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Can a believer sing Atheist songs?

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Related threads:
Lyr Req: For the Godless March on Washington (84)
Lyr Add: A Carol For Sceptics/Skeptics (24)
Atheist Hymns (104)
Can An Atheist Sing Believer Songs? (114)
Godless March on Washington - looking for songs (5) (closed)
Atheist Hymnal (71)
Lyr Add: Godless America (13)
Can you sing 'Gospel' without Belief? (108)


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Subject: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:20 AM

What the hell...this is a question which I think has a burning need to be answered without delay! Go to it...

:-)

- LH


    This is one of those borderline threads that could be considered either music or BS. Since it turned up in the music half of the Forum when it was refreshed, it should be left there.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:22 AM

Suggest some examples then ...

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:23 AM

Aw...I thought I'd leave the hard work to the rest of you...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:25 AM

Depends on what you mean. Can a person with belief sing a song with no overt religious content? of course. (Though he/she may well endow it with some)

Can they sing a song that denies what they believe in? Probably - but it may well cause a great deal of mental anguish.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:25 AM

Well, okay then, there's one called "Plastic Jesus". It's about having a plastic Jesus mounted on the dashboard of your car, etc...

How about that one?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:29 AM

Sounds far too easy to me. It's obviously not about anything a Believer would believe in, so no real challenge. Can't you come up with something better than that???


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:32 AM

Hmmmmm....well, give me some time here...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Burke
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM

I first heard Plastic Jesus from a Catholic priest. It's not atheistic, it's making fun of a particular religious practice that's easy to ridicule. It's more a Catholic practice & I suspect any Catholic who finds it funny gets a bigger kick out of it than others just because it hits closer to home.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:45 AM

Depends on your point of view. For some people that is a song of faith. for others, it ridicules their faith.

I personally think it falls somewhere inbetween; sort of like the derogatory toasts at a "roast"


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Burke
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:48 AM

When our Oratorio Society sang Elijah I had a really hard time singing "Baal, we cry to thee." It really is a fun chorus & was easy to sing with meaning. Had my fingers crossed the whole time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STAND UP FOR JUDAS
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:58 AM

Right, Little Hawk. I've given you a chance. Now I've had to go and get a goo'un meself! How about this one from Leon Rosselson (good writer).

STAND UP FOR JUDAS (Leon Rosselson)

Chorus:
So stand up, stand up for Judas and the cause that Judas served
It was Jesus who betrayed the poor with his word

The Romans were the masters when Jesus walked the land
In Judea and in Galilee they ruled with an iron hand
And the poor were sick with hunger and the rich were clothed in splendour
And the rebels whipped and crucified hung rotting as a warning
And Jesus knew the answer
Said, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, said, Love your enemies
But Judas was a Zealot and he wanted to be free
Resist, he said, The Romans' tyranny

Jesus was a conjuror, miracles were his game
And he fed the hungry thousands and they glorified his name
He cured the lame and the lepers, he calmed the wind and the weather
And the wretched flocked to touch him so their troubles would be taken
And Jesus knew the answer
All you who labour, all you who suffer only believe in me
But Judas sought a world where no one starved or begged for bread
The poor are always with us, Jesus said

Now Jesus brought division where none had been before
Not the slaves against their masters but the poor against the poor
Set son to rise up against father, and brother to fight against brother
For he that is not with me is against me, was his teaching
Said Jesus, I am the answer
You unbelievers shall burn forever, shall die in your sins
Not sheep and goats, said Judas, But together we may dare
Shake off the chains of misery we share

Jesus stood upon the mountain with a distance in his eyes
I am the way, the life, he cried, The light that never dies
So renounce all earthly treasures and pray to your heavenly father
And he pacified the hopeless with the hope of life eternal
Said Jesus, I am the answer
And you who hunger only remember your reward's in Heaven
So Jesus preached the other world but Judas wanted this
And he betrayed his master with a kiss

By sword and gun and crucifix Christ's gospel has been spread
And 2,000 cruel years have shown the way that Jesus led
The heretics burned and tortured, and the butchering, bloody crusaders
The bombs and rockets sanctified that rain down death from heaven
They followed Jesus, they knew the answer
All non-believers must be believers or else be broken
So put no trust in Saviours, Judas said, For everyone
Must be to his or her own self - a sun


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM

I'd be okay with this until about halfway through the third verse - then it gives specifics that I cannot espouse.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:13 AM

Quite a lot of hymns are like that for me. I can still sing them though.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:14 AM

Though I know some fundementalist Christians who would have no problem singing the above song.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:14 AM

I think anybody can sing whatever they please. If there's something that makes you uncomfortable, don't sing it.

