Why is it that when a person that listens to music that may promote violence and contains “objectionable” lyrics does a bad thing, families are quick to point out that it was external materials such as the music that influenced the person to do it?
This is the controversy over music censorship. Music censorship is the attempt or action taken by any agency to limit or hold back anything in music that a community may find offensive to its beliefs or values.
Musicians are artists, and often their music reflects the life that they are exposed to. I have to hear about a painting or sculpture being censored because it may seem objectionable. Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law representing an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
In other words, the First Amendment states that it is illegal for the Government to censor an artist. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to censorship by record companies, community groups, or radio stations - that’s why censorship still exists. The Amendment protects a musician’s ability to freely express their views on people and the world around us. When censors target music, they don’t usually concern themselves with artistic intention, but rather spend their time trying to prove that it is obscene. If censors successfully demonstrate that a work of art is obscene (lacking in serious social, artistic, literary or scientific value) that work can be subject to legal censorship. If the censor is a private business (not affiliated with the government), it can censor anything it likes for any reason it chooses, such as Wal-mart’s decision to ban CDs with a “Parental Advisory” sticker....