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Does Religion Deny Music to Children?

Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 04:44 AM
buddhuu 02 Jul 10 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Lox 02 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Ed 02 Jul 10 - 05:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 05:20 AM
scouse 02 Jul 10 - 05:21 AM
Amergin 02 Jul 10 - 05:23 AM
Bonzo3legs 02 Jul 10 - 05:32 AM
bubblyrat 02 Jul 10 - 05:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,^&* 02 Jul 10 - 05:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 06:07 AM
buddhuu 02 Jul 10 - 06:29 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM
Bonzo3legs 02 Jul 10 - 07:48 AM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 10 - 08:04 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 08:07 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 08:23 AM
buddhuu 02 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM
Bonzo3legs 02 Jul 10 - 09:13 AM
Deckman 02 Jul 10 - 09:29 AM
Arthur_itus 02 Jul 10 - 09:52 AM
Bonzo3legs 02 Jul 10 - 10:12 AM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 10 - 10:26 AM
frogprince 02 Jul 10 - 10:33 AM
Mrrzy 02 Jul 10 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 02 Jul 10 - 12:41 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 12:53 PM
Ebbie 02 Jul 10 - 01:07 PM
Arthur_itus 02 Jul 10 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 02 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 10 - 01:35 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 10 - 01:41 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 01:49 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 01:50 PM
frogprince 02 Jul 10 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 02 Jul 10 - 02:02 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jul 10 - 02:05 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM
Mrrzy 02 Jul 10 - 02:10 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM
Arthur_itus 02 Jul 10 - 02:18 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 10 - 02:18 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 02:25 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 02:33 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 02:34 PM
Don Firth 02 Jul 10 - 02:40 PM
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PoppaGator 02 Jul 10 - 02:54 PM
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Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM
frogprince 02 Jul 10 - 03:03 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 04:00 PM
Tootler 02 Jul 10 - 04:06 PM
buddhuu 02 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM
buddhuu 02 Jul 10 - 04:29 PM
Don Firth 02 Jul 10 - 04:32 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 02 Jul 10 - 05:37 PM
Don Firth 02 Jul 10 - 05:53 PM
Lox 02 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 10 - 05:58 PM
Tootler 02 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM
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Stringsinger 02 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM
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LadyJean 03 Jul 10 - 12:09 AM
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Mavis Enderby 03 Jul 10 - 03:32 AM
Manitas_at_home 03 Jul 10 - 04:16 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jul 10 - 05:46 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM
mousethief 03 Jul 10 - 12:16 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jul 10 - 01:45 PM
Mrrzy 03 Jul 10 - 01:59 PM
Tug the Cox 03 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM
Smokey. 03 Jul 10 - 02:11 PM
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olddude 03 Jul 10 - 08:12 PM
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GUEST,Steamin' Willie 04 Jul 10 - 12:54 PM
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Jerry Rasmussen 04 Jul 10 - 04:24 PM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Betsy 04 Jul 10 - 08:07 PM
Kent Davis 04 Jul 10 - 11:11 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jul 10 - 11:46 PM
mousethief 05 Jul 10 - 03:13 AM
Howard Jones 05 Jul 10 - 03:35 AM
Jack Campin 05 Jul 10 - 05:12 AM
Howard Jones 05 Jul 10 - 05:41 AM
Kent Davis 05 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 05 Jul 10 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Phil Beer 05 Jul 10 - 10:25 AM
Howard Jones 05 Jul 10 - 10:35 AM
olddude 05 Jul 10 - 11:12 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 05 Jul 10 - 11:22 AM
Don Firth 05 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 10 - 05:02 PM
frogprince 05 Jul 10 - 05:23 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 05 Jul 10 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Taconicus 05 Jul 10 - 05:41 PM
Ebbie 05 Jul 10 - 06:01 PM
mousethief 05 Jul 10 - 06:07 PM
Kent Davis 05 Jul 10 - 07:08 PM
Don Firth 05 Jul 10 - 07:31 PM
Kent Davis 05 Jul 10 - 08:01 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 10 - 08:02 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM
Don Firth 05 Jul 10 - 09:05 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 10 - 09:23 PM
Don Firth 05 Jul 10 - 10:02 PM
Bobert 05 Jul 10 - 10:32 PM
mousethief 05 Jul 10 - 10:47 PM
Bobert 05 Jul 10 - 10:55 PM
mousethief 05 Jul 10 - 11:28 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 10 - 12:31 AM
LadyJean 06 Jul 10 - 12:37 AM
Howard Jones 06 Jul 10 - 03:58 AM
Howard Jones 06 Jul 10 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,SWEDEN 06 Jul 10 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 06 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM
Goose Gander 06 Jul 10 - 12:02 PM
Smokey. 06 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM
Don Firth 06 Jul 10 - 02:51 PM
Goose Gander 06 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM
Smokey. 06 Jul 10 - 03:25 PM
frogprince 06 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM
glueman 06 Jul 10 - 03:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM
Kent Davis 06 Jul 10 - 09:41 PM
Kent Davis 06 Jul 10 - 10:15 PM
Kent Davis 06 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM
Kent Davis 06 Jul 10 - 11:17 PM
Ebbie 06 Jul 10 - 11:53 PM
Kent Davis 07 Jul 10 - 12:30 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 10 - 12:45 AM
Smokey. 07 Jul 10 - 12:47 AM
Goose Gander 07 Jul 10 - 12:51 AM
TheSnail 07 Jul 10 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Steamin; Willie 07 Jul 10 - 10:23 AM
frogprince 07 Jul 10 - 11:06 AM
Goose Gander 07 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 07 Jul 10 - 12:10 PM
Goose Gander 07 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jul 10 - 07:24 PM
Smokey. 07 Jul 10 - 08:00 PM
Goose Gander 07 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM
Don Firth 07 Jul 10 - 08:25 PM
Goose Gander 07 Jul 10 - 08:26 PM
Smokey. 07 Jul 10 - 08:44 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 10 - 09:30 PM
Don Firth 08 Jul 10 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 08 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM
Don Firth 08 Jul 10 - 01:44 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM
Don Firth 08 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM
Don Firth 08 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 09 Jul 10 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,lox 09 Jul 10 - 07:33 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jul 10 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Riginslinger 09 Jul 10 - 08:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM
Joe Offer 09 Jul 10 - 02:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 09 Jul 10 - 10:26 PM
mousethief 09 Jul 10 - 11:55 PM
Smokey. 10 Jul 10 - 12:43 AM
mousethief 10 Jul 10 - 03:16 AM
mousethief 10 Jul 10 - 03:18 AM
Goose Gander 10 Jul 10 - 03:23 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 10 Jul 10 - 04:36 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 04:49 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jul 10 - 05:24 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jul 10 - 05:26 AM
Howard Jones 10 Jul 10 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,lox 10 Jul 10 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 10 Jul 10 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Riginslinger 10 Jul 10 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 10 - 01:06 PM
Don Firth 10 Jul 10 - 01:14 PM
Smokey. 10 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 03:04 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 03:09 PM
Ebbie 10 Jul 10 - 03:13 PM
mousethief 10 Jul 10 - 04:13 PM
Smokey. 10 Jul 10 - 04:25 PM
Smokey. 10 Jul 10 - 04:50 PM
mousethief 10 Jul 10 - 06:25 PM
Smokey. 10 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 10 Jul 10 - 08:28 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 10 Jul 10 - 10:13 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 10 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 10 Jul 10 - 11:35 PM
mousethief 11 Jul 10 - 12:45 AM
Howard Jones 11 Jul 10 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,stringsinger 11 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM
Don Firth 11 Jul 10 - 01:10 PM
mousethief 12 Jul 10 - 01:24 AM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 10 - 01:33 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 12 Jul 10 - 04:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 10 - 01:42 PM
Don Firth 12 Jul 10 - 07:43 PM
mousethief 12 Jul 10 - 08:23 PM
Don Firth 12 Jul 10 - 11:10 PM
Riginslinger 13 Jul 10 - 04:00 PM
Don Firth 13 Jul 10 - 04:22 PM
Don Firth 13 Jul 10 - 05:16 PM
Don Firth 13 Jul 10 - 05:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jul 10 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 13 Jul 10 - 10:14 PM
mousethief 13 Jul 10 - 10:46 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM
Don Firth 14 Jul 10 - 01:34 AM
Riginslinger 14 Jul 10 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,lox 14 Jul 10 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 14 Jul 10 - 09:34 PM
Don Firth 14 Jul 10 - 10:57 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 10 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 15 Jul 10 - 04:46 AM
Riginslinger 15 Jul 10 - 10:36 AM
Smokey. 15 Jul 10 - 01:25 PM
Ebbie 15 Jul 10 - 03:49 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM
Smokey. 15 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 16 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 04:21 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 10 - 04:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 10 - 05:08 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Rigingslinger 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 17 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Jul 10 - 01:56 PM
Don Firth 18 Jul 10 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 19 Jul 10 - 11:23 AM
Riginslinger 19 Jul 10 - 02:13 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM
olddude 19 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 07:45 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 09:18 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,josep 19 Jul 10 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 20 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,josep 20 Jul 10 - 01:08 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 01:17 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 01:26 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 02:35 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 21 Jul 10 - 04:38 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 10 - 09:10 AM
Smokey. 21 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 10 - 07:29 PM
Smokey. 21 Jul 10 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 21 Jul 10 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 22 Jul 10 - 05:22 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 10 - 01:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 10 - 01:57 PM
Smokey. 22 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM
Smokey. 22 Jul 10 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 23 Jul 10 - 03:33 AM
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Subject: Religion denies music to children.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:44 AM

This may become an issue in British schools.
Music is a compulsory component of the curriculum, but some Moslem families are withdrawing their children because of their interpretation of Islamic teaching.
It is estimated that about 10% of British Moslems will have issues with music for their children, and hundreds have been withdrawn in London schools.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/london/hi/people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/newsid_8780000/8780567.stm

    The original title of this thread was Religion denies music to children? The thread originator, Keith A, said long ago that the title of this thread didn't come out as he intended, and he has asked that the title be changed. I had suggested Some Muslims Deny Music to Kids, and Keith said that would be acceptable. The trouble is, the thread has ended up following the original title, and it's more about religion in general than about a segment of Islam. So, I'll soften the title but leave it closer to what it was originally. How about Does Religion Deny Music to Children?

    Addendum. This thread hasn't talked about music for a number of days, so I think it's time to move it down to the non-music section.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: buddhuu
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:59 AM

Tragic, but different people see things in different ways.

On the whole, I'm with Dawkins that there is no such thing as a Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Hindu etc child. The kids are fine until the adults start the mindwarp on them.

I wouldn't like to see this get into more anti-Muslim sh*t. Some Christians and Jews have had problems with music and dancing - especially jazz and rock and roll.

To me, most religions seem equally dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive to one or another degree. In fact, Sikhism is the only religion to which I am regularly exposed that seems to retain some core values that have not been thoroughly twisted to suit the agendas of an elite.

It is hard to know what can be done. It is like so many other ways that one may disapprove of how people raise their kids. You can't always convince them that you know better.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM

"This MAY become an issue in British schools."

"It is ESTIMATED that about -- 10% -- of British Moslems will have ISSUES with music for their children"

"because of THEIR INTERPRETATION of Islamic teaching"

And keith says:

"Religion denies music to children."



The self styled impartial fact providing objective observer nails his colours to the mast with ever more narrow minded and highly opinionated bombast.



The subject of thius thread is not music but fundamentalist interpretation of religious scripture.

It should be in the BS section.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:12 AM

Excellently put, buddhuu. 'Hit', 'Nail' and 'Head' come to mind.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:20 AM

I do not think I deserved your rant against me Lox.
Thread titles have to be very short but convey the subject of the thread.
What title would you have given it?
I would be happy to see it changed.

I did not express a personal opinion or any views at all, so how can you justify,

"nails his colours to the mast with ever more narrow minded and highly opinionated bombast" ?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: scouse
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:21 AM

Some idiot Jesuit said I think, "Give me the child till he's seven and I will give you the Man." Religious indoctrination has a lot to answer for. Without Music and rhythm there is no life!

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: Amergin
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:23 AM

Well considering your topic specifically targets a certain minority group, I would agree with Lox on this one...and like Buddhu says certain sects of the Christian and Jewish cults detest music for the same reason.....so where is the discussion about them taking their kids out of school?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:32 AM

Raving religious cranks, all of them - pity the children.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children.
From: bubblyrat
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:36 AM

Seems a bit strange to me,given the musical proclivities of such Muslim luminaries as Cat Stevens. Still, it's a funny old,imperfect world in which we live. Another hundred years,and the current generation of foreign malcontents will have died out,or integrated ,or voluntarily returned whence they came ; integration would be fine by me,but obviously there are obstacles to be overcome.Meanwhile,it's the poor,confused,little children who suffer.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:43 AM

Amergin, it is a current, (yesterday) news story that I thought would be of interest to folks here.

BBC is not usually accused of targetting ethnic groups.
It is their story.
Give me a break.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:54 AM

The article itself is quite measured. Keith's statement that "hundreds (of pupils) have been withdrawn in London schools" is, at best, disingenuous. It's an ESTIMATE of what MIGHT be the impact of PERSONAL interpretation by SOME Muslims. His "Religion denies music to children" thread title is pointlessly provocative.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:07 AM

Fair enough. I accept that criticism.
I could have posted more detail, but the link was there to the full story.
You make it sound as if I was making it up.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: buddhuu
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:29 AM

"You make it sound as if I was making it up."

I disagree. I'd been hoping to limit my contribution to comment on the situation reported, but you seem to be objecting to (while explicitly accepting) fair criticism of your original post.

The substance of your original post was poorly presented and misleading. It was factually inaccurate in a way that could be seen as sensationalist.

With the exception of Lox's line, The self styled impartial fact providing objective observer nails his colours to the mast with ever more narrow minded and highly opinionated bombast, I consider that all criticism has been reasonable and measured. None of it makes it sound as if you were making it up, just that your judgment at the time of composing the OP left room for improvement.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM

On the face of it this seems like a pretty petty case of school boards looking the other way where culture's clash with children's rights to education and indeed protection, but there have been (and as far as I'm aware continue to be) much more serious ones than this. Most usually involving girl children. With the debacle over the thread title aside, I'm cautious to indulge nervous school board's tendency to avoid properly addressing such matters.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:48 AM

Mmmm, I always thought that you addressed envelopes!!!


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:04 AM

This is from Yusuf Islam's website:

At that time, his son, Muhammad, presented him with a life altering dilemma. He bashfully showed his father a proud new possession: a guitar! Yusuf was forced to reflect again on the issue of music and instruments. After years of inquiry and soul searching, Yusuf's doubts about the use of music within Islamic history and culture had lessened. He reached the conclusion that the evidence for banning instruments failed to meet Islamic Law's requirements for unquestioning acceptance. He wrote an article that explained his understanding of how the evidence allowed for different views on this issue. The Qur'an does not ever actually mention the word "music" or "instruments."

It was clear to him that the objective of branding music as makruh (disliked) or haram (forbidden) was based on juristic interpretation, probably in the desire to avoid frivolous and immoral songs, which were very much a reflection of what has universally come to be known as "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."


Ironically, elsewhere on the website he tells how he was first drawn to Islam by hearing music in Marrakesh. When he enquired, he was told, "It is music for God".

I find it sad that so many interpretations of religion (and by no means only Islam) seem to object to anything which might give people pleasure. It is as if they are so concerned with the next life that they forget to make the most of this life. If you believe that this life is a gift from God, it seems strange to me not to make the most of what it offers, including music.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:07 AM

To touch on the thread title debacle briefly, I think in any potentially contentious discussion such as this one, we aught to focus attention principally on a) the rights of children and b) on the obligation of public bodies to ensure that those rights are protected. "Religion" receiving exclusive attention as the 'bad boy' *focal point* in any such discussion, can obfuscate more key matters IMO.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:23 AM

"Mmmm, I always thought that you addressed envelopes!!!"

Are you pulling me up on language usage Bonzo? I do make *lots* of errors when writing here, but that wasn't one..

Address, verb:

5 (formal) to think about a problem or a situation and decide how you are going to deal with it. Address something: Your essay does not address the real issues. Address yourself to something: We must address ourselves to the problem of traffic pollution.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: buddhuu
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM

Howard Jones: "I find it sad that so many interpretations of religion (and by no means only Islam) seem to object to anything which might give people pleasure. It is as if they are so concerned with the next life that they forget to make the most of this life. If you believe that this life is a gift from God, it seems strange to me not to make the most of what it offers, including music."

Indeed.

And to those of us who believe that there is no god, and that this life is all you get, it seems even stranger not to make the most of it...


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:13 AM

"Are you pulling me up on language usage Bonzo? I do make *lots* of errors when writing here, but that wasn't one.."

Not at all, it's just a silly buzz word which has become totally over used - usually with "issue" tagged on the end, which to me means something which is issued like a magazine or in legal matters - children.

So there you go!!


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:29 AM

There is nothing new about this issue. Back in the 1940's (yes, I'm old) I was sent off for the summer to live with a Pentecostal grandfather. I had just started piano lessons, and the preacher of the church gave me permission to practice my scales and lessons on the church piano. After just two days, the preacher's wife sent me home and said I could never play on the piano again. My SIN was that I was playing "TOO FAST" for the "HOUSE OF THE LORD."

There's nothing new about this issue ... bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:52 AM

To me, it seems quite clear.

There is a curriculum. If parents of any faith, do not want to abide by the curriculum, then they should find another school that suits them.

What the school should NOT do, is bow down to such pressure.

There are times, when I have wanted to take my daughter out of certain lessons, but have resisted doing so.

The school is bigger than any indidual, or group that attends it.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 10:12 AM

Did Jerry Lee Lewis have problems with the raving bigots in his church I wonder??


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 10:26 AM

I think in a free(ish) society where people are allowed to hold different beliefs then there should be a certain degree of flexibility. For some people, religious beliefs are important, perhaps the most important thing in their lives, and we have to balance that against the needs of society as a whole. Which is not to say that society should always bow to pressure, but it should also not be too rigid.

It is sad, deplorable even, that children are being denied access to music, but I don't believe it falls into the same category as, for example, denying them blood transfusions.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 10:33 AM

I've had a lot of years of experience with a lot of very conservative American churchs. In my own direct experience, the most repressive attitude toward music itself that I've encountered involved a small denomination that allows singing, but with no instruments; I consider that to be regretable, and without any justification from either the Bible or any coherent Christian tradition, but at least they have a tradition of singing. There is still a minority, unfortunately not tiny, opposed to dancing. I'm sure there are "pockets" of American Christians more repressive regarding music that I haven't encountered, But the vast majority of even hidebound fundamentalists have at least rich tradions of music tailored to express their faith; the downside is that a lot of the lyric content serves as some of the most effective endoctrination of their young people.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:37 PM

This religion IS denying that music to those children, so what is the issue with this title? It is completely accurate.

Religion is really not good for children, of which this is just another example.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:41 PM

I'm a little confused. Apparently "hundreds" of children are being withdrawn, but closer reading of this and two other articles reveals, amidst all the speculation, two actual substantiated facts: 20 children were withdrawn from rehearsals for a Christmas musical, and one child has been permanently removed from a scheme to learn violin or cello, for reasons unspecified. If this is indeed an issue for up to 10% of Muslim families, then concrete evidence is rather thinner on the ground than might be expected.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:53 PM

Those children were just in one small school Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:07 PM

"...the most repressive attitude toward music itself that I've encountered involved a small denomination that allows singing, but with no instruments;"

As a person who grew up in such an environment, FP, I don't agree that singing without instruments is repressive. Today I most definitely prefer instruments for most songs but in those days I distinctly remember the awed chills down my spine that the unadorned voices caused me.

I might contend that singing without instruments helps the 'ear'. The organ may have been designed to help people stay on key.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:27 PM

>> I don't agree that singing without instruments is repressive|<<

Oh yes it is


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM

You know, child abuse takes many forms, and parents inflicting paranoid superstition based on their own ignorance and lack of intelligence is still child abuse no matter what tree hugging inclusive diversity positive bollox you wrap it in.

Sadly, it is with us. My views on religion are not what you call passive, but I have to accept that it is still here, despite science, the internet and soap operas. We all seem to need an imaginary friend, and parents are no exception.

But what chance do the kids have? Being brought up to believe women are inferior, (you can rape virgins, count 'em if you die taking others with you!) that gay dudes should be killed, that anybody poking fun at you and your imaginary spiritual leader should be killed, that Jews should be killed......

Actually, I don't think lack of music is the most important thing kids need protecting from, it's their own family. But as a tax payer, I don't want to take a few million kids into care either.

Perhaps just a simple law that parents can't interfere with the curriculum and during school hours, no. You don't have certain rights over your child during school time. Might work for feral chavs too. Funny that feral scum and religious idiots share a trait...

Could only work if we drop the pathetic faith schools though and insist that state education is purely secular.

Oh, and keeping your child from school invites fines, bailiffs, and sadly, removal of your child if you don't know how to behave in a civilised society. I am not being anti Islam here by the way, God botherers come in many guises, many of them Christian.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM

In my own direct experience, the most repressive attitude toward music itself that I've encountered involved a small denomination that allows singing, but with no instruments; I consider that to be regretable, and without any justification from either the Bible or any coherent Christian tradition,

Incorrect. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not use instruments in its worship. It is a very large swath of Christianity, and as coherent as any.

Changing the subject slightly: I think, buddhuu, the problem with your analogy is that denying ALL music and denying rock-and-roll and/or jazz to one's constituents aren't even on the same level. They're not even in the same ballpark. They're not even playing the same sport. I may not want my child to listen to rap songs that glorify slapping one's bitch ho and shooting police officers, but that's not even LIKE the same thing as not wanting her to experience music at all.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:35 PM

The estimate that it will affect about 10% of the Muslim community comes from the British Council of Muslims.

However, whilst this particular example is about Islam, as the responses on this thread have shown other religions (or at least some of their adherents) have similar views.

