Opinion: Musicians should be careful with using religious symbols

Stella Alexandropoulos, Sectional Editor

Religion is a serious topic for many people, including myself. When it comes to religion, people must be more aware of being respectful about it. There is a line between disagreeing with something but also attacking one’s own beliefs.

In the music industry, there are many occasions where artists have mocked religions such as Christianity by making music videos or concert performances based on re-appropriating religious symbols.  For example, rapper Lil Uzi Vert recently had a performance at Rolling Loud where his stage was lined up with crosses, some of which were upside-down.

This is can be seen as disrespectful to the Christian religion because most people can tell that Lil Uzi Vert had no intention to use the cross symbol as a sign to represent religious figures, as it was quite the opposite. His lyrical content can sometimes back this up.

Another example is rapper Playboi Carti. Carti has always had a dark aesthetic when it came to his vibe, which is no problem. However, a majority of Carti’s performances consist of screaming into the microphone, fire burning on stage, crazy dancing and more. His screaming into the microphone and wearing similar religious attire disturbed some fans.

Concerts are supposed to be fun. I would like to go to one without feeling uncomfortable by some of these messages in live performances. There is little to no reason for religious iconography to be brought into the performance. None of the songs are about Christianity for there to be crosses on stage. Most of the songs don’t even talk about devilish things either. Those themes are just casually present in the performance.

Sam Smith, another music artist who recently released the song “Unholy” featuring Kim Petras, performed this song the Grammys this year. The song lyrics have nothing to do with anything about Christianity, but the song’s title and single cover feature crosses.

My question is, what is the point of adding religious symbols to music if the song or album has absolutely nothing to do with it? Even if you are someone who doesn’t believe that these artists are not “selling their souls,” why can’t the music industry have some respect for religious communities?

There are certainly plenty of fans out there like me, who also identify as Christian, who might be upset that their favorite artists are appropriating particular faith-based symbols. The advice I have for you is to not let that affect you. You can still listen to your favorite songs and still follow whichever religious faith you desire. It is almost impossible to escape music, but even if performances and music videos like the ones I’ve mentioned are just a huge misunderstanding, it is still good to acknowledge how this can affect people’s beliefs.