December 4, 2021

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Stryper’s Michael Sweet Suggests the Bible Will Be ‘Canceled’


Stryper frontman Michael Sweet has weighed in online with his concern about “cancel culture” and wondering if it might someday include the canceling on the Bible, the collection of religious texts and scriptures held sacred to Christianity.

The band has long been at the forefront of Christian rock and Sweet recently shared his concerns on Twitter, offering the following comment: “We’ve been handing out bibles for almost 40 years. For the first time in my life I’m asking myself this question — I wonder how long it will be before this book is cancelled? [sic] I know it may seem like a silly thought but it’s really not. It’s just a matter of time. Frightening!”

The comment drew quite a bit of response both backing Sweet’s narrative and calling out the musician for fear mongering. One of his Twitter followers pointed out one of the constitutional reasons why the Bible will not go away, stating, “The Bible will never be (could never be) canceled. The U.S. Constitution protects all things related to religion. All religions. This is fear mongering. I’m proudly a Christian and I know the Constitution protects my rights to worship.”

But another commenter offered, “Other countries have banned bibles so it’s not a stretch to think someone could try in the U.S.A. Christianity has been slowly ‘cancelled’ for years starting with an exaggerated interpretation of church & state, which removed school prayer, firehouse crosses, etc.”

And another pointed out a financial reason that the Bible will never be canceled:

Meanwhile another Twitter follower suggested that the lack of concern shows that people haven’t taken the threat of cancel culture seriously, adding, “Some of the comments on here show just how ignorant people are on what’s going on in this country. Once people start cancelling things they don’t stop until they get rid of everything they don’t agree with!!”

Another added, “I guess some folks don’t realize how we can be a stone’s throw away from having them confiscated/banned. Why some countries do not allow them and they have to be smuggled in, why people are often only able to go by memorized verses or have a few pages to read. John 15:18-21”

A sampling of comments within the thread point out some of the prejudicial commentary included within the Bible and what it has emboldened over the years, while others have suggested that “canceling” or not, the positive messages expressed will continue on in the hearts of followers:

Others called out Sweet for suggesting the idea and questioned his reasoning for doing so:

The phrase “cancel culture” has also entered the political spectrum, often used by Republicans who feel as though Democrats have attempted to squelch their rights to free speech.

“It is used to refer to a cultural boycott,” stated Nicole Holliday, assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania to NPR. “We’ve had the term ‘boycott’ forever and ever. It just means, ‘I’m not going to put my attention or money or support behind this person or organization because they’ve done something that I don’t agree with.’ That is not new, that’s very old.”

But as one commenter on the thread put it, the discussion of canceling religion is somewhat muddled by the political connotations.

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