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A mother and her children who have to walk 15 miles a day every day to get dirty water to put into their bodies with a broken immune system that will eventually kill them is the right thing to rebel against. That’s why I’m here, working with people like Sojourners. That’s why I’ve got a lot of really strong ties with organizations like Blood: Water Mission, who are building wells in Africa.

The music I write comes right out of that. As far as I feel I have a responsibility personally, my music will reflect that.

Q: Do you like the book of Micah with its theme of social justice?

A: Prophets were never very popular. There were no celebrity prophets. They were the guys whose job it was to be really radical truth tellers. That was their job. That’s why they weren’t very popular. They would come into the city and they would tell the truth to everybody. Nobody wanted to hear that. I think that any artist, any follower of Jesus that has gifts for creativity, has a certain responsibility of being a radical truth teller. There is a certain work that comes with being an artist and being somebody who follows after Jesus.

There is a day coming when there will be no more poverty, no more war, there will be no more hunger, no more thirst, no more disaster or tears. My work as an artist is to put my hands to that day coming today. To pray that day into today. As an artist, I take that work seriously, even if it’s trying to write an excellent song and trying to perform it as well as I can.

Q: Why did you decide to leave Caedmon’s Call to embark on a solo career?

A: After a while I realized that there are too many things I see going on that need to be talked about, that I don’t feel anybody is talking about. There are certain issues. The church is kind of being unequally yoked to a political party, the conservative party, in this country. Why are we not talking about the fact that we as a church have been co-opted? That we’re being played like a puppet in political circles. Why does nobody see this and why does nobody talk about it?

People have kind of made what is a mystical, radical, countercultural way to look at the world … Christianity … into a moralistic, two-dimensional little formula, a little system of living, by which you can make God like you, and feel good about yourself, in terms of your spirituality. … You know there’s a problem when you start to believe it’s a morally distinctive characteristic of being a Christian that you’re the only person at the party not drinking, rather than being the person who is being known for showing love and compassion toward people who disagree with you and seek to do you harm.