The question is, should schools insist on teaching music according to the National Curriculum, or should they show some sensitivity and flexibility where parents object on religious grounds?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:41 PM

Ah, another fine example of tolerance and goodwill:
    Religion denies music to children? - why not "Some Muslims Deny Music to Kids"???? Why not? - because it doesn't serve the OP's bigotry.

Then let's look at some other comments:
    most religions seem equally dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive to one or another degree

    Some idiot Jesuit

    Raving religious cranks, all of them - pity the children.

    This religion IS denying that music to those children - well, yes, maybe ten percent of the people in that religious denomination have reservations about some aspect of music - maybe they just think that Englebert Humperdinck recordings are mind-numbing, but they have expressed reservations about music, in one way or another.

    Religion is really not good for children, of which this is just another example.


Notice the sweeping nature of most of the above statements. I suppose there's truth in all the statements - but the truth applies to a relatively small percentage of religious people. It's like condemning the human race because ten percent of humans are idiots.

I suppose it's not fair to say that "Mudcatters" are bigoted against religion. It's just that when the subject of religion comes up, the voices of bigotry always seem to be the loudest. It's a funny thing, though - just when religious people are starting to learn to be polite about non-religious people, the non-religious people turn the tables and jump on the bigotry bandwagon.

What would be wrong with expecting that both religious and non-religious people practice tolerance?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:49 PM

"The question is, should schools insist on teaching music according to the National Curriculum, or should they show some sensitivity and flexibility where parents object on religious grounds?"

I think that there need to be some basic but VERY FIRM guidelines about what kind of 'flexibility' a school can indulge on behalf of any specialist group. As said previously, what we need to prioritise first and foremost is children's rights and welfare, and ensure that schools are not granted so much 'flexibility' that they can basically get away with willfully ignoring genuine cases of what effectively constitute culturally sanctioned child abuse.

My trouble with this case in partiular, is not that religious parents are removing children from music class, but that school boards simply are too spineless to openly deal with any such issues involving other cultures. And instead prefer to 'turn a blind eye' because quite simply, it causes them less hassle.

This amounts to an abandonment of their obligations to the children that they are responsible for.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:50 PM

What would be wrong with expecting that both religious and non-religious people practice tolerance?

Depends. Is wasting one's breath "wrong"?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:59 PM

Ebbie, and mousethief; my "repressive" was a bad word choice in that context. I certainly have nothing against acapella singing, and I don't consider it objectionable if a tradition sings without instruments; I personally just don't see the rational of those who think that God doesn't want them to play instruments in church . I haven't had experience with Eastern Orthodox or Amish worship; I stand corrected as to the Orthodox, and while I had known that the Amish don't use instruments, I had been thinking in terms of the evangelical/fundamental protestant groups I have more acquantance with.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:02 PM

To be fair to the OP, the thread title has a question mark, it's turning a statement into a question.

And a balanced answer, taking into account all of the available evidence, is probably along the lines of: "some parents deny some or all musical activities some or all of the time to their own children for reasons that may be due to particular contested interpretations of their religion".


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:05 PM

Joe, your title would likely have its end chopped off, and I did not want to put Islam or moslem into the title because that might give the wrong impression.
Remember, I am a Chritian, or try to be, and some Christian churches are anti music and dance.
In a follow up to the report broadcast tonight, the author spoke of an enormous response, including an e mail from a teacher in an "extreme" Christian school that did not encourage music.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM

Joe, I didn't detect any bigotry by the OP. Perhaps the thread title could have been worded better, but both it and the text briefly summarise the BBC News article, without further comment. It's not easy to get over the gist of a thread in the few words allowed, and personally I think the use of the word "religion" is more neutral than specifically referring to Muslims, which could be construed as bigoted.

The difference between religious and non-religious views is that the latter may be changed by discussion or education, whereas the former are matters of faith and not open to argument. Religion, whilst undoubtedly a force for good, has also all too often done considerable harm for reasons which to outsiders, or with the benefit of historical perspective, seem unjustifiable.

However, I agree that being gratuitously rude or offensive is unhelpful and unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:10 PM

Joe, I think it's wrong to tolerate rather than correct the wrong. It does a disservice to the world.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM

"Religion, whilst undoubtedly a force for good,"

I think that it can be doubted myself.
Decent people and organisations (including religious) do decent things. Shitty people and organisations (including religious) do shitty things.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:18 PM

>>The question is, should schools insist on teaching music according to the National Curriculum, or should they show some sensitivity and flexibility where parents object on religious grounds?<<

Schools should insist on teaching music according to the National Curriculum

Lets stop all this bullshit.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:18 PM

Howard, I'd disagree with this statement of yours: The difference between religious and non-religious views is that the latter may be changed by discussion or education, whereas the former are matters of faith and not open to argument.

It's simply not true for most religious denominations. If you look at almost any religious denomination, you will see a long history of debate and a wide spectrum of perspectives. The authoritarian model of religious belief imposed by a higher authority, applies only to a segment of religious people. For most, belief is something that is commonly held, not imposed.

Interestingly, many public school districts in the United States deny music to children for budgetary reasons. They wouldn't dare cut back on athletics, but music isn't a priority for much of the United States. For many Americans, if you want music, you buy it.

I had 16 years of Catholic education, which means I had 16 years of music education. That's not what you'd get in many public schools in the United States.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:25 PM

I personally just don't see the rationale of those who think that God doesn't want them to play instruments in church

Actually instrumental Christian worship is pretty new, as Christianity goes. John Calvin (d. 1564) considered instruments in worship anathema. Martin Luther (d. 1546) considered the organ an "instrument of Baal." Lutherans didn't begin using instruments in worship until he had been dead 100 years. Charles Wesley (d. 1788) said, "I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen." The Catholics came this close to condemning instruments in worship at the Council of Trent (1545 ff) -- which would have sealed it permanently.

The real question is why and how they came to be accepted, rather than why they are still rejected in some places. It is the accepting, not the rejecting, of musical instruments in Christian worship that is the novelty.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM

Frogprince, I understand the rationale for Orthodox religious music being entirely vocal is that instrumental music was considered to be something secular that tends to evoke a kind of emotionalism and is foreign to the Orthodox spiritual life. That seems perfectly understandable to me. I don't think there is any suggestion in Orthodox Christianity that secular instrumental music is wrong, simply that it is not appropriate for religious music. Both Russia and Greece have strong traditions of instrumental music which surely could not have existed had the church disapproved.

That is entirely different from the view that all instrumental music is forbidden.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:33 PM

That is entirely different from the view that all instrumental music is forbidden.

Let alone that all music, instrumental or vocal is forbidden.

Nobody would say the Russians are slackers in the instrumental music department*. Yet both Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky wrote a capella music for the Orthodox Church as well. (Indeed I have sung some of their music in church -- Tchaikovsky's "Holy God" ("Svyati Bozhe") is gorgeous.)

*prompting the Rolling Stones to write their famous song, "I know you own a rock-and-roll balalaika".


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:34 PM

Not to harp on (pun not intended), but it is worth considering that "a capella" means "in the style of the church."


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:40 PM

Gotta agree with Joe!

When you consider that some of the world's most glorious music is religion-based (Handel, Bach, Mozart, ye gods, the whole pantheon of composers!), the idea that music and religion are inimical to each other is ridiculous on the face of it. Music is a major part of every religious event or rite that I have ever attended, and many churches of my acquaintance have children's choruses and/or special musical events for and with children in the congregation.

Throughout its history, singing (chanting) has been an integral part of the Christian church, as it always has in the Jewish religion. True, in medieval times, the use of musical instruments in churches was discouraged, but that got quickly rescinded and rare is the church that isn't equipped with an organ, some of which are downright monstrous (some of the huge cathedral organs in Europe).

So the idea that "Religion denies music to children" is simply not true. Some religious groups, yes. But very few in comparison to denominations in which music is an integral part of worship.

The thread title is misleading in that it's simply not true. "Religion" does not deny music to anyone. In the main, it supports and promotes it (Who paid Bach's salary all those years?)

And some folks here are being downright disingenuous.

Don Firth

P. S. Same holds for the graphic arts. Islam forbids the depiction of Mohammed in paintings or drawings. But think of the thousands, if not millions, of paintings and statues of Jesus and other religious figures (saints, martyrs, etc.) turned out by Renaissance artists. And how many statues of the Buddha are there out there?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:49 PM

"Religion" does not deny music to anyone. In the main, it supports and promotes it (Who paid Bach's salary all those years?)

I guess it all depends on the umm 'agenda' of said religion.

For those who have wished to present an impressive portfolio, there has been no shame in spending vast amounts on the arts. Be they grand paintings with pricely colours (such as the lapis used for Mary's robe), architectural, musical and so-on.

Others have had a humbler disposition and reject such ostentatious displays of material wealth and indeed 'idolatry'.

Yet others are repressive, morally offended by all things sensual, and seek to extract all beauty or joy from the religious experience!


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:54 PM

"Actually instrumental Christian worship is pretty new, as Christianity goes."

Actually, mousethief, the way I read the historical references that you cite, there must have been a widespread tradition of instrumental music in the Christian church immediately prior to the Protestant Reformation; otherwise, Wesley, Luther, et al, would not have had anything against which they could object.

Joe: Intersting that your 16 years of Catholic schooling included 16 years of music education. I had 16 years of Catholic school, too (well, 17 counting kindergarten), and had a fairly thorough education in music theory and vocal music through 8th grade, but that was the end of it ~ no music at all in my prep-school and college years.

At least part of your high school and college years were spent in the seminary, if I'm not mistaken ~ right? Since Catholic priests are expected to sing regularly ~ solo, often unaccompanied, and in public ~ I would imagine that music education has a much higher priority in the seminaries than in Catholic schools intended primarily for the laity.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:59 PM

Mousethief, the question for me remains, why did Calvin, Luther, et al, get it into their heads to consider all instrumental music in church evil? I can imagine them reacting against what they judged to be wild goings-on involving instrumental music. But they all would have read Biblical references to the use of instruments in worship; how did they get from there to such blanket negativity?

Howard, again I'm happy to learn something here about the thinking of the thinking of the Orthodox church.

If any person, or group, simply finds it more conducive to worship with unacompanied voices, I have nothing in the world against that. I would just disagree with anyone who condemned the use of instruments in church as some sort of evil. Not rise up against 'em, just disagree with 'em.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 03:01 PM

My long-ish post must have bumped into someone else's in the tube- as former Senator Ted Stevens once explained - and disappeared. Suffice it to say that I agree with just about all of what has been said here.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM

Christians loving music: Ba dum ba dum

(A big part of me so wants to applaud these peeps having fun, but I just can't..)


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 03:03 PM

...thinking of the thinking...? remind me not to jump on anyone else for garbled wording.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:00 PM

Actually, mousethief, the way I read the historical references that you cite, there must have been a widespread tradition of instrumental music in the Christian church immediately prior to the Protestant Reformation; otherwise, Wesley, Luther, et al, would not have had anything against which they could object.

I can't find it online but I remember reading one of the reformers calling organs "a papish novelty" or some such thing. I think maybe the folks at Trent weren't terribly representative in that respect. Or the organs were just becoming popular in some Catholic places, and the folks at Trent, like the Reformers, were reacting with horror.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:06 PM

Let's keep this in perspective.

Go to most Islamic countries and turn on the radio and you'll hear plenty of music. This was certainly the case when my Father was with RAF in the Gulf in the 1960's. The particular problem highlighted by the OP applies to a minority. The article says "as many as 10%" which suggests that 10% is an upper limit.

Also in much of the discussion about music in relation to Christianity has dealt with music in Church. While I am sure there are a some Christians who object to music per se, more often the objections or restrictions concern music in Church rather than music in the world as a whole.

I know it was a long time back, but John Playford was able to publish A highly successful dance manual at a time when the Puritans controlled the government in England. They were notorious for objecting to music and dancing but in fact they did not, on the whole, object to music and dancing as such but to music and dancing in Church - other than the unison singing of the Psalms.

If people want to impoverish their lives by denying themselves the benefits of music, then so be it. What is objectionable is that all too often, such religious fundamentalists (of whatever persuasion) are control freaks and want to impose their model for living on others.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: buddhuu
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM

With respect, Joe, I consider that you quoted me out of context. The full passage by me read:

"To me, most religions seem equally dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive to one or another degree. In fact, Sikhism is the only religion to which I am regularly exposed that seems to retain some core values that have not been thoroughly twisted to suit the agendas of an elite".

I was stating a personal perception of how things seem to me. Not making any factual negative claim about any specific religion, nor a general claim about all religion, as is shown by the point abut Sikhism seeming to be a religion that maintains unadulterated values.

Joe said: "I suppose it's not fair to say that "Mudcatters" are bigoted against religion. It's just that when the subject of religion comes up, the voices of bigotry always seem to be the loudest. It's a funny thing, though - just when religious people are starting to learn to be polite about non-religious people, the non-religious people turn the tables and jump on the bigotry bandwagon."

I object to my post being quoted out of context and used as an example of "voices of bigotry". I opened my post with an appeal for the topic not to descend into Islam-bashing. Where is the bigotry in saying that I consider many religions to be invalid? It is an opinion based on education, observation and the appliance of ethical values to what I see.

I have spoken against bashing one religion and expressed a degree of respect for another. What bigotry?

Please also point out to me any impolite or intolerant langauge in my posts in this topic.

Thanks,

Rick


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: buddhuu
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:29 PM

Mousethief: "Changing the subject slightly: I think, buddhuu, the problem with your analogy is that denying ALL music and denying rock-and-roll and/or jazz to one's constituents aren't even on the same level. They're not even in the same ballpark. They're not even playing the same sport. I may not want my child to listen to rap songs that glorify slapping one's bitch ho and shooting police officers, but that's not even LIKE the same thing as not wanting her to experience music at all."

I see your point, but I suggest it isn't as clear cut as it may seem. Islam, overall, does not ban all music. Some adherents interpret teaching as dictating that no instruments should be used. Possibly some frown upon all music. Certainly some traditions within Islam do embrace music, as is shown in Sufi Qawali - which variously features instruments and unaccompanied singing, and which I like very much.

So, I don't think I was too wide of the mark comparing some Christians and Jews objecting to some music, with some Muslims objecting to some music.

Obviously, YMMV. Our perceptions vary.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:32 PM

Brakes on, folks! Martin Luther wrote "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" ("A Mighty Fortress is Our God"), along with a whole batch of other hymns. It doesn't sound to me as if he was opposed to music in the church.

Also, Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the foremost composers of religious music, was a Lutheran.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM

Throughout the ages, there have been varying degrees of opposition to the use of musical instruments in worship by various religious groups, and occasionally a religious group has decreed the immorality of playing a certain instrument (like the fiddle) in any situation. I understand that in the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila decreed that Carmelite nuns were to sing the Divine Office in a monotone because she was appalled that it took all day to sing the prayers in classical polyphony. It's my impression that many of the Protestant reformers suppressed the ornate style of music that had been used in the Roman Church - and for good reason. The Roman church revived Gregorian chant in the early 20th century for more-or-less the same reason - to counteract the pretentiousness of classical music that had taken over church worship.

But on the whole, religions have been very supportive of music, being the only reliable source of income for performers and composers in many periods of history. Even today, a huge number of paid musicians, are church musicians.

And when one style of singing or the use of instruments was prohibited by a religious group, what often followed was the development of a significant body of music that was NOT prohibited. What would Sacred Harp singing be with instruments?

For over a millennium, the Christian churches have shown a preference for organ music. What would Bach have produced without the support of churches?

So, hey, don't go around making blanket statements about religion suppressing music. It just ain't so.

By the way, what's the purpose of a Muslim minaret? -To call people to prayer, right?
And how do they call people to prayer? -By singing, right?
So, how can Muslims be opposed to music?

-Joe-



(as PopppaGator points out, I was in the seminary for my last 8 years of Catholic education, which is part of the reason why I got so much music training. Music education for non-musicians is rare in Catholic colleges, but required in seminaries)


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:37 PM

Religion doesn't deny music to anyone.

Fundamentalists, and fundamentalism, are the culprits here.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Ollie Cromwell and his merry band of Puritans, who carried the denial of music and dance to the extreme limit of actually killing people who dared to show, publicly, any enjoyment of life, or colour of dress..

There are like examples in almost every religion on the face of this planet, but there are also those who espouse and advocate a life without enjoyment, who have no religion whatever.

In the words of the old adage, "Misery Loves Company".

There are plenty of miserable atheists.

All generalisations are wrong, even this one.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:53 PM

By the way, Joe—heard recently in the news:   There is some controversy among Muslims regarding the performance of the five-times-daily call to prayer. Some want to equip the minarets with loudspeakers and broadcast the call from tape or other recording. Others object to this and want to continue having the call done by live "muezzins." But with the proviso that the muezzins take singing lessons.

The reason? Within recent years, too many muezzins have been ear-jarringly off-pitch, inspiring many devout Muslims to crawl under their prayer rugs rather than kneel on them!

So—the muezzins had better shape up or they'll be replaced with modern technology.

And would you believe it!?? Not all Muslims are in agreement about this!

What a shock!!

####

My basic beef:

Consider the number of religions in the world, and the number of different sects and denominations within each of those religious groups—and the different tenets and beliefs, often within a specific sect or denomination.

For example, among Lutherans, there are several different synods that do no agree with each other. Some ELCA churches will give Holy Communion to anyone who comes up to the altar during the service, whereas Missouri Synod Lutheran churches will give communion only to those who are specifically identified as Lutheran. But—this does not hold true for all ELCA or Missouri Synod Lutheran churches!

Methodist, Presbyterians, Baptists (the Baptist church that Jimmy Carter attended withdrew from the Southern Baptist Leadership Conference because of differences in beliefs and practices), Rastafarians, Buddhists, Druids, and all other bodies of religious belief differ from eash other. And within themselves. (Can you say "schism?").

"Religion" is not monolithic.

So it puts me to shriek and to stamp on my hat when some nincompoop insists that "religion" does this, that, or something else. It demonstrates a pompous amd simplistic worship of the God of Abysmal Ignorance, generally fueled by prejudice.

(Which, in itself, is a mark of abysmal ignorance.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Lox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM

The whole premise is utter crap.

Taking issue with it is a waste of time as the OP has no interest in the fact that the information provided in the first post does not for one minute support the heavy implication, if not outright dishonest assertion in the thread title and first post combind that that Moslems are out to hurt children.

There are numerous Islamic musicians who have made it in the west, from Zakir Hussein to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (no need to mention Cat Stevens).

There are millions of others all round the world who play religious and non religious music daily with no thought of incongruity with the Koran.

But Keith has seen fit to begin a thread with a deliberately provocative claim.

And I stand by my assertion that Keiths posturing as The Objective Voice of Reason when all else are losing their heads is dishonest in the extreme.

He makes insinuations and implies conclusions whether in response to other peoles points, or as in this case, without prompting of any sort.

His political leanings are very clear and his impartial facade is utterly transparent.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:58 PM

I have to say that I was disappointed to see loudspeakers on minarets. I've seen lots of minarets in my travels, but never a live muezzin.

And for that matter, the only Jewish cantors I've heard were women. They were terrific, but what about "Tradition"?

And we have electronic bells in the bell tower of our Catholic church - we had to turn them off because the neighbors complained...probably just as well.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Ollie Cromwell and his merry band of Puritans, who carried the denial of music and dance to the extreme limit of actually killing people who dared to show, publicly, any enjoyment of life, or colour of dress..

You clearly didn't read my post. The first edition of Playford's dancing master was published in 1651 just two years after the end of the civil war and the execution of Charles I.

A second edition was published in 1652 and a third in 1657, all during the commonwealth. Given that all publication had to be the licensed by the Stationer's Company at that time, how does that square with the alleged suppression of music and dancing during Cromwell's time?

In fact the suppression was in church and it is likely that public events involving dancing were suppressed, but not social dancing. It is reputed that Cromwell himself enjoyed social dancing. It was a recognised social accomplishment at that time.

I agree that some of Cromwell's more extreme followers may not have liked music and dancing, but The Dancing Master would not have required three editions during the Commonwealth if dancing had been totally suppressed or at best it would have circulated as a clandestine publication rather than being on open sale.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM

By far the biggest threat to the rights of children to have a chance to learn to love music while at school are the budgetary and curriculum pressures that have largely driven out and ground down music in many/most British schools.

If there really are schools which are providing musical teaching which is worth having, and children who are being denied access to this because of the way their parents misunderstand and misapply their religion, that is a shame.

But I would suspect that the number of children denied access to music in this way is only a fraction of those for whom taking part in religious services is the main place where they have any real access to live and participatory music.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:41 PM

McGofH

Well said!


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM

buddhuu

Your statement:
    To me, most religions seem equally dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive to one or another degree. In fact, Sikhism is the only religion to which I am regularly exposed that seems to retain some core values that have not been thoroughly twisted to suit the agendas of an elite".

Your question:
    I have spoken against bashing one religion and expressed a degree of respect for another. What bigotry?


Well, your statement isn't quite as bigoted as the others - you show at least minimal tolerance toward Muslims and Sikhs. But I doubt that there are many Muslims and Sikhs for you to offend here. How would a member of any other religious group feel about what you said? Many religious people are well aware that religions can be "dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive" - and they do their best to ensure that their own religious practices avoid those faults.

And I suppose you could say that many governments are "dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive"; and that many (if not most) organizations of people are thus; and that many individuals are the same. Why single out religions? (or, at least, all religions other than Muslims and Sikhs)

Your complaint that I quoted you out of context is laughable. My quotation did not change the meaning of your statement in any way.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM

Agreed!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:05 PM

But back to the topic of discussion: it seems to me that the general feeling about music education in the United States, is that it is an unnecessary luxury - far less important than varsity sports, for example, which accommodates only the best athletes.
In the rest of the world, schools at least seem to express regret when they cannot afford to provide music instruction. Not so in much of the United States. It's still offered as an option in many American schools, but I think it's rare to find it as a mandatory part of the curriculum.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM

The reason that much music is religion-based is economic. The Church supported the music. The music could have been there without the Church but it paid the bills. Sometimes the music bound people together who were oppressed but it was still
the Church that paid the bills. They exacted their price which was loyalty.

