with," Pann spoke out that the song was simply a joke and was in fact making fun of those Christians who would engage in side hugging.
But it seems that this is Mr. Pann’s attempt at having his Communal wafer and eating it too, after all ensconcing yourself with the cold, critical distance of satire has to offer has always been a game for the secularists.
Now while the thorough ridiculousness of side hugs and side hugging may seem immediately ludicrous to you and me in the fallen world, the hug’s innate hilarity doesn’t appear to be what the crowd is laughing at. Based on the audience reaction when the train of doofuses hits the stage, a large portion of the guffaws can be traced directly to fact that white people are making fun of black people. And lest you accuse the live performance of the “Christian Side Hug” of being just a teency-weency bit racist, don’t worry, they got a couple token black youth ministers to trade in their golf polos and khakis for leather jackets that day, and stand behind them (while looking mildly embarrassed). So, it’s all cool right?
Let’s talk about the song itself. Well first there’s the quite baffling use of the Star Wars "Imperial March," which forms the basis of the track, for little or no reason. The real shame here, is that this is where they really could have gotten creative. Coming up with a hip-hop version of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” or better yet, “Our God is An Awesome God” would have been a far more legit choice rather than going for cheap pop culture recognition points (and for that matter, the "Imperial March" is barely recognizable here) which by and large, simply takes away from their message. As for the verses? These honkies can’t spit shit. They all seem to be going for a rather vague Eminem impression, which is probably the only thing resembling rap they’ve ever heard. And with base celebrity digs at the likes of Angelina Jolie and Obama, for a few cheap pops from the crowd, it’s sadly not even all that clever. (although the reference to matzah is pretty funny I have to admit) Speaking of Obama, what are they saying repeatedly after the “Democratic shift in the Congress” line? Could it be they saw this gathering of dark forces as one of the coming signs of the end times? Probably not. But anyway the verses are abysmal, but only slightly less than anything coming out of Young Money.
Anywho, what’s the point? The crowd’s laughing at them. We’re laughing at them and the crowd. And they’ll all be laughing at us, as our souls burn in the pits of damnation for all eternity forever and ever Amen. I think we’ve given the video just about all the seriousness it deserves, and all the seriousness I can stomach to give it. So let’s all take a breath, relax and return to our own personal no front hug zone, press replay and take some time out of our lives once more, to laugh at dumb Christians.