From Ode to Joy-FM
James Hitchcock on the Sale of a Lutheran Classical Station
Shortly after nine o’clock on a hot night this past July, the closing strains of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony carried over the radio, bringing with them an end to a venerable St. Louis institution. The finale of KFUO-FM also brought into focus some of the anomalies of the relationship between the Church and contemporary culture.
KFUO-FM was, as listeners were reminded each day, “owned and operated by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod” (LCMS). It had broadcast classical music for 62 years and, during that time, had ceased to be a Christian station, devoting itself almost exclusively to the classics and featuring religious music only around Christmas and Easter. Presumably it attracted aneducated and financially successful audience—the station was richinadvertisements, including ones for automobiles and gourmet restaurants.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
James Hitchcock is Professor emeritus of History at St. Louis University in St. Louis. He and his late wife Helen have four daughters. His most recent book is the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives