Shut Up and Sing, Lesson's Learned From The Dixie Chicks

"What exactly happened to The Dixie Chicks" Evangeline asked me as we drove down the road listening to their song Easy Silence. That question presented me with a great opportunity to educate her on a little piece of recent history, war time etiquette and the price of free speech. I then remembered that I had heard there was a documentary about it all and so we rented it on NetFlix.

It was very interesting watching her watch the documentary. She was shocked by how extreme people's reactions were to their comments. But the documentary really didn't show the extent of anger and hatred toward them at the time that I knew very well was the case.

I felt so conflicted while watching it because I was one of the people who refused to listen to them then. I felt what she said was irresponsible during war time. I was a staunch conservative and all I needed was my daily dose of anger from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to feel very righteous in my refusal to listen to the Dixie Chicks.

I was one of the people who said "I wish they would just shut up and sing!"

I remember when the song, "Not Ready to Make Nice" came out a few years later, my niece Candice had it on her playlist on her Myspace, I clicked on it and listened to it and I thought, "wow, they really need to get over it, they are just making things worse." and I didn't listen to any of their songs for several more years.

I was still feeling righteous for refusing to listen to them and when I heard their refusal to forgive made clear in that song, it made me feel even more righteous in my decision. It was obvious they didn't care who they pissed off any more because they were still pissed off.

They weren't ready to make nice.

When discussing the fall of the Dixie Chicks with Evangeline I explained to her that back when it all happened we still believed there were things you just didn't say during war time. It was before the time of Twitter and Facebook so everyone wasn't always saying things in public forums. And especially country music singing females. That was just a big no-no. So the reaction was so over hyped by the media and over dramatized by rednecks everywhere that the band wagon was just to easy to jump on. I mean, Toby Keith jumped on it and made money off of making their lives worse. The Chicks response to him only fueled the fire. It was a constant back and forth, tit for tat.

I don't believe they should of shut up and sang, but I do believe that learning how to walk in forgiveness would have helped them to say what they needed to politically without it being so polarizing and hurting themselves worse.  But I understand how they were still mad because they were still suffering the consequences of free speech.

One time a pastor friend of mine told me I reminded him of The Dixie Chicks. I knew immediately what he meant. I know people in my small little non-spotlight world who would love it if I would just shut up and sing. But that is not how God made me. I don't get to shut up and sing. And I don't think God made the Dixie Chicks to shut up and song either.

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