Your Views for December 15

Shocked by concert

Saturday, Dec. 9, I attended a Frank Zappa tribute concert hosted by the University of Hawaii at Hilo at its Performing Arts Center.


I have listened to some Zappa music in the past but was not fully informed of Zappa’s politics and his views toward religion.

The musical performance was a collaboration between Dweezil Zappa (Frank’s son) and musicians of the Hilo Jazz Orchestra, one of whom is even a good friend of mine.

To my shock, one of the early songs in the concert was a public mockery of Christians and the Bible. Performing artists danced around the stage singing ridicule at “Jesus freaks” and renouncing the Bible.

Now, this is not a rant against Zappa. Rockers mocking Christ is no new thing, and I actually support their First Amendment rights. An orchestra of classical musicians, hosted by a state university and funded with donations and tax dollars, publicly mocking my savior, Christ, is what offended me. It is an extreme example of poor judgment and poor taste.

The director should be called to account by the university, and the university’s chancellor should affirm to the community that it is a safe place for Christians to work, study and visit, free from ridicule, harassment and discrimination.

Now, I also support the right of the university to be political and to host whoever/whatever it wants. What the university and its Performing Arts Center need to decide is, do they want to alienate themselves from Big Island Christians, who are sponsors and members of their organizations and active in the community at large?

The Performing Arts Center says it only manages to survive from generous community donations. I suggest it not alienate itself from Christian giving.

As for the musicians and band members, they need to ask themselves where they personally stand with Christ and respecting Christians before they play such inflammatory lyrics in public. Had a group of artists chosen to sing about Muslim hate, or sang a ridiculous song about Judaism, the University of Hilo might find itself the subject of national debate.


Jonathan Cook