JOHNSON CITY, TN—In a public statement issued Tuesday, Sunshine Community Church became the first congregation in the country to commit to using cage-free drummers by the year 2025.
"We are slowly phasing out our inhumane use of caged drummers," head pastor Buck Darling told reporters. "After seeing the horrors of percussionists forced to sit in a glass box like some kind of animal for a full worship set, we now realize this is a grave injustice in the world of church music."
Advocacy groups like PETD—People for the Ethical Treatment of Drummers—have pushed for the move to cage-free drummers for decades. The announcement by Sunshine Church marks a major victory for their movement.
"Churches across the country have begun to wake up to drummers' plights," said PETD spokesperson Tom "Tom-Tom" Thompson. "Stuck in a glass cage for hours with no food or water, forced to play at imperceptibly low volumes lest the old people complain—this isn't happening in some third-world country. It's happening right here, right now, in our own churches."
Congregations used to simply set up a small drum shield around the front of the set, but many churches have now turned to fully encapsulating their drummers in a tight, constricting cylinder. One particularly inhumane method is to wrap the drummer himself in soundproof insulation. This approach is now banned by most countries around the world.
Sunshine staff will slowly let their drummers out of their cages, aiming to use only natural drummers playing out of captivity within seven years.