My boss is Jewish but enjoys Christmas songs because she likes the music. I have heard some Jewish songs I like because the melodies are pretty.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:15 AM

I'm Catholic and I think the song "Vatican Rag" is hysterical. It makes a complete mockery of the whole religion but I think it's funny anyway. If you can't have a sense of humor, why bother?
"First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries;
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!..."


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:17 AM

Vatican Rag is like Plastic Jesus. They don't mock the religion - they mock specific practices of a church that has grown up around man's interpetation of the religion.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Ole Bull
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:20 AM

How about the version of "Old Time Religion"-parody that goes.. "Let us pray to Zoroaster"/Aphrodite, et.al....


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:23 AM

How about Monty Python's Every Sperm is Sacred?


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:26 AM

Always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Answer to Q

I don't know being a pagan myself, but I suspect that ther are so many good songs out there that the "beievers" could not help themselves

Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:28 AM

Now that I have no problem at all with. Just the way my mind works.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:35 AM

Ah, yes, Ian...I heard that song once. A fellow Mudcatter, MaryMac90, played me a tape with that song on it. While I agree it's somewhat cleverly written, I also think it's really breathtakingly stupid in its utter incomprehension of both Jesus' teachings and Judas' role in the events of the time.

Man, I could go on for hours about that f*cking song!

Let's see...Rosselson clearly believes that man does live by bread alone...he'd have made a great Communist, since that appears to have been their presumption as well.

The various historical atrocities he connects with Jesus' teachings in the last verse certainly happened...and they happened in utter contradiction of what Jesus taught, so why the hell blame Jesus for it? Blame the lunatic churches who founded themselves in his name and betrayed everything he ever stood for.

Get this: Jesus was not a Christian! And those who call themselves Christians have frequently violated everything he stood for (some of them, that is...).

Judas' method of civil resistance was actually attempted not long after Judas and Jesus departed this world. The result: The Romans destroyed Jerusalem, razed it to the ground, and trapped the last of the Jewish zealouts in the fortress at Masada, where they all died (mostly by suicide). Big success! Looks like Jesus was dead right about where that sort of armed resistance would lead...

Jesus was teaching people to achieve the kingdom of heaven while still on Earth, by altering their inner consciousness, which is what all great spiritual masters teach people. He was teaching transformation HERE AND NOW. Rosselson's 4rth verse is utterly off the mark, and again is aimed at many contemporary Christian churches, but not at Jesus. His argument is with those churches and their followers, not with Jesus.

You don't have to be a church person to appreciate what Jesus taught.

Jesus also spoke in parables. Rosselson clearly is a literalist and doesn't get them. In fact, I'd say he has more in common with the most extreme Christian fundamentalists in that respect than he does with anyone who has even a glimmer of spiritual understanding of life.

As Jesus clearly indentified, the Scribes and Pharisees in the Jewish community (the spiritual and educational leadership of the time) were the most oppressive over the minds of the Jewish community. It was a deeper and subtler form of domination than what the Romans were practicing, because it hid behind the mask of the familiar, customary, and accepted. That is why Jesus' main struggle was with those people, not with the Romans. It was those people who conspired against him and had him killed, not the Romans.

Jesus had an appreciation of subtlety. Rosselson simply does not. In spiritual terms he is a moron. Judas was well-intentioned, I believe, and I think he fully expected Jesus to rescue himself by divine power, and I think he was following Jesus' instructions to the letter when he "betrayed" him. It was all orchestrated ahead of time by Jesus. Then, when Jesus died on the cross, Judas felt responsible for it and hung himself, because he didn't understand what was yet to occur (the resurrection). If Judas had actually considered Jesus to be a traitor to the poor, then why would he have had an attack of remorse afterward and hung himself????

