David Bazan Steps Away

David Bazan is agnostic. That is not news to many, but to scores of Pedro The Lion’s and David Bazan’s Christian fans it is news we are trying to deny. But we cannot deny the words out of David Bazan’s mouth. This not interpretation of his new set of songs in Curse Your Branches. In an interview with the Chicago Reader, David Bazan clearly states he is agnostic.

David Bazan (Pedro The Lion)

Why do I bring this up now?  We at One21music grabbed Curse Your Branches on its release date.  We were immediately enthralled with the beauty of David Bazan’s music and the painful honesty of his lyrics.  Like many Christians who are fans of great music, we told ourselves that Bazan’s lyrics were the continuance of his journey from his social Church up bringing to a deeper, challenged faith.  We saw David Bazan perform last week at Waterloo Records and I really heard Curse Your Branches for the first time. I turned to my companions and said “David Bazan has rejected Christianity.  He says it clearly in “When We Fell” and “Hard To Be” that he is turning his back on our Faith”.  Like many of us my friends fell back on David Bazan’s history with Pedro The Lion and Headphones.  “No, he is just on his journey and is challenging our us think more deeply about our faith.”  Unfortunately that is not the case.

Curse Your Branches documents the spiritual pain of someone who has lost their faith and the impact on his family.  It is an incredible piece of work that makes me more sad every time I listen to it.  He is wrong in “Hard to Be” when he says: I swung my tassel to the left side of my cap ,Knowing after graduation there would be no going back. David Bazan, Christ hopes you will find your way back to Him and  he will embrace you if you ever turn back to him.

How should we respond when a Christian hero falls?

First, we should be sad.  Not because we have lost something we thought we owned.  David Bazan has never been the property of Christian music fans.  No, we should be sad because David Bazan‘s family is now in conflict.  We should be sad because David Bazan has lost his relationship with his loving Saviour.  That is reason to be sad.

Second, we should add David Bazan to our prayer lists. Through the intimacy of his music he has developed a relationship with us.  He is a fellow believer who has lost his way. Christ is greater than his doubt.  I meet people everyday who have lost their way.  I don’t know their journey as intimately as we know David Bazan’s. Pray for him.

Finally, we should continue to enjoy and examine the legacy of David Bazan‘s music as himself, Pedro The Lion and Headphones.  That body of work is a challenging testimony to the struggles of a thinking, seeking Christian.  We can learn from it.

Am I wrong?  Should we reject David Bazan and his past because if his present?  Do you feel betrayed?


  1. Joshua says:

    I think it’s sad. He needs prayers now more than ever. The devil is always going to target those in seats of influence, and some get through that struggle and some succumb to it. I’m not sure if you’ve covered it or not, but mewithoutYou (I feel) is going down a dangerous path too of inter-faith and universalism… I was sad to hear the newest album (even in all it’s melodic grooves!) and the lyrics of it. After I read an interview where mwY (Mike Weiss) admitted that the songs are exploring an idea that ‘maybe there isn’t just one way to God’, I cried!

  2. ian says:

    these issues get talked about alot in the office

  3. Shanon says:

    I don’t know why this is a shock to most fans. I’ve never been much of a ptl fan, but this is sad nonetheless.

    Honestly, I always found his songwriting to be shocking for the sake of alienating the conservative base, Christian or otherwise. I never felt like his music, as honest as it is was, actually contributed to the Christian music genre. I always felt like I was listening to an angry college kid, disgruntled with the church.

    Honesty is great, but you can word it in such a way that doesn’t put people off. You can say the same things in an artistic way without dropping f bombs and making crude sexual references. I never trusted his claims to the faith; it just seemed like a way to be cool and different.

    I pray for his salvation, like I would any other. But he’s hardly a Christian hero, by any means

  4. chuck says:

    Thank you for your take. Well, said.

    My view is a bit different. Many of his songs are angry and sometimes crude and that does express the inner dialogue of many men who sit in churches everyday. These are not the hypocrites who claim the Christian reward but really just treat the Church like a social or political club. These are men who are missing something, they know they are missing something, they cannot figure out what they are missing and they are afraid to stand up ans say “hey, I am missing something. I don’t feel these showers of mercy and grace.” Bazan’s heroism is that he was willing to express these men’s inner dialogue and say “I am missing something.” It is a tragedy that he has not found it, so he decided it does not exist.

    Once again, thank you for your comments. I very much appreciate the quality of your opinion.

  5. Michael Ownby says:

    Reading about this makes me wonder, Ian, what your take is on the newest ACB/Hawkboy stuff?

  6. ian says:

    when you say newest ACB, you mean the album that came out like two years ago? I havent paid much attention to Hawkboy yet…..

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