The Course of Reason

Music Monday: Sinéad O’Connor - “War”

March 11, 2013

I happened to catch this weekend’s SNL featuring Justing Timberlake and it reminded me of one of my favorite blasphemous on-screen protests. I know that I was too young at the time to fully understand Sinéad O’Connor’s a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War” and her subsequent destruction of a photo of the current Pope, John Paul II, but I have learned to appreciate such acts of rebellion and willingness to stand up for what you believe to be an injustice in the world.

Obviously Sinéad suffered horrible backlash over her acts, but I hope that her message, and the humanistic message of Marley’s song, will last much longer than the scars from the autrocities that she was trying to highlight on that cold, lonely stage in 1992. Atrocities that we are still dealing with and have come to light again now that a new Pope is in the works. Thanks, Sinéad, your actions are inspiring.   

More on the controversy can be found on her wikipedia page, where you can also find out that Joe Pesci is an ass.  

As always, if you get a chance, send your suggestions for future Music Mondays to me at, leave a comment below, or @tweet us at @CFIOnCampus. Your suggestions, along with future and past songs, may end up in the official Course of Reason Music Monday Grooveshark playlist or Spofity playlist that anyone can listen to.    



About the Author: Cody Hashman

Cody Hashman's photo
Cody Hashman is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Psychology, where he was the co-founder and president of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers.


#1 Tom Flynn (Guest) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 9:12am

An ironic sidenote: A group of members of one of the NYC atheist or humanist groups attended the SNL taping a week or two AFTER O'Connor's appearance in 1992. No connection, they'd planned it and gotten their tickets far in advance. How different things might have been if they'd happened to be in the audience at O'Connor's taping? Ten or twelve loudly cheering and applauding audience members might have dragged the rest of the audience with them, eliminating the stunned silence that accompanied the fade-out from O'Connor's protest. Might have taken some of the edge off the outrage. Today of course her defenders would appear online within moments!




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