If fundamental Islam wants to isolate its children, there is nothing anyone can do about it except that if it becomes a Separation of Church and State issue then it must be addressed legally.

I don't think ultimately that Islamist extremists who pull their children out of music classes can prevail. (Kat Stevens notwithstanding). This is analogous to the Christian fundamentalists who eschew dancing and early hard-shell Baptists who thought that the fiddle and banjo were instruments of the devil.

And then there was Ars Nova.

Music is often revolutionary and will not succumb to religious authoritarianism.

The only way out of this ignorant morass is through education.

Religion may not be monolithic but the problem is that the degrees of fundamentalism
can't be mapped specifically. There are those who maintain they are "liberal" in their religion that will excuse extremism on the part of others, the forgiveness of child abusing priests for example, or the assault on peaceful flotillas in Gaza.

Bigotry has been the province of religious groups for a long time. In fact, it may be religion that fostered the whole concept of bigotry by xenophobia and isolation.
John Wesley, Martin Luther and early Catholics supported witch burning. The bible has been used to justify all kinds of bigoted atrocities based on "the Sons of Ham" and "Leviticus 22".

This is not to say that all religious people are bigoted. Many are content to see other points of view than just their own. The intelligent ones keep their religion to themselves
and don't try to force it on others. They are smart when they don't talk about it publicly. When religion becomes a public forum, then the trouble begins. The preachers cause havoc. The battle lines are drawn between Catholic and Protestant, Zionist and Islamic
groups such as Hamas. Then there is McChrystal who has tried to Christianize the military.
(I wonder about Petraeus.) In this application, religion does become monolithic in its destructive behavior. It is not bigotry to point this out. It bears a relationship to this thread topic.

The solution is to make religion a private matter and uphold the Separation of Church and State. In the US, people are supposedly free to believe whatever they want without forcing it on others. I can respect this right if it isn't breached by religious zealotry forced on the public.

The question remains, can religious people honor this uniquely American tradition?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:23 PM

This is ostensibly a music topic but it may belong in the BS section.

Problem: how can you separate music from religion and politics? As Pete Seeger has said,
"All music is propaganda (including a lullaby)."


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 11:01 PM

I don't understand, String, why religious people should have to go into the closet, like pre-Stonewall gays, in order to not offend anybody by displaying their religion in public. That seems to be what you are saying.

I understand the separation of church and state, and support it wholeheartedly, for the good of both.

Don Firth said, Brakes on, folks! Martin Luther wrote "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" ("A Mighty Fortress is Our God"), along with a whole batch of other hymns. It doesn't sound to me as if he was opposed to music in the church.

I didn't say he was opposed to music. He was opposed to instruments in the church. Two different things.

Tootler said: They were notorious for objecting to music and dancing but in fact they did not, on the whole, object to music and dancing as such but to music and dancing in Church - other than the unison singing of the Psalms.

If you've ever seen so-called "liturgical dance" I think you can have some sympathy for their point of view. ;)

buddhuu said: So, I don't think I was too wide of the mark comparing some Christians and Jews objecting to some music, with some Muslims objecting to some music.

Right, understandable. But the OP was about some Muslims who apparently don't like ANY music. Comparing those Muslims (who apparently are a very small majority, thankfully) to Christians who don't want their kids to listen to rock and roll really is apples and piston rings.

ibid: Please also point out to me any impolite or intolerant langauge in my posts in this topic. and To me, most religions seem equally dishonest, arrogant and frankly offensive to one or another degree.

That is extremely rude, and saying "To me" at the beginning doesn't make it any less so. Not terribly tolerant either.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: LadyJean
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 12:09 AM

As a child, I endured 18 months of DelCatto therapy. Delcatto therapy forbids music. I don't know why, but it does. The therapy is born of (seriously flawed) science. It purports to fix damaged brains. It didn't fix mine. I also had to crawl in the approved DelCatto style for 45 minutes a day. I was supposed to walk like a chorus girl pretending to be a robot. (That did not happen.) and sleep in a special position. (You're kidding, right?) Science has caused it's share of unhappiness too.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 12:26 AM

The religious people at Mudcat are more-or-less the same as the non-religious people. For the most part, we're intelligent, independent souls who think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We don't take orders from anyone, not even from those who claim religious authority. We reject intolerance and injustice, and we strongly support the rights of the downtrodden. Most of us spend our lives asking questions, rather than claiming to have control of the answers. Some of us are pacifists. Yes, we know that there are religious people who use their faith as rationalization for hatred and violence and all sorts of horrible things - but we aren't like that, and we think that such people desecrate the very essence of religious faith.

We're very much like other Mudcatters, but we come from various religious traditions, and those traditions are part of who we are. We belong to religious organizations/communities, and we fully acknowledge that people often have done wrong in the name of those organizations - and we abhor and reject that wrongdoing. Nonetheless, our roots are in those communities, and they are part of who we are.

It's a puzzle to me why a traditional music community should have such a hard time accepting religious communities, which are also rooted in tradition - but such seems to be the case.

There were two comments that distressed me particularly, maybe because they came from a person I like very much. The first comment I quoted above: Religion is really not good for children, of which this is just another example.
When I questioned that, I got this response: Joe, I think it's wrong to tolerate rather than correct the wrong. It does a disservice to the world. I've gotten the similar responses from right-wing fundamentalists.
Isn't it disturbing that tolerance could be thought of as wrong?
And what makes her so certain that religion is so harmful to children? It didn't hurt ME none.
This person isn't the only one - most of the anti-religious posts here at Mudcat, come from people I like and admire and think of as friends.

I grew up in the U.S. peace and civil rights movements of the 1960s. I thought that mine would be the generation that would end intolerance.

Guess I was wrong.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 03:02 AM

I'll admit to only scanning this thread but this excellent 50 min documentary seems relevant:

Sufi Soul

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 03:09 AM

Now then Pete, are you going to do that first song at the Write Note, Lincoln Library UK today from 12 to 2pm?


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 03:32 AM

Would if I could Arthur!

Alas, won't be going to Write Note today as mega busy. Hope to make several future ones though...

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 04:16 AM

Psalm 150. But I daresay there's an opposing view somewhere else in the Bible.

Oh, Cromwell is said to have danced all night at his daughter's wedding.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 05:46 AM

Lox and Jo, I said I am happy to have title changed.
Go with Joe's (Lox did not provide one).
I think Lox does not believe we should discuss this at all though.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM

"My SIN was that I was playing "TOO FAST" for the "HOUSE OF THE LORD."
"

As a past church pipe organist, I think that such people should be sentenced to sing multiple 100 verse dirges at the pace they consider 'respectful to the Lord' , but only as long as no one else is forced to be there with them.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: mousethief
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 12:16 PM

As a past church pipe organist, I think that such people should be sentenced to sing multiple 100 verse dirges at the pace they consider 'respectful to the Lord' , but only as long as no one else is forced to be there with them.... :-)

Actually that is probably a good punishment for some other sin.


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Subject: RE: Religion denies music to children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 01:45 PM

Now, since we're talking about organs, I'd like to say that it seems to me that the art of playing a pipe organ as accompaniment to singing, has largely been lost. Back In The Day, that's all we had was organs in the Catholic Church, and here and there you could find a good organist and a good choir and an singing congregation - and they could make beautiful music together. This happened as a rule in seminaries, where music at Mass was often sublime - and I went through eight years of seminary, with terrific music every day.
But you don't hear organs very much in the Catholic Church any more. You still find them in the big, pretentious, old churches, but it always seems to me that modern church organists get overcome with machismo and play their powerful instruments to show off their power. In other words, they play organs TOO DAMN LOUD nowadays. I try to sing along (and I can sing quite loud), and I can barely hear my own voice.

The pipe organ in my seminary had one stop marked "Sforzando" that played all the ranks at once. My friend the organist said that stop was to be used very rarely - but nowadays, "Sforzando" seems to be the only stop organists know how to use. I would think that one or two ranks, plus a pedal rank, would be enough to accompany singing. alas, they don't do it that way any more.

I'm quite happy with pianos and guitars and flutes and such at worship, but it would be nice to once more hear an organ accompanying singing and sounding good.

The original title of this thread was Religion denies music to children? The thread originator, Keith A, said long ago that the title of this thread didn't come out as he intended, and he has asked that the title be changed. I had suggested Some Muslims Deny Music to Kids, and Keith said that would be acceptable. The trouble is, the thread has ended up following the original title, and it's more about religion in general than about a segment of Islam. So, I'll soften the title but leave it closer to what it was originally. How about Does Religion Deny Music to Children?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 01:59 PM

Wimpy, wimpy wimpy! Not you, Joe, but come on, the thread was about a religion yes denying music to kids, not a general question about religion and music.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM

It wasn't even about A religion....it was speculation about some ( specifically) muslim people who MIGHT adhere to a non Koranic idea abroad amongst ( reprtedly) 10% of the Muslim population of UK.
Basically it's racist scaremongering.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:11 PM

It seems to me that the culprits are people and politics, not religion. There may be instances where religion is used as the excuse, but it isn't decided by God, Allah, or whatever, it's decided by people for the purpose of political suppression and control.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:48 PM

Actually, Martin Luther was all in favor of music in general and liturgical music in particular. But he did strongly object to the way many church services, complete with choir and organ, were being presented more as entertainment than as an integral part of the liturgy. He favored singing by the congregation over singing by a choir.

Most churches these days do both.

####

I had a music prof when I was attending the Cornish School of the Arts who, in addition to being a composer, was a church organist. One day, he took the class to the church where he played to demonstrate the organ there. Episcopal church, bloody great organ.

We stood up by the console while Prof. Cowell demonstrated how things work, stops, multiple manuals, etc. Then, he launched into Bach's Toccata and Fugue in Dm. There we stood, by the console, pipes to the left of us, pipes to the right of us. BEEG pipes, some as big as tree trunks, all the way down to about the size of a penny whistle.

RUMBLE RUMBLE!!

Prof. Cowell commented that, while playing the music of God, and with all that power at his fingertips, sometimes the organist can tend to forget who is Who!!

Mention was made of the names of prominent organists, saying that they were all very imposing. The name of E. Power Biggs came up as an example. Someone asked, "What does the 'E' stand for?"

Came the inevitable voice from the back of the room:

"Enormous?"

Don Firth

P. S. Actually, it's Edward, but that's beside the point.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 07:15 PM

http://www.youtube.com/user/aarnouddegroen


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Subject: RE: Some people think God doesn't like music...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 07:15 PM

How about that for a better thread heading?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 08:12 PM

Here is how I see it for what it is worth. God is an amazing and wonderful being .. the joy that one can get from knowing God is beyond words ...

Religion .. on the whole .. is usually evil or border line evil. Since they are ruled by man they tend to corrupt, twist, and bastardize faith until it is something that is as far from God as one can get. So in my humble opinion does it deny music ... sure many do, it also denies basic human rights, free thought and love which is what it is all suppose to be about and anyone who knows God knows what I am saying.

Many churches do some amazing good things so I don't want to generalize for that is wrong ... but one doesn't need religion to know God ... and the one I know gave us music .. and the ability to use it for good and to pass it on to our children


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 08:15 PM

It's pretty damn dishonest to make a scene about some parents not wanting their kids to get an education in music at a time when a fanatical minority of fundamentalist capitalists wants to eliminate music entirely from school curricula across the whole country (it has almost vanished in Midlothian already). What proportion of kids does THAT affect? Get real.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM

Thanks for posing that, Andrew! That's the one!

No recording can really capture the sound—and the feel—of one of those monster pipe organs. The whole building, sometimes a massive cathedral, becomes part of the instrument. When the organist romps on those pedals and the big bass pipes cut it, the floor vibrates, the whole building vibrates, and you vibrate!

More than just a little impressive. All that thunder at the organist's fingertips (and toes). No wonder, as Prof. Cowell said, the organist can start feeling omnipotent and get a bit confused as to their place in the hierarchy.

Don Firth

P. S. Yeah, Kevin. A lot better!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 08:57 PM

This is a different thread, not just different title. Not even I would claim that one of the evils of religion is that it is pedagogically anti-musical....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 12:54 PM

Just had a read through... mmm..

Perhaps this should be in the BS threads after all. Mainly because it follows the same format as religious BS threads as far as I can see.

Whenever somebody points out the bigotry that is intrinsic in religion as a concept, they are accused of being bigoted. A bit circular, as arguments go; opposing bigotry makes you a bigot? Looks like I need a pint.

the article is a bit scare mongering, but serves a purpose for those who pushed the statistic. Many families who had never thought about it one way or the other may read it and wonder if they should forbid their children too. The idea then grows legs. It has parallels with the Daily M*il "newspaper" who did a story saying a head teacher made kids wear safety goggles to play conkers. At the time of the "article" it existed in the head of the mischievous reporter. Some head teachers and Local Education authority managers read it and thought "Perhaps we should too." before long, the story became true due to copy cat....

Seems to me that somebody wishes to inflict control on their communities by the way they know best; religion   

Religion found music when it realised it was a medium with which to push propaganda. I love playing Bach, or used to before breaking my wrist, but I can listen and enjoy, full stop. just like i can see a garden is beautiful without believing there are fairies at the bottom of it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 12:54 PM

Religion...on the whole...is usually evil or border line evil.

But:
I don't want to generalize for that is wrong

I suppose the way to reconcile those two sentences is assume that olddude feels obliged against his will to do something he recognises as being wrong, namely, generalise.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM

< rant on >

Sorry, but once again I have to protest against that blanket generalization that religion per se is evil.

That prejudice ("All Indians walk in single file. At least the one I saw did!") is hard to reconcile with what many churches do in the community especially during difficult times, when lots of people are unemployed, homeless, and often going hungry. Or doing such things as providing a haven, complete with friendly social interaction, for "outcast" groups, such as developmentally disabled adults. These and many other things without trying to cram their beliefs down the throats of the recipients, such as making them "pay for the soup by listening to the sermon."

I personally know a pastor who has spent a lot of time in jail for being on the front line in peace demonstrations (now, some people would regard that as "evil") and for such things as acting as a spokesman for a group elderly, low-income folks (living on Social Security) who were being evicted from their low-rent apartment building because the landlord wanted to refurbish the building and turn it into luxury condominiums. Said landlord obviously didn't give diddly-squat for what his elderly tenants were supposed to do or where they were going to live (lots of bridges in the area to live under), and this pastor felt the situation should be called to people's attention.

So they threw him in jail.

But his actions inspired a number of other churches in the area to form a coalition to find, or build, housing for low income people.

While, I might add, a lot of more secular people and groups merely said "Tsk tsk!" did nothing, and just sat around with their thumbs up their—noses.

And this pastor is not the only one, by any means.

One of the legitimate functions of religion, at least according to a bloke named Jesus, is to take care of "the least of these, my brothers and sisters." And sometimes doing this pisses off a lot of people who need to be given a good wedgie!

True, there are many—too many—"Christian" (AND Muslim. AND Jewish) religious groups who have lost sight of what their religion is supposed to be all about (at least according to their "Founders"), but these groups are not as much religious as they are political.

Blame individual groups, yes. But to blame religion in general IS bigotry.

And someone else's bigotry does not excuse your own!

Thus endeth the sermon for this Sunday,

< rant off >

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 04:24 PM

I didn't realize this kind of stuff was still being discussed. I'll add a joke to lighten things up.

A man was speaking to the pastor of a church, and the minister invited him to come and hear a service. The man said, "I don't want to be in a church full of hypocrits," The Pastor responded, "That's alright, we always have room for one more."


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 04:53 PM

Good one, Jerry!

There was a fellow who was notorious for being a hard drinker, womanizer, and in general, an all around louse. One day, in a serious moment, he sat down to re-evaluate his life and he didn't like what he saw.

The following day, he ran into the pastor of the local church on the street, and he told the pastor, "Reverend, I'd like to start coming to church."

The pastor got his neck in a bow and said, "Well, considering your notorious behavior, I don't think we'd really care for you to come to our church."

"But," said the ex-reprobate, "I thought church was about repentance, forgiveness, and new starts. Why don't you want me to come to your church?"

The pastor said, "Well, I suggest that you get down on your knees and ask God about that." And he turned on his heel and stalked off.

The following day, the two encountered each other again.

"Reverend, I did what you said. I got down on my knees and I asked God why you wouldn't welcome me into your church."

"Oh?" said the pastor. "And did God answer you?"

"Yes! Indeed He did!"

The pastor does a double-take, then asks, "What did He say to you?"

"God told me not to worry about it. He said that He wasn't welcome in your church either!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM

""I agree that some of Cromwell's more extreme followers may not have liked music and dancing, but The Dancing Master would not have required three editions during the Commonwealth if dancing had been totally suppressed or at best it would have circulated as a clandestine publication rather than being on open sale.""

Doesn't that equate to what I was saying, and rather neatly help to make my point.

It wasn't the religious who went around killing anyone who sang, danced, or displayed a little joie de vivre, it was the fundamentalists who chose the most extreme interpretation of Christ's message, and espoused the most Draconian of punishments, then, as fundamentalists always do, completly misunderstood the point of his teachings.

Ollie, bless his political little heart, merely supplied them with the environment and gave them the authority, both of which they used to the fullest extent.

Bottom line is, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter whether you are in Baghdad, Teheran, Delhi, Tel Aviv, or the American Bible Belt. The fundamentalists will be there with their hateful attitude to anybody who doesn't comply with their criteria.

So bash the bloody fundies by all means, but don't conflate religion itself with repression. Read the Q'ran, the Bible and the Torah (Talmud?), and what is immediately obvious, is the fact that most fundies have vastly misinterpreted almost everything they "know" about what it says.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 08:07 PM

Vin and I were taught "Down by the Sally Gardens" by Mrs Crowe and Mrs O'Sullivan at South Bank St. Peters Napier St.Shoool at the age of 7 Years. (1954 -ish) Also "Oh the days of the Kerry Piper" , and " With her one eye on the pot and the other up he chimney" - and more.
Innocent days and as kids we were treated well
I am a happily married 60 + person and so is Vin.
I understand problems which have emerged within the Catholic Church, but thinking back , Mrs Crowe and Mrs O'Sullivan would have probably liked (in our time) to be referred to, as Ms.Crowe and Ms. O'Sullivan.
Life was different so then to now.
God Bless 'em for teaching us so wonderful music in our formative years - and you can stick rap where you feel fit !!!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 11:11 PM

Does religion deny music to children? Nope.

Does Islam deny music to children? No.

Does Islamic fundamentalism deny music to children? No. The Koran does NOT say that one should deny music to children. If the term "fundamentalist" means anything other than "a person whom I hate", it should logically mean, and originally did mean, "a person who believes the fundamentals, the basics, of Protestantism or, by extension, who believes the fundamentals of any religion". Music-denial is not a "fundamental" of Islam, therefore it cannot be a tenet of Islamic fundamentalism.

Do some parents object to the content of the musical curriculum in government schools in the U.K. Apparently.

Don T. wrote, at 5:37, on July 2, "I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Ollie Cromwell and his merry band of Puritans, who carried the denial of music and dance to the extreme limit of actually killing people who dared to show, publicly, any enjoyment of life, or colour of dress.." and at 6:58 p.m. on July 4 wrote, "It wasn't the religious who went around killing anyone who sang, danced, or displayed a little joie de vivre, it was the fundamentalists who chose the most extreme interpretation of Christ's message, and espoused the most Draconian of punishments".

What those modern British Muslim parents have to do with the Puritans, I don't know. I do know that the Puritans were great lovers of music: http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1956/1/1956_1_65.shtml

As to claims about "Puritan fundamentalists", the fact is that those who accepted the fundamentals of Puritanism were...simply Puritans. Those who were more extreme than the Puritans, who went beyond the fundamentals of Puritanism, were the Quakers, the Diggers, and the Levellers. If there is ANY evidence whatsoever that either the Puritans, the Quakers, the Diggers, the Levellers, or ANY similar group, ever killed even ONE person for singing, I would like to see that evidence. Even more, I would like to see the evidence that they killed, not just one person, but "anyone" who sang.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 11:46 PM

Steamin' Willie sez:
    Whenever somebody points out the bigotry that is intrinsic in religion as a concept, they are accused of being bigoted. A bit circular, as arguments go; opposing bigotry makes you a bigot? Looks like I need a pint.
Well, yes, but first you have to prove your contention that bigotry is "intrinsic in religion as a concept." I'll readily agree that bigotry is often found in religious groups (and in many other groups) and that many people use religion as a rationalization for their bigotry, but that's a horse of a different color. It seems to me that at its root, religion is idealistic and altruistic. You know, Golden Rule and Good Samaritan and all that.
So, Willie, let's have that pint and then you can tell me how I'm so inherently bigoted. Come to think of it, that might take two or three pints. And if you can prove that bigotry is "intrinsic in religion as a concept," I'll pay the tab.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 03:13 AM

If the term "fundamentalist" means anything other than "a person whom I hate", it should logically mean, and originally did mean, "a person who believes the fundamentals, the basics, of Protestantism or, by extension, who believes the fundamentals of any religion".

But a "fundamentalist" believes what they think are the fundamentals. If they think that Islam fundamentally forbids music, then it doesn't matter what you think or what twenty imams think are really and truly the fundamental aspects of Islam -- they are sticking to their fundamentals. Just like there are Christians who think hating homosexuals is one of the Christian fundamentals.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 03:35 AM

This thread has drifted away considerably from its original topic and the change of title hasn't helped, although I fully understand Joe's reasons for changing it. However I fear it has now drifted into territory where people are simply expressing their prejudices, rather than discussing what is an important topic, which is how far a largely secular society should bend to accommodate religious beliefs.

Does religion deny music to children (or anyone else for that matter)? The answer, clearly, is usually no, but sometimes yes, as the subject of the OP demonstrates.

