Fighting words: Christian smite songs

Since I always played in the band, I never learned the words of my schools’ fight songs. That’s just as well, if Warren St. John’s account of such songs is accurate: they are “anachronistic,” “out of date,” “bloodthirsty,” “chauvinist,” “white,” “cheesy,” “martial,” “intimidating,” “medieval,” “fighting,” “drunken,” “strafing” and “violent.” Few of the songs, he says (writing in the New York Times last year), are “sensitive,” “pacifist,” “tolerant,” “inclusive” and other good things.

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