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Public concerts in 'churches' ?

Deckman 03 Oct 11 - 03:48 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 11 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Oct 11 - 03:58 PM
Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 11 - 04:05 PM
frogprince 03 Oct 11 - 04:28 PM
Crowhugger 03 Oct 11 - 04:37 PM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 11 - 04:57 PM
ranger1 03 Oct 11 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,SteveG 03 Oct 11 - 05:21 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Oct 11 - 05:24 PM
Jeri 03 Oct 11 - 05:43 PM
Deckman 03 Oct 11 - 05:52 PM
Jeri 03 Oct 11 - 06:03 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Oct 11 - 06:08 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 03 Oct 11 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,lmg 03 Oct 11 - 07:42 PM
Deckman 03 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM
Fossil 03 Oct 11 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,999 03 Oct 11 - 08:42 PM
Jeri 03 Oct 11 - 08:52 PM
Big Mick 03 Oct 11 - 09:17 PM
Deckman 03 Oct 11 - 09:22 PM
Maryrrf 03 Oct 11 - 09:43 PM
Ref 03 Oct 11 - 10:04 PM
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Subject: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 03:48 PM

I'm noticing an increasing trend toward holding public concerts in "churches." It is VERY DIFFICULT for me to enter a "church." I'm pondering whether to attend a local concert as I just now learned it's being held in a "church."

Am I the only person on the face of this planet to feel this way? bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 03:57 PM

Get your drift, but I would usually go (if I wanted to go to such a concert) if the PA was not the church's rig and there was a bar!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 03:58 PM

I'm not religious in the slightest but I LOVE churches very dearly; I've played, worked, told stories and performed / watched concerts in them for years. In an increasingly secular society it's good to see them being put to good use...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:05 PM

In my neck of the woods one of the best live music venues is the Sacred Trinity Church in Salford. The vicar is a big music fan and happy to let local promoters use the church as a venue. It's ideal for folk and roots gigs - the acoustics are wonderful, the building is beautiful and it's big enough to hold a reasonable crowd yet small enough to be intimate. There is even a small bar with bottles of decent ale for sale at reasonable prices! I've seen, amongst others, Charlie Parr, Alasdair Roberts and Cath and Phil Tyler playing there. It's also one of the venues for Salford's Festival of the Other City.

I'm an atheist - I only attend churches under sufferance for the odd christening, wedding or funeral. But... they are often lovely buildings and they often stand empty for large parts of the week. It seems a shame not to use them in this way. Just because the building is a church, it doesn't necessarily mean those hiring it out or performing will be using the concert as an opportunity to evangelise...

I've also recently seen gigs at Manchester Cathedral (the Unthanks) and St Clements in Chorlton (part of the local arts festival). I think it helps to remember they are just buildings, and often lovely ones at that. They don't bite ;-)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: frogprince
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:28 PM

In my experience, concerts with any religious connection which are held in churches are generally plainly identifiable as such. With one exception, the best "coffeehouse" concerts I know of in our area are held in church buildings, and unless religiousity creeps out of the walls and infects you, there is no exposure to it involved whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:37 PM

I thought this topic seemed very familiar. A closely related thread can be found here.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:57 PM

Virtually all public spaces are disappearing fast - community halls and pubs willing to host sessions/singarounds are vanishing the fastest. So what else is there?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: ranger1
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 05:00 PM

Bob, some of the best concerts I've been to have been held in churches. The acoustics can be absolutely amazing. As long as no one is attempting to indoctrinate you, I'd say it's safe.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 05:21 PM

Also an atheist.
Also love churches of all types and persuasions.
Some of the greatest concerts I've been to have been in large churches like Beverley Minster.

Bob,
It sure looks as if you are the only person. You didn't tell us what your problem is. Have you a phobia?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 05:24 PM

And if the performance turns out to be boring, you can always read the hymnal.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 05:43 PM

Bob, you're probably not the only person to feel that way, but maybe you should ask yourself why you feel that way. (And I'm most assuredly NOT asking you.) I'm an atheist, but I love churches. I think they're some of humanity's greatest works, and they're usually acoustically brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 05:52 PM

Jeri ... I know VERY WELL why I feel this way. And NO, I won't bore anyone else with my reasons. If I decide to skip this concert, and I haven't decided yet, it will be the third major concert I have rejected for the same reason over the last year.

Part of my purpose in posting this thread was to put a caution out there to the world of performers. If you choose to perform a folk music concert in a "church", you will clearly lose some potential audience members.

Notice that I'm NOT trying to offend anyone ... I mean this. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 06:03 PM

OK, Bob. You don't like churches. I don't think I've met anyone else who refused to hear an artist because s/he was playing in a church, but there re probably a few folks.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 06:08 PM

I see no difference between non-believers attending musical events in churches and non-drinkers attending musical events in bars.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 07:16 PM

It is only a building, and the group putting on the concert is usually an outside organization.

This is hardly a new trend here in the U.S.   If it wasn't for churches, I think it would have been a struggle for folk music to be heard for the past couple of decades in the U.S.   Churches have provided "listening rooms" for folk music. It beats bars - you don't have to put up with drunks who only want to watch the game on a TV screen. Because many churches either rent for a low price, or offer the room for free in many cases, it has enabled groups to organize and present great music. I've rarely heard of churches interfering with the kind of music presented.

Unitarian churches have often been a major outlet.   I'm not religious at all, but I'm thankfull that churches have been there when the coffeehouse circuit and other venues dried up.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,lmg
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 07:42 PM

Is it in the main part of the church where people worship? Or in a basement meeting room? I would be comfortable with the latter but probably not the former..doesn't mean I wouldn't go..but it seems odd..like it is being misused, unless it was for church music. mg


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM

My honest feelings ... and AGAIN ... I'm not trying to pick a fight. If I honor a "church" by my presence, it means that I am giving that church my "approval." Performers should think about this before they book a gig in a church. I have decided to skip this upcomming gig. bob


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Fossil
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 08:23 PM

Oh, get over yourself!

A church is a *building*. When it is being used for worship, then it is more than a building. At other times, including when secular concerts are being held, it's a building.

The only thing to consider really is whether you want to support the artist performing, or not. Possibly also you might want to consider if by doing so you are helping the owners of the building, whoever they might be, defray the costs of keeping that building going so that it can be used for public events.

In my experience, churches never charge anything like an economic rent for the use of their space and are only too happy to support worthy performers by letting them have use their facilities.

I think you are being far too precious.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 08:42 PM

I understand your feelings, Bob, but would ask you to consider the following:

We've--many of us--done gigs in bars (as BWL mentioned) and not necessarily imbibed; we've done gigs in restaurants and not necessarily eaten; gigs in houses of ill repute and--well, you get the idea. I could see your point if you had been offered the gig in the office of a political party with which you disagreed, but most churches serve a congregation that goes there to pray and think good thoughts. I ask, would you feel similarly were it a Quaker meeting hall? A church is just a building, imo, although some might disagree. Cool by me. I have no advice either way, and you'll of course follow the dictates of your conscience, but I don't think the building you do your songs in will change the man you are.

Best to you either way.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 08:52 PM

He's got an issue with churches, and it's his prerogative not to go to events held in them. Other people might have problems with outdoor events, house concerts, bars, or anywhere else. I don't want to hear someone telling me I shouldn't go to a particular venue, and I won't tell Deckman he should.

Of course, if we quit telling people how they should feel or what they should believe, BS threads would all be 10 posts long or less. I sure wouldn't have as much to write.

And Bob, I wasn't challenging you. You wrote It is VERY DIFFICULT for me to enter a "church." and it seemed to be something you wanted to overcome. I could have been wrong.

My big bugaboo is crowded, noisy places. I can overcome my extreme dislike of places like that, or I can at least fight it, if I have enough motivation, such as a special event. I have to recognize that this is MY thing. If other people disliked the noisy crowds as much as I, there wouldn't be a noisy crowd. Whether I decide to go depends on whether the positives are strong than the negatives.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 09:17 PM

Meaning no disrespect here, but I find this response to be troubling and focused on the wrong thing. A church building is not religion. It is a structure where religious people practice their religion. It is simply a structure. There is a church in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Fountain Street Baptist) that used to host rock concerts in the main part of the church. I saw Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Brownsville Station and many others there. Ibcertainly wasn't endorsing any theology by attending those concerts. What really troubles me though is that people with this point of view are willing go sacrifice supporting the artist over the building s/he is in. I wod understand if there were attempts to push religious view on the attendees, but withholding support because the space they rented is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

BTW, do you also feel uncomfortable and avoid cities like Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco or any others with religious names?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 09:22 PM

I have sent a personal note to the performer expresseing my unhappiness that he chose to perform in this church. It's the second year in a row for him and this local church.

That's all I'm going to say about it. bob


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 09:43 PM

Not sure I understand why anyone would object to attending a concert at a church - it's a concert, not a religious service. Our concert series takes place in a synagogue. We have no religious affiliation with them (or with any other religious group, for that matter), we are strictly about music and our concerts are secular, although some performers include gospel music in their programs. The synagogue has no objection to this and has encouraged us to host any type of music we choose. I don't attend any church nor am I part of any organized religion, but I wouldn't object to attending an event held in a church, synagogue, mosque, buddhist temple or whatever. The members of the synagogue were gracious enough to offer us the use of their building because they thought hosting oncerts would be a nice thing to do for the community at large. I hope nobody boycotts our performers because they performed in a synagogue...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Ref
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 10:04 PM

I think that this is just irrational and self-defeating behavior. Churches, particularly UU churches (hardly bastions of institutional religion!), are frequently used as folk venues. You're going to miss a lot of good music for no good reason.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 10:14 PM

I am a minister - from a religion that proudly counts Humanists, Pagans, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Atheists and others among our number. We also host a lot of concerts.

I do understand why some people feel they cannot go into a church. For some, churches of any kind are inextricably associated with very painful childhood memories - perhaps of repression, or abuse, or anti-intellectualism. That might have taken place within a church, or it might have been visited upon non-church members by the dominant local religion. Most people and communities aren't like this, but some are. And feelings associated with childhood are very powerful.

I do not agree that attending an event that uses church space constitutes supporting that church, but I do understand why some people have an almost post-traumatic response to anything associated with religion. I don't know if that's Bob's issue, and I wouldn't presume to ask, but I certainly respect his decision not to go into a church - whatever his reasons.

That said, everybody has an issue with something. I would suggest that there are far more people out there who feel they cannot enter a bar, because they are recovering alcoholics or children of alcoholics, or have their own set of traumatic memories. (Or, for that matter, their religion tells them not to.)

I hope both bars and churches will continue to host music. Each fills a niche. Churches are especially important, because there just aren't that many large rooms out there with built in seating, good acoustics and cheap rent!

And I hope churches will continue to make their space available for the arts, community events, and social justice causes. Goodness knows the people need all the help we can get.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:55 AM

I am a minister - from a religion that proudly counts Humanists, Pagans, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Atheists and others among our number

Wow, Dan! Even atheists? Sounds like my kind of religion...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:56 AM

Has your religion a name, Dan?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:13 AM

Seven years ago when four of us started a wintertime monthly series of concerts featuring local talent, it bothered me that we had chosen a church to hold it in. Churches, per se, are not in my usual frame of reference. One of us four, however, was a member there and we were offered the space in the Undercroft so we took it. I liked that it was not in the sanctuary itself. And then we outgrew that space and moved into the sanctuary. It bothered me in some vague, non-specific way.

Then the church burnt down and after a couple of months in a secular hall - expensive, bad lighting and worse acoustics - we moved on to the church where we have been for the last four or so years.

The acoustics are great- we don't use a sound system - the price is right ($100), it seats about 130, with the option o another 10 or 15, is centrally located, the congregation does not attend unless they are folkies, the lighting is flexible and easily manipulated...

When I think about it I still would prefer it to be in a hall- but it would have to come pretty close to what we've got before we'd think of changing.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:41 AM

Is Dan a quaker? If Deckman's antipathy is based on bad childhood experience one can only sympathise. Unfortunately there's a lot of vicarious resentment around at present which is artificially divisive. Architecturally there are lousy churches and brilliant ones and it's best to reserve one's bile for bad design rather than what the regulars may or may not think.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:55 AM

If you pay to go to a concert in a church, then unless the church is letting the space be used for below the marginal cost (NB the marginal cost) then part of the entry fee you pay is supporting the relevant religion.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:56 AM

We have a few in Sheffield Cathedral. There is a nice bar with hand-pulled beer!

I went to see the Demon Barbers there.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:13 AM

The concert goers' financial contribution is unlikely to cover more than heat, lighting and basic overheads. Non-religious use is increasingly the main source of income for churches. Helping to stop a historic building from falling down is hardly underwriting individual aspects of dogma. The logical conclusion to that mindset would be to bulldoze York Minster and Canterbury Cathedral and put up a perfectly good Asda in their place.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:16 AM

I should have said, "The FOLK concert goers' financial contribution.."


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:27 AM

The logical conclusion to that mindset would be to bulldoze York Minster and Canterbury Cathedral and put up a perfectly good Asda in their place... because shopping is the new religion.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:31 AM

If you choose to perform a folk music concert in a "church", you will clearly lose some potential audience members.

Well, it's a possibility but, from the response here, clearly not a major one. I haven't an ounce of religion in me but that wouldn't stop me from attending a concert in a church - or attending a ceremony in a church if my presence was considered necessary.

However, I don't attend festivals or major concerts in places like Wembley Arena, etc., because I can't stand large crowds, mass queuing, etc. So - to adapt your phrase: If you choose to perform a folk music concert in a "festival", you will clearly lose some potential audience members.

Each to his/her own. :-)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:35 AM

I'm sorry, I'll post that again:

Maybe things are different in America where the religious-right seem to hold a remarkable sway with respect of cross-weilding fascism. Hell, I might have some difficulties myself entering that sort of church. No one's saying the history of UK Xtianity is exactly perfect, but it's left us a legacy of remarkable & historic churches from the Anglo-Saxon (admittedly few), Romanesque, Gothic, Perendicular, Neo Classical, Neo Gothic, and the Modern. We lived next door to THIS particular monstronsity for a year or so when we first moved to Lancashire, though we didn't go into it until after we'd moved on. Eccentric and beguiling from the outside, turns out it abides by some rancid URC Puritanism and has some very noxious stained glass in there celebrating Cromwell and various levels of equally rancid imperialism. But rare instances of such misplaced Fundamentalism & Cranky Cults notwithstanding, I'd say UK Xtianity (whatever the stripe) exists on the same level as Santa Clause - it's cosy folklore that seldom outreaches itself. The Theology is fascinating Mythology that echoes in the material architecture & church fixtures and fittings. Where else can you get up close to vernacular medieval woodcarvings except in a church? Where else can you get that same vivid sense of hoary history than by stepping through the doors of (say) the church of Saints Peter & Paul at Salle in deepest rural Norfolk? Well, just along the road in St. Agnes in Cawston actually, with its angels, ancient benches, pub signs, horrific green men and other grotesque delights. Though my blood chills every time I pass the Mormon Tabernacle on the M61 near Chorley (for sure I'd think twice about entering that let alone doing a gig there) I think it's our duty to assist in use, presevation and protection of these true jewels in the crown of the UK's heritage, culture & folklore. They are as much a part of the secular human landscape as Stonehenge, Avebury and the sooner we see them as such (as oppose to houses of a long departed God) the better. Oh, and great acoustics too!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:40 AM

Can't copy from above due to odd layout. But re what you say from "I'd say UK Xtnty" to "seldom outreaches itself" ~~

Reckon so? Then just have a look at simultaneously ongoing thread re 2000 year old people still alive; on which I was moved to query in a post as to whether it was all some sort of wind-up & was assured that, no, they meant every word ~~ and these regular Catters whom we all much respect...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:44 AM

I dislike going to events in them, though I do occasionally. Its the imagery / texts on the wall (which one can't avoid looking at all evening)mostly, for me. (and yes, I know that varies considerably with type). I'm just not interested and I find it intrusive.

