Guilty By Association

[Image: 'Meltdown' Front Cover]



So you need a new car?
Let your fingers take a walk
Through the business guide
For the "born again" flock

You'll be keeping all your money
In the kingdom now
And you'll only drink milk
From a Christian cow

Don't you go casting your bread
To keep the heathen well-fed
Line Christian pockets instead
Avoid temptation

Guilty by association

Turn the radio on
To a down-home drawl
Hear a brylcream prophet
With a message for y'all

"Well I have found a new utensil
In the devil's toolbox
And the heads are gonna roll
If Jesus rocks"

"It's a worldly design!
God's music should be divine!
Try buying records like mine
Avoid temptation"

Guilty by association

So you say it's of the devil
And we've got no choice
'Cause you heard a revelation
From the "still small voice?"

If the Bible doesn't back it
Then it seems quite clear
Perhaps it was the devil
Who whispered in your ear

It's a Telethon Tuesday
For "The Gospel Club"
"Send your money in now
Or they're gonna pull the plug!"

Just remember this fact
When they plead and beg
When the chicken squawks loudest
Gonna lay a big egg

You could be smelling a crook
You should be checking The Book
But you'd rather listen thank look
The implication

Guilty by association

Recorded Appearances

About The Song

From Clone Club News Flash Spring/Summer 1984, Spring/Summer 1984:

["Guilty By Association"] takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the guilt by association mentality we sometimes find in Christianity. So often instead of searching the Scriptures, we let other people do our thinking, telling us that God gave them a message for us to "send money to support this" or "not to listen to that." Without the Bible backing up what we say, it's impossible for us to speak with authority, which is the theme behind this reggae-flavored song.

From Ichthus 1984, April 28th, 1984:

I got here yesterday and I've heard just about all the bands yesterday and today. The Jesus rock thing is very happening, you understand, but not everyone agrees with those of us who are here, you know? It wasn't too long ago, I was going through my mail, I pull out this magazine, and I start reading, and it's got an article in it about a very big evangelist. I don't want to name any states or anything, but this guy had been the latest to jump on the bandwagon, and said that all of this so-called Jesus rock 'n roll was of the devil.

I want to know why they always have to pick on rock 'n roll, you know what I'm saying? I mean, after all those different kinds of music out there, why not some other kind of music for a change? I mean, you got polka music, you got bagpipe music, why not one of those? I have seen a bagpipe upclose, those guys don't have anything over on me, I know what bagpipes are like. First of all, they're made out of a goat skin. They've got ten horns coming out of the side of this goat skin, looks like something in the book of Revelation. And the men who play bagpipes are dressed like women!

But no no no, they've always got to pick on rock 'n roll because they decided they don't like its connotations, they don't like the trappings of rock 'n roll, therefore it must be guilty by its association. So we took that example and two other examples of this kind of "guilt by association" mentality, wrote a little reggae song and it's called "Guilty By Association".

From Cloning Around with Steve Taylor, CCM Magazine, June 1984:

"Guilty By Association" is a pretty pointed song.

I'm not so sure that it's pointed enough. We just completed a tour of western Canada, and one of the concerts in a fairly small town was boycotted by most of the churches, with parents making their teenagers stay home. The promoter explained to me that this was due in large part to a recent article by a certain American evangelist stating that contemporary Christian music is incompatible with true biblical Christianity. I guess that means Leroy, who prayed to accept Jesus at the concert that night, isn't really a Christian. Perhaps this evangelist would like to call Leroy and tell him that.

From I Predict: Steve Taylor's Next Album , Harvest Rock Syndicate, Winter 1987:

HRS: In concert, you still do the little bit where you put on the plastic hair and imitate a certain TV evangelist. What is your feeling about that man?

S.T.: I don't want to ever convey the impression that I don't like these people. Because it's really not that at all. I grew up in a conservative church, and have been around conservative people most of my life, and I think I understand why they think the way they do. The problem I have with some of these people, and their opinions on certain subjects, is that they aren't educated opinions, and they don't seem to have any desire to really get to the truth of the matter. Secondly, it seems to be motivated out of a prideful nature, you know, "Don't listen to that music, listen to my music, because mine has been sanctified by the Holy Spirit," or whatever. That doesn't really speak well for a man of God in that position.

I'd like to get together with Jimmy Swaggart sometime though, just to chew the fat--although I probably wouldn't be the best one to do that. Maybe Mylon (LeFevre) would be a better choice. I don't really get impatient with those opinions, it just bothers me that so many people believe it. That's where I get worried. If so many people accept something just because a, quote, "Man of God," unquote, says something, without testing it according to what scripture has to say, then we're in for all kinds of trouble.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

If you've never heard of the Christian Yellow Pages, or don't own a copy of Jimmy Swaggart's "Religious Rock 'N' Roll: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing," or have yet to come across a televangelism telethon, please skip to the next song, because this one's too hard to explain.

From Steve Taylor Pre-concert Interview, David Wang, June 30th, 1996:

DW: A lot of songs, like "Guilty By Association," almost seem prophetic after what happened shortly thereafter.

ST: So I think what happens is, even though people don't disagree with the content, they would say, "that's not our place as Christians to criticize that kind of thing." To me, that's totally wrong, [because] it definitely is.