My conclusion: This is the most stupid, f*cking, pretentious, off-the-mark, piece of shit song about Jesus that I have ever heard or expect to hear! Leon Rosselson, get a dunce cap and sit in the corner and hang your head in shame...

Lest you misunderstand, I believe in Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and every every holy figure you have probably ever heard of...because they all taught the same thing. People with guns in their hands will never improve this world.

Ian, my question has been answered. I cannot imagine any occasion on which I would be willing to sing that particular song. Ironical, what? (As the Brits might say...) I've been harpooned by my own flippin' thread! :-) Aaaaaaarrrghhh!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:38 AM

I have no problem with the conflict as set up in the first four verses of the song (above).

My problem is that the final verse incongruously changes which side of the equation is responsible for which historical action or branch of Chrisendom.

It is the "followers of Judas" who mistakenly marry Christianity to government and institutional religion (by the auther's own admission in the first four verses). It is the followers of Jesus who would not make that mistake (in truly Christ-like belief), but would seek personal holiness and selfless living.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:39 AM

and people - "believer's" don't have to be christian or even of the judeo/christian/islamic triad. And if you say they do - then you are making a mockery of the faith of thousands of generations of people - as well as a pretty good proportion of those alive today.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:40 AM

My 1st reaction was a facetious "Why the hell not?!" Truthfully, however, I have problems not only w/ themes but also, sometimes, w/ words. I don't use "divine" words--God, Jesus, hell, damn--except in their religious context & songs that use them are uncomfortable for me. There's a song I'm familiar w/ from Gordon Bok that ends, "And to hell w/ all them Bibles!" I like the song, but I always end up mumbling on that phrase. The Bible says that using words like that lightly offends God & I don't want to do that. I try to live my faith, not just talk it.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:42 AM

LH

In a satirical situation I think I might. Seems to me we sometimes take ourselves a little too seriously and sometimes it allows us to look more closely at ourselves if we sing things we disagree with.

By the way, Leon Rosselson is a Jewish Socialist. Some of his songs are rather better than this one.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:42 AM

Little Hawk,

Obviously we cross-posted. It is heartening for me that you drew the same conclusion about the writer's (intentional?) illogical jump that the teachings of Jesus led to the atrocities for which the author blames him.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:44 AM

Depends on whether you sing with your heart or your voice.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:56 AM

"Can a believer sing Atheist songs?"

of course not, they'd be struck by lightning about verse two!

(silly question, silly answer)


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:03 AM

I also am somewhat of a socialist, by the way. Let Rosselson scratch his head over that one. He would have loved the scribes and pharisees...they had the same bloody-minded attitude he does, and he would most likely have slit his own throat at Masada, as the Romans prepared for the final assault.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Terry K
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:03 AM

This fairly lame discussion seems to centre around things which are anti-Christian and/or anti-religion. The thread title refers to "atheist" which is something COMPLETELY different.

At the risk of patronising everyone, a-theistic, or non-theistic people are not necessarily ANTI anything. Atheism is simply the absence of any theistic beliefs, (cf amoral, asexual etc), that is to say the absence of any belief in the need to deify (declare godlike qualities to) and then to worship the resulting deity (god).

Please bear in mind that we are ALL born atheists. It is only when our "elders and betters" get to work on us that we have theism and religion thrust upon us, with such a devastating brainwashing effect that even otherwise sensible people get sucked in.

So we don't BECOME atheist, we simply REVERT once we see through the nonsense.

Here endeth the lesson...

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:06 AM

Terry, thing is I think we all started by agreeing that A-theistic songs were no problem and moved along to where we thought the originator of the thread was going.

For your interest and/or amusement, I found this when I was looking for unchristian songs.

IDOLATRY!

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:07 AM

Ah, Terry, in my case it was exactly the other way around...took me decades to shake off the brainwashing inflicted on me by my atheistic elders. The lesson endeth not....

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:10 AM

Whoops IDOLS!


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:17 AM

Oh, and Terry...do the children who remember previous lives also get born as atheists? Hmmm?

