The Goth community’s relationship with Christianity is often perceived as an odd one-graveyards, pewter cross imagery and darkness, combined potentially with elements that many Christians would probably find inappropriate.
The ties between Goth culture and Christianity go back a long way, to the earliest gothic churches-but given that Goth today generally means something quite different to most people than a committed Christian lifestyle, that tie is not as obvious as it maybe should be.
Additionally, given the fact that certain branches of Christianity (albeit mainly small cult-like organisations and haters) view Goth as akin to worshipping the devil and spread propaganda and shite to this effect, the relationship between modern branches of the religion and Gothism has been somewhat rocky at times.
So, are any meaningful number of today’s Goths Christian, and is Christianity ok with this? I decided to find out.
Based on this Facebook page, Goths for Christ, the answer there is a tentative yes-that page alone has over a thousand likes and plenty of regular posts, and seems to be fulfilling a neat purpose in allowing Christian Goths from all across the world to chat and interact.
I imagine that this is very important for many people, because I reckon that people that count themselves as both practicing Christians and Goths are likely not that common as a whole in the average Goth community.
Got Questions, on the other hand-a website dedicated to addressing some of the FAQ about Christianity, states that:
“A Christian’s viewpoint on the Gothic / Emo movement should be avoidance of the culture’s dark attitudes while still loving those involved in it. Yes, there are definitely certain aspects of the Gothic and Emo subcultures that are incompatible with Christianity, but no more so than similar aspects of mainstream society. These particular communities identify themselves with artistic darkness—darker clothing, darker writing, darker music. In fact, both Goth and Emo originally (and presently) referred to specific music genres with punk roots before they were considered personal styles.”
I find this whole paragraph mildly annoying-it smacks of churches that say that gays are ok, as long as they don’t actually act on their urges.
Additionally, the angle taken by the piece is that Christians should be ok with Goths, with some caveats-but doesn’t really address the issue of people who are Goth but also identify as Christian. While it does say that Goths can be Christians later on in the piece, this seemed like more of a throwaway to me than a meaningful welcome to the faith.
This page on the website of the Christian Research Institute also kind of made me laugh, starting as it does with “Goth (or gothic) culture has been around for about 25 years” LOL ok, maybe take the rest of the piece with a pinch of salt…
Ultimately, where I fall out with organised religion is at the point where people within it take the position of telling other people what is and is not ok, or is or is not Christian, when if you do actually subscribe to Christianity, the reality is that no one is well placed to do this, and every person has to make their own journey and decisions.
Are you a Goth Christian? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop me a note in the comments!