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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Thou shalt not steal?

Is downloading Christian music without paying for it wrong?

“No, because the artists are making billions of dollars anyways,” Matthew, a 13-year-old who attends Red Hill Lutheran Church, Tustin, Calif., told the Los Angeles Times. “They should give it away ’cause it’s art anyways,” said Mike, 16, who also attends Red Hill.

Matthew and Mike’s youth director, Isaiah Coughran, talked to the Times about the digital dilemma. “The kids here are split on it,” he said. “We get both ends, for sure—the kid who has 7,000 songs and the kid who won’t do it because it’s stealing. We want them to make their own decision, but at least be aware of the issues and talk about them.”

Most of the kids who attend Red Hill are affluent, Coughran said. “They’re teenagers and they say, ‘It’s what I want to do,’ and that sort of flattens the argument for them, just like with anything,” he added.


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