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Atheist Actually Enjoys Christian Song on Radio
Posted: 18 March 2008 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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From Recoil Magazine, a West Michigan version of The Onion:
http://www.recoilmag.com/news/atheist_enjoys_christian_song_0308.html

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Posted: 18 March 2008 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I was once trying to quit smoking until the moment I discovered that it was the Nazis who have first linked smoking to cancer. So I started to smoke again. You know, I don’t want anybody to accuse me of being a Nazi…

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Posted: 18 March 2008 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Many composers in earlier years had to write for the church to help make a living, and of course there was a much greater emphasis on religion then, so there’s a great deal of beautiful music associated with the church.  Bach was a prime example and Mozart also wrote some religious music.  In addition, many of the folk in the U.S. wrote delightful music as hymns.  It’s only the words that bother me, so I feel we should keep the tunes but just change the lyrics.  As I’ve mentioned before, it could be “When the Atheists Come Marching In.”

Occam

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Posted: 18 March 2008 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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... and Van Halen could be “Runnin’ with No God or Gods.”

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Posted: 18 March 2008 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Gwen Adams, a 33-year-old software designer and staunch disbeliever in the existence of God, accidentally enjoyed an uplifting song played on an all-Christian radio station while scanning the dial on her car radio during her drive home from work Tuesday evening.

I am 33, too. Maybe it happened to me anytime, but don’t blame us. I,as Gewn,  grew up in the 80s, enjoying the horrible music the radios played then (Erasure, Europe, Duran Duran and a couple more which I forget, thanks gods). We are used to listen crap and enjoy it.

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Posted: 19 March 2008 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam - 18 March 2008 05:25 PM

“When the Atheists Come Marching In.”
Occam

That doesn’t fit… smile

But it is true: there is a hell of a lot beautiful religios music, and why, it is no problem.

I am sometime moved to tears by some story, and that is fiction. So when somebody makes beautiful music, based on a story that moves him/her, that is no problem. And then even the words possibly do not matter. I even once declared my love to a woman by sending an aria of the ‘Matthäus Passion’ (‘St Matthew Passion’) as mp3…

“I will lose myself in you;
though earth be all too small for you,
ah, for me you alone shall be
more than earth and heaven.”

It is nice, isn’t it? (We are still good friends…) Does it matter that Bach really was a devout Christian?

The dirty part is when modern people sing ‘spirituals’, even that they should know that there is no reason to believe in God…

GdB

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Posted: 19 March 2008 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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GdB - 19 March 2008 06:03 AM

But it is true: there is a hell of a lot beautiful religios music, and why, it is no problem.

But I think it was not the case referenced in the article. As far as I understood, they talk about he christian rock, or the christian pop music (not much similar to Bach, as I see it)

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Posted: 19 March 2008 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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GdB - 19 March 2008 06:03 AM

. I even once declared my love to a woman by sending an aria of the ‘Matthäus Passion’ (‘St Matthew Passion’) as mp3…

“I will lose myself in you;
though earth be all too small for you,
ah, for me you alone shall be
more than earth and heaven.”

It is nice, isn’t it? (We are still good friends…) Does it matter that Bach really was a devout Christian?

The dirty part is when modern people sing ‘spirituals’, even that they should know that there is no reason to believe in God…

GdB

Truth in advertising about the original post: I don’t like christian rock much, so ‘atheist’ in the title should be taken loosely!

GdB - and there’s bad lyrics even in Bach. The beginning of the St Matthew’s passion is set up like a funeral cortege trudging toward you, complete with mourners crying out over the rest of the musical crowd - very effective. But at the end, when musically the cortege is being bid farewell, the lyrics are pretty crappy and syrupy - something like ‘goodbye, Jesus, we’ll miss you, see you in three days’.  Ugh.

I agree that there’s something odd about singing currently-used songs - you’re thinking of the American Idol crowd? - but what exactly? Hm, is it odd to teach an ancient hymn to a school-choir to sing if no-one belongs to the religion it was written for? What about chant, which isn’t much used by churches anymore? So maybe the ‘dirtiness’ comes from pop singers making commercial use of religious songs still in use by real religious people?

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Posted: 20 March 2008 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Oh, well, the lyrics were not written by Bach… But sung in such a way, even a shopping list would get very dramatic!

BTW I am not the only one who likes this music:

[quote author=“Wikipedia (in Trivia)”]Richard Dawkins, the popular evolutionary biologist and, perhaps ironically given the subject matter of the piece, secular humanist, selected it as one of his eight Desert Island Discs.

Found here. Down on the page there is a link to the complete text of the “St Matthew Passion”.

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Posted: 22 March 2008 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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yeah, christian music is the best. I love the hymns as well as christian rock, lyrics could slightly be re-oriented, but that’s it.

