The New Pornographers: Actual Pornographers?

This morning at Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta has an item about Calvin College, a Christian school, inviting The New Pornographers to play, only to withdraw the invitation.

Here’s the reasoning:

However, after weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band’s name was impossible to explain to many. The band’s name, to some, is mistakenly associated with pornography. Consequently, Calvin, to some, was mistakenly associated with pornography. Neither the college nor the band endorses pornography. The Student Activities Office regrets the way this has happened.

I want to know why the student body (or heck, the administration) couldn’t do a better job of telling people that this wasn’t a porn show? (Hemant guesses some older donors probably had an issue.)

I can see why some of their members want to remain blameless and beyond reproach. But the culture they’re trying to engage already knows The New Pornographers aren’t associated with pornography. If anything, outsiders might wonder why some Christians are making such a big deal about the name and won’t take the college seriously as a result of this.

If the goal was to protect their witness, the college might have unintentionally just hurt it.


4 thoughts on “The New Pornographers: Actual Pornographers?

  1. Robert September 15, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    The bigger question is, or so it would appear to me, what need a Christian educational institution has to invite a band?

    But I know better, I have long stopped asking these type of questions. 🙂

  2. Justin September 15, 2010 / 12:55 pm

    I don’t think there has to be a “need,” per se. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with inviting them for the pure enjoyment of their music and a live show.

  3. Robert September 15, 2010 / 10:52 pm

    Well good, if there was no real need to begin with then the cancellation won’t be of much consequence either. It is not like the Bible students are being short changed or something, no?

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