Music is one of the statutory subjects which must be studied in state schools in the UK, at least up to Key Stage 3 (13-14 years old). It follows that if schools allow parents to withdraw their pupils from studying these subjects they are technically breaking the law. Should they do this, or should they respect the parents' views? Does it matter that the parents' views are a minority interpretation not shared by most of their co-religionists?

Is music an appropriate subject on which to make this an issue? I'm sure none of us on this forum would question the importance of music, but it is something which can be enjoyed and appreciated without formal education in the subject (otherwise we would not have folk music). Arguably, depriving children of education in music is less damaging than some other subjects.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:12 AM

Religion isn't the problem. Capitalist managerialism is:

campaign against music cuts in Midlothian

The council is planning far more deprivation than the most deranged fundie parent.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:41 AM

Jack, I share your concern at the cutbacks, music is seen as an easy target. I question whether it's just "capitalist" though, or whether a socialist administration would make different choices, but that's for a different debate.

However the music cutbacks Midlothian (and probably other authorities) are threatening are to do with one-to-one instrument tuition (again, there's scope for discussion over whether this should be funded by the taxpayer, but not here). These LEAs will presumably be continuing with their statutory responsibilities to provide at least some music education in accordance with the National Curriculum, whereas some religiously-motivated parents want to withdraw their children from all music education. That's the difference.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM

Mousethief,

You wrote, "But a "fundamentalist" believes what they think are the fundamentals. If they think that Islam fundamentally forbids music, then it doesn't matter what you think or what twenty imams think are really and truly the fundamental aspects of Islam -- they are sticking to their fundamentals. Just like there are Christians who think hating homosexuals is one of the Christian fundamentals."

If a term means whatever anyone at all claims that it means, then all terms mean everything, and thus nothing means anything.

It is certainly true that "a 'fundamentalist' believes what they think are the fundamentals". However, since EVERYBODY believes what he or she thinks are the fundamentals, we can't define fundamentalism in those terms. I do not know what you believe, but I'm sure that YOU believe what YOU think are the fundamentals. Yet you are not (as far as I know) a fundamentalist.

A fundamentalist is someone who believes the fundamentals, the basics, of a faith. The fundamentals of a faith are NOT whatever anyone wishes them to be. They are defined historically and, for faiths that are based on documents, by those documents. If the faith in question is Islam, the document is the Koran.

Since the Koran does NOT say that one should deny music to children, then that idea is not, and cannot be, an aspect of Islamic fundamentalism. Whether or not anyone actually claims that denying music to children is some sort of Sixth Pillar of Islam, I don't know. I do know that, if such a person exists, he or she is not an Islamic fundamentalist, but is instead a heretic from Islam.

Similarly, I do not know whether or not anyone actually claims that hating homosexuals is a fundamental part of Protestantism. I do know that, if such a person exists, he or she is not a Protestant fundamentalist, but is instead a heretic from Protestantsim.

Kent

P.S. I have spent a lifetime among Protestant fundamentalists and I have NEVER heard anyone claim that hating homosexuals is a fundamental of their faith. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, every single fundamentalist that I have ever met has believed that hating ANYONE was FORBIDDEN by their faith. Even fundamentalists who actually do hate someone will tell you that they should not, and that their faith forbids it.

P.P.S. Those interested in what Protestant fundamentalists actually believe may be interested in this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fundamentals


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:10 AM

Now then, there's a thing....

I reckon if Joe and I did have that pint, and Joe was "in the chair" so to speak, he hasn't quite taken into account my capacity for beer.

There again, I haven't taken into account Joe's faith.

Might be an interesting evening.

Bring a bib.




That aside, I still maintain that religious organisations are inherently about us versus them, getting as many people as possible to be "us" so we can subjugate them, oh, and the "us" can be controlled by the leaders of the religion.

It's all about power over others.

The bit about fundamentalists misinterpreting scripture is an interesting point too. I would put it to those who say that, that any interpretation is just that, an interpretation. Now, to the rest of us, there are interpretations that are about love and peace, and interpretations about killing the unbelievers. I know which I, as an outsider prefer, but all the same, they are both just interpretations. Both put forward as "truth."   Ironic on two counts then....

I am not on an anti religion rant, never have been. My Gran was not scared of dying because she was going to a better place. Me? When I go, it will be to zero, void, blank, nothing... and that's scary. So religion can have a place, as a crutch, a moral compass and for many people, a social outlet. No, I don't dismiss the joy that many people get from their faith. I just get hot under the collar when it is allowed to interfere with me or anything that affects me. if stamp collectors managed to get shops to shut on a Tuesday afternoon for some bizarre reason, I would be having a pop at them in the same way I cannot get into B&Q after 4.00pm on a Sunday. (Strange, I ALWAYS need screws, nuts, bolts, hacksaw blades and paint after the ruddy thing shuts, and always on a Sunday.)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:25 AM

I subscribe to no belief system despite being brought up in a large family of staunch methodists. However, that particular institution is mostly responsible for my interest in music. Singing around the piano was a regular event in our household and my cornish grandmothers household when we were very young. I still have some of the hymnbooks and other things from that time. 'Faith, folk and clarity' entered our household soon after it was published and to this day I still sing Sydney Carters 'Crow on the cradle'. I believe many others came to music of all kinds in this way.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:35 AM

Kent, I'm no expert but I've a feeling that so far as Islam is concerned it's a little more complicated. If I've got it right, the sharia laws of Islam are based not only on the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet, but on how these have been interpreted over the ages. It is in these interpretations that differences arise.

However this is not principally about Islam, or fundamentalism, whether Muslim or Christian. It is about how we reconcile religious beliefs with the laws and norms of our society when they conflict. Should we allow some people to break the law because it conflicts with their own beliefs, or are some laws not considered important enough to matter? If the latter, should people then be allowed to break them for reasons other than religion? If they are not that important, should they be law in the first place?

If a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jedi Knight for that matter, feels that for religious reasons their children should not attend music lessons, should a Flatearther be allowed to withdraw their children from Geography lessons? Should a Creationist withdraw from Biology lessons? Where should we draw the line?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: olddude
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 11:12 AM

Mcgrath
you are so right, generalization is something I should not be doing or anyone else for that matter. I stand corrected ... Just tried to say that usually problems that occur in religion are not because of faith but because of leadership distortion .. but as a work in progress that I am ... I should not at any time generalize ... and I appreciate when people point that out to me ..


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 11:22 AM

"It is about how we reconcile religious beliefs with the laws and norms of our society when they conflict."

Exactly!
And indeed with particular reference to what we consider to be the rights of children, and our obligations to them.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM

That Wikipedia article is most interesting, but when push comes to shove, Mousethief is essentially right.

Fundamentalists may think they believe in the fundamentals of their religion, but among Christian fundamentalists—perhaps a better word would be "literalists"—that generally consists of believing that the Bible is the literal word of God, i.e., there really was a Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were real people (therefore, evolution is the work of the Devil), Moses really did part the Red Sea, Mary really was a virgin, and on and on ad nauseum.

Anyone who knows anything about the history of the Bible knows that it was assembled pretty arbitrarily from a vast number of old scrolls and manuscripts, and that the selection of what's in and what's out was based on the beliefs and prejudices of those putting it together. But once all that was decided, there was the reproduction of it—copying it. Since a great deal of the copying was done by hand by scribes in monasteries (this being long before the invention of the printing press), often the scribes, or more frequently, the abbot or the local bishop, would make changes in the texts to reflect their own ideas.

Then come the various translations (back and forth between Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and into local [vulgar] languages). In the King James version, which is generally considered by most Christian fundamentalists and literalists to be the One True Bible (the translators being inspired by God), many words and passages were altered to reflect the viewpoint of the king and of the aristocracy in general. An example is that the translation from the Aramaic (which is the language that Jesus spoke), the word in the Lord's Prayer is "forgive us our debts" (or "sins"). This was changed to "forgive us our trespasses" because the aristocracy wanted to establish "trespassing" or poaching on their lands as not just a crime, but a sin against God.

These points are not just my half-assed ideas. They come from theologians and Bible scholars who are trying to get a clear view of the Bible's history and composition, and are trying to ferret out such things as what Jesus most likely actually said (a monumental task!) rather than words that might have been put into His mouth by various translators and self-appointed editors.

Pastor Shannon Anderson of Seattle's Central Lutheran Church once held up a copy of the Bible and said firmly, "This is not the Boy Scout Manual. It is a book filled with questions, not answers!"

This, in response to the fundamentalists and literalists.

I imagine the same holds true for interpretations of the literature, myths, and legends of all religious beliefs.

As Joseph Campbell so wisely said, "Where religious believers go wrong is when they assume that their mythology is literal, historical truth."

Don Firth

P. S. When I was a kid (ten-ish or so), we had some neighbors whose children were not allowed to go to movies as the rest of us kids were. Radio was also forbidden (no "Lone Ranger," no "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy," no "I Love a Mystery"). No Sunday comics either. Dancing was a sin. And music, other than hymns, was also forbidden. And they weren't allowed to come out and play on Sundays.

Somehow, their parents had got all of this out of the Bible (though where the Bible mentions movies or the Lone Ranger radio program, I've never been able to find).

The rest of us kids could hardly believe what we considered to be the cruelty of their parents. We pitied those kids.

By the way, some of us did go to Sunday School. But not at the same church our neighbors went to.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:02 PM

A huge number of people seem to want to deal with disagreement by the suppression of thinking that conflicts with their own. This "suppressive" philosophy seems to be found throughout the full spectrum of philosophical and religious thinking, but particularly at the extreme ends. There are atheists who cannot bear to hear religious ideas, and there are "God-botherers" who cannot stand it if a "Godless atheist" opens his/her mouth.

These people seem to think that the purpose of education is indoctrination, teaching what to think instead of how to think. How do you deal with people like this in a school system, and in other public arenas? I honestly don't know. I feel that public schools here in California have catered too much to these interests, to the point that many things cannot be spoken of in California schools for fear of offending one group or another. That's part of the reason why I sent my kids to Catholic schools in the 1980s. In recent years, the forces of suppressive Catholics have been attacking Catholic schools in my area. They've had success in some local Catholic elementary schools, but so far not in the Catholic high schools and colleges in this area. [I homeschooled my stepson for four years, until he graduated from high school two years ago. I'm quite pleased with the results. My own kids turned out pretty well, too - and please note that my stepson and my children do not consider themselves to be Catholic.]

I think one way to deal with this issue, is to avoid all attempts to use schools for indoctrination for any purpose, no matter how noble. Even the teaching of patriotism can be detrimental to real education. Recognize that the job of education is to expose students to ideas and information, and teach them to use their own intellects to evaluate those ideas. That demands fairly strict impartiality, and I think it also requires respect for all schools of thought, both religious and nonreligious. If Muslims and Christian fundamentalists and atheists are convinced that schools are respectful of them and of what is sacred to them, that may go a long way toward assuaging their fears about what will happen to their children in schools.

-Joe Offer, "Radical Moderate"-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: frogprince
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:23 PM

"the King James version, which is generally considered by most Christian fundamentalists and literalists to be the One True Bible"

This is something of a nit-pick, Don, but I do think that is something of an exaggeration, at least in recent years. It was very true a few decades back, when the Revised Standard Version was fiercely condemned as a liberal perversion. There are still more than a handful of fundamentalists, and small denominations, for whom it is true; there are at least a scattering of officially titled "King James Bible Churches". But quite a few fundamentalists now accept the "Living Bible" translation, which is based on rather thin scholarship and carries a bias toward dispensationalism. A substantial number of fundamentalists now also accept the "New International Version", Which is actually based on a lot of honest scholarship. But I don't know that there is more than marginal advantage in applying rigid literalism and authoritarianism to a sound Bible translation as opposed to a shakey one.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:32 PM

I just want to affirm how much I enjoy Joe Offer's "offerings" to this post.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Taconicus
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:41 PM

First of all, the thread is misnamed. You're talking about a particular religion denying music to children. There's certainly nothing in the Christian or Jewish traditions that denies or discourages music to children. On the contrary. I went to grade school back when the students in American public schools said prayers every morning. We also had "assembly" every day in which the entire school was led in (secular) song. Neither is done anymore here.

However, a case could be made that modern folk music sometimes does its best to keep religion from children (and others). If you look at the original sources of traditional folk music, you'll often find verses relating to religion that somehow never made it to the modern versions sung today in folk circles.

For example, look at these verses from the original poem "Farewell to Tarwathie" by George Scroggie that you've never heard if you only listened to the Judy Collins version of the song by the same name.

May He who never slumbers
From danger us keep,
While viewing his wonders
On the mighty deep.

And you my dear mother,
O weep not for me,
But trust in His mercy
That ruleth the sea.

Who saves on the ocean
As well's on the land,
For we are all guarded
By His mighty hand.

He rides on the billows
And walks on the wave--
His arm is powerful
To sink or to save.

And though I be absent
You need never fear;
There's no place so distant
But God will be there.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 06:01 PM

"An example is that the translation from the Aramaic (which is the language that Jesus spoke), the word in the Lord's Prayer is "forgive us our debts" (or "sins"). This was changed to "forgive us our trespasses" because the aristocracy wanted to establish "trespassing" or poaching on their lands as not just a crime, but a sin against God." Don Firth

Is that literally true, Don? It seems far more likely to me that 'trespass' first referred to a transgression, rather that an unlawful encroachment on someone's land.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 06:07 PM

A fundamentalist is someone who believes the fundamentals, the basics, of a faith. The fundamentals of a faith are NOT whatever anyone wishes them to be. They are defined historically and, for faiths that are based on documents, by those documents.

This implies the scriptures are self-explanatory. The sheer number of Christian denominations should give the lie to that. Every Christian church claims it is founded "on the documents" -- even those with wildly divergent beliefs. In order for the Christian people who claim to be "fundamentalists" in the sense of basing their faith on "the fundamentals" to really be basing their faith on the real fundamentals, they have to be objectively fundamental. And there is nothing objective in Christian theology. Nothing. It really is that they are deciding what is fundamental, and claiming to be fundamentalists on the basis thereof.

Kent, if a fundamentalist is someone who is going back to the fundamentals of Christianity, then why is their interpretation of the Bible a post-Enlightenment novelty? Of the "fundamentals" they define, how many are mentioned in the Nicene Creed? Surely if any definition of "Christian fundamentals" deserves the name, it is this original one, not the one written in Niagara Falls 1500 years later. And yet there is nothing about the infallability of the Scriptures in the Creed.

In point of historical fact, the so-called "Fundamentals" you link to are a reaction to higher criticism and Victorian liberalism, not an objective, disinterested setting forth of historic Christianity. If you want historic Christianity, you could hardly do worse than to look at the Catholic or Orthodox churches -- there is Christianity going back to the beginning, not invented anew in the 16th, or 19th, century.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 07:08 PM

Howard Jones,

You are absolutely right that "...the sharia laws of Islam are based not only on the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet, but on how these have been interpreted over the ages. It is in these interpretations that differences arise." However, the differences that have arisen in this manner are not the differences which define fundamentalists versus modernists. The differences you refer to are those which define,for example, the differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims, or between various sub-groups (Twelvers, Sufis, etc.)

I also agree whole-heartedly that the most important question is about how we reconcile religious beliefs with the laws and norms of our society when they conflict. You ask some very interesting questions: "Should we allow some people to break the law because it conflicts with their own beliefs, or are some laws not considered important enough to matter? If the latter, should people then be allowed to break them for reasons other than religion? If they are not that important, should they be law in the first place? If a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jedi Knight for that matter, feels that for religious reasons their children should not attend music lessons, should a Flatearther be allowed to withdraw their children from Geography lessons? Should a Creationist withdraw from Biology lessons? Where should we draw the line?"

I would say that legislators should minimize conflict between the law and individual conscience by maximizing liberty. In 1917, American law sent many conscientious objectors to prison because they refused to fight in W.W.I. In subsequent wars, members of the "peace churches" were allowed to serve in non-combat roles. Currently, there is no draft in the U.S. Those who wish to may become join the military. Those who do not wish to join (for whatever reason) don't have to join. I like that.

Currently there is a conflict between American law and Rastafarian practice in regard to marijuana. If marijuana use were legal, there would be no conflict.

Holmes County, Ohio, has the largest Amish population anywhere in the world. As you know, the Amish have distinctive ideas about many things, including the education of their children, and thus there is great potential for conflict with the state. The solution in Holmes County is that the Amish pay their property taxes and maintain a separate Amish public system, with Amish teachers.

I am a young-earth creationist. The public school curricula in the U.S. teach that young-earth creationism is false. I do not wish to subject my children to indoctrination in ideas which I believe are false. That is one reason we home-school. We are free to choose, and have chosen, a curriculum that we believe is true. Other families make different choices. They have liberty and so do we.

Where should we draw the line? The government should enforce Maybury's Laws (contract law - "Do all you have agreed to do" and common law - "Do not encroach on other persons or their property.") The law should include only that which is truly necessary to achieve those ends. Obviously, we are a long way from this ideal and, in my opinion, movement toward this end should be done gradually. A good starting place would be to stop passing MORE laws. If we have muddled along for all these centuries without a particular law, it seems likely that we don't really need it. If we don't really need it, then it diminishes our liberty without good cause.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 07:31 PM

You are undoubtedly right, frogprince, but so far, the vast majority of fundamentalists/literalists that I've run into, including lately, still cling fiercely to the King James, referring to other translations as "revisionist," sometimes "blasphemous revisionism."

Ebbie, the word "trespass" does have a number of meanings, all similar, but I was told by a pretty reputable Bible scholar that the early Bible manuscripts did quote Jesus as saying either "debt" or "sin." So "trespass" could be excused as a loose translation. But at the time the word was inserted in the King James translation, people "trespassing" on the lands of aristocrats, especially poachers, was considered a major problem. And since some of the translators were aristocrats. . . .

Or so I was told by someone who knew much more about it than I did.

####

By the way, I am always astounded by the way in which fundamentalists/literalists, feel that it's perfectly acceptable to support any outrageous belief they care to come up with (for example, the whole schtick about "The Rapture") by carefully "cherry-picking" hitherto unrelated verses from various widespread places in the Bible and putting them together like a Rube Goldberg invention.

The Reverend Barbara R. Rossing (I heard her speak in Seattle a few years ago) has done a whole analysis of "The Rapture" in a book entitled The Rapture Exposed (she wanted to title it The Rapture Racket, but her publisher chickened out), showing just how the whole idea was cobbled up by piecing together previously unrelated verses from various parts of the Bible to come up with a whole new Apocalyptic scenario, and how the author, the Rev. Tim LeHaye, has made a fortune ($60,000,000 last I heard) writing best-selling novels about "The End Times."

If you go to the link, then cllck on "Look Inside," you can actually read parts of what Rev. Rossing wrote.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 08:01 PM

Mousethief,

I never said that "a fundamentalist is someone who is going back to the fundamentals of Christianity". I said that a fundamentalist PROTESTANT is someone who is going back to the fundamentamentals of PROTESTANTISM.

In fact, I emphatically deny that Protestant fundamentalists go back to the fundamentals of CHRISTIANITY. That is the very reason I left fundamentalism and Protestantism. If they did go back to the fundamentals of Christianity itself, back to before Luther and Calvin, back to before the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox split, before even the Nicene creed, back to the New Testament itself, they would simply be Christians.

However, many of the fundamentals of Protestantism ARE mentioned in the Nicene Creed. For example:
1. God the Creator
"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen..."
2. The Deity of Christ
"...We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being, with the Father..."
3. The Virgin Birth of Christ
"...by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man."
4. The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit
"...We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets..."
5. The Crucifixion
"...he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
6. The Atonement
"...For our sake he was crucified..."
7. The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead
"...On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures..."
8. Judgment to Come
"... he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,..."

You will notice that these are the very teachings which are common to the fundamentalist Protestants, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the Roman Catholic Church, but which some "Modernist" Protestants deny.

My point is that the term "fundamentalist" does not mean whatever you or I or Billy Graham want it to mean. The fundamentals of Protestantism are a matter of historical record. If you and I decide, for example, that refusal to listen to jazz is "Protestant fundamentalism", then you and I are simply wrong. Opposition to jazz is not fundamental to Protestantism. That is the historical fact. If Preacher Jones of the First Fundamental Church of Lower Podunk says otherwise, then he is wrong too.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 08:02 PM

Don, I gotta say I have a hunch your theory about "trespasses" and poaching is apocryphal. Most Christian churches use "trespasses," while the Calvinist churches generally use "debts." The King James (Authorized) Version uses "debts," as does the New Revised Standard Version (which works really hard at adhering to the original Greek). The Latin text of the Catholic Church is "debitoribus" is obviously "debts." So, it seems to me that the "debts" have it, but a whole lot of people use "trespasses."

But to use the Aramaic Lord's Prayer as a proof text is problematic. It's quite probable that the original wording was Aramaic, but there are no "original" Aramaic texts. So, what you have to do is extrapolate from the Greek to determine what the original Aramaic might have been. Modern linguists can do this quite well, but it's still an extrapolation. It's an interesting exercise, however, since the extrapolation sometimes clarifies what had been difficult to understand in the Greek. But although the New Testament often follows Aramaic language patterns, the earliest texts we have are Greek.

All that being said, I have to say I don't think that in context, there's not a whole hell of a lot of difference between the meaning of "trespasses" and "debts." It's just nice when people are praying together, that they use the same words.

And all this serves to illustrate a point I wanted to make: I think that "mainstream" Protestant and Catholic and Reform Jewish scripture scholars agree fairly well on the meaning of Scripture:
    "It could mean this. Then again, it could mean that. But maybe it means the other thing. But in any case, isn't it interesting?"
This, of course, drives the fundamentalists crazy, since they're comfortable only with certainty. It drives many atheists crazy, too, because it's impossible to argue with uncertainty. And many atheists seek the same thing fundamentalists seek: certainty. The Fundamentalists are certain that there Is, and some atheists are certain that there Is Not.