Often in the UK they're also uncomfortable (frequently), and cold.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:57 AM

Slight drift suggested by above post from Paws ~~

The elaborately decorated Huntley Church in Gloucestershire, to which my late wife & I would go when staying with her mother, is covered with texts in a sort of fancy Gothic, including the long-ſ: including "Of ſucƕ is the Kingdom of Heaven" ~ the Gothic 'h' has that sort of fancy base: it quite distinctly informs us that of fuck is the Kingdom of Heaven.

I state this simply as an example of trying-too-hard overreaching, with no offensive irreverent intentions.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Marje
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:02 AM

I can see what you mean about not wishing to endorse the religion of the church, but if the concert is nothing to do with that religion, the church becomes just a building, doesn't it? And one with great accoustics, probably.

In England at least, churches are also a big part of our heritage. I go into our village church sometimes (not for worship) and as I stand there I know that this building, or parts of it, has been there for almost a thousand years. It will have seen various forms of Christianity practised there, pre-and post-Reformation, but it will also have been a place of comfort and sanctuary in times of war, famine, and plague. It will have seen celebrations of thousands of births, marriages, deaths, and all sorts of unofficial social rituals will have taken place there too.Its bells and organ will have been familiar sounds to generations of villagers.

I enjoy this feeling of history and tradition, and don't even mind contributing to the maintainance of the building, although I don't wish to support the work of the C of E.

And as a humanist and atheist, I like the idea of using the church building for a positive and worthwhile secular purpose such as a music concert. Even if some of the money goes to keeping up the building, is that a bad thing?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: JHW
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:07 AM

Best music I heard this year was in a church. Vivaldi four seasons with Alexander Markov and London Concertante. True there was no bar but coffee laid on and the pub over the road was advertised.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Peter C
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:09 AM

Of course holding a concert in a church in the UK means you do not need an entertainment licence!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:16 AM

Then just have a look at simultaneously ongoing thread re 2000 year old people still alive;

Thanks for the heads up;I seldom venture below the line for fear of such things, but this sounds too good to miss...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:16 AM

One of my Scout leaders, who I greatly admired (Ex Japanese POW) was smoking in church while a group were doing some running repairs.
When asked about this he made the point that the people/congregation are the church. The building is just a building, unless currently being used for an act of worship.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: banjoman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:21 AM

Our Church is used regularly for concerts from various local groups and always seems to attract a full house. I have no doubt that a large proportion of those attending have little or no religious affliliations but simply enjoy what is presented.. My only complaint is that the seats are a bit uncomfortable for a disabled person and all the seating is usually at one level making it a bit difficult to see the artist(s). I agree that we should preserve the best of our traditions in building technology and decoration, but it is worth remembering that a substantial number of the population do have religious affiliations, but thats another topic for another time.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:21 AM

(emerges from below-line bullshit, spluttering)

On second thoughts, maybe not... But aren't the below-liners all US cross-weilders anyway? Certainly looks like it at times...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:24 AM

"(whatever the stripe)"

were the very words you used, Sean. No cop·outs now, please...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:42 AM

Unless the OP's views were informed by a stick-wielding priest/pastor/reverend (where I repeat he has my utter sympathy)I fear it's another example of the fashion for Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris style Neo-Puritanism in leather tankard guise.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 07:38 AM

I'm strictly non-religious but have no problem about attending or performing in events in churches.
The best two concerts that I have sang in this year from an acoustic point of view have both been churches. One recently at the Holy Trinity in Roehampton and the other in a de-consecrated church building - now called "The Cause" in Chippenham during the festival there.

Wearing other hats. Tina and I will be presenting a multimedia show on the life and work of the school that we help to support in The Gambia in a church near here later this month as part of our fund-raising efforts.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 08:17 AM

Arrggghhh, Vic! That blue is very bright!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 08:44 AM

"where the religious-right seem to hold a remarkable sway with respect of cross-weilding fascism"

They may have some sway, but the overwhelming majority of the nation swings to a different tune.

The religious right gets air time because they are outrageous, but the country as a whole sees through the crap.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 08:50 AM

Some Catholic churches around Manchester have Social centres attached. With dance floors.
One of the best was 'Our Lady's' Stockport until they extended the bar and carpeted that sprung floor that let you dance with a lift in your step all evening without tiring.
On a slight thread-drift, calling a Barn Dance at a church is often an easy and enjoyable nights work. There is a sense of community and co-operation. Maybe a 5 minute sermonette and grace before food but I don't have to participate.

Yes a lot of bad things have been done in the name of religion but maybe that says something about peoples tendency to tribalism and selfishness (good evolutionary qualities?)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:05 AM

"(whatever the stripe)"

Cop-out? Moi?? I merely meant that established religions - be they RC or Anglican - tend to comprise mostly civilised individuals who recognise the folkloric realities of religion (i.e. they can't all be right but they can all be wrong) and treat their entirely subjective faith accordingly and refrain from proselytizing because, deep down, that faith is gratifyingly accomodating of the fact that there are as many spiritual truths on this planet as their are individual human beings.

Indeed, I'd argue that belief in Religion precludes one from the Truly Spiritual, which is known only to unrepentant Atheists. I grant there are those other stripes whose fundamentalism moves into the realms of the Truly Noxious - but these were covered in the same post under the heading of Misplace Fundamentalism and Cranky Cults. Do such people ever occupy buildings of historic and / or architectural interest I wonder? I hope not, although I find myself increasingly irritated by the religiosity I find on display whilst visiting (say) York Minister when every half-hour or so a smug voice comes crackling over the tannoy insisting this is a House o' God and beseaching visitors to refrain a moment from their wanton sight-seeing and join them in prayer and reflection. To me this is an utter outrage, given that I'll have shelled out nigh on £9 to go in there to indulge in aforementioned wanton sight-seeing; thus do I ignore them, and keep on doing whatever it is that I'm doing.

One time in a historically significant Bristol church (Saint Mary Redcliffe) I was shushed for taking photographs by a person not-so-very deep in prayer. "Oh, shush yourself," I said, and found myself in a discussion in which I had to put forward my point that the objective humanity of the building is of far greater value than any attendent hocus-pocus, to which, of course, he was most welcome. In other words I respect him, but not his beliefs, in which he carries around the psychotic delusion that the vast majority of human beings will end up in hell. It was a good humoured chat, though I've known Xtians speak of feeling persecuted for their faith. I smile at that, given the amount of blood and on the hands on Xtianity. To quote Zappa: if there is a Hell, it waits for them, not us.

Culturally I think of myself as a Humanist Abrahamic Marxist; I accept Santa Clause an an integral aspect of this culture too but, like God, I don't believe he actually exists. The folklore intriques; the belief disturbs. As Sun Ra said - the greatest evils on this planet are righteousness and fundamentalism. Thus do I say Atheism is all-embracing...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:19 AM

It isn't the religiosity at places like York I find irritating, it's the nine quid. I enter the House of the Lord via the souvenir shop, sometimes, though not always, with a carrier bag bearing a simulacrum of the same to shake in the face of nosy parkers wanting a handout. If the government can afford to prosecute foreign wars they can afford to fix the roof on thousand year old buildings.

The alternative is to attend a service which is free and you often get tea and biscuits thrown in.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:19 AM

I'm sorry Sean ~~ but you are, so copping out over your use of that phrase: the Church is not a mere corporal, so 'whatever' here must mean MORE THAN TWO stripes... including your copping·out Misplaced Fundamentalism And Cranky Cults. If you didn't mean them, then you shouldn't have used "whatever", whatever!

And what sort of a 'clause' is Santa ~~ adverbial, adjectival?...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:22 AM

... or to put the ? slightly differently, Sean: from where you appear to be coming from, how are the Anglican & RC 'cults' any less 'cranky' than any other of those which you denounce?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:42 AM

I find the entire premise of this thread laughable. At first I thought it was like an agoraphobic complaining about people hosting open-air concerts, but that is to assume that there's a underlying reason like a phobia that's preventing you entering a church, rather than mere prejudice.

Your prejudice (and that seems to be what it is) should not effect where people choose to host concerts. Attempting to hold them hostage because their own beliefs and values do not tally with your own is pretty sad.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 09:44 AM

Looks like this thread is drifting into another arguement that no one will win. Try to keep on topic, or start another thread.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 10:25 AM

From the other point of view.
In my religious youth it disturbed me if concerts and organ recitals were held in church, bringing people into a religious building for a secular purpose.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 10:32 AM

from where you appear to be coming from, how are the Anglican & RC 'cults' any less 'cranky' than any other of those which you denounce?

In terms of their own folklore I'd say the centuries have smoothed the edges off their dogma, although I must say I'm being very lenient here, given my infrequent associations with their respective laity. I've associated with Benedictine Monks and RC Priests who had less interest in religion than I did; keen to persue sensual licentiousness in the secular world, but who were otherwise devout in the observance of their calling. I can't say I've ever met any Mormon or JW who had such a casual approach to their professed codswallop.

On a more typical level, I often converse with religious types in churches and the impression I get is that their general approach is on a par with that of John Betjemen. For example, the other week I enjoyed telling the Ushers of Beverley Minster that their precious Green Men had nothing to do with Paganism, rather, that they were part of the very fabric of Pre-Reformation Xtian theology and their Fake ID was no older than 1939. They were pleased, but I'm always amazed that many Cathedral / Minster Ushers are outraged that their Green Men aren't Pagan, but rather Catholic - which in their eyes probably seems a far greater evil!

In Worcester Cathedral one chap was very keen on guiding me to a particular misericord with Green Men supporters, but that was entirely incidental to my interest in it because it depicted a folk tale I knew from the collected Eventyr of Asbjorsen and Moe - that of Not Riding, Not Walking, AKA The Clever Daughter (see HERE for my own not very good picture of same; I've since found there is better one in Mike Harding's little book of Misericords if you have it to hand). Such continuities I find remarkable and oddly significant; especially as the Misericord in question is numbered N8 (Innate? Geddit?). The same scene has since turned up again in the misericords at Beverley, Saint Mary's, though I'm not sure if anyone else (other than me) has identified it as such: see HERE.

Simple cultural faith I warm to, no matter what; it's akin to Folk Faith. I recall once that a friend and I were once accosted by two evangelical Xtians who tried to convince us that God was somehow fun. Alas, it was he and not I who opined: God is not fun. God is at one with the dark values of the Gothic wherein the most fun was had by fornicating monks and those who did a roaring trade in Holy Relics. The Clause in question runs (as you'll know & I expect someone'll have pointed out by the time I post this): if any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.

Amen.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 10:35 AM

Oh, that Sanity Clause! Oh, no, you cain't fool me ~~ I happen to be a member of The Groucho Club! True!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Marje
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 10:55 AM

I think it's fair enough for the OP to draw our attention to the fact that he and others like him have reasons for not wanting to attend performances in a church. There's another group who wouldn't want to attend for the opposite reason - those who feel the church should be kept holy and not used for secular purposes, and who prefer not to go there if it's not for worship. I don't happen to agree with either view, but it's still worth taking into account if you're considering setting up an event in a church.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 01:41 PM

Marje
If you look at the prevailing sentiment being expressed in this thread, you'll realise that it really isn't worth bothering taking it into account.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 01:57 PM

I am puzzling why anyone would smile at the thought of anyone being persecuted by anyone else. mg


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:16 PM

"If I honor a "church" by my presence...

That bit really cracked me up.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:26 PM

Deckman. Standing this somewhat on it's head. I take it that you are forced to leave some concerts early or not go to see some artists of a religious bent. I'm thinking Dolly or Alison Krauss who, regardless of the venue, have a habit of finishing with songs which IMO ram their faith into the assembled throng.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:32 PM

I am puzzling why anyone would smile at the thought of anyone being persecuted by anyone else. mg

The smile is one of wry & bitter irony at the sky-high rhetoric that holds that Xtians are in any way persecuted for their beliefs, in the the west in general, and in the UK in particular. I hope (and suspect) that this is a minority view, and that people in general (Xtian or otherwise) don't regard the increased and essential secularisation as persecution, just a move towards a wider accomodation of cultural diversity as we have in the UK presently, and in my lifetime.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: foggers
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:17 PM

I can identify with a sense of discomfort about concerts in church due to my own teenaged experiences within the fundamentalist wing of UK Christianity. During that part of my life I would have disapproved of a church building being used for secular purposes. Having moved away from any version of Christianity, I am left with a tendency to associate certain kinds of church building ("Non-conformist") with a sense of feeling inhibited, which in turn (when I have attended concerts) affects my enjoyment. However it does not affect me in older more traditional church buildings whose architecture, history (and acoustics) I very much enjoy.

So the OP has a valid point that a (possibly small) number of punters may not attend such venues; I would be one such person. Its purely subjective, shaped by my personal past and the sense I make of that now.

(Would now be a good time to share the ironic flipside of this? I still love singing gospel songs, almost as a kind of cultural artefact in my personal heritage, but you will usually find me doing so in
The decidedly secular settings of folk clubs in pubs, or at festivals!)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 03:47 PM

If the church is being used as a rented building then the location of a concert shouldn't be a problem for anyone. But those of you who might have a problem with a particular church might want to find out if the profits from the concert would be used to promote programs that you might disagree with in principle. If you don't want the money from your ticket promoting a food bank that feeds the poor - that's your decision. Same goes if your concert ticket would help promote demonstrations of a political nature that you would not normally have anything to do with. So it sounds like a little bit of investigation would be in order.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:03 PM

Some small congregations must hire space, often secular, in which to hold their services. Tiny Orthodox Jewish congregations are exemplary, I believe.

That makes me wonder whether that fact would contaminate such a building for Bob such that no amount of regular secular use could decontaminate it for him.



(Full disclosure: I quit the RC church at age 15, and have for ages identified as agnostic since that's the only defensible position for anyone who also identifies with science)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:13 PM

agnostic since that's the only defensible position for anyone who also identifies with science

That sounds like a gauntlet being thrown down... Care to eleborate?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:39 PM

The question posed above doesn't seem to have been answered...

---
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:55 AM

I am a minister - from a religion that proudly counts Humanists, Pagans, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Atheists and others among our number

Wow, Dan! Even atheists? Sounds like my kind of religion...

From: MtheGM
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:56 AM

Has your religion a name, Dan?

~M~
------

Dan Schatz (see also here) is a Unitarian-Universalist minister.

