"The State" as written by and Joshua Moore Derek W. Webb....
Oh, I was free to live and love and kill as I saw fit
I was at peace, I really was, no one I was at war with
The only common good was that we understood that laws unjust were only good for breaking
That difference legalized instead of sameness left nobody free
But that was the day before I married my conscience to the state

My taxes paid these road we laid to places of my choosing
There were no eyes up in the skies looking down into my bed
There was no government without our consent
And keys were made for anyone who just claimed it
And glass was all of every wall that framed it from sea to shining sea
But that was the day before I married my conscience to the state

Right and wrong were written on my heart and not just in the laws that condemned me
But now with Caesar satisfied I can even do the things that should offend me

Lyrics submitted by jamesjr

"The State" as written by Joshua Moore Derek W. Webb


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  • 0
    My InterpretationLike most of the songs on this album, this is a metaphor for problems with the modern American church and her marriage to political systems.

    It's a story of how the Church, as well as individual Christians, is supposed to separate itself from the State (to varying degrees, anyway) so as to follow the teachings of Jesus over and above the laws of the land.

    >>That laws unjust were only good for breaking
    A common teaching since the earliest days of the church is that a Christian should follow those laws of the land that do not contradict the teachings of Christ, and when they do, break the laws (and suffer the consequences.) This teaching was used by the civil rights movement in the US; they broke the laws nonviolently, and then took the punishment, to shame their oppressors into changing the laws.

    This song notes, however, that a large swath of the modern Church has married itself to the state, metaphorically, and is willing to violate the teachings of Christ when told to by the State.

    Exactly WHICH teachings you think we are violating will depend on which political platform you stand. Those toward the right wing might point to mainstream Christian churches' pro-choice stance (among other things.) Those on the left wing may point to fundamentalist churches' support of war or torture (among other things.) Both would, of course, be right. But if you want to get the real meaning, you need to look at your OWN side and see what evils it is willing to perpetuate at the order of the State (or at the order of the party or movement or...)
    sysiphuson March 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentilike what u said, but can u help me understand this part: "That difference legalized instead of sameness
    Left nobody free" ?
    markeetooon August 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe could be talking about the legal doctrine of separate but equal used by the government (differences legalized?). Of course that is only a stab in the dark. The implication within the song being that since the government OK'd that concept, that makes it morally right to segregate. They (maybe the church within the US) were only concerned about it until the day they married their conscience to the state.
    reytimon September 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso there is reason to believe Derek would include references to Segregation and Civil Rights. Other songs on the Stockholm Syndrome are about the Civil Rights Movement and government interference (Jena and Jimmy).
    reytimon September 22, 2010   Link

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