I have to say that I think the Mainstream Protestant/Catholic/Reform Jewish position is correct: all of it can mean a number of things. Unitarians and Buddhists and many Quakers (and a bunch of others) seem to hold that same position. And I think their answer is this: Is/Is Not, is not the question.

And that's OK.

Now, I have to say that here is where I have a problem with many atheists - they cannot accept the "Mainstream Protestant / Catholic / Reform Jewish / Unitarian / Buddhist / Quaker" view of Scripture, because they don't know what it is they're supposed to disagree with. I have a problem with many atheists because they want to tell me what I believe, and then vehemently disagree with what they think I believe. They cannot accept uncertainty. They cannot accept that there are questions we cannot answer, or questions that have an infinite number of answers.

I guess what I believe is that there really are no answers - there are only wonderful questions to explore. At this point in my exploration, I am here, and the view from here is terrific. So, let's have a pint and talk about it.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM

Hmmm. An interesting thing is happening in this thread. People are taking the time to think and post some very thoughtful messages. As a result, they're posting responses to a variety of messages, and the discussion appears a bit disjointed. Nonetheless, there are a lot of very interesting messages posted here, from a wide variety of perspectives.

I can't say I've ever heard of the Young Earth Creationism that Kent speaks about and I tend to disagree with him because I'm a fairly strict Darwinist Catholic. Nonetheless, Kent has some very good things to say.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 09:05 PM

Not really my theory, Joe. As I said, I was told this by someone who knows a whole lot more about it than I do. I have been a bit of a Bible scholar (occasionally force to be out of self-defence), but not as much as some folks of my acquaintance. Perhaps it was not the greatest example, but it was supposed to be illustrative if the manner in which texts were altered over a long period of time and the purposes for which they were altered.

Back in "historical times," I took a course in the University of Washington English Department in "The Bible as Literature." In it, we read large chunks of the Bible as stories, novellas, poetry, i.e., as literature (the prof promptly stepped on any sallies into religious interpretation or discussion).   So now, when someone starts quoting Bible verses out of context at me in an attempt to support some religious notion they happen to cherish, I'm often able to put it into context and tell them what it really said.

I'm pretty sure I don't really disabuse these folks of their goofy ideas, but it saves me wear and tear in that they usually tend to leave me alone.

I have talked to a number of folks who are pretty knowledgeable in the history of the Bible about such things as early copyists and their superiors altering texts to reflect personal hobby-horses. One piece of evidence for the veracity of this the number of differences between texts copied more or less simultaneously, but in different places.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 09:23 PM

Hi, Don-
This page is a pretty good example of "Aramaic Versions" of the Lord's Prayer. Like I say, the original form was probably Aramaic, and the earliest versions we have (which are in Greek) show Aramaic linguistic patterns - BUT to get an Aramaic version, you have to translate back from the Greek and speculate what the original Aramaic may have been...and most probably then translate from Aramaic to English or another modern language. As you can see from the page I cited, the results are sometimes very pretentious and tend to reflect a number of trendy, modern schools of thought.
That being the case, I tend to discount translations of the Lord's Prayer that claim to come from the "authentic, original" Aramaic - since we have no ancient Aramaic documents that contain the Lord's Prayer.

But still, it does seem that "debts" is the more likely translation, rather than "trespasses." So, your conclusion is right, just not the path you took to get there.

And once again, it illustrates my Mainstream Protestant / Catholic / Reform Jewish / Unitarian / Quaker / Buddhist position: "It could mean this, and it could mean that; but there are worthwhile ideas to be derived from all perspectives."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:02 PM

Or as Pastor Anderson said, questions, not necessarily answers.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:32 PM

"Imagine no religion" (John Lenon)...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:47 PM

Why?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 10:55 PM

Well, mouser, seems that it get's in people's way... Way 'o figurin' out how to live with one another??? I donno??? When it comes down to it no one else knows 'cause we ain't got it frigurated out too well up to now??? You know... That livin' together part...

Exhibit A: Isreal and the Palestinians...

B~


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 11:28 PM

Worlds without religion (e.g. Soviet Union) haven't been paradises either. It's the people that are the problem.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:31 AM

Bobert, you say, "Imagine no religion."

I say, "Well, I really enjoy it."

So, why not? Why suppress it?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: LadyJean
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:37 AM

Two hundred years ago, my seven generations back grandfather, the Reverend Alexander Porter fell afoul of the Session in Abbeville South Carolina, because he preached against slavery.

His church split on the issue. The Anti Slavery faction made an impressive trip from South Carolina to southwestern Ohio, where they settled in a town called Fairhaven. (It's a wide spot on Ohio 177, which is a great drive if you're looking for a trip in the country.)

A few years after they came to Ohio, the church split again, this time over whether or not to have a pump organ at services. This time the pump organ faction moved ten miles down the road. (They were Presbyterians. Presbyterians can do a lot, but we can't get along.)

But tell me it didn't take guts to preach against slavery in South Carolina.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:58 AM

Don, I have to say I'm not convinced by the "trespasses" theory you have put forward. Even in modern usage, the word has many meanings besides the legal one of trespass on land, even if that is its most common usage.

My history is a bit rusty, but my recollection is that trespass and poaching became a big issue after the 18th century enclosures, not the Tudor ones, which were far less widespread and caused less disruption to the rural way of life.

To my mind the theory that the word was put in by landowners to keep the peasants off their land is undermined by the following phrase in the Lord's Prayer, "as we forgive those who trespass against us".

The Book of Common Prayer was intended to be an inspirational text in a language which was itself undergoing a rapid and creative development, rather than an academic translation. It drew not only on early texts but on more recent translations. In the Authorised Version, the text varies between the Gospels. To my mind, "trespasses" in its meaning of "offences" is a much broader and more inclusive word than "debts". As a piece of literary writing, it gives the phrases rhythm and metre, which "debts" or "sins" lacks. I'm sure these are the reasons it was chosen for the BCP.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 04:39 AM

Kent, I don't think anyone has equated those Muslims who want to withdraw their children from music lessons with fundamentalists, which in these days unfortunately has come to mean those with not only a fundamentalist view of their religion but a willingness to perpetrate violence to achieve its ends. They are simply those with a different interpretation of sharia from the majority view.

You talk about liberty, but the examples you give are not really "liberty" in the sense of being able to disregard the law. Rather they are examples where the legislature has recognised the need to incorporate exceptions into the law to accommodate particular circumstances. Something similar occurred here when it became mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets - Sikhs with their turbans were made an exception.

Your example of the Amish reflects a situation where there is a sizeable, if localised, community following a particular set of beliefs, where it may be possible to take account of their needs. However America is a large country with space to accommodate such groups, indeed it is part of the American culture that groups of people moved there to be able to follow their particular way of life. However the situation in the UK is a little different - we are a small and crowded country trying to accommodate people of many different cultural and religious backgrounds, often living alongside one another.

I am reluctant to keep talking about Islam, since I think the issue is a wider one, but it is relevant. There is pressure from some Muslim communities to be allowed to set up their own faith schools. The concern about this is that children attending these schools would not receive a sufficiently broad education in the culture of this country to help them to integrate. In many cases these are immigrant communities, some of them with little or no English and with a very different cultural outlook. There is no objection to them teaching their own culture and religion, but there is great concern that these communities are not becoming sufficiently integrated into wider British society, and that specifically Muslim schools could be an obstacle to this.

The difficulty with religious beliefs is that they are so varied. Where you have a sizeable and localised community, such as the Amish or some concentrations of minority communities in the UK, it may be feasible to accommodate their beliefs. Where the numbers are small and/or scattered it becomes more difficult. Where do you draw the line between recognised religions and crackpot superstitions? Should you draw a line? What about sincerely held beliefs which are not religious in origin?

Society as a whole creates laws to protect what it sees as being important to that society. Should members of that society then be free to pick and choose for themselves? It is fairly obvious (I think) that a born-again Aztec should not be permitted to carry out human sacrifice even if that is a central part of his religious practice. It is perhaps more difficult when it comes to a Rasta and marijuana.

To come back to the OP, the British government has decreed that music should be a core part of a child's education. However there are get-outs - the National Curriculum is only mandatory for state-run schools, it does not apply to independent schools or home schooling. To me this suggests that it is not an absolute requirement of our society, and that some flexibility should therefore be permitted.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,SWEDEN
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 05:38 AM

From Sweden.
Who want to live in a muslim contry?
If mu slims kill Sweden artists, is it self defense to kill muslims?
Help to cure muslim children from islam and send this info to there internet HOME page.
"prophet" mohammed and islam is haram.
When mohammed was 50 year old he marry Aisha a 6 year old child and when Aisha was 9 year old mohammed rape her. "prophet" mohammed was a fucking pedophile and a slave owner so fuck him.
Girls read quran sura bina 60.
Watch and read mohammed T-shirt art from Sweden at,
http://www.mohammedt-shirt.com
Not mine ip nr


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM

Getting a bit thin, using my absurd nom de plume and trying to get into a deep thoughtful debate... However, onwards and downwards.

I too had not heard of young earth creationism but if the title is descriptive, I have huge issues taking anything Kent Davis says seriously. after all, if somebody starts a conversation with you by saying "Oh, by the way. You are a green frog and I am a dancing statue" you wouldn't want to discuss much of importance with them. So as the earth is, as a solidish orb, a few billion years old, and our understanding of science advances, this brings the debate full circle.

We started by asking if children should be excluded from music. well, music is a nice abstraction but in the final analysis, you can enjoy it when your silly parents are not around. Science however opens your mind to how the world works and if you make it your study, you can do something useful with your life afterwards with it. Like make the world a better place for us all.

I know Joe Offer tries (quite rightly) to take all views on board, but debating seriously with somebody who thinks dinosaurs were put there by some mythical being we call God just to test our faith.... Sorry, I'm not a psychiatrist, so not qualified to reason with irrational people, and feel sorry for Kent's kids because they will resent their parents in time to come, and that is sad.

I read somewhere in this thread that a vicar said "Scouting for Boys" has answers, the bible is full of questions. Well put. Not relevant as you do not need to answer questions put forward thousands of years ago and then translated a few times by people with their own agendas. But well put all the same.

Did make me think though. Perhaps a few priests read Scouting for Boys and misunderstood the title? (Sorry, couldn't resist it.)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:02 PM

God made man, but he used a monkey to do it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM

I am a young-earth creationist. The public school curricula in the U.S. teach that young-earth creationism is false. I do not wish to subject my children to indoctrination in ideas which I believe are false. That is one reason we home-school. We are free to choose, and have chosen, a curriculum that we believe is true.

And are your children free to choose? I only hope evolution has blessed them with sufficient intelligence enough to do so despite your efforts to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 02:51 PM

To think that the earth (universe, i.e., "firmament") is only about 6,000 years old requires ignoring an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.

I am reminded of the conversation between the religiously devout individual who followed science and cosmology with fascination, thinking, "This is how God did it! Amazing!!" A "young earth creationist" challenged his belief in science and insisted that All This was created in literally six days and that Adam and Eve were real people, and all that. To which the one fascinated by science responded:

"I'm sorry, but from my viewpoint, your God is too small."

It's the difference between the immense knowledge and power of an Entity capable of creating a cosmos as it is described by modern science, an Entity of such magnitude that any person who claims to know "the Mind of God" is simply spouting nonsense, and an anthropomorphic super-wizard (think Gandolf with a halo), cut down to a size that can be comprehended by our own limited understanding.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM

Don Firth's commments remind me that the God most athiests actively disbelieve in is a very specific, culture-bound conception of God/Gawd/Goddess/god.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:25 PM

I don't actively believe in any of them, though on odd occasions I believe in all of them, but never anything in-between.

Good post, Don F.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: frogprince
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM

"I emphatically deny that Protestant fundamentalists go back to the fundamentals of CHRISTIANITY. That is the very reason I left fundamentalism and Protestantism."

American protestant fundamentalism is historically based in a series of volumes published by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles from 1910 to 1915. The intention of the whole project was not to introduce anything new, but to solidify the church's basis in the fundamentals of Christianity itself in the face of the challenges of theological "modernism". If you read thru the chapter titles of the series, almost everything amounts to an expansion of the points Kent has cited from the Nicene Creed. The one subject area that keeps appearing in the Fundamentals series that Kent didn't touch on is the fundamentalist affirmation of the inerrancy/infallibility of the Bible. I would submit that the doctrine of verbal inspiration, with it's implications of inerrancy and infallibity, is actually the backbone of historic American fundamentalism. All of the other doctrine is "proved" by "innerant" scripture.

There are avowed fundamentalists who are willing to say that the "innerancy" of the Bible does not preclude the presence of "innerant" spiritual lessons in the form of non-literal narratives; in my experience they have been the exception; fundamentalists I have known have generally insisted on the literal historical accuracy of the Bible. I have seen no indication that any "young earth creationism" is actually based on anything except the desire to defend that historical accuracy. The "scientific" conclusion is a given; the "evidence" to support it is sought and interpreted as necessary. I can't really see why a "young earth creationist" would attempt to distance himself from fundamentalism.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:54 PM

In the UK I assume folk fans to be above-averagly educated, liberal rationalists until they prove otherwise. As a card carrying relativist this can prove problematic in forging musical relationships, as most definitions of the material don't lend themselves to equivocation, let alone contradiction.

There's also a strand of folk music that aggregates religion around itself, and not just happy-clappy evangelism but mainstream churches which use the term 'folk club' as a blanket acoustic entre to the religious world via the church hall. Michael Powell the director once said something about art being the equal of religion, at least in enthusiasm. It's hard not to see a folk pantheon that mimics a religious one but, like pointing out the faith required of an atheistic position, more adherents will point out the differences than accept the similarities.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM

Well, Willie, as I said, I'm a fairly strict Darwinist Catholic. I think that God is somehow in the essence of creation - or perhaps is the essence of creation - and that creation took place through the wonderful, miraculous, natural process of evolution.
I don't see the biblical creation story as historic, scientific, or anthropological truth. Nonetheless, I love the story and see profound truth in the story on many levels.

Intelligent design? Well, maybe....but I certainly wouldn't insist on that. But I'm with Don Firth on this one.

"And God saw that it was good." I wish we all could see the goodness that surrounds us, whether or not we attribute it to a god.

We need to have that pint....or three.

-Joe-
Addendum. This thread hasn't talked about music for a number of days, so I think it's time to move it down to the non-music section.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 09:41 PM

Howard Jones,

Perhaps you are right that no one has equated those Muslims who want to withdraw their children from music lessons with fundamentalists. However, take a look at the posts of Tootler (July 2, 4:06 p.m.) and Don(Wyziwyg)T (July 2, 5:37) and tell me what you think. Perhaps I misread them.

You said that I talked about liberty, but that the examples I gave were not really "liberty". Perhaps another term would be more appropriate than "liberty" but, unfortuanately I can't think of one at the moment. Anyway, it seems to me that, in general, the more liberty a people have, the fewer the conflicts between individual conscience and the law.

We are not particularly plagued with Aztecs wishing to offer human sacrifice but, should any come around seeking an exemption from the murder laws, the exemption should be denied.   The state must enforce Maybury's Laws (contract law - "Do all you have agreed to do" and common law - "Do not encroach on other persons or their property.") However, it is relatively rare that an individual's conscience REQUIRES him to violate THOSE ancient laws. It is the NEW laws, the laws requiring EVERYONE to do what the majority thinks is best, with which minorities tend to have conflict.

I am glad to hear that the National Curriculum does not apply to independent schools and to homeschooling.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 10:15 PM

Steamin' Willie,

You perhaps noticed that I neither attempted to persuade you that young earth creationism is true nor made snide remarks about ancient earth theories. I brought up the subject as an example of a potential conflict between individual conscience and the state, a conflict which has been resolved through liberty.

I am not sure where you got the idea that I think "dinosaurs were put there by ...God just to test our faith". I don't think that, and have never met anyone who does think that.

I will be sure to let my children know of your pity for them. You will be relieved to know that they are at least as well informed about evolutionary theory as the typical public school student. Science certainly does open one's mind to how the world works. I agree that, by making science one's study, one can do something useful with one's life, like make the world a better place. You really don't need to apologize for not being a psychiatrist. I am not one either. Although my practice is currently limited to psychiatry (because I work for a non-profit mental health agency), my board certification is actually in family practice.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM

Smokey,

I appreciate your concern for my children. You ask if they are free to choose. Since I attended public school from 1st grade though medical school, and since my mother (a biology teacher for 36 years, with a Master's degree) was not, in my early childhood, a young earth creationist, and since I (and my parents) have since adopted that view, it would appear that schooling is not destiny.   

You hope my children have been blessed "with sufficient intelligence" to choose, and accuse me of making "efforts to the contrary". You thus claim that YOU are more concerned about my children's intellectual development than I am. That raises several questions:

1) Do you really believe you have sufficient evidence to make such a claim?
2) If I were teaching my children an ancient earth theory, such as the one to which you apparently subscribe, would you accuse me of trying to prevent my children from choosing young earth creationism?
3) If so, is it acceptable to you that public schools actually do try to prevent children from choosing young earth creationism by presenting only one side of the argument?
4) Do you hold that the majority should be able to force their views on the children of the minority?
5) If so, do you believe the same should hold true in those areas of the U.S. in which Creationists are a majority?

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 11:17 PM

frogprince,

You "can't really see why a 'young earth creationist' would attempt to distance himself from fundamentalism". Neither can I.

I agree with those aspects of fundamentalism which I mentioned, those which fundamentalism has in common with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, those which are found in the Nicene Creed and in the New Testament. I also agree that the Bible is inerrant. I used to be a fundamentalist. I am not trying to distance myself from Protestant fundamentalism. However, since I am no longer a Protestant, obviously I am no longer a Protestant fundamentalist. My disagreement with Protestant fundamentalism stems not from the fact that it is fundamentalist, but from the fact that it is Protestant.

I didn't bring this up thinking that I was going to convince you, or anyone, that the Bible is inerrant. I brought it up because, it appears to me, that some folks use the word "fundamentalist" without really understanding what it means. I hope I have shed a little light on that subject.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 11:53 PM

Perhaps not in this thread, Kent Davis, but I would love to hear your reasons for believing in the 'young earth' theory. It is possible, of course, that the thread would turn ugly - but in that case, it could be shut down. Would you be interested in starting a new thread on the subject?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:30 AM

Ebbie,

Definitely not in this thread.

I mentioned the creationism controversy because I think there are some interesting parallels with the music curriculum controversy, not to convince people that creationism is true. I love Mudcat, but I'm not sure that it is a good forum for discussing the origin of the Universe. I will give your idea a great deal of thought and, if I can figure out a clear and concise way to say what I would need to say, I will start a new thread. But not tonight, and not tomorrow either.

I'm not worried about the thread turning ugly. Ugly doesn't bother me much. But if we're going to talk about this issue, I'll need to be prepared because, on this issue, in this forum, I am apparently a minority of one. There won't be anyone to pick up my slack if I express things poorly.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:45 AM

Well, I'm worried about threads turning ugly. Much better to have civil discussion, rather than heated combat. I hate it when people start screaming at each other.
Peace, y'all.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:47 AM

Kent, I just can't be bothered - you win.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:51 AM

"American protestant fundamentalism is historically based in a series of volumes published by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles from 1910 to 1915."

Bullpucky. American protestant fundamentalism is rooted in the Second Great Awakening, back in a previous century, and certainly NOT based in Los Angeles, California, for fuck's sake. See The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan Hatch, for starters.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 05:41 AM

Bringing this thread back closer to where it started,surely a more important conflict between the state and parents over the well being of a child is medical treatment. For instance, The Jehovah's Witnesses do not permit blood transfusion and the Christian Scientists see prayer as more powerful than medicine.

I have heard that there have been cases where doctors have applied to the courts to override the wishes of parents.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin; Willie
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 10:23 AM

Joe, that pint will have to wait a while. I was in California about two years ago, but found that your wine was better than your beer, so unless we can drink pints of pinot without my wife noticing and berating me.......

Interestingly, I too don't consider myself an atheist but that is for one simple reason. Atheism as I understand its literal description would mean there is nothing other than what we can experience. If that were the case, the answer is actually chaos. Chaos doesn't work because of one simple fact; f=ma.

The laws of physics work, all the time. Sure, they need refining from time to time and whilst we can get our head around Newtonian physics because we can measure it, we are still struggling a bit with quantum mechanics. Time will improve our understanding.

Now... my issue with organised religion is the problem of my last sentence. Nobody updates scriptures in the light of further understanding. People 2,000+ years ago wrote what they wrote as being the science of the day. It explained what we experienced and gave solutions to those things we don't understand. Sprinkle a bit of mind control for good measure and there you have it. Religion in a bun with fries.

But, like the fast food merchants themselves, changing or veering from the recipe is fraught with problems. So instead it is easier to tell people they actually like the gherkin rather than change it for tomato. If big macs aren't popular any more, have an advertising campaign rather than accept people have moved on from big macs. Awful analogy I know, but I am making it up whilst typing and I am not the shiniest trumpet in the band.

I reckon my analogy works though. Easier to convince people of what you want to give them rather than make what you give them relevant. Science, luckily, cannot work like that. Einstein may be revered but some of what he put forward has been discredited. Not because he was wrong but because we now have more information with which to refine. Newton wrote of absolute distance, absolute time and absolute motion. Einstein wasn't initially famous for what he put forward with relativity, but his fame was that he blew classical physics apart and a fundamental precept of the Principia with it... Now, how many times a week do theologians edit the supernatural sections of scriptures?