A (Jewish) friend had a joke that he'd never belong to a religion who's main sacrament was coffee (he was a tea drinker). Or was it the potluck? Anyway, UU churches have hosted a lot of folk "coffee houses" (and other concert series) over the years.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 04:53 PM

"...the sky-high rhetoric that holds that Xtians are in any way persecuted for their beliefs..."

It's hard to say whether it constitutes persecution but one can well imagine those who profess religious beliefs being overlooked in academia, particularly the material sciences.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:12 PM

Globally all sorts of Christians and people of other religions are being persecuted..plus many more have discrimination but not what you would call persecution...which I would define as having some physical aspects to it. No laughing matter regardless of who does it. mg


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:37 PM

"That sounds like a gauntlet being thrown down... Care to eleborate? "

I didn't mean it that way, particularly, and I'm sorry if it seemed a contentious statement.

My point was only that, just as evolution remains, technically, a "theory" capable of being falsified by future evidence, so the existence of an entity we'd call "God" cannot be determined to be true or false based on the evidence we have.

However _unlikely_ the existence of such a being might be, it's not _impossible_, and therefore any absolute stance for or against is necessarily just opinion. "I (don't) believe there's a God, but I might be wrong" is considerably different to "there is a/no God".

Does that clear things up at all?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:55 PM

It may be true that some Christians ~ particularly those of the more fundamentalist persuasion ~ are ridiculed in the US, the UK, and elsewhere in the West. This is by no means the same thing as being persecuted.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 06:04 PM

If ridicule means being denied a position an individual is equipped for based entirely on their beliefs, it is persecution. I notice Prof Dawkins advocates scorn as his preferred method of disenfranchisement. I've found a person's beliefs to be a poor way of judging their abilities and humanity, though I make an exception for politician.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 06:27 PM

I mean persecution as traditionally practiced..hopefully there is none in US or UK at present..but there is elsewhere in the world. mg


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 08:20 PM

Indeed, mg. An increase in the burning of churches and the killing of Christians has been one of the main effects of US policy in the Muslim world.

Deckman: before you unleash the formidable economic power of your boycott on this church and on any fellow-travellers or dupes in the folk community, why not give them a chance to redeem themselves? Wouldn't that be the ethical humane thing to do? Tell the minister your complaint; tell him what he has to do to get you to honor, as you say, his church with your presence. And tell the performer, too, so that fear of losing the price of your ticket will make him put additional pressure on the church to reform in accordance with your views.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 08:38 PM

I'm putting on a day of folk in one of our local churches in Bury St Edmunds The Bury St Edmunds OXJAM Folk Day
on the 29th October, raising money for the work of Oxfam. Because of the charitable nature of the event, I approached several local venues and the church was the only one to offer me free use of their facilities.

I approached Tescos to see if I could get a bit of sponsorship out of them for the event, and was told by the local store management that they could not support the event as it was in a church, despite me making the point that it was merely the building where the event was being held and was not connected in any way with the church. Dissapointed with this response, I phoned head office to check whether this was in fact company policy, and was told that whilst they would not support a religious event for any denomination there was no problem at all with supporting a secular event held in a church premesis. Head office pointed this out to the local store, and I'm pleased to say I got a donation from them. Common sense prevailed, and Tescos showed an understanding that the building is just a building and nothing else.

I will add that the vicar of this particular church is an avid folkie, so that undoutably helped in getting the use of their building. They also have no issues whatsoever with having a bar in the church. Don't forget that people who have a faith of any description are generally just ordinary people.

So if you are in the general area of Bury St Edmunds, don't be afraid to come along, tickets are just £10.00 for the day, with a cracking lineup, including a few regular catters.

John


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 11:06 PM

Thank you Becky - I appreciate the link to my bio. I wasn't being purposefully mysterious, but given the subject of this thread, I had no wish to proselytize. And yes, even atheists! My own theology is a form of Religious Humanism.

And yes - most congregations do charge some rent. But the coffeehouses aren't paying the bills, trust me. (I could only wish....)

Dan


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Musket
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 03:41 AM

A church near us has been given lottery money to make it more of a community asset, including a museum to its famous past and getting rid of the pews in favour of removable seating so it can be reorganised to suit events, including concerts.

Interestingly, the complaints and "how dare you!" brigade seem to be consisting of those who, according to a friend working on this project, aren't part of the Sunday congregation anyway. T'was ever thus....

Me? Looking forward to suggesting and perhaps helping organise a few concerts once the renovation is complete.

Oh, as everybody is decrying such things, I am irreligious. (Note, not atheist. That has baggage attached in the perception of many people, so I prefer irreligious to describe myself as an onlooker in the same way as I have a mate who is a stamp collector. I don't know of a term of reference for anybody who isn't a stamp collector, but if there was, I am sure a stamp collector came up with it as a term of contempt. I see "atheist" in the same light.)

So there.

Right, where was I? Oh bugger, something to do with work.....


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 04:04 AM

My local church ( C of E ) was built as a multi use venue and wev'e done some great barn dances there. They just screen off the alter.
Seems a good use of a venue to me and the acoustics are good. I don't think God would mind people getting healthy exercise and enjoying themselves - but it doesn't say a lot about barn dances in the Bible.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 04:36 AM

Bible seems ambivalent, inconsistent, self-contradictory [o whevs!] about dances & dancing, as so many things. David seems all for harps & timbrels,& danced before the Lord with all his might in II Samuel 6 [tho some ~ er ~ eccentric-sounding glosses about what his actual motive for doing so might have been have been suggested ~ nuff said; google if interested!];

but then there was Salome...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 04:38 AM

Atheism is positive, humanist and all inclusive. It is based on the simple equation that not Religions can be right, but the can all be wrong. Thus, if one is wrong, as human historical & cultural constructs, they all must be wrong. However, the nature of that WRONG isn't absolute, for in being human historical & cultural constructs, Atheism recognises there is human historical & cultural value in them too - be it in terms of music, philosophy, architecture, folklore - and all the good things that human beings get up to anyway.

The negative stuff comes from righteousness, fundamentalism, the notion of heresy & the subsequent opressions and persecutions. As an Atheist I accept Religion as an aspect of Human Culture; I don't think it's an essential, neither do I think that it's an inevitability, nor do I think the religious should be accorded any level of respect or have special priviledges. In the UK today Xtianity is little more than folklore. It gives us holidays like Xmas and Easter - both derived from earlier pre-Xtian seasonal festivals - and it gives us the life and example of some geezer called Jesus Christ who by the simplicity and humility of his life and teachings tells us that all the churches founded in his name are, in effect, 100% horse-chocolate.

True spirituality is the reserve of each and every one of us - it is our right and purpose that comes through simply being alive in the first place; it comes about by recognising that we are but one of billions, each of whom not only have their own way of seeing things but the right to that uniqueness of perspective. The nature of Atheism is to engender that tolerance by removing any sort of absolute from the equation. Life is the only absolute, and life is common to all of us; life is splendid, diverse, equitable and a lot better without the aforementioned equine confectionary no matter how enriching it might be to certain individuals who feel the need for its narcotic comforts.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 06:54 AM

For Flora G.

'I have come so you shall have life, and have it in a barndance'
John 10.10


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: banjoman
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 07:43 AM

Flora - well said -that just about sums it up thanks
Keep in touch
Pete


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:36 AM

Suibhne:
Can you explain the use of 'Xtians' & 'Xtianity'?
I'm used to the term Xmas, but haven't seen the two terms you use elsewhere.
If you're hoping to introduce them to the language, should the superfluous 't' be removed?
At present, if 'X' is representing Christ, Xtians would seem to be Christ tians.

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:38 AM

For Flora G.

'I have come so you shall have life, and have it in a barndance'
John 10.10


Or, without deliberately misquoting:
Praise him with the timbrels & dances. (Psalms 150.4)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:47 AM

Nigel, Xtians is increasingly used as a problematizing word for Christianity, mostly by atheists. It's an attempt to mix religion with fantasy - Klingon, pixies, Santa Claus, etc. Whatever one's personal beliefs the major world religions differ from folklore and fantasy on size and membership at least but that's lost on materialists. Basically, Xtian is a wind-up term to rile believers.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:54 AM

When we were in Orkney earlier on this year the local music school put on a free concert inside the Cathedral on the saturday morning. It was a lovely way to view the cathedral, and the music was very good too. I thought at the time what a good way to use the building, while also encouraging the local children in performance arts. I doubted any of our mainland cathedrals would be so innovative.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 09:34 AM

Whatever one's personal beliefs the major world religions differ from folklore and fantasy on size and membership at least but that's lost on materialists.

How can there be limits on such things just because of numbers? A community is a community; fantasy is fantasy & folkore is folklore. Having been brought up Essentially Secular in a supposedly XTIAN UK then the accomodation of such Hoo-Hah and Horse Chocolate (rather than its outright dismissal) becomes a matter of some urgency with respect of a move towards a greater material enlightenment, which is, as I say, common to every single one of us Human Animals on Planet Earth however so diverse we might be otherwise. In this I remain eternally optimistic, and my Atheism is both an outward expression and inner experience of that optimism.

If a Culture / Community chooses to believe in Christ, Klingon, or Harry fecking Potter it amounts to the same thing; I can appreciate this as long as a) they refrain from divisive fundamental righteousness and b) maybe think twice about indocrinating others - including their kids. Material reality is the Common Universal law, anything else is pure fantasy, which is fun until they come knocking at your door offering you salvation from your own humanity. People are free to believe whatever they like but once they assume that what they believe applies to anyone but themselves, that's when the trouble starts.

Atheism isn't a belief; it's a fundamental reality that aspires to all inclusive and accomodating humanistic and compassionate world-view. However if XTIANS are carrying around the idea that everyone but them is going spent eternity in HELL then - how on earth are we meant to accomodate that in the wider scheme of things? Thus I may be a tad vociferous in my encounters with JWs, Mormons and other Random Proselytisers who accost me at home or abroad, otherwise, I'm open to a healthy debate as part of the Human Crack.

So - XTIAN is not a wind-up term; neither is strictly correct (as pointed out by Nigel Parsons above); it's simply a convenient shorthand, like XMAS, derived from the Chi-Ro adopted by the early church and still used as an icon by various Xtian churches today. If Xtians feel it somehow crosses out Christ then that's fair enough because in the unlikely event of Christ pulling off this second coming, and judging by things he actually said during his ministry, the Xtian churches would be the first thing to go. He'd sweep them all aside just as he threw the money lenders out of the temple and resume his usual habit of hanging around with outsiders and outcasts, the same folk I've seen routinely ejected from Manchester Cathedral least their presence offend the more deserving clientelle.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 09:48 AM

Xtian was popularised at the same time as New Atheism and is part of the same folklore. It differs from the noble tradition of disbelief by being polemical and science centered.
I'm not arguing about the viability of Christianity or any other belief, I'm attempting to posit the word Xtian in the context of the time.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 11:21 AM

X was from the Greek chi.

I think that this abbreviation was the result of seeing/reading the letter X aloud and taking that as an abb for Christ. If ya go Christ-tian the double T is difficult to say. Go X-tian and it's easier.

English speakers are 'lazy' with pronunciations, thus things like the great vowel shift and the great consonant shift. Both occurred to make pronunciation easier for the speaker.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 11:28 AM

Polemics are good, as is science. Apart from anything else they equip people to better deal with the evangelising psychic terrorism of the religious and their various political / spiritual / cultural agendas.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 11:41 AM

Polemics is attack by controversy, science is a diagnostic method. Atheism - or so my atheist friends tell me - is simply a lack of belief in a deity. The association between that (dis)belief and materialism is a social construct which is folkloric in nature. That's fine by me because I value folklore highly. What it ain't is scientific.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,petecockermouth
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 11:48 AM

(coincidentally i am just listening to dylan's christmas album. on my computer it follows bert jansch alphabetically, and i just nodded off)anyway, i am an atheist and would have no problem going to any religious building if the music was tempting enough. however, much as i like kate rusby i have no interest in her religious offerings and would avoid a gig around that time of year. my major concern is that many gigs i go to these days (i saw kate rusby at the york barbican a couple of weeks back) are depressingly safe and sterile. not kate's fault (though i do prefer the artists to drink beer or wine to water or tea) it was more the venue which was unsuitable and sterile. and the audience - what has happened to us - ties? heels? impeccable behaviour? i long for the days of smoke and sticky carpets, intimacy, drink and general recklessness and a better community thing. clearly not every gig can be a pogues christmas reunion but this is supposed to be fun isn't it- we don't have to act like we are at church, we don't have to get old -peace and love, pete


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 12:11 PM

For the sake of decreasing bruxation in linguists, do please spell it "Xian", not "Xtian". As Nigel pointed out above, the t is completely surplus to requirements, since the X itself stands for the full word including the t, cf 'Xmas' not 'Xtmas'.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 12:43 PM

Good luck with that, Margaret.

A google of Xtian brings up 1,860,000 sites. A google of various approaches to Xian will land one in a gang of Chinese sites with the name Xi'an to the tune of 107,000,000.

I agree with you, but I think it's too late.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 01:06 PM

bruxation in linguists

The best linguists I find roll with pragmatic flow of language rather than insist on summary correctness. That's not linguistics anyway - it's pedantry - which induces bruxation in the best of us, but in this case, insists on a rule in the face of so well established a neologism. Also in pronouncing Xtian, I say X-tian, just as I say X-mas; it wouldn't work as X-ian.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 01:07 PM

bruxation in linguists

The best linguists I find roll with pragmatic flow of language rather than insist on summary correctness. That's not linguistics anyway - it's pedantry - which induces bruxation in the best of us, but in this case, insists on a rule in the face of so well established a neologism. Also in pronouncing Xtian, I say X-tian, just as I say X-mas; it wouldn't work as X-ian.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 01:25 PM

It would work as 'X-ian' ~ why not? But the bruxation is a bit extreme: most people will say, e.g., the sort-of-comparable "PIN number" or "the hoi polloi", without every molar in the nation being instantly eroded.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 01:48 PM

People tend to pronounce "Xmas" as "exmass" in any case.   Uggh.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 02:01 PM

I think that was Sean's point, McG. Similarly, he says 'ecks-tian' but says he can't say 'ecks-ian' {Haven't I got that right, Sweeney?}; to which I reply, Why not?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 02:29 PM

It's a matter of emphasis - so Extian which is easier than Exian, but oddly enough it's always Exmas as in Exmouth, rather than Exmouth.

Anyway - how long before They bounce this below the line do you reckon? I'm amazed it's lasted as long as it has. Maybe I'd better say something about music in churches. Okay - ahem - I'm a great one for a spot of impromtu sonic-archaelogy in medieval churches and often field-record the acoustics using various flutes, fiddles & Jew's harps. Here's a link to me playing my Karadeniz Kemence in one of my favourite old Norfolk churches; sorry about the crappy sound though - the new camera (new summer last year anyway) appears to record on am internal wax-cylinder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVB9zrG9Xgs

The acoustics are amazing in there, as they are in most Norfolk churches which have resisted the modern trend to such creature comforts as carpeting. Those tiles are Elizabethan...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 03:35 PM

Was the great African American activist called Malcolm Chris or Malcolm Christ?

