John Cooper, the frontman and bassist for the Grammy-nominated Christian rock band SKILLET, has spoken out against "cancel culture," calling it "very frightening."
Cancel culture is the idea that someone, usually a celebrity or a public figure, whose ideas or comments are considered offensive should be boycotted. These people are ostracized and shunned by former friends, followers and supporters alike, leading to declines in any careers and fanbase the individual may have at any given time.
Addressing the cancel culture issue on his "Cooper Stuff" podcast, Cooper said (see video below): "How does that work when Christians are making art, when Christians are making film? How do you make art in a world that wants to cancel you for, maybe, the art that you would make? Now, SKILLET hasn't been canceled yet, which is wonderful. I hope we don't get canceled. Could that happen? I don't know. I didn't think Dr. Seuss would get canceled," referring to the fact that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published because they "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," according to the business that preserves the author's legacy.
"I'm of the feeling that we Christians, and we conservatives… I think we need to begin to spend your money on the things that you believe — buy things from people of like mind," Cooper continued. "I'm telling you — I never thought that I would be the one saying it. That makes it sound like we want our own little Christian bubble — Christian candy, Christian chicken, Christian barbecue sauce, Christian shoes, Christian music, Christian books… I could go on and on. I never thought that I wanted to live in that bubble, and I do not wanna live in that bubble. But things are changing.
"A few weeks ago, some people came at me on Twitter and things, and they were, like, 'John's talking about government censorship. This isn't government censorship.' So I tried to make it clear. You're right — it's not government censorship; that's not what I'm talking about. The government doesn't need to censor something if we create a culture where you're not allowed to say certain things. If we create a culture that does that and there's no incentives — if businesses yank your stuff, if book publishers yank your stuff. I even said that as an example a while back. If you've got a publisher that drops you. You've written a book, [and] your publisher drops the book because they don't wanna be associated with you — you've just said hate speech, or whatever you've done. Well, now there's going to be incentive for Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million, whoever, there's gonna be incentive for those companies to also drop your book. So let's just say that I wrote a book, and then my publisher said, 'I'm dropping John Cooper's book,' and they drop the book because it's — I don't know, whatever — hate speech. Well, what if Barnes & Noble says, 'We're not dropping the book.' Well, now Barnes & Noble gets hammered from Twitter, from the social justice warriors, from the hyper-left folks, because they are supporting hate speech. So now Barnes & Noble also has to drop the book, because they have to virtue signal. So if they don't drop the book, then they're not woke anymore. They need those 'woke cookies.' Well, if Barnes & Noble is gonna get woke cookies, then Books-A-Million needs to get woke cookies. And if Books-A-Million gets woke cookies, you know Amazon needs woke cookies. So if you've created a culture where freedom of speech is so disincentivized that you've got publishers, book stores — everybody — who doesn't want anything to do with you. Now Twitter wants to ban you too, 'cause you're hate speech. Then there are no platforms for you to get your stuff out. This is very frightening. The government doesn't even need to do anything. The government doesn't need to crack down on you, because they're, like, 'Why would we crack down when culture is doing it?'"
Back in January, Cooper criticized Twitter for permanently suspending former president Donald Trump's account, suggesting it was a form of censorship, and that it amounted to an attack on freedom of speech.
Cooper's recently released debut book, "Awake & Alive To Truth (Finding Truth In The Chaos Of A Relativistic World)", tackles the reigning philosophies of our day of post-modernism, relativism, and the popular view of the goodness of man-and combats these viewpoints by standing on the absolute truth of the Word of God.