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Posted: 23 March 2008 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Wasn’t everyone in Europe required to be christian for fear of extreme social consequences for much of the past several hundred years?  Great western art that is made by christians is about as fundamentally religious as science performed by scientists who happen to be religious.  In other words, not at all.

Art and music have historically served as the most powerful religious commercials ever conceived.

I agree with Occam about resenting christian lyrics that so often pollute great music.  And it doesn’t really work, in most cases, to change the lyrics of classics.  I lean toward the need for the creation of superb new music and art that is not religious, and even anti-religious, in character.

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Posted: 23 March 2008 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Modern Christian music is an interesting appeal to the youth today.  It reminds me of that Episode of Family Guy where a preacher comes in to speak with Meg’s class about abstinence and he dresses all “cool” and sits on his seat backwards and the kids are like “wow, he’s just like us… let’s listen”.

I find that the music works the same way. Most people tend to get attached to music with a good rhythm without really listening to lyrics or the meaning.  So it does attract people.  I, myself, find that many of the songs, though I don’t hold any agreement with the lyrics, are songs I still find myself bopping along too for the rhythm.

Bands like Casting Crow, Delirious, Sonic Flood, etc.  are to youth today as what the old hymns were to the public then.  They are powerful, heartfelt, fun, and evoking.  The allure of the music goes hand in hand with the new art and even the “teen bibles”.  Ways to draw people in and show one can be a “modern Christian”. 

Still, regardless of all the other factors, can’t fault someone if they have a really good rhythm… besides, technology now, I can delete the words.  tongue laugh

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Posted: 23 March 2008 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I tend to be more focused on lyrics than music, so I usually choose music for the lyrics. But I also do listen to lots of music in languages I don’t speak, which clearly is more about sound than meaning. I happen to like bluegrass, and so I listen to plenty of good songs that have a religious message I don’t agree with.(Mindy Smith’s Come to Jesus is a great song, and also a clasic example of the promise/lie of religion:
“Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival.
Here in Heaven you will finally understand.”)
And Amazing Grace is a damned catchy tune! Aesthetically, I guess I’m not so refined or cultured as Occam and others here, because I have no use for Classical/Baroque religious music or hymns, though I do like a good plainchant.

I don’t think as non-believers we need to let religion define us. As Erasmus points out so much of the great art of the past, in all media, has been perforce religious in theme, and I don’t think we need to deny the quality of the art just to make a statement about religion. I’m a feminist, but I like plenty of great literature by sexist dead white men too. Letting one’s politics dictate one’s taste in art leads to the kind of crappy Soviet style stuff a friend of my used to refer to as “happy tractor art.” I think creating new and thematically secular art is also a great idea, but it doesn’t seem a big deal to me to appreciate the good in musci or other art with a religious theme as well.

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Posted: 24 March 2008 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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[quote author=“AnyaLight”]Bands like Casting Crow, Delirious, Sonic Flood, etc.  are to youth today as what the old hymns were to the public then.  They are powerful, heartfelt, fun, and evoking.  The allure of the music goes hand in hand with the new art and even the “teen bibles”.  Ways to draw people in and show one can be a “modern Christian”.

I was interested in your mention of the the band Casting Crow because they (their name) sounded kind of rock-ish (rock, nu-metal specifically, being what I’m into these days) but I could only find Casting Crowns or Counting Crows and I wasn’t aware the latter were religious. The others sound more like electro bands or something ... the kind of music I hate which, along the glut of misogynistic rap tunes, is what turned what me away from the dance scene. Indeed one of the things I like about rock music is that it seems (to me) to be very intelligently written and that means far less religious than other forms of music.

That said I am (historically) quite partial to a couple of the classic songs by “The Staple Singers” and I like “O Happy Day” by the Edward Hawkins Singers and you can’t get much more happy clappy religious than that last one IMO.

Kyu

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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You had me going for a minute there.  Then I noticed that the article is from a satirical newletter, “the West Michigan version of The Onion”.

But seriously, I kind of like the Christian song, “I Can Only Imagine”.  Every time I heard it, I think that’s right, you CAN only imagine Jesus, ‘cause he’s not real.  wink

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Posted: 24 March 2008 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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advocatus - 24 March 2008 06:30 AM

You had me going for a minute there.  Then I noticed that the article is from a satirical newletter, “the West Michigan version of The Onion”.

But seriously, I kind of like the Christian song, “I Can Only Imagine”.  Every time I heard it, I think that’s right, you CAN only imagine Jesus, ‘cause he’s not real.  wink

Heh heh, good one. My favorite accidentally funny hymn title is ‘Faithful to Thee, Lord, Now and Then’

Kirk

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