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The so-called sounds of Satan

Welcome to college. Most of you have made it this far by thinking for yourselves, but some colleges don’t think you can handle “sacreligious” music. Apparently you can handle homework and paying bills, but once exposed to music that contradicts any sort of orthodox religious lifestyle, you’re a goner.

Caeser Pink and the Imperial Orgy’s Gospel Hymns for Agnostics and Atheists has not only received negative commentary from religious groups, but its CD has been banned from many college radio stations for sacrilegious and ungodly messages. One listen could make a person a bit unnerved to think that certain people have the sort of power to decide what the masses should and should not hear.

In order to understand how these claims could be made about Caeser Pink and the Imperial Orgy, the CD and band need to be thoroughly inspected.

First of all, the music is not the cause of the censorship. While it’s not exactly a Top 40 album, it’s something you would expect to hear on 88.5 WMNF, Tampa’s local community radio station. It’s an easy rock sound with funk undertones.

Furthermore, dissection of the lyrics revealed nothing. Hardly blasphemous, the lyrics promote faith and freedom of thought, with no God-bashing in sight. It’s practically *NSYNC compared to some of Marilyn Manson’s music. Some of the scrutinized lyrics include: “We preach what we lack / we curse what we sow,” and, “let the sinless pray for redemption / let the hopeless dream of tomorrows / let it wash over you.” These are pathetic attempts at claiming an anti-God or anti-religion stance. If anything, these promote strength in faith and attempt to speak the truth about people in general (the classic “practice what you preach” idiom comes to mind).

Further exploration turned up the root of the problem: Lead singer Caeser Pink is a self-proclaimed “guru of Pagan pan-sexuality.” To briefly digress, pagan means outside of the world’s religions, and pan-sexuality means of no sexual orientation and open to any and all types of people. Also, the Imperial Orgy has been promoting sexual freedom and exploration since the early ’90s.

So it seems the devil is in the details. These radio stations are not banning the band’s music because of the message, but because of the unscrupulous lifestyles of both Caeser Pink and the Imperial Orgy.

In response to all of this, Caeser Pink posted in an online blog: “This trend towards censoring expression is disturbing. For an artist, if you don’t have access to the media, you have no voice with which to reach people. It’s a sign of the conformist spirit that has taken America. It’s odd because these days, you can be as outrageous as you want when it comes to sex and violence and no one gets too excited, but ideas are what tend to get censored. If you dare to suggest that people should think for themselves and not blindly accept the dictates of church and state, that is when people get nervous and try to shut you up. Rock music has become so safe and vacuous that young Americans have forgotten that music is an art-form with which to express ideas, and that there was a time when rock music was a conduit for social change.”

Regardless of whether you like the music or agree with the message, there should not be a censor placed on music based on personal discrimination. College students are old enough and mature enough to separate entertainment from reality or make their own realistic connections therein. If we still hear Michael Jackson on the radio after repeated sexual offense allegations, Snoop Dogg after several drug charges or Eminem after allegations of wife-beating – all lyrics aside – then this little indie band should not be undergoing so much scrutiny. The point is to make your own decisions, so see what they’re all about for yourself: or