But to the point; I love the history in old English churches. They were truly the agglomerated achievement of the community over hundreds of years. In most cases the congregation were responsible for the nave, while the vicar/ rector/ impropriator was responsible for only the chancel. The nave was historically used as meeting hall and gathering place by the community, and it would be most appropriate to commemorate that by song and music.

On the other hand, there's always the vicar hanging round hoping for a chance to make a speech.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 03:43 PM

"so Extian which is easier than Exian" ···
,.,.,.
Why? A man called Ian William Bracegirdle, who was called Ian as a child but decided when he grew up that he would rather be known as William, could be said to be an Ex-Ian. Perfectly easy to pronounce. I can't imagine, otoh, what an Ex-tian could possibly be. If, mind you, it were ex-Tuan, then it might be a former Malaysian lord, but ~~~

Oh, wotthehell archie; let it pass!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 04:55 AM

Well, that's another reason right there. If you say that you're an Ex-Ian, then people are going to curious as to what it was about being an Ian you found so objectionable in the first place. Being a Sean is a sort of Ian I suppose, along with all the Johns, Jacks, Ewans, Shawns, Johnnys, Evanes, Yanns, Ivans, Johans, Johanneses, Gjons, Gjins, Chuans, Xuans (close!), Jons, Yons, Ions, Manezes, Ganixes, Joaneses (try keeping up with them!), Yankas, Yaneks, Yases, Yaninas, Yoanses, Ghjuvannis, Ivos, Ives, Ivicas, Ivanos, Ivankos, Jankos, Jans, Honzas, Hans, Jens, Jans, Jons, Hannes, Jaans, Juhans, Juhos, Jannos, Jukks, Jaanuses, Hanneses, Juans, Huans &c. &c. &c. of this word - in which case one can understand the urge to be an Erstwhile Ewan (rather than an Ex-Jimmy) or an Ex-Ian, if one is loathed to be associated with either the prototypical Voice Crying in the Wilderness or else the Sainted Apostle, however much I might love his Gospel and Revelation.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 06:35 PM

I suppose it depends if he's an Ex-music-Ian or an Ex-magic-Ian


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 06:45 PM

X marks the spot.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 07:33 PM

I suppose an alternative term for Easter Sunday could be Eggsmass.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 07:41 PM

That's nothing to make fun of, Kevin. My brother worked in a sperm bank the year some joker hid all the eggs.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 10:33 PM

Back to the subject.

Perhaps it's because I grew up in the same locality as Bob (Deckman), but I get it. I don't like going in churches to attend secular events either. I have a problem with organized religions so to me their buildings aren't "just buildings" and someone who says "get over yourself" obviously doesn't understand, or care to try to understand, the issue he is asking you to address.

There's a hovering attitude, something in the air that you feel when entering a building where the owners (the congregation) practice a belief system there that you not only don't agree with, but feel a bit like a captive audience when you go into their space. The venues are rented out with all of the relics, books, tomes, texts, signs, whatever, in place, so you're not going to forget you're in a church. It doesn't STOP being a church just because it is currently being used for a secular activity.

Maybe part of the problem is that there are usually church people around when Other events occur, and I get the feeling when I encounter people in their own churches that they make assumptions (and feel entitled to make those assumptions). If I'm there in their church, do they I'm okay with their institution? Well, as individuals, outside, of course, but there is a club that meets in that space and they all know the secret handshake and they feel a bit superior to outsiders, yet also would like to see outsiders join their club, or assume outsiders think their club is okay.

I don't mind looking through very old historic buildings - I have visited cathedrals, southwest missions, buildings that are understood by all to be as much museum and architectural wonders as practicing churches. They are set to have the public come through to simply take a look. But small community churches, built by men who created their god in their own image, men whose god shares remarkably similar political and social views to their own, I don't like those sanctimonious sorts of places.

Churches are built with church funds, they don't pay taxes on the property or on the profits from church investments. Many of them contribute good works to their communities and some are more open and generous than one might expect. Others only help the "deserving poor" or injured, but I repeat, none of them pay taxes. A big irony of needing to use churches as meeting places for public secular arts events is that there are better places. Schools - built with public funds, sitting there empty many hours a day and summers and on weekends. If you hark back to the days of Jane Addams (Hull House) and Mr. Mott (the current Charles Stewart Mott fund is related, I think) of the "Open School House" movement (though I may be calling it something slightly wrong - I can't track it down except in Google books, and I remember it in textbooks when I was in college) is that they felt those public spaces should be used for as many things for the public good as possible, when they weren't being schoolhouses.

So Bob is in good company in not liking to go into private religious institutions for public arts events. Those of you who glibly dismissed his complaints may belong to some of those institutions yourselves and are inoculated to sensations of the space so you don't see that they make others ill-at-ease. Or you haven't given it any thought because you don't have problems with organized religion and it's encroachment on public policy. I believe in the total separation of church and state, and I'm entitled to have that belief because the Constitution says this is how it should be, no matter how many christian groups try to insist that the United States is a christian nation. It isn't, it's secular. For a good reason.

I have many friends who actively practice their religions, who go to churches, and whose churches host events like this. It's one way they support community arts and they make money. They're not bad people, their churches aren't bad churches. But there should be more public spaces for general community activities. Libraries usually have rooms for this use, but they're not always built to accommodate large groups. Schools and churches generally are.

Now, did I leave anything out? This is an opinion, of course, it offers broad generalizations based upon places I've lived and the zealots and less-zealous religious people I've run into in my life, and I'm sure there are lots of people who would love to dismiss my views on the matter and tell me to "get over myself." It is you who need to understand that how we form our beliefs doesn't just come from churches, and those of us who are secular humanists have very good reasons for not enjoying going into churches for public performances. Bob hasn't said why he doesn't want to go in, but I accept that he doesn't want to and that's good enough for me.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 11:28 PM

Thank you SRS ... perfectly stated.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stewart
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:03 AM

THE PARISH OF DUNKELD

Oh, what a parish, a terrible parish;
Oh, what a parish is that at Dunkeld.
They hangit their minister, drooned the precentot,
Dang doon the steeple and druken the bell.
etc.

They sure solved their problem!

A friend once told me that UU is a half-way house to quit the religious habit. It worked for me. Now I'm an ex-Unitarian. (grin)
Although I might feel uneasy, I don't have a problem about going to a concert in a church.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:45 AM

I would feel I was intruding on something private that was not mine. Also, we were raised that we could not set foot in a Protestant church (everyone not Catholic was a Protestant, so that would cover mosques, synagouges ?? etc.)without the permission of the priest, even for weddings and funerals. We also could nto go to the YMCA without permission and eventually they let us go swimming but we could not do crafts or jump on the trampoline. So I do have a feeling of us and them. I would be quite happy to use their meeting room, basement area, but I would not want to be looking at their altar or main religious space while I heard music, with some exceptions, like vespers at a cathedral or something. Or if it was music of their church, done by them, like gospel music, that would be OK. I don't have any philosophy about it other than that, but I think they should not rent out their actual church space except as a last resort to bring in money, and even then, why not the meeting room they likely have.

The problem iwth schools that I learned in school law classes is that you really open yourself up to trouble if you let in some groups and not the others. You let the cake decorating group use your kitchen and next the neoNazis want to come in and do something and what do you do? It is really a problem, at least in Washington and/or Maine, where I took my classes.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 02:40 AM

As someone who has seen the distorting mirror of religion close up, and the way it informs behaviour and opinion, often for the worse, I still say a building is just a building. No-one should have preconceptions about my views because I inhabit their space and I accept no top-down edicts on what I should think or do because someone in fancy clothes says so.

If I have a gripe it's about the way all belief has been placed in the bogeyman category, especially since 9/11 and the proselytising of pseudo-skeptics and politicians for a new and better way. Neither do I recognise the They're Out To Get You evangelism of atheist folk lore. Apart from some smartly dressed Jehovah's witnesses who come round every three years nobody ever tries to evangelise me an I go into religious buildings of various kinds regularly. If they did I'd put their pitch on the same level as an advert for a new car, i.e. I'm sure it's very nice but no thanks.

Belief in things, capitalism, science, politics, religion are inately human traits but a building is just bricks and wood.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 05:17 AM

Eggsmass

Perfect!

Otherwise - this thread seems split between UK & USA where things are very different. Here in the UK Xtianity, for the most part, is pure folklore; it exists on the same level as Santa Clause, Star Trek and the Easter Bunny. Indeed the Anglican Church seems to hold by the opinion that God is more of a feeling, The Virgin Birth is an allegory and Jesus might not have really existed, but if he did, we're sure he was really nice man. Not that it matters, because their main responsibility is to look after the fabric of the myriad of historic Churches and Cathedrals in their care. Of course the most historic of these Churches and Cathedrals were filched from the Roman Church which built them in the first place.

In more recent years, the Catholic Church in the UK has made some amazing, if bizarre, contributions to church architecture. One of my favourites was built 200 years ago at Eshe Lawde in County Durham, which was built to look like a farm, such was the fear of local persecution - or so goes the legend. The difference is that whilst Anglicans accept the Xtian Myth as some sort of anachronistic metaphor to underwrite their social superiority, UK Catholics are more (how shall we say?) literal in their interpretation of their particular brand of Horse Chocolate. This isn't just evident in the lowly rank and file who make up the gratifyingly dwindling congregations amongst the working classes (in some parts of the UK it's one priest to four or five parishes) but it's there in the extremely well-heeled parishioners I used to see packing out Worth Abbey during my weird stint there in December 1999. Here, the jovial Benedictines daily dine on a diet fit for kings whilst pumping up their ersatz holiness for the BBC, where, in less fortunate areas, I've known good priests go mad on a diet of Embassy Regal and left-over communion wine & holy toast. Worth a visit, if you forgive the pun; also worth a visit is Ushaw College (a spit from Eshe Lawde) where a skeleton crew of four or five trainee priests occupy a Neo-Gothic Pugin masterpiece built for thousands or more. Particularly affecting is a chapel of Holy Relics; stacks and stacks of human bones rescued from the Europe in the war, but sank on route, and later recovered by priestly diverse divers and displayed in a random and gratifying macabre jumble. God knows what it costs to keep this place going just to turn out two or three priests a year - no doubt doomed for nervous breakdown & fag addiction once they get allocated their parish-cluster.

Social class and privilege notwithstanding, the Worth Abbey Church is a classic of Modern Church Architecture - it's a near contemporary of Sir Frederick Gibberd's iconic 'Paddy's Wigwam' in Liverpool, but is more covert in its relationship to its rural landscape of the Sussex Weald. Both look like they've just landed from the Planet Zaaargh, though one senses in Pollen's work at Worth a more sinister sort of Mission than the open jubilation on offer at Liverpool Cathedral. Did I mention the RC Church at Ewyas Harold? That looks extra-terrestrial too, but more of a space shuttle than a mothership.

So - farms and flying saucers; all good fun, were it not for the mind-f*cking theological bullshit that gets spouted therein. So we have these amazing futuristic churches covering for the evil darkness of medieval superstition and ignorance that remain in our midsts, but only just. It will pass, and these amazing buildings (old and new) will (one hopes) remain to find better use in the secular world that awaits. Music is better than religion. I used to love singing Gelineau Psalms with the monks at Worth to the accompaniment of a huge chord-zither in the freezing dark of December mornings. I wasn't religious in the least, but my girlfriend was, and it was for her that I was there (and because Brancepeth Castle in uninhabitable in the winter months, but that's another story). I like the Humanity of such occasions, even the liturgy, which works quite nicely without buying into the belief. As an Atheist at Holy Mass it is the Humanity of the occasion that I am respectful of; but the religious aspect exists, as I say, as folklore: myths, stories and vague ideals aspiring to some wan sort of spirituality which exists in some other realm to the 'real world'. But this is the UK - where, generally speaking, no one really gives a shit what anyone else believes in lieu of a greater tolerance and general bemusement which is why I dare say no one minds too much, and why we find the sentiments of the OP a little, dare I say, extreme?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 09:35 AM

A building is just bricks and wood

That's the part you're not getting. It isn't. It's invested with a lot of energy that to some non-believers can be a very negative experience. Some people think they see ghosts, others don't believe in them. It is a similar argument, about the incorporeal occupation of interior spaces. So, "'in my opinion' a building is just bricks and wood" will fly, but the whole raison d'etre for this thread was in essence to say "don't dismiss the negative perceptions some of us have of dedicated religious spaces."

Now I'd guess that Bob or I would be okay in the converted chruch of Alice's Restaurant, but beyond that, they just don't feel comfortable.

Thanks for your remarks, Mary. I remember some childhood friends having similar sentiments; they grew up in a very active big-c catholic family and had a lot of prohibitions that they used to tell we non-catholics about.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 10:14 AM

But if you don't have those associations a building is just bricks and wood (and concrete, which seems the main ingedient of modern RC architecture). None of these things are Holy in and of themselves, no matter what sort blessing has been bestowed upon them, or by whom. Their holiness is entirely subjective, hence the folklore. Objectively, I'd say our Homes are sacred, spiritual places in a way that our churches never can be.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 10:18 AM

Again, with respect, I just find this whole preoccupation with "the energy" of the space a bit ironic, especially if it is coming from atheists. For those that profess to not believe in spirits and folklore to be bothered by the energy of a space, or a room in a building flies in the face of what you say you don't believe. I'm not talking about Stilly here except in a very peripheral way, as I don't know what her belief system is. I'm speaking more to the overall idea that somehow one is supporting the church by attending a concert there. Or that there is an energy in the place. It is just a building that is available at a cheap enough price to allow the promotion of the folk music we all love. The use of the building allows those of us that pay bills by playing music to make a living. All these arguments just seem a stretch to me.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 11:03 AM

Well if "energy" doesn't work, let's call it "baggage." The building has repulsive baggage.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 11:11 AM

Respectfully I must disagree. The baggage exists in the mind. The building is just a building. I just can't see boycotting that which we love because they found a site they could afford. The only way the site would make a difference is if it were chosen with the intent to make a political/religious proselytizing statement.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 11:42 AM

The point here has been that we must agree to disagree.

Wherever YOU think the baggage resides, it is very real for the people who are aware of it. So dismissing it as imaginary is pointless. It isn't imaginary, it's a real weight, a hindrance, a burden. But you don't see it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,suegorgeous away
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 11:48 AM

On a slight diversion, but connected... does anyone know if there's an online list somewhere of UK churches that host music performances?

thanks
Sue


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:28 PM

I have to agree with Suibhne, Mick and anybody else with a similar opinion. If you believe in "energy" or "baggage", you're a believer. I don't think the bad feelings can be blamed on a building but belong to the person who perceives them.

