Mumford & Sons flies high on wings of faith

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 12:00 p.m. MST

“While Mumford & Sons wouldn't be categorized as a ‘Christian’ band — you won't find them in Christian bookstores or in the Gospel section at Best Buy — Christian themes nevertheless run throughout many of their songs,” Kevin P. Emmert wrote for Christianity Today in September.

Band members have been careful not to endorse any particular religion. Instead, they prefer to highlight in their music the prominent role faith plays in their lives.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2010 about the album “Sigh No More,” Marcus Mumford said its lyrics are “a deliberately spiritual thing but deliberately not a religious thing. I think faith is ­something beautiful, and something real, and something universal. … I think faith is something to be celebrated."

Two and a half years after that interview, The Independent asked the singer whether the album title “Babel” could be viewed as a statement about the importance of religion to the band. Mumford's response: “No, religion is not at all (important). Faith is. We each have individual beliefs. Our values are pretty shared otherwise we wouldn’t do well on the road. Faith is a more spiritual thing.”

Music critics like NPR's Ann Powers may consider Mumford & Sons a “non-sectarian spiritual rock band,” but the music may still appeal to Christian audiences.

“We need a voice to remind us that all will be well, that there is life beyond pain, restoration after brokenness,” Emmert reflected in his essay for Christianity Today. “Mumford & Sons give voice to that message. … We should approach Mumford & Sons' songs with discernment and sensitivity — appraising their lyrics fairly, while seeking to understand their emotions and circumstances. We will find points to criticize, others to dismiss. But in the end, we will find much to honor and celebrate.”

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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