One of the particulates of the religious movements in the 80's was a hatred for the always evil "rock music". It seems ridiculous to kids today, but at one time, there was a real concern in America about the quality of entertainment. It was like the video for Twisted Sisters "I wanna rock" or the movie "Footloose", except without the pumped up jam session and dancing at the end. This is how it was. Dancing, bad. Music that might lead to dancing, bad. Music with electric guitars, bad. Music which might make you tap your feet, bad. Any music which might have an, up beat or back beat and potentially be used in beer commercial, bad, bad and bad. All and I mean all of this music was filled with backward satanic messages that would cause you to get girls pregnant and do bad things to puppies.
The rules were clear, if the music in any way sounded "cool" it was bad, and not in the same way that "bad" was really "good" back then either. Without any warning the rules got all confused with a new genre of music, Christian rock. Christian Rock was drums and guitars that sounded like rock music with bible verses on the album jacket and pro religious themes written into the music. This really blew away the Baptists. One one hand it was Bible related and on the other it wasn't Bill and Gloria Gaither.
Eventually we were permitted "Christian Rock" but not the evil "secular rock". I had great fun with this. "Mr. Howdyshell, Judas Priest is a Christian group", I lied. He didn't have a clue so I got away with it. I guess "Unleashed in the East" might have had some sort of rapture related meaning. It really pissed me off when someone (a pastors kid) tipped him off that Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" was less than Holy Spirit inspired. Oh well you win some and sometimes you have to buy the cassette a second time.
One of the bands that was considered questionable was U2. On one hand one of their first music releases contained a song that was a blatant rip off from the Old Testament. On the other hand they were from a Catholic country (bad) and they never claimed to be a Christan band (bad) and then Bono said that they were Christians that happened to be in a rock band and that they didn't want to have the music put into any particular category (worse). To those I was around, the last part seemed like they were denying Christ and U2 went on the banned list.
It amuses me to no end that the "debate" on if U2 is a Christian band is still being hashed out 30 years latter. For those of you that don't know, Focus on the Family when James Dobson was running the place, was for baptists the equivalent of the Pope to Catholics. Today its somewhat less than that, and for good reason. Regardless, U2's Bono statement: Yes, Jesus is the Son of God is being treated as some sort of evangelical news flash. This isn't anything new, he said it 30 years ago too.
What I want to know is "am I in the clear for peaking down Carry's dress and catching a glimpse of her cleavage and a nipple at a high school dance in 1988"? We were dancing to the Joshua Tree. I seem to remember thinking that I might have found what I was looking for, at the time anyway.