We are left with wonderful stories, in the King James version wonderfully written too. But to say the "science" explanations contained in biblical stories are physically true is to leave the room as far as any discussion is concerned. That's my problem with some of our correspondents. I defend to the death your right to think that scriptures are true, but under no circumstances (other than JC himself popping up again?) will I take such a view seriously. I don't have to respect your view, just your right to have your view, (whoever you are.) Sadly, pandering to superstitious waffle holds back both society and science and perhaps that is inexcusable. Pushing your views on your children may or not be wrong. After all, my parents were methodists and I live in the home town of Wesley, (you should see the coaches full of american tourists each and every day near us...) but I am what I sometimes call rational and sometimes call indifferent. Luckily, kids can grow up untainted by their upbringing. And let's all thank God for that!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 11:06 AM

"American protestant fundamentalism is rooted in the Second Great Awakening, back in a previous century"

Okay; that's the root from which the system of beliefs bacame prevalent in America to the degree that it is; the publications from Los Angeles included a wide group of authors from all over the country; it wasn't a matter of a belief system "based in Los Angeles". That was just the point from which strict Biblical believers started labeling themselves as "fundamentalists". No doubt but what many believers have, defacto, believed in the inerrancy of Scripture from the time the writtings of the Bible were collected. But as "modernist" theolgy appeared, conservatives felt more need to formulate explicit defense of Biblical inerrancy.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM

Back to the original question: no, religion does not "deny music to children" because religion is an abstraction. Religion does not 'do' anything, though a great many people are influenced by religious beliefs in their personal and public lives. Certainly, some religious folks deny music to their children (and perhaps would deny it to others if they could get away with it) but many other religionists embrace music, both in sacred and secular forms. I suspect that the original poster understands this distinction.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:10 PM

never thought about it like that.

Religion is of course an abstraction but music is too, but in a glorious way....

Neither can be abstractions though when they are used as a vehicle for change. Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Clerical law post revolution.... all huge social and civilisation altering events in the name of religion. Music? Well, Woody Guthrie had "this machine kills fascists" etched on the side of his guitar. Far more poignantly, Pete Townsend said of his guitar, "I don't love it, I don't polish it after every performance, I play the fucking thing."

Quite.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM

Religion is real in the sense that it has tangible effects on the world; good, bad or indifferent.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 07:24 PM

I love Mudcat, but I'm not sure that it is a good forum for discussing the origin of the Universe.

That's a wonderful sentence. And probably true (though that's not what makes it a wonderful sentence) - not that it mightn't be an interesting discussion, but there'd be bound to be people who would it as an occasion to get really excited and angry and unpleasant. Shame.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 08:00 PM

Is the universe traditional?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM

Or do we live in a hybrid universe?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 08:25 PM

Define "universe" and give three examples. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 08:26 PM

Oh crap, 'what is folk' to the power of infinity.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 08:44 PM

Three examples? Mine, the ideal one, and the really barmy one that's probably best avoided.
Definition could be a little trickier..


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 09:30 PM

Too often, people seem to assume that there is only one answer to any given question. Taking the first message in this thread, it IS true that for perhaps ten percent of Muslim children in the UK, their parents may have a problem allowing their children to have music education in school.
That is true - but there are a number of other truths that apply to the other ninety percent of Muslim children in the UK, and still other truths that apply in other places in the world. The problem the original message describes is not an either-or situation. It covers a wide spectrum, as does almost any situation that occurs in a religious context.

It IS absolutely true that child abuse and molestation occurred with horrible frequency in many parishes in the Catholic Church, and a large number of Catholic bishops made an equally distressing attempt to cover up those crimes. But it is also true that in a far larger number of parishes, absolutely no abuse or molestation occurred. For those who did not know the criminals or the victims, the crimes are distant and unreal - but in places like Boston and Ireland where these crimes were particularly widespread, entire dioceses were poisoned by the priests and bishops who betrayed parishioners and their children with these horrible crimes. And WHY did these crimes of molestation and abuse and coverup occur? - there is no one answer.
But in the parishes and Catholic institutions I have been affiliated with, these things did not happen, and I had a very good experience of church - and that is also truth, a truth with the equal truth that the Catholic Church has served as a haven for child molesters.

And it's absolutely true that churches have served as very effective ways of control and oppression and bigotry and other tyrannies and atrocities. But conflicting with that truth is the truth that churches have served as centers of compassion and education and heroism and refuge.

There is no one, absolute truth about religious faith. It can be profoundly wise or mindlessly bigoted. It can be amazingly compassionate, or horribly oppressive and cruel. It can be a pinnacle of goodness and love, or a bottomless pit of hatred and evil. It can open minds to limitless possibilities, or betray intelligence with ironclad doctrinalism. Sometimes, religious denominations will have some consistency ands lean one way or another, toward "good" or "bad" - but oftentimes, these contradictions coexist in equal strength within one denomination, and even within one local religious community.

So, if you make either a broad condemnation or a broad commendation of religion as a whole, or even of a particular denomination - you're probably wrong. Religion is far too complex to be explained away in twenty-five words or less. Yup - even worse than defining what is folk....

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 12:41 AM

Well said, Joe.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM

Yeah, takes a lot of words to explain. Snag is, there aren't enough words in any language because as an abstraction, it means different things to different people. if it was clear cut, it couldn't be used to control people.

And that is my main beef. Not that I reckon we could live without it, (if we didn't have religion, some idiot would invent it...) but that many who put forward their belief sometimes, no, many times, demand that it is more than tolerated, but that others should at best share it and at least give it credence.

Sorry, that is like asking me to respect Sheffield United. Sheffield Wednesday is my religion (or the nearest thing to it) and whilst I accept that Sheff Utd exist, that they (try) to play a similar game and are looking for the same ultimate goal (literally) I reckon if Doncaster Rovers are added to this debate, there you have Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Like I stated in this and other threads, until religion stops trying to interfere with my life, I will question it. That is not to say i will disrespect people's beliefs, just their weird belief that they can throw it in my face and the faces of politicians. Here in The UK, men with weird hats are allowed to scrutinise legislation in our upper house, (House of Lords.) For no other reason than the silly hat as far as I can see. there are more people respect The Rolling Stones than respect Christianity in The UK, but I don't see Mick & Keef wearing the ermine.

I know that at certain times, especially on a Friday, some of my colleagues cannot be contacted on their home work line. This is because they are bowing towards Mecca. Tough on them that Sunday not Friday is the traditional day of rest in The UK, but I have no problems with that at all. I am not exactly working when typing this. So what. However, we needed to do something on a Sunday a few months ago and four of my "Christian" colleagues refused to work as it was (as emailed to me) the Lord's day, not Steamin' Willie's. I dug out a letter signed by all four last year "reporting" our muslim colleagues for going down the mosque when they should be working.

Funny old world.

I haven't done anything about wither stance because to do so would mean deciding which is the true faith and as it is neither, I am not qualified to make that choice. Interestingly, my Muslim colleagues seem far more tolerant of my practicing Christian colleagues than the other way around. I showed them the letter in a fit of disgust and they laughed at it. Well done them. Mind you, I also know i am spoken about in less than reverent tones by them when they know they can't get any sense out of me on a Friday after mid afternoon as I am down the pub. (Couldn't help mentioning the pork scratchings I have with my pint when one brave fool tackled me about it.)

I reckon I am going to start a new religion. Hey Joe! You live in California and Douglas Adams always said that is the best place to start a new religion. Howsabout I send you a draft of my scriptures. Your fault for being so ruddy reasonable and fair minded when all everybody else wants to do is wind each other up!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 01:44 PM

Steamin' Willie, the simple fact that you--and a lot of people--seem to be missing, is that it is not religion that is trying to interfere with your life, it is certain religious people.

I do go to a church of my own choosing (with some irregularity), one that is open and considered "too liberal" by many other churches (no, not Unitarian), and I'm more of a questioner than a believer. I listen to the sermons and discuss things with people, but I chose to find my own way and make my own decisions.

But when the Jehovah's Witlesses come to my door to try to save my soul with their particular brand of religion and sell me copies of The Watchtower, I simple say, "Sorry, not interested," close the door, and go back to what I was doing before the doorbell rang.

But I don't blame "religion" for the interruption.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM

To give you and idea of the different concepts of religion that exist, I'd like to post a Letter to the Editor that appeared in today's Sacramento Bee newspaper:
    'Social Agenda" hurt church
    Re: "Church Closes Doors Over Debts" (July 3): the Bee article on the sad demise of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church fails to mention the root cause of this collapse. Churches like Gloria Dei that commit themselves to advancing trendy social agendas are withering away. Those that busy themselves preaching the Gospel are thriving. If St. Paul had spent his time condemning first century social injustice, there would be no church.
    Gloria Dei is not the end of this matter. There will certainly be more to come. If you want some really nice candlesticks, wait for the auction at Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral.
    -Roger Barrett, Auburn, California-
I live just outside Auburn. It's the county seat of the most conservative county in California, and I often have to be careful what I say when I'm in Auburn.
Thirty years ago, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sacramento had a thousand members. Now it has 90, and a debt of $800,000; so the church decided to disband. The Lutheran Church has been bery active in helping the poor and homeless in Sacramento, and I'm sure Gloria Dei was also involved in that sort of work.

Barrett's letter echoes the attitude expressed by radio/TV talk show host Glenn Beck:
    I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"
    Beck contends that social justice is a "code word" for communism and Nazism.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, an evangelical leader who is the CEO and president of Sojourners, a Christian networking group in Washington, D.C., has been one of the loudest voices against Beck:
    "When Glenn Beck is asking Christians to leave their churches, the Catholic Church, the black churches, Hispanic, evangelical, to leave all our churches, I'm saying it's time for Christians to leave the Glenn Beck show," he said. "This offends Christians. This is salt, something at the heart of their faith. It's something many of us have spent our lives trying to do, to practice.
    "Yesterday, he (Beck) went further and he said social justice is a perversion of the gospel. ... I'm saying it's at the heart of the gospel."

Despite what Glenn Beck and letter writer Barrett have to say, I think that involvement is "social justice" issues is a good indicator of whether a religious congregation is healthy. If a religious group shows disdain for the poor and homeless and the immigrant, stay clear of it. The view of Beck and Barrett is very popular among "religious" people, and it gives the rest of us believers a bad name.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM

Exactly, Joe!

I'm sorry to hear of the demise of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. And the "curse" on it, i.e., that it strove to work for social and economic justice, is just plain bizarre in relation to what I consider to be the very core of Christianity. I've posted this a number of times before, but it bears repeating as many times as it takes for the message to get through:
Matthew 25:35-41 (New American Standard Bible)

"'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these my brothers, even to the least of them, you did it to Me.'
This message has been out there for the better part of two millennia, and there are still a lot of people—a lot of self-styled "Christians"—who still haven't gotten it!

And for those folks, and for Glenn Beck and his ilk, in the following verse, Jesus added:
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.'" [For you did none of these things.]
The church I attend (Central Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity) is one of those that strongly advocates, and works for, social and economic justice, and on numerous occasions, have laid it on the line—to the extend that one of our retired pastors has "done time" because of his dedication to peace and social justice—with the support, backing, and active support of the congregation.

Interesting to note, Joe (and something I find quite hopeful, in spite of the Glenn Beck's of the world), is that when Central Lutheran became a socially active church, the congregation expanded from a small, neighborhood church attended by a handful of elderly folks, to a vibrant and active church with a congregation that still includes many elderly, but has been swelled greatly by young people, including young married couples with children. Almost tripled in size and is still on its way up!

This, it seems, is what a lot of these younger folks were (and are) looking for.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM

And--allow me to refute Roger Barrett, the letter writer, by stating the obvious:

Preaching social and economic justice IS preaching the Gospel!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 07:11 AM

It seems to me that music is the only good thing that children get out of religion.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 07:33 AM

A quick reminder that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were all Atheist.

Should we conclude that atheists are all mass murderers?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 07:37 AM

I don't think Hitler went to church much either.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 08:58 AM

"Should we conclude that atheists are all mass murderers?"

       After the Battle of Jericho, Joshua murdered all of the Canaanites. Should we conclude that all Jews are mass murderers?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM

The Jericho video could have been faked, according to IDF.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 02:57 PM

The problem is with that word "all" - Human beings are individuals, and the word "all" applies to them only rarely.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM

All humans die sooner or later. About the only generalisation about us that is worth trusting.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 10:26 PM

In any event, getting back to the topic, what's wrong with the observation that music was the only contribution religion ever made to children. At least it contributed something.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 11:55 PM

What has atheism contributed to children?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 12:43 AM

A mere absence of belief or faith cannot be expected to 'contribute' anything except perhaps common sense.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:16 AM

That's funny. It's a mere absence, so it can't contribute anything, but it can contribute common sense.

The idea that atheism is a mere absence of belief is contradicted by almost everything every atheist has ever posted on the World Wide Web. That may be the etymology of the word. It's not what atheism is really like now.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:18 AM

But really let's go further than that. "Religion" is an abstract noun. Abstract nouns don't do anything. [i]Religious people[/i] do things. Similarly, Atheism is an abstract noun. [i]Atheist people[/i] do things. What have atheists done for children? Contributed "common sense"? Ha. Common sense existed long before atheism, and exists in many places outside of atheism. Want to try again?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:23 AM

"After the Battle of Jericho, Joshua murdered all of the Canaanites. Should we conclude that all Jews are mass murderers?"

No, we shouldn't. That, more or less, was Joe's point. Duh.

A question for the atheists: can you name a civilization that was based upon the absence of belief?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:11 AM

Well, organizations such as the American Ethical Union and Atheists and Other Freethinkers provide a non-theistic substitute for religion. Many of the functions of religious denominations are laudable, but not necessarily only for those who believe in a God.

But are those organizations "atheist" or "humanist"? You could get bogged down in a battle of words.

But many non-theistic people find a need to discuss things in a philosophical context, or need a structure through which to perform service to others.

Still, "atheism" implies an opposition to religion, rather than simply not believing in God. I have no quarrel with people who don't believe what I believe - but it's different if they are actively opposed to what they think I believe.

Goose Gander, I can't "name a civilization that was based upon the absence of belief" - but I can name plenty for which belief was not a necessary element. "Godless Communism" may require atheism; but atheism is not really an inherent aspect of Communism, which is primarily an economic system.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:36 AM

Don, you make a good point. it is religious people, not religion that is the issue. But that is a stance that may make sense, but is ultimately frustrating. If they do things in the name of a religion, it is a description of that religion. as a religion is an abstract formed by people, then any action in it's name forms part of it's whole. Like it or lump it. And the constitution of said religion does not help. Bible, Koran, whatever.. All talk about raping women, slaughtering children and genocide as an article of faith.

Mousethief. There is no such thing as an atheist. I reckon it to be a term of slur used by those who recognise religion. There is no term of reference for somebody who doesn't collect stamps, (antiphilatelist?) no word to describe somebody who doesn't follow football, (weird person?) no word to describe etc etc... So why a word to describe somebody who doesn't give superstition a second thought?

I am not an atheist, I am, to coin a phrase I heard by Jeremy Clarkson that I am comfortable with, irreligious. Even then, I am not comfortable with having a term to describe my stance.   Atheism by definition means no belief in anything, or ultimately chaos. As I said above, I can prove that f=ma, therefore there is not chaos. therefore atheism is a belief of its own rather than a sneering term used by superstitious people about people who are somewhat more rational when it comes to moral compass thoughts.

There are many civilisations. In fact all of them. it isn't praying for crops and sacrificing children that gives the harvest, it is the toil and sweat of planting and collecting. it isn't asking a deity to build shelter, it is people with daub, reed whatever. Now... at some point in any civilisation, you have to ensure the masses don't rise up because the leaders are more comfortable than them. You need a tool to keep them down. Can you guess what it is yet?

As i said, if we didn't have religion, we would have to invent it. Scriptures, wonderful stories some of them, (apart from the condoning oppression, genocide etc,) can make a good moral compass, morals to compare your actions with, and that ain't a bad thing if that's what you need. The problem being, said scriptures are part of controlling the masses, so by their existence, they are about ensuring everybody else sings from the same hymn sheet, (literally in some cases.)

And that is Willie's beef. And that is why Willie gets a bit hot under the collar where religions try to control society. Here in The UK, we have an issue at the moment where the Archbishop of Canterbury is sitting on the fence again regarding ordaining a gay bishop. the Prime Minister may have to intervene, (see? our politicians have to make the appointments, hence giving credence to the supremacy in law of religion.) We have laws, good or bad, concerning equality. How can a religion wish to be recognised under UK law and at the same time ignore equality? yet... they seem to think they can. That makes it a bigoted, and sadly illegal in the strict sense of the word, organisation. And they sit in the Lords, our upper house, pontificating over laws passed by our elected parliament.

You couldn't make it up.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:49 AM

Well, Willie, I suppose I'd have a different take on it. I look on scriptures as resource documents, the "founding statements" of religious groups. Some people use scriptures to control people, but a good many don't. And you really won't find many religions that condone "raping women, slaughtering children and genocide as an article of faith," even if their forebears may have done some of that in earlier times.

If you attribute something to religion and then ask, "Why would a reasonable person do something like that" - well, probably reasonable religious people wouldn't do it, either.

And as for your use of the word "superstition" in connection with religion, well, I'd question that, too. It seems that you're equating "superstition" with religious faith. I would say that "superstition" is believing in things that defy the laws of nature. But a lot of people with religious faith believe very firmly in the laws of nature - how can they be superstitious? I see a "divine essence" in the wonders of nature and humanity that surround me, but I don't see any manipulation of the rules of nature going on.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 05:24 AM

"There is no such thing as an atheist."

An atheist has a belief system: they believe that the Gods that others believe in, do not exist. Not having a belief either way would be a different matter.
That's: "I dunno and I don't care whether there is or there isn't a God", not atheism.

"Not being a stamp collector" is equating belief with practice, it's a bad analogy.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 05:26 AM

Otherwise I agree, religion has no place in law.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 06:19 AM

It appears to me that religion fulfils three main functions:

1) to explain how the world and mankind came into existence, and to explain natural phenomena. Unfortunately none of the religions seem to be able to agree on this, which makes their explanations suspect. However there is now a scientific explanation, and although admittedly our knowledge is still far from complete, for most people this provides a more plausible answer.

2) to provide a moral code by which to live. However the general principles which most religions espouse are mainly the ones necessary for everyone in society to get on in peace and harmony. Many non-religious people follow these principles, and equally many religious people fail to live up to them.

3) to offer comfort to those people who always get the shitty end of the stick in life that things will be better next time, although usually with the threat that things could be even worse if they don't toe the line. The cynical might see this as a means of social control.

It is clear that millions of people find comfort and joy in religion, and I have no problem with this, although I don't share it. The problem seems to be that most organised religions end up getting bogged down in doctrinal detail and lose sight of the big picture. Willie mentioned the current debate in the Church of England about gay priests; there's also a debate about ordaining women bishops, which apparently poses a real threat to the unity of the church. As an outsider, I struggle to see what this has to do with the teachings of Jesus, just as I struggle to understand what studying music has to do with the Five Pillars of Islam.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 10:00 AM

Atheism is not the absence of belief.

It is the belief that there is no God.

Agnosticism is the absence of any conviction either way.

Agnositicism says there might be a God, but there might not.

Atheism says there is no God.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 11:18 AM

Lox is right, atheism is a stance, the stance that there is no God. My point is that there many people, some on this thread, who call people who don't have a stance on religion atheists. I am differentiating of course between having a stance and having a view. I don't have a stance (creed, belief system etc) but I do have a view, (why do people with religious views think they have the right to influence society on the basis of those views?)

Hey Joe,

I hear you, but even after digesting your last post over a decent coffee, I still have problems agreeing. You seem troubled by my (admittedly provocative) use of the word superstitious. Having a moral code based on not upsetting a mythical being is superstition in my view. Calling an elderly German dude "Holy" seems like superstition from where I am coming from. Saying Mohammed wandered off for a few nights and came back knowing what we all must do so not to displease a mythical being sure seems like superstition to me. When some of my friends say they cannot eat meat that is not halal, cannot touch alcohol; it can only be superstition if you miss out the existence of God. As God as ann interventionist being cannot exist, then yep, you are left with superstition.

And I ain't talking Stevie Wonder either....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 11:30 AM

You're right, Willie, so that leaves music as the one thing religion has to offer that has any real value.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 01:06 PM

"I don't believe in flying saucers."

"I don't believe in capital punishment."

Same word, a very different sense.

It seems to me that a lot of the time people arguing about belief in God, either way, are mixing up those two meanings of the word.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 01:14 PM

What religious people do does not necessarily define the religious belief they say they subscribe to. For example, the Biblical passage I quote above (Matthew 25:35-41) is central to the message that Jesus was striving to convey. In short, a clear instruction to His followers.

But—when self-styled "Christians" say that matters of social and economic justice are merely "trendy social agenda" and have nothing to do with what's in the Gospel are clearly wrong, and are not following the precepts set down by the Jesus, the founder of Christianity.

The fact that they don't understand the religion they claim to subscribe to is not a reflection on the religion itself. It is a reflection on them, and points up their own failure.

This is usually called "hypocrisy," but I think that more often than not, it reflects sheer ignorance.

####

"Atheism is not the absence of belief.

"It is the belief that there is no God."

Contradictory. It either is a belief or it isn't.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM

What have atheists done for children? Contributed "common sense"?

You'd do well not to take me quite so seriously, Mousethief, and to read exactly what I wrote. Besides, you are misquoting yourself. As far as I'm concerned, atheism and atheists are two different things.

Ha. Common sense existed long before atheism

When did atheism start existing then, in your opinion?

and exists in many places outside of atheism. Want to try again?

Indeed, I know many religious people with common sense in abundance. I didn't say otherwise, though I'm not certain whether "outside of atheism" is quite the right expression - I would never normally lump non-atheists together as a group.

The idea that atheism is a mere absence of belief is contradicted by almost everything every atheist has ever posted on the World Wide Web.

I regard atheism as an absence of belief in God or Gods - I'm not responsible for what you or 'every atheist' (?) thinks it is. For me, it's not a belief.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:04 PM

Hmmm. Howard gives me something to build on:
    1) to explain how the world and mankind came into existence, and to explain natural phenomena. Unfortunately none of the religions seem to be able to agree on this, which makes their explanations suspect. However there is now a scientific explanation, and although admittedly our knowledge is still far from complete, for most people this provides a more plausible answer.

