Korean hip-hop artist BewhY

Speaking Out: Finding Christian values in secular media

By  Paula Ducepec, Youth Speak News
  • February 24, 2021

I hear this often: there isn’t much Christian or religious material out there. I also hear the media is now very secular. And this is where I stop people and say: No! You are wrong, it’s everywhere — we’ve just lost the art of finding Christianity and religion in everything. 

I recently came across Korean hip-hop artist BewhY and after listening and closely reading his lyrics, I realized how sound the music was with Christian teachings. The song “Algorithim” opened my eyes to what is called Christian hip-hop. Before listening to this artist, I didn’t know such a genre existed, nor did I realize how much people like this music. With its popularity spanning decades, it seems that people really do look for this kind of content.

Christian hip-hop, I came to realize, is riddled with allusions to Catholic theology and Bible passages. In “Algorithm,” BewhY says, “No cap, rhymes in Christ is timeless/ It king’s mindset for kids who was blinded/the first step glorifies His Almighty/ I can let ‘em sightsee the spot/ Where paradise is/ Don’t call into question my lesson Fellaz.”

This phrase is a reply to the first part of the song wherein the lines expose people following the algorithm of idolizing and prioritizing brand names and make an extreme effort to be branded as a top consumer and to create the “right” image of themselves. In a way, this is a reply to the obsession in turning oneself into a false idol and further away from God. 

Then there are movies like Wonder Woman1984 where religious undertones are infused. Because of the discreet religious undertones throughout the film, it requires a closer viewing. It was in the last scene with Maxwell Lord, when Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) averted disaster and complete annihilation and says: “The truth is enough, the truth is beautiful.” Is that not what is taught to us: the tenets of our faith?

This is why we are urged to read and learn so that we can easily spot crucial information like this. It is easy to lose these ideologies to secular ideas if we are not careful. We could simply say that it’s a novel idea that should be realized. With the intense secularization of Catholic teachings and incorporating them into some “new age” ideology, we can easily forget where it all came from.

From Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins, to Bishop Robert Barron and Pope Francis, each has urged us to read the Bible once again and study it, to understand what we have read. And I have found this vital to growing my understanding of how everything around us relates to our faith and belief. We must learn to equip ourselves with ideas and the perspective to protect ourselves from the force-fed media narrative.

We can do that through constant exposure. After reading the Bible, we must expose ourselves to material that teaches us to understand what we have read. It’s useless if we do not understand what we have just read. There are readily available resources like Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Catholic Podcast or The Bible in a Year. There is also the Formed.org website that offer videos that provide explanations to questions about our faith. For example, as a trained scientist, I want to learn how to use science to support and accompany my religious belief and show how these two seemingly polarizing disciplines do not oppose each other. 

Discerning what I was listening to, reading, viewing and watching has helped me become aware of what I didn’t know and empowered me to be critical, widen my scope and learn to see things from a different, more God-centred perspective.

(Ducepec, 22, is a recent Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of Toronto.)

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