It can be something like, or literally, PTSD, which, if given into, limits what a person can do. They're at the mercy of their past, and if they wish to allow past events to dictate how they live, they can do that. It's not the church, nor the musician, nor the people putting on the concert that control what people do. They don't make you go, they don't make you stay away.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:28 PM

What about the congregation? I imagine that they would hate to have their sacred spaces visited by people who have contempt for them...I imagine they either would be a fairly casual, not too dogmatic congregation if they allowed folk concerts at the pulpit, or they would be under such financial duress they had no other choice. I personally would find it very disconcerting, again, unless it was something like Christmas carols, gospel music etc..not three drunken maidens. mg


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:49 PM

I come back to my original statement - if churches are associated with personal bad stuff, stay out of them. If it's vicarious offence, the abstract kind of three-hundred-years-ago business, or they're anti-scientific, or brain-stealing places, stay away but don't preach, they work for lots of people on different levels. I've had bad experiences in churches and positive ones and the negative stuff was always associated with individuals who used their dogma to justify their predispositions and I refuse to allow that stuff to seep into the architecture or the music.

There's a definite rise in the latter kind of taking offence on behalf of science or humanity or whatever fashionable bugbear the party imagines.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:52 PM

Geeziz, Mags, lighten up a bit. I'm not trying to be difficult, in fact I am trying to be respectful. Jeri has pretty well summed it up. Sorry to have offended, but for me the only folks that could be potentially hurt by such actions are folks that promote the concerts and the performers. I guess that is something that you don't see.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:59 PM

Irony: seeing Dick Gaughan perform in a church. I don't think he sang anything terrible.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 01:02 PM

"If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?"

Yogi Berra


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 01:08 PM

I suppose I have feelings like that about temples of commerce such as shopping malls. Except if they had concerts inside them I'd think that made them better places.

I'd have thought people with adverse feelings about churches would see it the same way.

Takes all sorts.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 01:41 PM

I have no problem at all with attending concerts or other performances in churches. I also have no problem entering them, looking round them, maybe even attending Evensong in the C of E ones. Or lighting candles for my dad and mum. I find constant thoughts about the perceived evils of the historical Christian movement to be too much to bother about really.

I don't get the original poster, Deckman, placing quotes round the word "church". As far as I'm concerned a church is a fairly obvious, and large, object, which really needs no qualification.

And I do agree with Big Mick about breast-beating atheists moaning about churches giving off bad vibes (man). Can't have it both ways folks, if you don't have a belief system, you don't have one!

Off at a slight tangent, one of the best er, "folkie" evenings I've ever experienced was Southwark Cathedral Christmas 1971, when Carole Pegg (and I think Bob) sang "Christ made a trance on Friday view" which contained the superb line "Oh Hell is deep and Hell is dark and Hell is full of mice". Song collected from gypsies I believe.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 01:52 PM

Bruce (Guest 999) ...... In posting the Yogi Berra quote, you are in violation of the well uttered, longstanding "CAUTION:EMPTY ALL BODILY CAVITIES OF FLUIDS AND MATTER BEFORE READING THIS POST" rule. You have been around long enough to know this, and have been cautioned before. You owe me a new keyboard, as well as a pair of BVD boxer briefs. I will clean the screen myself out of respect for our friendship.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 01:59 PM

Great line Ed. Comes from a version of Dives and Lazarus -

Oh, hell is dark, oh, hell is deep;
Oh hell is full of mice,
It is a pity that any poor sinful soul
Should depart from our saviour, Christ.


See here


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 02:15 PM

Mmm... I enjoy going to churches (not "churches", by the way) if they're interesting. I can enjoy the architecture, the age, the decoration, the stained glass, the brasses, the stonework, the inscriptions, the music. The medieval, pagan carvings are wonderful - filled with a perverseness which offsets the purpose of the building. I like churches. On a journey, the sight of a church tower or spire in the distance - preferably surrounded by woods and fields - is always uplifting. It's England - good old England! I love the ghost stories of M.R. James - where a church or cathedral is often the setting for some oh-so-very unchristian and irreligious goings-on!

And I've been an atheist since I reached, more or less, the age of reason - around 13 or 14 or so. An age when I threw off the religious brainwashing of school and society and decided for myself. No amount of reading, proselytising, reasoning, arguing, propagandising, blustering, filibustering, etc., has ever convinced me otherwise, 60+ years later.

But it doesn't stop me enjoying all the things I've listed above in my first paragraph. If people want to use a church as a concert hall - no problem for me. The acoustics are often (though not always) great; the seating is sometimes uncomfortable; the surroundings often interesting. I use my brain, my logic and my reason to accept the environment impartially - I use my spirituality and my imagination (in a non-sectarian, non-religious sense) to accept the music.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 05:13 AM

The medieval, pagan carvings are wonderful - filled with a perverseness which offsets the purpose of the building.

The assumption that any of the carvings in medieval churches are in any way 'pagan' is a fairy modern piece of Frazerian fakelore - along with the idea that Ring A Roses derives from the symptoms of the plague, or that any of our beloved seasonal customs and ceremonies have a Pre-Xtian provenance etc. etc. This is what I spent a lot of my down-time in merry pursuit of - the contextualising of images hitherto assumed and actively promoted (typically by Anglicans) as being Pagan in the theology and culture of pre-Reformation Xtianity. This is weird because there are innumerable pre-Xtian elements in Xtianity - from the siting of early churches on established places of worship, to the choosing of the Winter Solstice as the birthday of their boy, to the celebrating their central feast on the first Sunday after the Full Moon after the Spring Equinox then calling it after an Anglo-Saxon Hare Goddess... But as for the images...

Well, you will find a lot of real Pagan stuff in churches - there's the Loki Stone in the church at Kirby Stephen which is well worth a look if ever you're passing, but, as with random prehistoric cup-and-ring marked rocks you find in certain Northumbrian Churches (one near Hexham springs to mind), here the church fulfils it's broader culture role of Museum-cum-Cabinet of Curiosities. Those carvings which are part of the fabric are always Xtian - mistaken ID's notwithstanding of course, though in the case of several (check out the Tinner's Rabbits / Three Hare carvings of Devon) are a design feature one finds universally, but which don't carry any transferable symbolic meaning as such, if any at all. To a lesser extent this is true of so-called Green Men who (as Marcia MacDermott makes a case for in her excellent Explore Green Men - Heart of Albion, New edition 2006) has certain precedents in the far east, but none that are Pagan in the accepted sense. For a more considered overview, Richard Hayman's beautifully illustrated The Green Man (2010) makes a welcome addition to the venerable Shire Library series.

Misericord carvings carry a wealth of didactic narrative suitably positioned for the consideration of an earnest clergy, but earthy as much of the imagery may be, its status of 'folk art' is misleading, for whilst they're obviously deeply rooted in a vernacular tradition of an artistry that is mostly lost to us, we must remember that nothing exists in a church that wasn't commissioned and approved of by the clergy themselves. As a inveterate Crowther & Medieval Fiddler I'm amused that there are no extent examples of my chosen instrument other than in iconography - from the overly restored carvings at Beverly Minster to fragile illuminated manuscripts; and the fact that several instruments survive as carvings in the living wood of misericords is of constant wonder to me when the instruments themselves have long since perished.

Misericords baffle, beguile and intrigue, but when faced with the celebrate Whalley Abbey set (most of which survive in Whalley Parish church with others faring less well in Blackburn Cathedral and Cliviger) one must take the broader picture, for here we have everything from Biblical scenes, proverbs, hilarious scenes of domestic dysfunction, wild men and two of the most artful Green Men anywhere in the country. They hint at a clerical fascination with secular life and sensual licentiousness; a more enduring sort of humanity which one finds (say) in the poems of the Carmina Burana, although, ironically perhaps, here the 'pagan' elements are writ large in an awareness of a Classical Mythology which seems wholly absent from the visual art of the period.

More beguiling in terms of 'folk art' are the Bench Ends in the West Country: the Church of the Holy Ghost at Crowcombe in Somerset is particularly riveting in this respect though by no means definitive. Richard Hayman's Shire Book Church Misericords and Bench Ends (new edition 2009) is worth checking out here, for scenes of the fantastic and the mundane as vivid as anything you might find in the Luttrell Psalter. Such things remain vivid and potent right up to the Reformation - indeed, the Crowcombe bend-ends are dated 1534, significant I think in respect of the savagery of much of the imagery - Green Men included!

After the Reformation they endure, but without the earthy vitality they had hitherto as the humour and humanity seems to go out of religion with the onset of a more puritan ethos which results in the wholesale cultural vandalism which is still in shocking evidence almost 500 years on, and is still there in the gift-shops of those Anglican cathedrals who actively promote their Green Men (etc.) as being Pagan rather than integral to the culture and theology of those who built the cathedrals in the first place. It's also worth noting that before 1939 the Green Man was essentially nameless - it's association with Frazerian Fakelore being the work one Lady Raglan who romanticised certain resemblances between folklore costumes and medieval foliate heads under the misapprehension that the folklore was 'pagan'. The reality is, of course, that none of it can be traced back any further than the 17th century at a push, long after the carvings were made.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 06:11 AM

So can you summarise (a book in 10 words - easy!) what the green men meant to the people who put them there.

UK religion is so varied. I called in a ceilidh band with an Anglican vicar. When we did church Harvest Supper dances he used hand out 'hymnsheets' to make them sing John Barleycorn to the tune We Plough the Fields and Scatter. I felt uncomfortable with that (as an exBaptist it felt like mocking their religion), but he seemed to get away with it, though I don't think they liked it much at the (teetotal)Salvation Army do.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 06:28 AM

There is a record of Bildeston Parish Church (Suffolk) in the 17th century giving an allowance to the local morris men to buy their bells. Before the days of electronic keyboards etc, the humble village church would in all probability have music provided for services by the same local musicians you would find later in the local hostalry singing the songs we are all keen to preserve today.

The church, the community and the tradition have always been linked!

A thought on the 'It's just a building' debate, historically, particularly in rural UK, the centre of the village community was the church and the inn, and the church building always used for events other than worship. The real 'Church' are the body of people, of whatever denomination who worship at the building.

There is a good chance that if a church building is being used for concerts, it is because there is a member of that church with an interest in that music, the same person who you would happily rub shoulders with, share a beer with etc, at festivals, sessions, folk clubs etc etc. I know two ordained CofE ministers, one of whom is a regular at the local folk club, the other (now retired) enjoys a pint or five, and plays melodeon with a local morris side. Just ordinary people, like the rest of us, and probably far less fervent about their beliefs than those who oppose them!

John


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 06:53 AM

So can you summarise (a book in 10 words - easy!) what the green men meant to the people who put them there.

As with many things it's easier to say what they're not than what they are. Ricard Hayman's Shire Book is a excellent introduction to 'new' thinking on the subject - check it out on Amazon - and note my review, in which I summarise some of the issues. In short, feel it comes down to Nature vs. Nurture duality which is the essence of Xtianity. The Green Man is not a positive image, though there a plenty of Xtians who have tried to put a positive spin on images which are for the most absolutely horrific. Then there is a current trend to view the Green Man as Adam with respect of the old Legend of the Rood, though that had problems too, given the diversity of physiological type on offer in the GM carvings, unless, of course, Adam is seem as Everyman. I think this figures though - as with Adam growing the literal cross from his dead mouth, from our Sins we each of us grow the cross on which Christ is sacrificed from our very human natures.

In these times, however, I think his re-invention as The Green Man is an echo of an essential renewal. He takes us back to a vanished wild-wood, once feared as a lawless realm, now lamented as a lost paradise symbolic of a greater ecological catastrophe. But this is very recent folklore - 1939 in Academic circles, although it's not until the early 1970s that the Green Man finds its way into popular consciousness as part of a wider Revival Folk Zeitgeist, most of which was fashioned to suit the era anyway. One of the key books is Kathkleen Basford's seminal study of 1978, but most of the books written since perpetuate the usual Frazerian Pagan idea which is mistaken on so many counts we can safely proclaim it discredited! Naturally, I buy every book on The Green Man (in whole or in part) that gets published whether I agree with it or not, and many of of my GM chums are unreconstructed Raglanites to the core...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 02:05 PM

Before my singing partner Margaret saw the dark she was a member of the Salvation Army and sincerely believed it was sinful to enter a pub except for the purpose of selling copies of the War Cry. For my part, as an agnostic, I didn't like going into churches but Margaret actually persuaded me to perform in a Salvation Army hall to help out an old friend of hers.
Now we have both agreed that pubs and churches can be great venues - it all depends on the music and the people.
So we we quite happy to go with our friends Widders Border Morris to perform for the Druids at Stone Henge for the summer solstice. We aren't pagans but then neither were most of the people who turned up for that.
I had more qualms about going into Whitby Conservative Club for a session at the folk festival. However, we had a great time - and the beer was very good.
I felt a bit queasy about going to see Ralph McTell in the hall of a very posh private school in Woodbridge in Suffolk but it was a great concert - almost as good as the real belter he gave in the Union Chapel in London.
I do worry that Mr Deckman could be depriving himself.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,BanjoMangler
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 02:03 AM

I would object to people singing secular music in the church sanctuary. Anywhere outside of the sanctuary in the church would be find, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 02:16 AM

If you are Catholic, it would bother you...if your Protestant, not so much. If you're REALLY into good music, and can play it(well), churches are as good as a place as any.
BTW, did you know that the Church(Catholic, at the time), banned Bach's music from being played in their churches, or rituals....Bach began stacking chords in FORTHS, and the church thought it was of the devil!

You can now hear Bach in churches. Ah, the power of great music!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 02:55 AM

. . . and then of course we have the editors. The Book was already cherry-picked over the centuries, and on occasion these days we have people pickin' over the pickings. Cui bono?

Apocrypha

Here are the ancient New Testament Apocrypha with translations and commentary. The Apocrypha are documents that were not accepted into the canon of the New Testament by the orthodox church. The New Testament Apocrypha are those writings that were written by ancient Christians that were not accepted into the New Testament, while the Old Testament Apocrypha consist of Jewish documents that were not accepted into the Old Testament. The Old Testament Apocrypha can be found on the Noncanonical Homepage. Here are the New Testament Apocrypha that are presented on the Early Christian Writings web site.

Apocrypha: The Gospel of Thomas
Apocrypha: Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
Apocrypha: The Egerton Gospel
Apocrypha: The Gospel of Peter
Apocrypha: Secret Mark
Apocrypha: The Gospel of the Egyptians
Apocrypha: The Gospel of the Hebrews
Apocrypha: The Apocalypse of Peter
Apocrypha: The Secret Book of James
Apocrypha: The Preaching of Peter
Apocrypha: The Gospel of the Ebionites
Apocrypha: The Gospel of the Nazoreans
Apocrypha: The Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel
Apocrypha: The Traditions of Matthias
Apocrypha: The Gospel of Mary
Apocrypha: The Dialogue of the Savior
Apocrypha: The Gospel of the Savior
Apocrypha: The Epistula Apostolorum
Apocrypha: The Infancy Gospel of James
Apocrypha: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Apocrypha: The Acts of Peter
Apocrypha: The Acts of John
Apocrypha: The Acts of Paul
Apocrypha: The Acts of Andrew
Apocrypha: The Acts of Peter and the Twelve
Apocrypha: The Book of Thomas the Contender
Apocrypha: The Acts of Thomas


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 04:03 AM

Where we go sking - a little village in Austria - the Catholic church regularly puts on classical concerts. It was desingned to have good acoustics. The downside is exceedingly hard seats. In a small village it seems to me a good use of a building, which perhaps could not afford a church and a concert hall. Many of the villagers attend and obviously see no problem with it.
My thoughts are
Do other faiths use their buildings in such a way?
Is classical music more acceptable than folk?
Are the hard seats a deliberate ploy to remind us of its purpose?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 04:08 AM

I would like to bring this thread to a close. I started the topic with the comment/question about the increasing use of churches as a folk music performing venue.

