Country artist's song dropped from radio over mention of Jesus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Daron Norwood's song, "In God We Trust," made it to some mainstream country playlists and briefly enjoyed status as the most requested song before radio executives started dropping the song because it contains the name of Jesus.

"WSM [in Nashville] played the song for two days when it first came out and said it was their most requested song," said Mike Borchetta, president of Lofton Creek Records, the label that signed Norwood. "Then they stopped playing it and said it was too long. I said, 'Too long?' and they said, 'Well, it's got too much Jesus in it.'"

KWNR, a country station in Las Vegas, was another station that began to play the song and then dropped it.

"It was the most requested song for 10 days in a row, and then they said it had too much religious content," Borchetta told Baptist Press.

The song's lyrics begin, "Take His prayers from the schoolhouse, His name off the dollar bill. Take His name out of the pledge 'cause you don't think he's real. You got every right to be wrong, but give me my rights too. Be yourself, but leave well enough alone." Then the chorus follows, "If there's no Jesus, tell me who died for us? If there's no Father, why do I feel His love? If there's no heaven, tell me where do mamas go? It's more than just a name we choose to love. It's in God we trust."

Borchetta, who ran Curb Records for seven years and first signed country star Tim McGraw, put Norwood's "In God We Trust" on par with two country acts that have enjoyed success and endured controversy over patriotic songs in the past year. He likened Norwood's song to Toby Keith's "The Angry American" and Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" both written in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in testifying to the strength of America.

Another such song, Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" contains the lyrics, "I know Jesus and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young: faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us, and the greatest is love." Jackson's song, also written in response to Sept. 11, has been widely played since its release and has avoided the controversy buffeting Norwood.

The "In God We Trust" rejection gained national attention on May 30 as a featured news item discussed by syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck, who is broadcast on more than 125 affiliates in the United States.

Borchetta said Norwood and the record label will not back down and change the lyrics in order to get airtime. He said he plans another big push of the song around the Fourth of July.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DARON NORWOOD.