    2) to provide a moral code by which to live. However the general principles which most religions espouse are mainly the ones necessary for everyone in society to get on in peace and harmony. Many non-religious people follow these principles, and equally many religious people fail to live up to them.

    3) to offer comfort to those people who always get the shitty end of the stick in life that things will be better next time, although usually with the threat that things could be even worse if they don't toe the line. The cynical might see this as a means of social control.

Well, Howard, if that's what religion is about, I wouldn't bother. I suppose it's nice to speculate on how the world and mankind came into existence, but it's really not all that important to me. And you're right about moral codes - they're a natural thing, what's necessary for people to get along and survive in society. And I get far more comfort from people who love me, rather than from religious authorities - and if they threatened me, I wouldn't believe them, because I think things have natural consequences that don't have a hell of a lot to do with authority.

So, religion isn't any of those things - at least to me, it isn't. But what it is, is very difficult to explain in terms that convey its impact and value. It's an exploration into the depths of our existence - seeking a deeper meaning in humanity, in life, love, and death, and whatever else there is that mystifies us. It's seeking the best end of humanity, holding onto ideals like peace and altruism - even when they don't seem practical. It's looking at a tree or a baby or a lover, and seeing something deeper than an organism that can be deconstructed and analyzed and known completely by scientific processes. It's exploring the mystery and meaning of traditions that have been held by humans for millennia, speculating that somehow I have a tie to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - and therefore to all humankind.

This "religion" that I have expresses itself in myth, like the creation myths and all the other wonderful stories treasured by believers (and not necessarily understood literally); in ritual and in sacred traditions such as following dietary laws; in legendary heroes like patriarchs and saints and saviors; and in a mutually-supporting community of believers.

For me, all of this is a big part of the essence of who I am. It's not an authority system at all. I have no use for authority, other than the fact that it serves a function in making things work - sometimes.

Now, I could do all of this and be non-theistic. But part of me tells me that there is a divine essence to all that I encounter, so I therefore do believe in God.

There are several Mudcatters, like the late Rick Fielding and a number of others, that I have had the deepest respect and admiration for. And maybe I admire them because they are so much like I am - they keep exploring the depths of the wonders that surround us; and they are wonderful, altruistic, compassionate, intelligent people. But, for the most part, there is one thing that separates me from these people I admire so much - I see a divine essence in what I see, and they do not. I wouldn't dream of arguing with them and attempting to prove the existence of that divine essence. I can't prove it - but I see it, and they don't. They see something different, and I have learned remarkable things from the difference of our perspectives.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:09 PM

What have atheists done for children? Contributed "common sense"?

Well, I imagine that most atheists love their children as the most precious things in their universe. Could we ask for more?

And religious people do the very same thing for their children. Nothing more, and nothing less.

-Joe-

Damn. I worked on my previous message a little too long, and Smokey got #200....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 03:13 PM

"...maybe I admire them because they are so much like I am - they keep exploring the depths of the wonders that surround us; and they are wonderful, altruistic, compassionate, intelligent people. But, for the most part, there is one thing that separates me from these people I admire so much - I see a divine essence in what I see, and they do not. I wouldn't dream of arguing with them and attempting to prove the existence of that divine essence. I can't prove it - but I see it, and they don't. They see something different, and I have learned remarkable things from the difference of our perspectives." Joe Offer

Joe, that is a wonderfully accepting, respectful credo. It is something we all can strive for.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:13 PM

There is no such thing as an atheist.

Tell that to the American Atheists. Or the Atheist Society of Australia. Or the ... well, you google for them.

For me, it's not a belief.

Unfortunately, you don't get to decide what words mean.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:25 PM

Unfortunately, you don't get to decide what words mean.

Mousethief, much like Humpty Dumpty I get to decide what I mean when I'm using them, and incidentally, I never call myself an atheist.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:50 PM

From Wiki:

"Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists."

That is a definition with which I can agree.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 06:25 PM

That's not a definition that's three definitions. Which is the one you agree with?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM

All of it, but mainly the conclusion that "atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist".

My nearest dictionary says:

"the theory or belief that God does not exist."

Mine is theory and not belief because I am always open to the possibility of being wrong.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 08:28 PM

As much as I find religion to be a never ending pain in the ass, I'll have to admit the music is wonderful. I'm confused about the title of the thread.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 09:53 PM

Rig - ya gotta read the first message. This thread has strayed a bit from the original topic.
I am of the opinion that a bit of "going astray" is healthy - that may not meet the expectations that some people have for people who practice religion. Such is life....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 10:13 PM

Okay, Joe, I watched the piece. I have two observations: 1. I wish music was compulsory in the school district where I pay taxes--it's not, all the money goes for athletics--and the authorities need to get a grip on these buffoons in the UK.
             If people are dumb enough to pull their children out of music, they ought to be charged with child abuse and prosecuted. We can't have these stupid superstitions screwing up children's lives forever.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 10:27 PM

I think we've come to agreement on that, rig. Religion is a relatively small threat to school music programs. The bigger threats are budget cutbacks and the preeminence of varsity athletics.
....and the fact that people now think music is something you buy, not something you do.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 11:35 PM

Yeah, I was looking up some of the best selling musical hits of all time a few months ago, and at some point, up until, I think, the late 1930's, they tracked the popularity of music by the numbers of copies of sheet music that were sold, then they changed to recordings.
            We've gone a long ways backwards, it seems to me.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 12:45 AM

True dat. Time was when many more middle-class families had pianos in the parlour, and somebody in the house would be able to play it while people stood around and joined in.

Today we have a AM, FM, XM, Satellite, online radio, CD's, music DVD's, mp3 downloads, and everybody has an ipod plugged into their head continually. And probably fewer people are able to make their own music than ever before. We really have gone from being active people to being passive consumers. We're consuming more music than ever before, and it's more ephemeral and less participatory than it's ever been. Seems to me.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 03:25 AM

Joe, your response is very well put. The key sentence for me is "But, for the most part, there is one thing that separates me from these people I admire so much - I see a divine essence in what I see, and they do not. "

I can can see all the things you mention, without feeling the need to attribute them to a "divine essence". I am slightly puzzled why some people feel this need, but perhaps that points to a failing in me.

I can even entertain the thought that the universe is so vast and wonderful and complex that it cannot simply have "just happened". However precisely because it is so vast and wonderful and complex I cannot imagine why any creator should show any particular interest in me, out of the billions of lifeforms on this planet alone.

I should add that I am entirely comfortable with this view and don't feel either that this view diminishes me in any way or that I am lacking something in my life. I don't feel a need to have a god in my life.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,stringsinger
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM

Religion is a threat to music programs if you intend to perform songs
for Halloween, or some of the other holidays. In many Southern US schools, these songs are ver boten for the dominating Christian Right. And they are all over the South as well as the North. Censorship is here and much of it is religious. More and more, we see a growing virus of religious domination in our schools, on the media, government and military. Don't kid yourself. Freethinkers and Liberals are under attack from Muslim and Christian religious groups. I see no "divine essence" in any of these atrocities.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 01:10 PM

Ah! But there you have exactly what I've been saying. The religious Right in the South.

Things are quite different where I live, largely because more denominations are represented and most of them tend to be liberal, both religiously and politically. Music is a very important part of many churches around here, and not just music performed by the choirs.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 01:24 AM

Here you can't perform religious holiday songs lest you offend somebody. So you get kids doing midwinter holiday concerts with Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer and other fluff, but none of the great music that this time of year has inspired over the last 400+ years. To balance stringsinger.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 01:33 AM

Howard, I don't really think I have a "need to attribute them to a 'divine essence'" - I just see a divine essence in things, whether other people see it that way or not. It's not a need to see things, it's just the way I DO see things. I'm not claiming it's better or deeper or anything - it's just the way I see things.
And Stringsinger, repression affects everyone, not just atheists. I could argue that we liberal Christians get it with both shotgun barrels from the fundamentalists, because they think we have betrayed "the true faith." Certain people (mostly extremists and absolutists on the right and the left) have a mindset that fears any opinion other than their own, and they feel a need to repress all other thinking.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 04:21 AM

Damn, my last post seems to have got lost in the system. rather proud of that one, rattling on about Bach.. Made me feel as if I knew a bit... never mind. can't remember it now so it may not have been quite so clever after all.

Atheism is indeed a stance if people say it is. Atheism is a lack of a stance if again people say it is. For me, I prefer irreligious. It suits me. it means, for me, that I am not hostile towards peoples' creed, just the many, and especially their spiritual leaders, who feel what they believe is right, (and why shouldn't you think that, i suppose) therefore inflict it on others. Everything from influencing politics on the day to day level all the way to getting society to play to their tune. Such people are dangerous.

Dangerous includes Abu Hamza, the cleric the USA are trying to get extradited from the UK at the moment. You can have him, (so long as you don't murder him. Our extradition terms are clear on that at least.) But what can you do with somebody who says God told him his work is not done till there is a Caliph in The White House?

Dangerous includes those who inflict child abuse, all the way from direct (other threads cover this so not going to rattle on now,) to abuse through stopping children from joining in for bizarre reasons, all the way to telling them science has a mission to disguise the truth, that Darwin was evil and all that codswallop. Even on this thread, I am shocked and amazed to hear somebody who can type and use a computer claim science is wrong and God made the earth a few weeks ago. then... some contributors don't help in my opinion by pointing out the worthiness of some of this person's other comments. Sorry, but if somebody is being irrational, you can't pick and choose, it doesn't help them. They think therefore there may be merit in other things they say. if somebody is intelligent enough to join the debate, then their ignorance has to be pointed out. One of the reasons fundamentalists of most religions seem to be on the increase is that the rest of us are told to accept their right to their opinion. It only encourages the buggers, (in the same way I suppose as voting encourages politicians.....)

Joe's stance in general is one I can be comfortable with. That said, I could never call myself a Christian, but the pragmatic common sense he adds to this debate can sometimes make me feel a bit extreme in my paranoia of people who think they have a right to judge me for my lack of superstition.

I do have a moral code. I get it from the same place insects do. Where that is, NOBODY has found out yet. I also believe in things that cannot be explained. Like all football fans, it is, in the cold light of day, irrational. Sheffield Wednesday got relegated, are playing awful football and have business problems that are reflected by attitudes of players. YET I support them, remain of the faith and get into all sorts of heated arguments in the pub defending them, even when I know at the intellectual level my argument is fatally flawed.

Got a mate who's a vicar, and I could also be describing some of the "debates" we have over a beer or ten.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 01:42 PM

The religious Right in the South.

That's a really tiny proportion of the world's Christians, and in this context especially, an extremely unrepresentative variant.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 07:43 PM

True, McGrath. But, unfortunately, they take on a prominence—or are given a prominence—that is far out of proportion with their numbers

The religious Right, predominently in the southern United States, made up particularly of the Southern Baptist Leadership Conference, plus a loose confederation of fundamentalist, Biblical literalist, and Pentecostal sects, make up a fairly substantial number of "Christians" in the U. S. They tend to be politically active. They are in general opposition to the idea of separation of church and state, insisting that "This is a Christian country," despite what it says in the U. S. Constitution.

At the same time, they cling to such things as the Second Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms—and other Constitutional stipulations that suit them. In short, they "cherry-pick" the Constitution in the same way they do with Biblical verses, taking, out of context, that which they feel supports their particular beliefs and prejudices while ignoring those parts that contradict or negate their position.

I don't have any figures as to comparative numbers, but a couple of things are certain:   the vast majority of the "electric preachers"—television and radio evangelists—are literalist/fundamentalists (Pat Roberson, Jimmie Swaggert, Jerry Falwell, Jim and Tammy Bakker, et al);   they are far more stridently vocal than moderate or liberal Christians (moderate and liberal in both the religious and political senses), who generally tend to work quietly in the background without blowing their own horns;    and, perhaps most importantly, the news media seems to concentrate almost solely on the pronouncements of the religious Right, usually with such preambles as, "Christians say. . . ." creating the impression that all Christians are in agreement when this is not the case at all!!

Pat Robertson's outrageous pronouncements ("The Haitian earthquake was God's punishment because the Haitians practice voodoo!") get quoted and re-quoted, while you almost never hear anything said by those such as Rev. Jim Wallis

You don't find moderate and liberal Christians backing you against a wall, stuffing tracts down your shirt, and demanding to know if you've "been washed in the Blood of the Lamb!??" Nor do they come in pairs, knock on your door, want to "evangelize" you by telling you all about Jesus (their version), and sell you copies of The Watchtower. Nor do their automobiles bear bumper-stickers saying "In case of Rapture, this car will be driverless!"

The church I often attend is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Their idea of "evangelizing" is not to buttonhole you on the street or corner you in your home, but to show by example. Which is to say, "Actions speak louder than words." And they model their actions on such things as what Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-41, which I quote in a post above.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 08:23 PM

Nor do their automobiles bear bumper-stickers saying "In case of Rapture, this car will be driverless!"

I like the one that says, "When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?"

There is a website (or two) where Rapture believers can buy "post-Rapture pet insurance" -- pay now, and when the Rapture comes, avowed atheists (who clearly will not be raptured) will continue to care for Fido (or Mittens), so you can go happily to be with Jesus and not worry about your beloved pet. Sheer f***ing genius. I hope they make a mint.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 11:10 PM

Bloody brilliant!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 04:00 PM

Just think what a peaceful place the world would be if we could deny religion to children.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 04:22 PM

There are differing schools of thought on that, Rig.

Not always of course, but frequently throughout history religion was the only civilizing force within some societies, binding the people together and inducing them to stop killing each other long enough to learn that if they got along and cooperated, everybody would benefit.

I know you don't see it that way, but often that's been true. And in some societies it might still be true.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 05:16 PM

Well, yes, in fact that is the case.

For example, some tribal regions in the mid-East where the only thing that keeps some groups from following their age-old traditions of slaughtering each other is their common belief in Islam.

Of course, there are also tribes that continue to slaughter each other on the basis of minor differences in interpretation of the Koran. But is that the fault of Islam? I don't think so. More like a human failing.

This sort of nincompoopery is not unknown among some Christian "tribes" in this country. Just got a newsletter thingy in my morning e-mail about "Christian Reconstructionists" (many of whom are "Tea Party" enthusiasts) who are delighted with the latest Supreme Court ruling about keeping and bearing arms. They're thinking of leading an armed rebellion against the "socialistic, anti-Christian Obama administration" and "restoring" the United States as a "Christian nation." And they want to be sure they have the means to murder as many government types (and anyone else who disagrees with them) as necessary to accomplish the task.

Isn't their something in the Ten Commandments about "Thou shalt not kill?"

So—are these people truly religious?

I don't think so! Certainly not according to the Scriptures, which these same folks insist on telling us, is the inerrant Word of God!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 05:26 PM

John 11:35

Small wonder. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 06:51 PM

There's a Latin proverb that sums it up pretty well - corruptio optima pessima.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 10:14 PM

'"Isn't their something in the Ten Commandments about "Thou shalt not kill?"'


               If there is, the Christians and the Jews seem not to have heard of it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 10:46 PM

'"Isn't their something in the Ten Commandments about "Thou shalt not kill?"'


               If there is, the Christians and the Jews seem not to have heard of it.


The commandment is actually "thou shalt not murder" -- the KJV translates it inaccurately. Although admittedly the boundary between "killing" and "murder" is a bit fuzzier than Hebrew grammar seems to allow.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM

Well, Riginslinger-
I think you'll find that Christians and Jews who actually go to religious services, usually don't do much in the way of killing. Killing has more to do with machismo, than it has to do with religion - but there are many who kill in the name of religion and don't have much time for prayer and reflection and attending religious services.

And you say:
    Just think what a peaceful place the world would be if we could deny religion to children.
Well, for some people, religion is just an excuse for their hatefulness. If they weren't allowed to have religion, they'd find another excuse to be hateful.
But there are other people, for whom religion is a way to express love and generosity - should they be forbidden to bring their children up with the values of love and generosity? For that matter, should society have the right to regulate the way people bring up their children, and the ideas they express to the kids? I dunno, Rig - that's really frightening to me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 01:34 AM

"If there is (the qhoted Commandment), the Christians and the Jews seem not to have heard of it."

Every single, solitary one of them, Rig?

Ye gods, man, think about it! That's a blatant example of the forbidden "B" word if I've ever seen one!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 05:43 PM

Just hoping for a more peaceful planet, that's all.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 06:01 PM

Denying religion to children is exactly what Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler did.

Blaming religion and murdering its believers was something Hitler did with a great deal of zeal.

I don't agree that any of these men are responsible for any breakouts of peace or compassion anywhere at any time.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 09:34 PM

Still, it seems to make sense to me that it would be a lot easier to solve problems if everyone was dealing with reality.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 10:57 PM

Many religious people, certainly the ones that I know, tend to deal quite well with reality. Sometimes a bit better than folks who have no faith in much of anything. Or anybody.

You don't know a whole lot about religion there, Rig. You draw conclusions without any real knowledge of, or acquaintance with, the subject.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:47 AM

Riginslinger says: it would be a lot easier to solve problems if everyone was dealing with reality.

What's reality, Rig?

I have a favorite tree. It's a Ponderosa Pine, maybe 150 feet high. It's at the edge of my property, and then the land drops off and there's nothing until you reach the Pacific Coast Range, 80 miles west of us. When I look out my front door, all I see is that beautiful pine, with nothing but sky beyond it. I've seen it frame awesome sunsets, amazing lightning storms, vivid blue sky, and an infinite variety of cloud formations.
My tree has some scars, and its branches are gnarled like I've never seen on a Ponderosa, so it hasn't had an easy life. I've seen families of birds move in and out of that tree, and once I saw a Great Horned Owl in its branches.
I first got to know that tree in 1999, when I would come up regularly to visit my friend Jim, who was dying of colon cancer. I married Jim's widow, and the tree became part of my family - or vice versa.
So, that tree and I have had a long and rich history, and I spend a lot of time contemplating that beautiful creature.

What's the reality of that tree, Rig? And isn't the reality of that tree very different for you and for me - even though both of our perspectives are true?

I don't particularly care if my kids get religious doctrine or not - but I do want to teach them all there is to appreciate in a tree. Part of what I see in a tree is what I call its "divine essence." And yes, in my contemplation I seek union with that essence. Others may call it something else, but I hope we all can comprehend how perfectly beautiful that tree is.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:46 AM

Did you notice something?

"Thou shalt not kill" is a mis translation. Oh, well that's alright then.

Tell you what, if I were religious, I would have grave issues with such logic chopping in the name of something I hold dear.

Sorry, but the more I read, the more I notice blinkered tacit acceptance of how religion is a tool for more temporal aims. Here in The UK we have had issues with people who want a punch up in the name of fun associate themselves with football teams and of course as a football fan, I am quick to point out that their actions are not those of a football fan, but an ignorant thug who must hate football enough to embroil it in such bad news stories.

In a similar way, there are those who make a travesty of people's spiritual faith. It must be frustrating if you are of the persuasion that anything written over a certain number of years ago must be divine. "Not in my name" is the usual cry of the indignant. Never occurs to anybody that their flavour of religion is, and only can be, the sum of all its activities and actions. So, to say violence in the name of a religion is nothing to do with the religion is, in the final analysis, picking and choosing to say the least. No matter, the old testament doesn't exactly teach morals that hold up in a civilised society, so thankfully, the vast majority of decent sane people gloss over their inferred creed. Virtuous hypocrisy is nothing to be ashamed of....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 10:36 AM

Well Joe, I can understand becoming attached to a tree, but of course, trees are real. You can see a tree.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 01:25 PM

"I don't particularly care if my kids get religious doctrine or not - but I do want to teach them all there is to appreciate in a tree. Part of what I see in a tree is what I call its "divine essence." And yes, in my contemplation I see union with that essence. Others may call it something else, but I hope we all can comprehend how perfectly beautiful that tree is."

A round of applause from Smokey, using both hands.

I'd probably call it 'nature', but it's the same thing and undoubtedly one of the greatest joys of living. 'Divine essence' is a perfectly adequate description, I just don't take it literally.

Excellent posts lately from both Joe and Willie.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:49 PM

Joe, I love your tree. The Ponderosa pine is my favorite tree. The patterned rich red-brown bark of the tree is gorgeous.

If and when you get the chance, make a trip to the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon about 70 miles in the mountains out of Prineville. It is a Ponderosa Pine forest and since nothing grows under the acidic canopy it is like a park under there. And the duff on the forest floor is also something to scuff around in; it is deep and dry and light.

One of the amazing features of the forest is that in places the wilderness has pulled back forming a meadow, enabling a grove of Aspens to blaze a brilliant gold in the Autumn. It is like seeing the sun caught in the branches.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM

Smokey, I meant to say I seek union with that essence - but I think you get my point.

Steamin' Willie, I accept your points, but only to a certain extent.

If one adheres to a "strict, literal interpretation of the Bible," then I suppose the exactness of the translation of "thou shalt not kill/murder" may make a difference. It's certainly clear from the context that "thou shalt not kill" does not prohibit all killing under all circumstances, and most Christians and Jews can happily eat hamburgers with no serious feelings of guilt (cheeseburgers are another matter...). Still, I think that "thou shalt not kill" is a perfectly adequate translation - it's just that you have to read it within context and make your own decisions, as any wise person would do with anything they hear or read.

OK, Willie, so then you say It must be frustrating if you are of the persuasion that anything written over a certain number of years ago must be divine. Well....I think it might be more proper to say that members of religions have certain sacred books that they consider to be divinely inspired - not all books that are ancient, just certain ones. And what does "divinely inspired" mean? I suppose that extremists generally claim that their sacred words were somehow dictated by God. More moderate believers see their sacred writings as written by believers who were divinely inspired through their faith relationship. Moderates see the essence of their faith in the sacred writings of their religions, and they see profound truth in that - but that's quite different from seeing every word and the absolute and unquestionable dictates of God. The Pentateuch (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) contains a large number of moral codes, not just the Ten Commandments - and some of these codes have elements that contradict one another. These codes come from different (mostly Jewish) societies at different periods of time, and they can be quite interesting to study. They were binding for their time and place, but who's to say that every moral code printed in the Bible is binding for all times and all societies?

