Is Lite Rock Evil?

“The Lord will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3

I don’t hate Lite Rock. Admittedly many of the songs are boring or by Kenny Loggins but who hates Hall and Oates? In Lite Rock the highs are high. And the lows are entirely forgettable.

That’s what I used to think. Then I heard an evil song while shopping. “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller. He sings it in a white-guy blue’s voice that weaves uncomfortably over the line separating tribute from minstrelsy.

The lyrics are worse. Overuse has made the word as ominous as an episode of “Bewitched,” but “abracadabra” has a history. It means, “I create like the Word.” In other words, “I claim the power of God.” It rose to popularity with the British occult master Aleister Crowley.

When he isn’t chanting an occult phrase, Miller croons about a woman whose witchy charms have left him helpless. His misogyny is so lunk-headed it becomes powerful, as if a poem written by Hugh Hefner just hit you over the head with a bag of hammers.

Lite Rock exists to be unobjectionable. Yet it can be foul. Evil slithers through existence. Unchecked it can grow into something as gigantic as rape culture. But it makes its case in a whisper. “Abra, abracadabra.”

That’s the thing with evil. It isn’t always obvious. It slips, it slides, it insinuates itself. And it can use anything. It can surface in your thoughts. It can be served up or on the rocks.

The good news is that church gives us the skills to see it, smell it, name it. Even better, church says Christ has killed it. But when you cut the head off a rattlesnake, its death throes remain dangerous.

Stay on your toes.


Dear God, thank you for protecting us. While you do, give us the wisdom to keep alert. Amen. 

ddauthormattfitzgerald.jpgAbout the Author
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is the host of “Preachers on Preaching,” a weekly podcast sponsored by The Christian Century.