I stated that I personally have a problem with entering "churches." I think that SRS came very close to relating to my original thought. Obviously my difficulty with "churches" is very personal and will remain that way.

As the world wide economic depression spreads, I've certainly noticed the increasing pressure on performing artists. The venues are diminshing. And large buildings, churches in some cases, are now becoming more difficult to find, and afford.

I was somewhat disapointed to find that my original topic descended into religious diatribes, nonesense, and a waste of time. This is one aspect of the WONDERFUL MUDCAT that frustrates me. But I guess that's life.

Going back to my original thrust ... I wanted to find out if others have stayed away from concerts because they were being held in "churches." Some of the comments posted on this thread talked to that question, and I appreciate those straight answers.

Thank you one and all for your thoughtful postings. bob(deckman)nelson ... still hiding out here in the Seattle area, where I am surrounded by hungry churches and birds ... I prefer the birds.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 05:10 AM

I was somewhat disapointed to find that my original topic descended into religious diatribes, nonesense, and a waste of time.

On the contrary, I think this thread has a remarkable level-headed discussion on the various topics arrising fromk the OP; we (collectively) have addressed, considered, and discussed the issue, and the possible reasons why anyone would object to going into a church. There have been no diatribes, nothing of nonsesense - and if you regard it as a waste of time then you dismiss the effort, thoughtfulness and erudition that people have put into their heart felt & considered contributions here. In all, it's been a fascinating thread, and issues arising have been dealt with thoroughly and, above all, with smiles.

On Mudcat you open a thread, in good grace you either watch it die or watch it run. You can't control these things, much less bring them to a close or even expect people to agree with your OP. Even Athiests disagree with you on this one, but respect your opinion, if opinion it is. Asc an Atheist I've been into all sorts of Mosques, Temples, Synagogues and Churches and attended upon a variety of religious rites and occasions. Hell, I even attended my friend's Baptism in an Evangelical Church where the feckers started babbling in tongues. For my friend's sake I obserbed it all with wry bemusement, though I found the experience less than enjoyable for various reasons, mostly because I hate the rank inhumanity of fundamentalism. Otherwise, I have no problem whatsoever in entering a church for purposes of musical enterainment - like I say, I've attended & performed in any amount of concerts of secular music in sacred buildings in my time and will continue to do so despite my evangelising atheism. Churches were built for music, secular and otherwise; amongst my favourite religious imagery are the didactic misericord vignettes with often refer to something we miight even think of as FOLK MUSIC

We all love the birds, but the human song is just as beautiful & often I head into a church just to join in with singing the old hymns - especially at festival times - Easter, Harvest, Xmas. I'm not praising God, but partaking of my own culture & the human beauty thereof. I don't see God anywhere in a Church - I see people though, and people are Sacred; indeed I sense, at times, a richer humanity amongst the religious than I do elsewhere. I regularly buy cakes from the good ladies in the city centre church of Saint Ann in Manchester; I often just sit in there and smell the wood & soak in the rarefied peace of the place. Religion is a Tradition, it is Folklore with the difference that people are less self-conscious or even self-righteous about its practise than many I've met in the Folk or Morris Scene. But Religiosity is a human trait, it's one of the markers of Human Culture than could well go back 350,000 years - that's 300,000 years longer than most parameters allow on the other markers of human culture, such as language, music, etc. etc.

Now this thread moves on again with a discussion on the editing of the Bible and the books of the Old & New Testament Apocrypas - it's all choice October fare for the likes of me. As I said earlier the rerally amazing thing here is that it hasn't been bounced down below the line. Yet....


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 05:34 AM

I would like to bring this thread to a close. I started the topic...

That's an interesting idea, that the person who starts a thread has the ability to call time on it. I don't think I've come up against it before. I can't see it working really...


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 05:38 AM

No, indeed. A thread, like a child, takes on a life of its own, independent of its begetter.

As it surely should?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Elmore
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 08:24 AM

I'm not religious, but would have missed hundreds of great concerts held in church halls and church sanctuaries over the past 40 years.Our folk club has held its concerts in a church since 1990, and I've never heard any complaints. If it bothers someone they should not attend. I respect the scruples of Deckman in this matter.Some of the responses have been interesting, but irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 08:33 AM

Bob,
Here is my direct answer.

IF I knew that a SUBSTANTIAL portion of the take would go to support the church;
AND IF I knew that that church was HEAVILY into proselytising a viewpoint that I thought was toxic;
AND IF I knew that the performer was going to proselytise some of that religion;
THEN I would not go.

Note that ALL of the above would have to be true.
IF I knew that the performer was NOT an agent of the church;
OR if the church was NOT HEAVILY into proselytising a viewpoint that I thought was toxic;
OR I knew that a SUBSTANTIAL portion of the take would NOT go to support the church.

If any one of these was NOT true, I would go. I recognize that in some areas, this is not possible.

I recognize that in some areas, for SOME performers, this is not possible. However, I don't know of any musicians that I might want to hear who are active proselytisers. SO, I would likely go, especially if there were no other venues in the area.

I hope that directly answers your inquiry into my thoughts.

Saul


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: RTim
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 10:14 AM

I am doing a concert in a church in England next month.
I, with others, will be singing songs collected in the locale, including
some collected in the village itself, and one from the church's original Sexton.
I am also introducing one of the singers songs with a Toast also collected
from him.
"May all churches and chapels be turned in Public House,
and the Parsons be hung up as signs!"

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 10:53 AM

These people Moonrakers seem to specialise in it.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 02:18 PM

"…..did you know that the Church(Catholic, at the time), banned Bach's music from being played in their churches, or rituals....Bach began stacking chords in FORTHS, and the church thought it was of the devil!"

To correct a bit of misinformation:

First point.

Having analyzed a great deal of Bach's music (and that of many other composers) in harmony classes and music history classes, I don't know what is meant by "stacking chords in FORTHS (fourths?)." It makes no sense.

Diabolus in musica or "the Devil in music" refers to the "tritone," or an interval composed of three whole steps (for example, in the key of C, the interval from B to F, or its inversion, F to B). This interval is a diminished fifth or an augmented fourth, depending on how you read it. It is a dissonant interval and creates harmonic tension calling for resolution. The tritone is an integral part of any dominant seventh chord (i.e., a G7 in the key of C), and the tension it creates is what gives a dominant seventh chord its "drop the other shoe" quality, calling for resolution, or release of the tension. E.g., G7 resolving to a C.

This interval gave some people wall-eyed fits back in the Renaissance period and into the early Baroque. For some reason, they thought it was evil, hence "the Devil in music." These days, it's downright ordinary. Among other things, it's the famous "flatted fifth" in jazz.

As far as anyone knows, the first flat-out, deliberate use of the tritone for the purpose of creating tension that required resolution was by Claudio Monteverdi (1576-1643—late Renaissance/early Baroque) in a madrigal arrangement of "sumer is icumen in." Very "modern." At the time, critics squealed things like "The human ear will never grow to tolerated such dissonance!!" Wrong-o!! These days, you can't listen to more than about thirty seconds worth of music without hearing it, and it's so common that most people don't even notice it.

Second point.

Johann Sebastian Bach was an extremely inventive composer and in a sense, wrote the book on classical harmony and polyphony, but he did not use the tritone in his music any more liberally than other composers of the day. His music was played in churches constantly. His paying job was as organist, choir director, and general music director for several churches of varying denominations, for which he composed musical settings for masses and all kinds of services, almost all of which are played in churches and concert halls today.

If Bach wasn't "flavor of the month" in many Catholic churches during his own lifetime, it was because he was a Lutheran. Not because he "stacked forths."

Thus endeth the music history and harmony lesson for the day.

Go in peace. Serve the Lord. But if you can't bring yourself to serve the Lord, then serve Orpheus.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 03:16 PM

HEY DON ... have YOU ever sung in a "church" bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stewart
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 03:38 PM

Yes, I recall hearing both of you
(Don and Bob) singing in a "church"
in Seattle several years ago.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 03:42 PM

WHAT .... me sing in a "church" ... you've got to be kidding! bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stewart
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 04:00 PM

Yes, here's the proof
in this video.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 04:04 PM

WHAT the heck! Was THAT a "church." Well I'll be damned! Why didn't anyone tell me. I've always wondered what the inside of a church looks like. Now I find out that I've been in one and I didn't even know it.

I wonder if GAWD will forgive me? bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 07:50 PM

I suppose that having seen the video evidence of the OP who say's he can't enter a church, performing immediately in front of the altar, and I'm guessing from the look of the video, not that many years ago, someone has got ask the obvious question.

What's this thread all been about, and what's changed, why can't you enter a church now?

Confused of Suffolk!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 08:13 PM

Dear confused .... You've asked a sensible question and I'll give you a straight answer. I've changed my mind. Pretty simple ... eh? The older I get, and I'm doing that EVERY DAY. The more selective I'm getting about those people I choose to associate with. Years ago, I would go into places with friends that I won't go into today. It's my life and it's my choice. Pretty simple ... eh? bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 03:31 AM

Interesting stuff Don. The Catholic church specialized in polyphony, which puritans found too seductive for their taste. Who knows what message might be found in those interweaving voices? Like the black magic scares in contemporary rock music where some might hear 'set fire to your underwear' in a Motorhead lyric - that's if you can still find a turntable to play in reverse - the big collar guys knew the devil was in the detail.

Anyway, the reformation eventually bought us the marvel of unaccompanied three and four part harmony in shape notes which was abandoned by the rest of civilisation as 'unscientific' but hung on in the southern states to enlighten us all. For anyone interested in religion/belief's role in schooled singing I recommend Warren Steel and Richard Hulan's book "The Makers of the Sacred Harp".


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 03:41 AM

The point I was making is puritans and fun police wear many guises, not all of them clerical.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Mick Tems
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 05:25 AM

Just to add my 'pennorth: I've toured in America and New Zealand, where concerts in churches are not unusual. The acoustics are out of this world. For myself, I just love looking at churches, taking some unobtrusive photos and contemplating the peace and beauty, and it feels like I'm charging and refreshing my worn-out mental batteries again.

Churches are wonderful works of art wherever in the world they are, especially when you're attending a concert. I'd advise you to unblock your prejudices just a little, free your mind and enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 06:09 AM

I take it that the reason it's 'churches' rather than just churches in Deckman's heading for this thread was because the objection is to all places of worship rather than churches as such - synagogues, mosques temples and so forth would all qualify for the thumbs down.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 06:18 AM

I might add that I've performed medieval sacred music in a church as part of a service - if you can call the Cantigas de Santa Maria sacred. At the Morpeth Gathering one year I did a short set of stories of Saint Cuthbert (from Bede) as part of a Sunday service and had the congregation singing along with Gelineau Psalm 109 (110). As an Atheist I see no problem with this whatsoever; indeed, it was an honour to do so. I had the words of Ca' The Horse Me Marra printed up in the Order of Service and the congegation sang along with that too. Awesome!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 08:45 AM

Churches have smexy acoustics. Especially cathedrals. I'd gladly go and play/listen there any day.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 10:04 AM

Is smexy good? (And if that was a typo for sexy, I can't imagine how acoustics to match that description would make for particularly good listening.)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 10:33 AM

Smexy is a term I coined to denote things that are sexy without being sexual. It came from when me and my friend discovering a chord on the piano which we both decided that we should leave our girlfriends and marry this chord. They weren't particularly happy with that.

I mostly use it for things which are very attractive, but aren't a real person. So [insert attractive model's name here] is sexy, but the Faure Requiem is smexy.

I'M NOT WEIRD!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 10:57 AM

Some say fiddlers should never darken the church door because they are playing the instrument of Saten!
   Proof here:
On the other hand some misguided souls believe that the fiddle is the only instrument that the devil will not touch because it forms the sign of the cross. There is also strong evidence that The Lord dances in time to the beat of the fiddle.
Here:


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 11:52 AM

Don, As usual, you went on a semi-literate diatribe, just to differ with me, but the fact is, liturgical music used in the Catholic Church, up till Bach, and even used today, up to even now, was the Gregorian Chants, though that has been changed since Bach. The chants were homo-phonic. Also Bach's music had the unique characteristic of having multiple 'melodies' going on, at the same time, which made up the chords. This in itself was quite revolutionary at the time....but I'm 'sure' you knew that, huh?

Also, 'Smexy' as explained is a cool term...sorta like 'sexy' and 'smarmy'...but I'd like to hear from 'DrugCrazed' if that's where is came from.

And one more point, some music, played well, and composed with certain things in mind, is FAR MORE spiritual, then many messages, heard or adhered to in churches!!..even today!


Reference to Bach, and polyphonic music. Note the words, 'The Church EVENTUALLY. ...."

When Jesus started his 'preaching' the FIRST place he went, was to the temples....and in like manner, certain music, done right, as per aforementioned, absolutely SHOULD be played in churches..and in auditoriums, and stereos, and on the street....whatever it takes, to get it into peoples ears, and into their hearts!...besides, a pithy tune, sent with well constructed lyrics, will roll around in someone's head, a lot longer, than a dry, doctrinal, sermon, which is soon forgotten, once the folks leave the church, and head for brunch!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 02:37 PM

You will note, GfS, that I said:

"If Bach wasn't 'flavor of the month' in many Catholic churches during his own lifetime, it was because he was a Lutheran. Not because he 'stacked forths.'"

The operational word that you pointed out is "eventually." Almost all of the older, mainline churches of various denominations use Bach's music in their sevices from time to time. That does not contradict anything that I said above.

Polyphony? Of course. J. S. Bach raised the art of the fugue and other polyphonic forms to intricacies that amaze musicians even today, especially in the fact that, even with their mathematical complexity, they retain, and often gain aesthetic quality.

By the way, every Sunday evening, Saint Mark's Cathedral (Episcopalian), about ten blocks north of where I live, conducts a Compline service, which is broadcast on KING-FM, Seattle. The music consists of a male choir singing Gregorian chants.

Also, in anticipation of forming a "Medieval Men's Choir" here in Seattle (there is already a Medieval Women's Choir here), Nancy Quensé, a long-time friend who sings with the women's choir told me about the new group forming and suggested that I might join it. I did, and attended several workshops on Gregorian chant and medieval music in general. In addition to singing in a choir, which I enjoyed when I attended the U. of W. School of Music, I learned a great deal in those workshops that could be applied to the singing of really old ballads. Unfortunately, due to time conflicts among the men in the group, the Medieval Men's Choir never got off the ground. Too bad! But it was a great learning experience for me.

So you see, I'm not exactly unacquainted with early liturgical music.

And as to your accusation that I corrected the errors in your post only to differ with you—GfS, you are not that important to me. Don't flatter yourself. But when you post misinformation, it should really be corrected by someone. I don't think anyone should confuse the innocent by posting misleading information just because they'd like to sound knowledgeable.

Now, back to our regular broadcast.