And Jesus gave another code, Love God and Love Neighbor - but that was one of many moral codes he presented in his teaching. The Beatitudes are another moral code, as are the "feed the hungry, clothe the naked" provisions of Matthew 25.

Willie says, No matter, the old testament doesn't exactly teach morals that hold up in a civilised society, so thankfully, the vast majority of decent sane people gloss over their inferred creed. Virtuous hypocrisy is nothing to be ashamed of.... Well, no, but the moral codes expressed in the Old Testament did function reasonably well in their day, and there is truth in those codes that have valuable lessons for us today. In addition, the Bible stories of the failures of the Old Testament leaders, have profound lessons for us today - the story of David and Bathsheba is a perfect example of a person who sinned grievously, repented, and went on to do much good. The story of pagan Ruth and her devotion to her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi, is a profound lesson in fidelity. The story of Jonah is the funniest and most colorful story in the bible, and yet it has a profound lesson that has endured for at least 2,500 years. I don't "gloss over" the considerable moral wrongs expressed in the Bible - I take those shortcomings very seriously, and attempt to learn from them. So, how is that "hypocrisy," virtuous or not?

OK, Willie, and then you say another thing: Never occurs to anybody that their flavour of religion is, and only can be, the sum of all its activities and actions. Well, yes, I suppose it's true that the whole is the sum of its parts. And I am well aware of the failures and shortcomings of religions, especially of the atrocities committed in the name of my Catholic religion. My view of "original sin" says that I have partial responsibility for the ills of my society. Even though I may never have directly committed an act of wrongdoing, I have some shared responsibility for the injustices committed by any society with which I identify myself. So, yes, there is truth in what you say - but I think the flaw in your logic is that you assume that if a person follows a religious creed, that person is bound to support and take responsibility for all the evils committed by everyone who shares that creed. You assume a uniformity and rigidity that does not exist in even the strictest fundamentalist sect. If I belong to a family, to what extent do I have responsibility for the actions of my brother, or my adult children? I think I do have some, but there are limits. Same goes for religion. People who do evil in the name of religion, certainly do not do it in MY name. But on the other hand, it's absolutely true that many people do unspeakable evil in the name of faith in the same God I believe in - I'll get back to you when I have an answer to that puzzle. But I do think you're wrong in thinking that religion requires uniformity and the consequent forfeiture of individual freedom.

Willie, I think the major flaw in your thinking is your assumption that the only correct interpretation of sacred writings is a literal one, that all adherents to a religion must believe and act exactly the same, and that the only definition of religion is that religion is the absolute acceptance of a rigid doctrinal and moral code. In short, you see all believers as fundamentalists, and make no allowance for any believer who has a more rational view of faith. I'm a Catholic in "reasonably" good standing, eight years of seminary education, with 45 years of experience teaching the Catholic faith, about to be accepted as an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and I don't believe any of those things. Where do I fit in your picture? And MOST of the Mudcatters who profess a religious faith, adhere more to my picture of religion than they do to yours. So, where do THEY fit in?

And if I'm not a Fundamentalist and if I think they are a perversion of religion, why do I have to bear their shame?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM

Smokey, I meant to say I seek union with that essence - but I think you get my point.

I certainly do, Joe, and I hope you find that union as I do - particularly in nature, though obviously we aren't just talking trees.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM

Hey Joe,

thanks for the thoughtful response to my comments. Of course, it is obvious that I put them slightly more provocatively than required, but that is to try and smoke out debate.

I hope I don't come over as dismissing non fundamentalists as not being true adherents to their faith, although if I did, I would perversely be as one with the fundamentalists!   My picture of religion is on two levels really, and both are tinged with sadness.

First, at an intellectual and realistic level, if there is a grand design, nobody has seen the blueprint yet. The laws of physics hold, so I doubt there is chaos, but it was the likes of Newton, Planck, Einstein, Hawking and Bohr who have come closest to discovering the possibly undiscoverable, not those who walked in the heat of deserts for huge numbers of days and interpreted their delirium as something other than err.. delirium.

So what? You may say. It is the parable approach to weighing up your moral code that counts and the personification of an ultimate being (God) is an excellent proxy for what we don't understand. I actually like the literal approach to saying God is Love. Take it literally and I doubt anybody could argue otherwise.

However, the customs, chants, procedures and rationale of organised religions do make claims. Like it or lump it, they not infer, they seem to require the idea of an interventionalist sentient being who judges our actions and wants us to be grateful for the good things He does whilst not blaming him for the bad things in life. if I were to view religion as anything other than a tradition we are brought up with, I would fall at that particular hurdle.

You are right in asking why you have to bear their shame if they are the perversion. However, my point is that perversion is a relative thing. Are they peverting a mild idea or are you watering down a fundamental idea? depends on where you are observing from, and here outside the bubble, it is not quite as clear as you seem to think it is.

I may be wrong in saying the religion of many people requires uniformity, but religion as a corporate body has leaders and rules that are bandied about in your name. The Pope would be far happier if all catholics conformed to a level of adherence he would have you aspire to. Similarly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is digging himself a huge hole over ordination of female Bishops. My mate the local vicar wears a dog collar, so does an African supporter of death sentence for being gay. Both look to Dr Williams for a spiritual lead. Forgive me for being slightly cynical here, but how could I call myself an Anglican believer? Believe in what?? No. Using scripture to back up more temporal stances is far too convenient.

You ask where you fit in my picture. Well, you appear to have dedicated your life to doing good and if there were more around like you, the world would be a better place. And that strengthens my point. By saying you are in reasonably good standing, you run the risk of shallow people like me interpret that as meaning "reasonably at one with all the shennanigans going on in the Vatican."   So instead of viewing you as the wonderful person you must be, (and your tree post moved me, really did,) I would run the risk of associating you with what I have seen when in poor countries, seeing a huge catholic church with gilded statues, wealth pouring from every crevice in the huge monolithic building. Oh, and the kids running around the village square in rags, lack of education and life expectancy of residents being lower than my village was 200 years ago.

I could go on, and not just one type of faith, (although if the Vatican used it's wealth in the way the teachings of Jesus seems to say it should, and stop shaming contraception initiatives, and stop hiding it's more wayward employees from the authorities, and stop linking aid to baptism of those communities needing aid....   Sorry Joe, but you can't bring forward your adherence level without it being assessed against the actions of the church you are adhering to.)

I could look at my moral code and tick it against many religions expectations of its members. I am sure I tick more boxes than some people who would wish to be seen to be associated with a particular religion. Likewise, many people are comfortable with using scripture to inspire them without feeling associated with any particular creed.    But to associate yourself with a particular creed is inviting others to associate you with it too. it would be presumptuous of people to assume you agree with this but not that etc.

A female Iranian comic here in the UK tells stories about their local Imam in London. he preaches charity, love others etc. She jokes that he is Mullah Lite. Very good.....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM

Ah, Willie, but the assumption of uniformity within religious groups is only your assumption, and may or may not be what Riginslinger terms "reality." Absolutists assume and preach the necessity of uniformity, and soundly condemn any members of their group who do not share their narrow vision. That is their reality, but it may or may not be the reality for the entire group. If I belong to a group, I do not necessarily have to conform to the restrictions held by the "fundamentalists" within that group.
Every group has its fundamentalists, and I think it's safe to say that fundamentalists are generally a royal pain in the ass - and should not be deemed to be representative of the group as a whole.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:21 PM

Fundamentalists (in most fields) tend to shout louder and get the most publicity. I tend to think that is because they are less secure in their beliefs than they would have people believe, but generally speaking they create the illusion of being more representative of their group than they really are.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:52 PM

You've got a point there, Smokey. The absolutists are often not comfortable enough with their doctrines, to be able to be self-critical. And if humans can't be self-critical, they're in big trouble.
Leaders of organizations often have the same problem - the inability to be self-critical. Popes have had a really serious problem with this.
I just finished reading a Blackie Ryan novel by Father Andrew Greeley, a priest who is considered by some to be very critical of the Catholic Church. A fictional Chicago archbishop in the novel says that twenty percent of his colleagues have Borderline Personal Disorder (and would have been called "sociopaths" in the old days). That figure could be correct.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:08 PM

My mate the local vicar wears a dog collar, so does an African supporter of death sentence for being gay.

Hitler and Stalin wore trousers, and I suspect you do as well, Willie...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM

And if humans can't be self-critical, they're in big trouble.

That is profoundly true..

We need to be much more careful than we are, when it comes to who we allow in positions of power. Power enables and encourages that kind of behaviour and I don't think that is always adequately acknowledged in the selection process.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM

German overalls.

What is the relevance of Hitler's trousers?

Reality seems to have leapt to one side.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Rigingslinger
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 PM

Denying reality to children--probably not a good thing!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM

Yep McGraw. I do wear trousers. (My wife reckons she wears THE trousers, but that's another matter.)

But my trousers, (same as Stalin's, Hitler's etc) are there to stop people peering at my "other" Willie. (Same as the despots.) the dog collar comment was a way of saying they are both vicars preaching the rules and constitution of the same club.

But I suspect you already sussed that out.

Hey Joe! Hear what you are saying but suspect that the association bit means you may have to spend time (especially in debates that question faith) distancing yourself from people with a different take on your creed. For me? I would tire of doing so, but respect the fact that you are not allowing them to be the definitive voice of 2,000 years of evolving faith.



Regarding this debate...

I bought a new guitar yesterday. It is a Rainsong. Yep, a carbon fibre guitar. Sounds wonderful, but can't wait to see the reaction of those locally who reckon folk music is something to do with warm beer, sticking your finger in your ear and lumps of wood providing the more melodic accompaniment to a rusty voice...

A bit like some of the new hymns I don't recognise on those rare occasions I am dragged to church (weddings etc.)   This time I am the one jarring those who prefer tradition...

Must get back to playing it. If you don't own one yet... do so. Full stop.

(Is that alright? Can I have my money now?)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 01:56 PM

All those six pages of posts can be summed up in a single sentence.

Religion is intrinsically neither good nor bad, but can be made into either, depending upon what men choose to do with it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:44 PM

Good, succinct summation, Don.

And that about wraps it up.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:23 AM

I would love to wrap it up, and for the simple reason it has run its course as a thread. But as a non religious person, I could agree with the sentiment of Don T's statement.

However, if I had any religious faith, and especially if I signed up to any particular doctrine of that faith...

To say that religion is intrinsically neither good or bad is to call it benign and lacking the qualities needed in order to be a moral compass for people to sign up to.

Surely religion cannot be dismissed as easily as that? The bit Don wrote in bold about it being what men choose to do with it, now how about that statement? As it is man made anyway, doesn't that make it the sum of what it is rather than an aberration of what it should be, according to what you think it should be?

Religion is many things, but both believers and rational people would agree it is not intrinsically neither good or bad? That dismisses religion far more effectively than I can!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:13 PM

As long as it's dismissed, that's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM

To say that religion is intrinsically neither good or bad is to call it benign and lacking the qualities needed in order to be a moral compass for people to sign up to.

People rarely 'sign up' to the larger well established religions, they are born into it without any choice in the matter. However, their hold is weakening as each successive generation gets wiser with improved communications and access to information. I see that as a double-edged sword though - there is no reason to suppose humanity would be any better or worse-off had we never invented religion, and it's pointless to speculate. Nevertheless, fortunately I think we are growing out of it very slowly, but slowly is the only way to do it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM

Couldn't disagree with you more. We are not growing out of it but embracing the real ideals of which it is based on, that is God .. not religion specific or religious leaders doctrine ... there is big difference ... I see more people doing more good than every before because of it ... should say in spite of organized doctrines based on religious leaders


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:45 PM

Perhaps I should have said 'growing away from it', it would have been more appropriate.

What you describe might simply be part of that process.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM

I'm not sure if Don T. intended to do so, but I'm afraid his choice of words spoke the truth: Religion is intrinsically neither good nor bad, but can be made into either, depending upon what men choose to do with it.


I wonder what women would choose to do with it. I have a feeling that if women dominated religion, we'd see something far more gentle, far more mystical, and far more loving. But women don't control religion - it's usually the men who hold the power in religious denominations, and that's a problem.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:36 PM

Be careful what you wish for - that's how we ended up with Margaret Thatcher...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM

Was Margaret Thatcher a woman?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:18 PM

Indubitably.

President Mitterrand said she had the lips of Marilyn Munroe and the eyes of Caligula.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 PM

You may be right, Smokey - put anyone in a position of power, and that person changes radically, and not usually for the better.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:48 PM

Quite, Joe. And whatever the gender, people who seek power probably shouldn't have it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,josep
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:52 PM

The root of fundamentalist is fundament for a reason.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM

If you are going to introduce Thatcher into the debate.....

This is about denying children in schools music. When she was a junior education Minister, she denied them milk.

Hey Joe! Howsabout that for weaving the thread together eh?

Smokey says people who wish for power probably shouldn't have it. Arthur C Clarke in his rather utopian science fiction settings always seemed to have a world / galaxy whatever government that has a head of state. The head of state was decided by brain scanning everybody and the person who wanted power the least was forced to have it. Makes you think...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,josep
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:08 PM

"The idea that people's beliefs, merely by being deeply held, merit respect is grotesque. A constitutional society upholds freedom of speech and thought: it has no interest in its citizens' feelings. If it sought to protect sensibilities, there would be no limit to the abridgements of freedom that the principle would justify." Oliver Kamm


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:17 PM

If you forced power on someone on that basis, they are as likely to be corrupted by it as anyone else. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer.

Perhaps that's why we invented God ;-)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:26 PM

Good quote, Josep.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM

In one of his "I, Robot" stories, Isaac Azimov describes a nation in which peace reigns, there is full employment all around, good universal education, nobody is homeless or goes hungry. . . .

The most recent president, a gentle, self-effacing man, but with a firm and persuasive way, had instituted economic and social changes that really worked.

One of the characters had been watching the president for some time. He always seem to make the right, if not necessarily the obvious decisions. And, among other things, he noted that the president never seemed to need sleep and, even at banquets and such, he had never seen him eat. . . .

The Three Laws of Robotics:

1.    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.    A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Perhaps we need to build our political leaders.

And maybe our religious leaders?

Program them with all scriptural material, the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Rig Veda, the Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras, the—well, you get the idea—and let them sort it out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:35 PM

That would be giving power to robot builders, and we all know what they're like...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM

Not as long as the Three Laws are programed in, Smokey.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM

Ah, but then that would mean trusting the programmers..

"Well, it shouldn't do that - have you tried switching it off, and back on again?"


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM

""This is about denying children in schools music. When she was a junior education Minister, she denied them milk.""

Horseshit Willie.

That old chestnut has been discredited so many times I'm surprised you still subscribe to it.

1. The purpose of school milk was initially to supply calcium to prevent rickets.

2. That purpose had ceased to exist as early as 1970, as rickets was no longer a problem. Milk prices fixed by the Milk Marketing Board, had placed the purchase of milk within the capacity of even the poorest family.

3. Well before 1970, over half of all school milk supplied, was wasted. The kids, in the main, refused to drink it, and it was not uncommon for those kids who liked it to drink three or four times their share. (That in fact was happening back when I was at secondary school (1952-1957). In fact I often had three or four bottles which had been refused by others).

So, tell me what is wrong with discontinuing an initiative which has lost its purpose, and is being misused?

Or do you truly believe that waste is justified, as long as it is socialist waste?

If so, you must have loved Gordon Brown, but don't forget, it was uour money he wasted,...and mine, and every taxpayer's.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM

""1.    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.    A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
""

You should have delved further into the works of Isaac Asimov, and you would be aware that he actually postulated ways in which the three laws could easily be circumvented, the simplest of which was to ask a robot "Give me a hand", and when the robot, literal mindedly, detached its removeable hand and gave it to the human, he used it to bludgeon another to death, and the robot, having inadvertently broken the first law by obeying the second, was placed in a position of intolerable stress and became inactive.

There were several other ways in which these laws failed, also.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM

I reckon Harold Wilson was in power when they stopped school milk in secondary schools. I just missed it. Thatcher stopped giving it to infants a few years later.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:10 PM

Read them all, Don, and know the flaws. Been a while, though.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:38 AM

Don, here's some more horseshit for you to steam about over your marmalade and toast,

The Department of Health and Social Security announced through the public health think tank, (trying to use The Black Report objectively) that milk for rickets and other calcium deficiency conditions was not needed universally.

Heath's government was famous for disregarding the Black report, as it made the link between social deprivation and health. The only minister of his who used the report to justify an action was the junior education minister, Thatcher. In an attempt to save money.

Some LEAs had already put the milk on a "school nurse" list to save as was their prerogative under Wilson. My school however fed the younger ones milk until Thatcher stopped them.

In more recent years, it has been relegated to "urban myth" by those who wish it to be called so. However, I never did call Hansard a source of myth. it is a source of people trying to talk myth! But her announcement from the dispatch box is there for you to reference.

Sorry Don, but calling my comments horseshit doesn't stop them from being fact, as much as it pains you politically. I have no idea what your reference to Gordon brown was about, but it at least cleared up the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.

Your wonderful iron lady is getting on a bit now, and I am having to keep the champagne in the fridge ready....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:10 AM

""Sorry Don, but calling my comments horseshit doesn't stop them from being fact, as much as it pains you politically. I have no idea what your reference to Gordon brown was about, but it at least cleared up the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.""

I never denied that she stopped the milk. I just explained why that was a reasonable and sensible thing to do.

If you truly believe that it is wrong to put an end to an expensive procedure, which is no longer necessary and is being widely misused, then you do belong in the Gordon Brown camp, for they were continually setting up wasteful, ineffective, and unnecessary initiatives.

All of which throws considerable doubt on the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.

Those blinkers must be getting very uncomfortable by now.

BTW, Maggie Thatcher isn't one of my favourite people, and I don't like many of the things she did, and stood for, but I'm afraid I like even less, the malicious (perhaps vicious) and unChristian attitudes of rabid socialists on this site.

Gordon Brown screwed my pension royally, and made my life in retirement very difficult, but I wouldn't wish harm on him, unlike those merciless individuals who gloat over the likelihood of a long and painful death of a woman who was no worse than many other politicians, the difference being that those others were Labour, and she was Tory.

With that said, how about getting back on topic?

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM

Don T - Depriving children of subsidised nutrition is rather closer to the topic than a lot of what's been said on this thread.

Willie - my dancing shoes are polished and waiting for the day... she had no equal.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:29 PM

""Don T - Depriving children of subsidised nutrition is rather closer to the topic than a lot of what's been said on this thread.""

Jesus H Christ, might as well talk to the wall. It's got considerably more cognitive ability than some here.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:29 PM

If we were that clever, we'd probably have something better to do.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:40 PM

Religion denies sanity to the world!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:22 AM

Way to go Smokey! The tomb had better have a sprung dance floor because we ex miners have dodgy knees at the best of times....

Don, I love your mental leap that defending an arbitrary benefit for children makes me a fan of Gordon brown. By that logic it would make me a fan of every Prime Minister since Lloyd George set about laying the foundations for the eventual welfare state.

Milk for children was not a waste of money, but the cost of giving milk to those children who didn't need the extra benefit was far outweighed by the benefits of catching those who did need it. A bit like inoculations, 90% of children would not get a disease if they weren't inoculated but it takes a Thatcherian mind to go from that to stopping inoculations on a statistical decision.

In fact, thinking about it, I reckon there is almost as much of a case now as then for milk, with latch key kids surviving on crisps and micro chips....

Oh, and unchristian attitude?   Could start a whole new thread there. What has being or not being a christian got to do with anything? Such a comment is a bit of a slap in the face for Muslims, Hindu, rational people etc. I am not a Christian, but that does not alter a single aspect of the validity (or otherwise!) of my comments.

Calling people unchristian as an insult really gets the heart of many of the issues here. Being a christian denotes tradition and varying degrees of adherence to the teachings of the tradition. It does not make anybody a better person. Smiling and clapping your hands too often may give you a feel good factor, but try doing it at my door whilst my toast is getting cold and see how far you get......


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 01:52 PM

""Don, I love your mental leap that defending an arbitrary benefit for children makes me a fan of Gordon brown.""

Not so much a fan of the man Willie. Just another supporter of massive government waste in the name of socialism,........Browns specialist qualification.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 01:57 PM

""In fact, thinking about it, I reckon there is almost as much of a case now as then for milk, with latch key kids surviving on crisps and micro chips....""

GORDON BENNETT!

When was the last time you heard of a single case of ricketts in the UK?

There are generations of English doctors who have never seen a case.

We don't inocculate against a number of diseases which have been eradicated, and all kids get milk at home these days.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM

Calling people unchristian as an insult really gets the heart of many of the issues here.

It's an extremely unchristian thing to do. Probably acceptable in the middle ages but Christianity is supposed to have moved on a bit since then.

Point of interest, Willie, I used to work where they made Dudleys and Acme snap tins.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:45 PM

Rickets on the rise.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 03:33 AM

At the risk of derailing even further, (apologies Joe et al,)

Milk was not "invented" as a rickets deterrent, but supplies many vitamins that a growing body needs, hence the first nutrition we get after leaving the womb.

Gordon Bennett may be a better authority than Willie, but I am sure the illustrious Mr Bennett would agree that a) calcium deficiency is on the up in the under 16s, (source Summary of Directors of Public Health Reports for 2008 - 2009 - DH.) and b) many families who are thinking about diet and health for very good reasons sometimes deprive their children of the require calcium by having unleaded milk. Complications in later life through brittle bone conditions is not linked to socio economic groups, hence the increasing argument for reverting to giving it to younger children. That isn't Willie spouting off, that is the view of the last annual report of The Health Protection Agency. Sadly, they didn't comment on music in the classroom, but paediatric health and welfare is a subject I for one am not in a position to argue with.

That said, I am sure Gordon Bennett knows best. After all, they named a village hall after him in Thurcroft.......


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