Underlining the way we huddle with those we agree with because it’s comfortable that way, it’s interesting that Anthony’s viral success came the same week that people were deleting Tyler Childers’s songs from their playlists after he released a music video for his highly anticipated love song. Fans lauded the new single but jumped ship when the video featured two gay men. This is an interesting side note, because both men hail from Appalachia, both are white, with red hair, and a signature backwoods twang. Fans exiting Childers’s fandom were looking for someone to fit their comfortable bubble, even though Childers has long been known to be more progressive in his leanings on issues of race, religion, and sexuality. This interview from his work on “Long Violent History” from 2020 is evidence of that. Our music preferences are certainly not a make-or-break issue, but the way we dismiss and embrace people because of certain ideas, beliefs, actions, or identities speaks to how often we need to be reminded that God’s kingdom is not divided based on race, status, gender, or any other secondary issue. It is instead unified by the person of Jesus. May we make room for people that don’t fit in our self-erected bubbles but would easily find a place at the table with Jesus (Luke 14:7–24).
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