By the way, what are "stacked forths?"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 03:12 PM

I hope Guest from Sanity isn't suggesting there was no Catholic Polyphonic music in the time period prior to Bach. If so, the poor thing has missed out on Allegri, Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, etc. Which is a terrible shame! Some wonderful music within a very sophisticated tradition of counterpoint.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Stewart
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 04:14 PM

Two musical highlights of mine were singing with a small Pomona College vocal ensemble a Josquin des Prez (pre-Bach) polyphonic mass in Old St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco and in a Catholic cathedral in Tijuana, Mexico. These were regular church services with all the mystique and mumble-jumble of the RC Church liturgy (I had strong agnostic leanings even back then, but no harm was done). Cathedrals are fantastic spaces in which to sing.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: ripov
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 04:43 PM

A frequent occurence is for as river to be accopmpanied by an underground stream following the same course. These are said to be "stacked". A well known example in Scotland is the Stacked Forths of Firth.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 05:37 PM

Good one though, Ripov!

"Stacked Forths" ain't mine. I'm just curious. I've had music theory and history classes up the ziggy and I've never heard of "stacked forths" until now. I'm trying to visualize what this would look like on a music manuscript and imagine what they would sound like.

My local liquor store has whole shelves of stacke fifths, but that's a different ball game.

(I have visions of some ancient Viking sailing his longship up the Firth of Forth and calling out the line from the old car commercial, "It's a Fjord!!")

Oh, well.....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 07:29 PM

Drugcrazed - like it!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Effsee
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 10:19 PM

ripov..."A well known example in Scotland is the Stacked Forths of Firth."...not something I've heard of...please elucidate!


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 01:31 AM

I stand corrected, in one sense, it was 'polyphonic' music, not stacking in fourths.

Come on, you know what stacking in fourths are. I think, without scrolling back you said it earlier.

Thanks Anyway....
(Well, at least this time you were at least 'half right'.....)

GfS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 01:52 AM

GfS, I think that YOU don't know what "stacking in fourths" means.

If it means anything at all other than an attempt to sound erudite, then kindly explain it to us.

And how does it relate to polyphony?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 09:11 AM

Stacking Fourths notwithstanding, this whole business amounts to a pedantic savaging reminiscent of another perpreted by the saintly Mr Firth on one of Mudcat's oft-derided (and now, sadly, erstwhile) members. In a pragmatic sense what GfS makes perfect sense, though I don't know enough of Bach's music to say if he used it or not. He's refering to Quartal Voicings more typical of Jazz, though it would surprise me to find them employed elsewhere - even in Folk. Indeed, there are examples hinted at in medieval secular music which survive in Traditional Karadeniz Kemence music and Turkey (and Pontic Lyra music of Greece) which are based around fourths rather that fifths or thirds. It sounds strange to Western Ears, but if you start stacking up Perfect Fifths & Thirds in such a way then that sounds strange too, all the more so in an otherwise monophonic / modal context, such as the early polyphony of the medieval church (Organum), which was seemingly quite different from what Leonin and Perotin were up to at Notre Dame. Anyway, erudition notwithstanding, it's the pedantic pomposity of these attacks (and of those who cluster around like sheep) that most offends the come-all-ye Mudcat ethos which is meant to be a friendly & understanding sort of place.

I can't recall the when or the where of the orginal attack, but it came about when said Erstwhile 'Catter said Could Of instead of the more gramatically correct Could Have. On that occasion Mr Firth referred to that noxious arch-pedant and anti-linguist Lynne Truss as being delightful. What place Pedantry in folk or folklore? Much less in the constantly evolving world of language? The desperate may cling to correctness as a buoy in the rising tides of ever increasing inventiveness consequent on the living dymanic of folk & feral intercourse, but the true lover of Folk will sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of it all.

And it's got feck all to do with Humpty Dumpty either - as those in the UK will know if they've been watching the truly delightful Stephen Fry on his Sunday night programme on BBC2 (Fry's Planet Word, 9pm). Hopefully American viewers will get it before much longer.

*

[come inside my parenthesis of hypocritical shame: Earlier on in this same thread I made a similar corrective post regarding Medieval Pagan Imagery; my excuse was it was first thing on a Saturday (or was in Sunday?) morning after a particularly rough night, and no man is without his passions and the desire to share them. I hope I didn't come across as too corrective on that occasion - my sincere & cringing apologies if did.]


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: John P
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 10:09 AM

I think Keith Emerson made a career of playing fourths on top on each other. I've done it a fair bit myself. What does it have to do with anything, or are you guys just having a pedant fest?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 10:13 AM

A different concern about music in houses of worship here:


http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-happens-when-music-enters-house-of.html


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 11:49 AM

The simple version: Stacking in fourths, is mostly used by 'jazzers', though it is found it LOTS of music. Polyphonic is multiple notes at once, as opposed to the Gregorian Chant, which were common at the time.
Did I pass?

GUEST,Suibhne Astray, I got a kick reading your post!
GfS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 11:59 AM

"...the come-all-ye Mudcat ethos which is meant to be a friendly & understanding sort of place."

I must have missed that era.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 02:13 PM

I think there is a bit of confusion on someone's part as to who, here, is consistently, from thread to thread, attacking whom ("Whom." Pedantic enough for you?).

A Google search turned up some information on "stacked fourths." It seems we're talking JAZZ here, not Baroque liturgical music.

No, GfS was two or three centuries off if he was under the impression that J. S. Bach sitting there at the console and whippin' off a few cool riffs on the Flentrop organ was what made his music unwelcome in Catholic churches at the time.

Suibhne Astray, I'm afraid you might be somewhat humor-impaired. Among other things, I took Lynne Truss's book as satire. Whether she did or not.

Ye Gods, there are some humorless people here on these threads!

(Or should that be "humourless?")

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 02:47 PM

Yes.








:-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 03:23 PM

Found in a fortune cookie:

"One should strive to grasp the distinction between pedantry and accuracy."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 03:44 PM

I saw many stacked fifths in the liquor store a few days back. So, I know THEY exist.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 04:15 PM

In the Gospel of John, the story is recounted that Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and when the wine runs out, Jesus performs his first miracle by turning water into wine.

There are folks on this thread who should understand that their ability to turn beer into urine does not mean they have Divine Powers.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 05:11 PM

---"One should strive to grasp the distinction between pedantry and accuracy."---
,.,.,.,
Why ~~ I am accurate
       You are pedantic
       He is a fussy old bugger


               SIMPLES


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 05:28 PM

and when the wine runs out, Jesus performs his first miracle by turning water into wine.

As an old mate once said:

'Gentle Jesus, Lord Divine, who turned the water into wine;
Please forgive we lowly men who wish to turn it back again.'


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 06:37 PM

A fairly reliable way to get some hard-charging, tee-totaling evangelist to consign you to the depths of Hell is when he or she starts honking annoyingly about the Evils of Drink, point out that Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast.

They usually come back with something really lame, like "But that was not wine! That was really grape juice!" Then you respond with, "But in the Bible, it clearly says 'wine.' Are you telling me that the Bible is NOT the Inerrant Word of God?"

At that point, they usually turn a lovely shade of purple and say, "I will pray for you!"

Don Firth

P. S. And then, if you are a real sadist and want to do them in totally, say, "Gee, thanks! Now—would you care for a snifter of really fine brandy? I'm going to have one."


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 07:02 PM

HEY ... YOU GUYS ... KNOCK IT OFF! I started a serious thread about my reluctance to attend a concert of folk music in a "church." Early on, some posters caught my drift and posted thoughtful and respectfull answers. I appreciate that. If I take the effort to start a serious thread, I appreciate it when mudcatters respond in kind.

But you guys ... GEEZE LOUISE ... what in the heck does any of this crap have to do with my original question?

I know that I have probably invited more personal attacks with this posting. Let me leave you with an honest thought ...

If every time I post a thoughful question to the mudcatters and I run into this CRAP ... I obviously will leave Mudcat. I will miss it, because there a lot of thoughtful and knowledgable people here. But ... I'm ready to quit Mudcat. Life is too short and I've got more important things to do. Respectfully ... bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 07:07 PM

Bob, request that the thread be shut down. You started the thread, so that's a reasonable request.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 08:50 PM

I already have.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 09:06 PM

To be fair Deckman, you never said 'why' you thought having concerts in church was such a bad idea. It could be because you think Christianity is misguided, you may not like the company religion keeps, or you might feel the acoustics are lousy. Without that kind of detail people will guess, which is what they've done and reached their own conclusions.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 03:39 AM

Bob, why is it a "church"? Do you describe places that sell beer as a "pub", or the place that you live in as your "house", or your workplace as the "office"?

What is it with the inverted commas? Enlighten us, "pray" do.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 03:55 AM

Deckman: " I know that I have probably invited more personal attacks with this posting. Let me leave you with an honest thought ..."

You are right!

I posted this originally, which was a respectful post, then the usual argumentative 'thread hijacker' went berserk, and did what he always does.


"Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 02:16 AM

If you are Catholic, it would bother you...if your Protestant, not so much. If you're REALLY into good music, and can play it(well), churches are as good as a place as any.
BTW, did you know that the Church(Catholic, at the time), banned Bach's music from being played in their churches, or rituals...."

Respectfully,
GfS


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 05:03 AM

I'll say it again, just because you start off a discussion doesn't mean you OWN it; just because you start off a thread, doesn't mean it's YOUR THREAD or that you have the right of termination. Think of it as a baby. You've brought it into this world, it takes its first steps, it grows, it matures, it makes its own mind up and it goes where it likes. It time it might come to despise everything you stand for. Such is life.

Just because you don't like it or agree with it doesn't make it CRAP. Everything on here stems from the notion of MUSIC in CHURCHES - where's the problem? It's been a great thread, great fun and any emerging differences (ahem) have been solved in fine old style with recourse to The Good Wine of Life & Conviviality - though I might add, Don, that most Catholics of my acquaintance take Christ at his word and are total pissheads as a result!

On the subject of which, here's a Medieval song collected by those venerable monks of Benediktbeuern into their 13th Century Codex Buranus which sums up much of the above discussion & echoes my own feelings on the subject.

IN TABERNA QUANDO SUMUS

In taberna quando sumus,
non curamus quid sit humus,
sed ad ludum properamus,
cui semper insudamus.
quid agatur in taberna
ubi nummus est pincerna,
hoc est opus ut quaeratur;
si quid loquar, audiatur.

Quidam ludunt,
quidam bibunt,
quidam indiscrete vivunt.
sed in ludo qui morantur,
ex his quidam denudantur,
quidam ibi vestiuntur,
quidam saccis induuntur;
ibi nullus timet mortem,
sed pro Baccho mittunt sortem.

Primo pro nummata vini;
ex hac bibunt libertini;
semel bibunt pro captivis,
post haec bibunt ter pro vivis,
quater pro Christianis cunctis,
quinquies pro fidelibus defunctis,
sexies pro sororibus vanis,
septies pro militibus silvanis.
octies pro fratribus perversis,
nonies pro monachis dispersis,
decies pro navigantibus,
undecies pro discordantibus,
duodecies pro paenitentibus,
tredecies pro iter agentibus.

Tam pro papa quam pro rege
bibunt omnes sine lege.
Bibit hera, bibit herus,
bibit miles, bibit clerus,
bibit ille, bibit illa,
bibit servus cum ancilla,
bibit velox, bibit piger,
bibit albus, bibit niger,
bibit constans, bibit vagus,
bibit rudis, bibit magus,
Bibit pauper et aegrotus,
bibit exul et ignotus,
bibit puer, bibit canus,
bibit praesul et decanus,
bibit soror, bibit frater,
bibit anus, bibit mater,
bibit ista, bibit ille,
bibunt centum, bibunt mille.

Parum sescentae nummatae
durant cum immoderate
bibunt omnes sine meta,
quamvis bibant mente laeta;
sic nos rodunt omnes gentes,
et sic erimus egentes.
qui nos rodunt confundantur
et cum iustis non scribantur.


Translated:

When we are in the tavern, we do not care about what earth is (i.e. what we are made of), we set about gambling and over that we always sweat. We must investigate what happens in the tavern where money is the butler; pay attention to what I say.

Some gamble, some drink, some live without discretion. From those who spend their time in gambling, some are stripped bare, some win clothes, some are dressed in sacks; there no-one fears death, but for the wine they throw dice.

First, for the payment of the wine (i.e. who pays for the wine). Then the boozers start to drink; they drink once to those in prison, after that, three times for the living, four times for all Christendom, five times for the faithful departed, six times for sisters of loose virtue, seven times for soldiers of the forest, eight times for brothers in error, nine times for scattered monks, ten times for those who sail, eleven times for men quarrelling, twelve times for those doing penance, thirteen times for those on journeys.

For pope and king alike all drink without restraint.

The mistress drinks, so does the master, the soldier drinks, so does the cleric, that man drinks, that woman drinks, the servant drinks with the maid, the fast man drinks, so does the slow, the white man drinks, so does the black, the stay-at-home drinks, so does the wanderer, the fool drinks, so does the scholar.

The poor drink, and the sick, the exile and the unknown, the boy, the greybeard, the bishop, the deacon, sister, brother, old woman, mother, that woman, this man, they drink by the hundred, by the thousand.

Large sums of money last too short a time when everybody drinks without moderation and limit, even though they drink with a happy heart; in this everyone sponges on us and it will make us poor.

Damnation to those who sponge on us! Put not their names in the book of Just.


*

Some of you will no doubt recognise this from Carl Orff's famous setting, but here it is on YouTube sung to its original Medieval melody in fine old style by the Clemencic Consort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMYyQS3CefU

Also in the Codex Buranus we find the blasphemous Gambler's Mass, which echoes the Asinaria Festa in much of its anti-clerical sentiments. Without doubt such secular shit-slinging (literally in the case of the Asinaria Festa) took part in Churches, Monasteries, Abbeys and Cathedrals throughout medieval Europe and the UK. It was all part of the general crack of the thing - jovial, human, inclusive, earthy, obscene, carnal, divine - the very concerns we see echoed in the songs of the Codex Buranus and Misericord carvings.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 08:59 AM

I suppose we can tend to feel possessive or at least protective of threads we start - but we don't own them, and can't just wind them up. Like having a child, as Suibhne said, or lighting a fire. (If you start a tune in a session and you can lift up your leg to mark an end, but that doesn't always work.)

When drift gets in the way of a discussion that can be annoying - but in this case that hasn't happened. The original point has been tossed around and explored pretty extensively, and the discussion has moved on. That's what discussions do.

If the discussion has moved on to stuff Deckman isn't interested in, well there are plenty of other threads, and its easy enough to pull up an old one or start a new one if need be.

I've always quite enjoyed it when a thread I've started keeps on going and veers off into strange territory. Even if I stop contributing I like to drop in and see how things are going. Perhaps Deckman might do that, if this one keeps going.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 09:07 AM

Thanks fellows ... I appreciate the lectures. Maybe, at some time in the future, I'll check in again and see how mudcat is doing. Best wishes ... bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 12:38 PM

m ay be not quite accurate that a thread cant be closed just by asking.
a post i was contributing to was closed following a proposer and a seconder.
maybe thats how its done?
no explanation given.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 01:11 PM

No one's saying a thread can't be closed by asking (as I've heard say) - but I'm sure there're other factors involved than a petulant OP just needing a little help to get over himself and his irrational phobia of Churches. There's been secular music in Churches going back hundreds of years - and lots of secular elememts incorporated into the liturgy, from Pagan Roman Chant that (allegedly) formed the basis of early Xtian plainsong to the sort of ghastly Fun 'n' Folk Mass certain clergy feel the need to inflict on their flocks in more recent times. Indeed, I remember one idiot priest playing REM's Everybody Hurts over his ghetto blaster during Holy Communion. I had to leave the church for fear of pissing myself, but no one else was amused I'm sure & the stunt, fortunately, wasn't repeated.

The situation is oddly reversed in the UK Registry Office where couples are denied even a hint of religion in their state marriage ceremony - even Robbie Williams Angels is a no-no. We got round this by sneeking in an In Nomine by Willian Lawes which is essentially a secular piece of music using a sacred ground. My wife's Mother Church wouldn't marry us on account of me being still married (although long divorced). Whilst this sort of mushy-mouthed medievalism irks me greatly, I'm pragmatic enouigh in my atheism to take it in good grace. Indeed, I tore up the papers our local priest gave me necessary to annul my first marriage. As said priest said, it's all a Godless lot of crap anyway.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 05:17 PM

Well, if there are people still wanting to talk, it doesn't make sense to close down a thread just because somebody asked. We accept requests for thread closure, talk about it, and then make a decision.
This thread has been distasteful to me from the very beginning - even the enclosure of the word 'churches' in quotes rubs me the wrong way.

But hell, anti-religious bigotry is the law of the land at Mudcat. After all, says the Conventional Wisdom, it's only right to insult people who practice religion, since they're such a horrible blight on humankind.

Bullshit.

I have felt insulted by almost every religion thread at Mudcat.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 05:41 PM

Be warned before you start. This screed is pretty long.

I wanted to say something on the particular subject that Deckman addressed in his opening post. And this, if you will indulge me, is a test run. I have just loaded the latest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a voice recognition and dictation program, on my laptop and I wanted to give it a workout. So here we go:

####

I've gone to churches to hear musical performances a number of times, and I've also sung in churches from time to time. For the most part, these were performances that had nothing to do with the church itself. The church was merely the venue.

Most of my early experiences with churches were reasonably pleasant. I can't say that my father was not a religious man, but he was not in the habit of going to church with any regularity. I think he found his religious experiences in nature. He loved to get out on a body of water such as Puget Sound in the small boat and just cruise around, under the guise of fishing. He never talked much about things religious.

My mother, on the other hand, was a "seeker." She recalled a time in her early twenties when she and a friend went to church of a Sunday morning and heard the same droning, boring sermon she had heard off and on every Sunday morning for most of her life. As they were leaving the church, her friend heaved a heavy sigh, and said, "That just wasn't enough food for my soul!" Mom said that was exactly how she felt. She read a great deal, often in Eastern religions, and dipped into the occult from time to time. Whenever we went to church, it was usually on a religious holiday such as Christmas or Easter. Then sporadically there would be periods where we would attend one church or another with some regularity, such as the Christian Science church a couple of blocks from where we lived, or a Unity church near downtown. Also, for a period of time, she attended the Vedanta Center (genuine Hindu swami presiding) on the north side of Capitol Hill on Sunday mornings. As I said, she was a "seeker."

My own religious beliefs (if any) are a slumgullion composed of a mixture of skepticism and speculation, liberally spiced with both ancient and modern philosophy, and fairly solidly anchored by my love for and fascination with science and cosmology.

Do I believe in God? Well, yes and no. I have a hard time buying the image of the big, muscular Father Figure dressed in a nightshirt, with the stern visage and long beard, who keeps careful accounts of who's naughty and nice, hurls the occasional thunderbolt, marks the fall of every sparrow, and who cobbled this whole, immense Cosmos together in seven literal days a mere 6,000 years ago.

On the other hand, I also have a hard time buying the idea that it's all just a random, mechanical construct with no underlying purpose or meaning.

I figure that if the Cosmos was purposefully built by someone or something, then that someone or something is so far beyond our understanding and ability to comprehend that for someone to seriously say that he or she knows the Mind of God, they either have to be a con-merchant or seriously bewildered.

Who knows? We all may be little bits of fungus growing in some celestial Petri dish, and what we think of as God is merely a lab technician in some Universal Laboratory.

I have an emotional prejudice against the idea that it's All Meaningless, and that when I come to fall off the twig, my awareness (Soul? Whatever.) will simply wink out. But—who really knows?

Nobody, that's who. No matter how hard they pound on the Bible.

But I'm cool. My mother was kind of into the idea of reincarnation a bit. I figure that when my time comes, if there IS an Afterlife, it will be a whole new adventure. But if not, I will have no "awareness" with which to be disappointed. So, no sweat.

I have been "assaulted" by a variety of weirdos who were hell-bent on saving my soul (I think their minister gave them a quota or something), but due to a course I took at the University of Washington back shortly after the Big Bang, "The Bible as Literature," I was well armed against such assaults. In the class there was absolutely NO religious discussion allowed. What we read was to be discussed as literary works, short stories, poetry, et al, and the prof stepped heavily on anyone who wanted to discuss any possible religious interpretations. Therefore, when someone started slapping me around with verses from the Bible, I was able to interrupt them and say, "Wait a minute! That isn't what that verse means!" then quote it back to them in context and point out what it really meant.

I could be a real pain in the ass to self-appointed soul-savers! (Fun!!)

My wife was raised in the Lutheran church, and went to church regularly all of her life, so when we got married, I started going with her. Despite the fact that she went to a main-line church all her life, she's an independent thinker, and she thinks very much the way I do. We're both members of Central Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The pastors have all been cool, and the pastor who was there when I first joined, and all of the subsequent ones, were people I could have long, philosophical discussions with. They were open to all kinds of speculation and were not at all dogmatic.

In fact, one of them once held up a copy of the Bible and said, 'This is NOT the Boy Scout Manual! It's full of questions, not answers! And that's what we're here to discuss."

I can get thoroughly disgusted with some of these people who claim to be "Christians" (displaying a great deal of Pride—which is one of the Seven Deadly Sins—in the idea that they are saved and you, undoutedly, are not) who espouse ideas and principles that, according to the Bible, anyway, Jesus specifically preached against! Plenty of examples of this. Compare what Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-40 to the current crop of hard-charging evangelical "Christian" Right-Wingers who want to obliterate such things as Social Security and Medicare and eliminate all social programs—and then rant that they're trying to turn the United States into a "Christian" country as the Founding Fathers intended, thereby displaying their ignorance of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights as well. Bloody hypocrites!!

And I get equally disgusted with the kind of "Christians" who do little but dwell on other people's sins, are dogmatic and dictatorial, and emphasize the "Thou shalt nots" rather than talking about anything positive, such as forgiveness and redemption-- which, incidentally, is what Jesus talked about most of the time. It's this kind of negative mentality that will generously allow a kid to practice his lessons on the church's piano during off hours, and then, when he practices some scales and tries to work a bit on a piece by Fredric Chopin, they yank him off the piano for playing "that sort of thing" (was Chopin a Rastafarian or something?) and not "Christian music." With that sort of intimidation and general repressive atmosphere, no wonder the kid develops a life-long aversion to churches and religion in general.

To me, church buildings are bricks and mortar, and most of them have very good acoustics. They're intended to be that way, obviously. I have no qualms about going to a church to hear some non-affiliated musician or musical group perform. Nor do I have any qualms about performing in most churches provided I'm free to perform what I what (keeping in mind such things as good taste. I would not be inclined to sing "Sam Hall" with a stained glass picture of Jesus smiling benevolently down at me).

In the church to which Barbara and I belong, I have heard a number of concerts, including a couple of lutenists doing duets (very suitable setting for the Renaissance music they were playing) and I also heard an "early music" group who did several songs from D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy" (from which Ed McCurdy got most of the songs he sang on his "When Dalliance was in Flower and Maidens Lost their Heads" albums). Nobody complained.

I have also performed in this church, taking part in periodic social evenings within the congregation (singing programs of folk songs and ballads), and at one Christmas Eve candlelight service, I played the guitar and sang a duet of "Silent Night" with one of the choir members, duplicating the first time the carol was sung—duet with guitar accompaniment. I also sang John Jacob Niles's "I Wonder as I Wander," and then provided guitar accompaniment for my wife and another woman as they sang, in duet, the "Coventry Carol" and "Down in Yon Forest." Most appropriate for a Christmas Eve candlelight service.

But—there ARE churches—self-styled "Christian" churches like the negative ones I talk about above—that I would not enter under ANY circumstances.

Major point: Since Barbara and I are members of the church, for the concert on October 14th, 2007, we got the use of the church without charge. Just as a courtesy, I slipped a few bucks to the custodian because he had to hang around 'til the concert and reception were over and do whatever tidying up might be necessary. None of it went into the church funds.

But even if it had, that would not have particularly bothered me, knowing this church as I do. The pastor insists on taking a much smaller salary than is usual for pastors, and most of the church funds, provided by the Sunday collection plate and various contributions and donations from the congregation, go for such programs as providing nourishing meals in the large meeting room in the parish house next door for people down on their luck (without their having to "pay" for the meal by listening to a sermon). The church is also involved in an ongoing program of finding or providing safe and comfortable housing for the homeless or those with low incomes.

They "preach" service, taking their lesson from the text in Matthew 25:35-40 as mentioned above, and they practice what they preach.

Don Firth

Note: all of the above done by dictation, including additions and corrections and general editing and tidying up, without having to touch the keyboard.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 06:10 PM

Well Joe ... I'll apologize to YOU, but only to you. And I apologize to you because of my great respect for you.

When I started this thread, I was sincerly wondering if anyone other than myself had difficulties entering a church for a folk music concert.

I certainly wasn't trying to start a fight, but I guess I should have known better. STOOOPID ME! eh?

I'm outa' here. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: John P
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 07:07 PM

I have felt insulted by almost every religion thread at Mudcat.

Joe, would it be more accurate to say that every religion thread has had individuals on them who write insulting things? The threads themselves, from what I've seen, have MOSTLY not been started as insults, and many people are perfectly polite, even if they disagree with religious belief in general. I hope I've stayed in that category; please let me know if I ever cross a line for you.

Anyone who paints all religious people (or all atheists, or all anything else) with the same brush are just garden-variety losers. I'm especially tired of the incessant review of religious atrocities from the past. Stupid and pointless! But I've also had several really good discussions with fair-minded people on these threads.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 07:35 PM

Joe, you feel insulted because you're on one "side" of the issue. The law of the land here is to fight about anything that suits your fancy, even if that fight has happened to the point where anybody with a brain is actually bored by it.

It's the internet. 4% of the people on the internet are either assholes or morons, and another 1% is just batshit crazy. Unfortunately, that 3% writes 99% of the posts, and the only thing they care about is having an audience for their shit.

Are we having fun yet?


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 11 - 12:20 AM

Well, Jeri, I'm insulted because it's people here that I like who are so closed-minded to religious thinking, that all they can see is fundamentalism, judgmentalism, and prejudice among religious people. It's very evident that fundamentalism, judgmentalism, and prejudice exist among some religious people, but that's far from the norm.

That being said, I have to say that there have been some very good and very tolerant things said in this thread, even by atheists. Here's something from Suibhne that I liked very much:
    I merely meant that established religions - be they RC or Anglican - tend to comprise mostly civilised individuals who recognise the folkloric realities of religion (i.e. they can't all be right but they can all be wrong) and treat their entirely subjective faith accordingly and refrain from proselytizing because, deep down, that faith is gratifyingly accomodating of the fact that there are as many spiritual truths on this planet as there are individual human beings.


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Subject: RE: Public concerts in 'churches' ?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 13 Oct 11 - 05:12 AM

there are as many spiritual truths on this planet as there are individual human beings.

I think that's the one thing any of us can be certain about and why, essentially, I'm an atheist, but insist on being all accommodating if a little evangelistically so at times, but only by way of a greater sense of inclusion. In discussion these things are always more straightforward and polemical, especially on-line; I don't even debate the issues with door-to-door canvassers anymore and though many of my friends & family are deeply religious (my sister-in-law is head of religious studies at an RC high school) we get along famously.

Earlier on I figured that the only truly sacred buildings are our homes - in terms of sanctuary, sanctity and a more vivid sense of 'Holiness', the violation of which is quite unthinkable. This sacredness is at once common to all (all who have homes anyway) & entirely subjective, just as spirituality is subjective, just as life experience is subjective. We have our joys, sorrows, loves, losses, and in our homes we mark these with seasonal rites and anniversaries, Folklore, Customs and Traditions which are also strictly personal, totally objective and unique from one family to a next even though they might just happen to share superficial similarities to what may or may not happen next door.

In England, Churches are an integral aspect of our urban and rural landscapes; big, small, old, new - they are loved of all & cherished by the religious and the atheist alike. In many cases they are iconic to our regional ID - like Durham Cathedral, which exists on any number of cultural levels. For some, it's all about the incorrupt corpse of a celebrated Northumbrian Saint, and of the Venerable Bede who collected his hagiography together in terms of enchanting Folk Tales full of humour, exciting miracles, enchanting animals and a richer humanity that makes Saint Cuthbert a fascinating figure to this day. For others Durham Cathedral will be sacred because to Jimi Hendrix it was fairy-land; something I bear in mind everytime I look at that famous view from the train window as you cross the viaduct...

In terms of wider Folklore, perhaps the most enduring memories of music in Durham Cathedral is the times I've been in there during the Miners' Gala and the acoustics come alive as a colliery band plays Gresford - or something suitably solemn, but not overtly sacred - only in the hearts that are stilled to a tremor in the presence of something that awesome, but essentially unsayable, however so common the cause which now exists in terms of a raw cultural emotion. Other times I've watched operas by Peter Maxwell Davies (the Martyrdom of Saint Magnus back in 1977 - ostensibly religious but Max concentrated as much on contemporary persecution as he does on saintly themes; the cathedral was ideal space for both) and Henry Purcell (Dido and Aeneas is as pagan as it gets, but Durham Cathedral accommodated it, wanton sailors, witches & all, with good grace).

During the York Early Music festival it would be hard to avoid music in churches - sacred, secular, solemn, sensual. I've seen Jordi Savall's Hesperion XXI up by the high alter in the Minster playing Spanish secular Folias, Villancicos and Canarios - and I've seen Esther Lamandier playing medieval love songs on harp and portative organ in a fine old church back in 1981 (can't remember which). We missed Emma Kirkby's recital in Ss Peter and Paul at Salle a few years ago, but in our travels (which always includes historic churches) you'd be amazed at the variety of musical performances happening in the most far-flung parishes. People - artists & punters alike - warm to the cultural & historical resonance of an old church. The spiritual dimension is always subjective; that's a personal thing, but one thing we can all share in is the beauty of place and a more communal appreciation of its place in our wider community, history & folklore both local and national. Anyone who owns Simon Jenkins' England's Thousand Best Churches will know what I mean; just as they will also know that it barely represents the tip of the iceberg.


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Mudcat time: 18 October 8:14 AM EDT

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