Check into it, if you've got time. Lots of relevant literature out there.

I have also heard of very young children who gave their parents spiritual instruction...on their own volition...and astounded them. Reverse brainwashing? Or actual perception unclouded by adult prejudice?

I don't expect to convince you of anything, but just to suggest that you have a monopoly on neither maturity nor the knowledge of such matters.

No use talking about advanced chess to someone who's never played the game, is there?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:21 AM

Ian - that site almost makes me nauseous! The thought that there are people who seriously believe the "logic" therein does give me a sick feeling.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:27 AM

Well I rather like some of the quotes, for example

"It is impious presumption in any man to attempt to exercise this high mediatorial prerogative."

;-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

Agreed, Mario...my God, I have launched a monster here. Observe as it crawls forth, jibbering demonically, as fundamentalists of both the religious and the atheistic persuasion gird themselves for battle, and rush forth across the plain, scattering bolts of verbal pomposity amid the wrack and ruin. Where is Spaw when we need him? Hurry back, Spaw.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:38 AM

So, have we come up with any examples of atheist songs yet? It seems funny to imagine a bunch of atheists sitting around, singing songs about what they DON'T believe.

(to the tune of Be Thou My Vision:)

I got no visions, cos there ain't no God
Ain't got no soul, just my physical bod'
All o' them theists are sorely deceived
We KNOW or DON'T KNOW; we never BELIEVE.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:38 AM

I think "we" have been able to keep it amicable, tho' Little Hawk.

And some parts of that "idol" site are laughable - but sorta the "if I don't laugh I'm gonna puke or weep" type laughter. (my opinion, of course)


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:00 PM

I like it, Mousethief...

I think the only way we are going to get a large body of atheist songs out there is if Bob Dylan goes through a dramatic conversion to militant atheism and does 2 or 3 albums of really dour and fanatical atheist anthems...like...

I Don't Believe In You
Property of Man
Foot of Pride Revisited
Precious Fallen Angel
You Don't Gotta Serve Nobody
Knockin' on No One's Door
Death IS the End!

And so on...

I think the reason there aren't too many atheist songs is because it's so damn boring (not to mention depressing) to go on and on about why something doesn't exist. Most people just can't be bothered writing a song about it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:02 PM

I'm inclined to agree. I've had a good laugh with this one. To set the record straight, though, I think you might like to have a look at the Leon Rosselson songs in DT. He's written some good ones, and the "Diggers" one is about a Christian sect who tried to live out their beliefs.

Anyone who wrote "Don't Get Married" and his "red flag" song can't be all bad!

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:08 PM

Yes, well, his social ideals are admirable. I think he would find virtually all spiritual masters in agreement with them...just maybe not agreeing about the best way to get there.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:10 PM

So if there are going to be any atheist songs, they will have to be written by theists like us.

Let's see now. "And Can It Be" would become reeeeeeeally short.

And Can It Be that there's a god?
No.

What else? "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" might become "Standing on My Own Two F***ing Feet."

Oh the Ambrose Bierce Dictionareeee,
That's the Book for me!

***

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM

if you want to find a list of atheist music click here

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:28 PM

Wolfgang, most of the stuff they show is anti-Christian or anti-theist rather than atheist.

I thought it was hilarious they included a Bruce Cockburn song on an "atheist music" site. At least they admitted he wasn't an atheist!

I thought Rush was a good candidate, since their lyricist Peart is an Ayn Rand worshipper, but they don't give any specific examples. But indeed most of Peart's lyrics are positive (what he DOES believe in) rather than negative (what he DOESN'T); except a series of songs he wrote attacking the religious. But again, there, you've got anti-theism rather than atheism.

It seems to me the noisier branch of atheism is essentially an insecure creed. It must have something to react against. It doesn't really stand on its own. If all the world's theists were to suddenly disappear, the really rabid atheists -- the ones who make "Atheist Music" webpages -- would be at a total loss. The ones whose parents were ministers or whatever (remember Stalin?) -- are they atheists, or anti-theists?

There are plenty of quiet atheists who just don't give it much thought. They are probably more accurately described as agnostics. They're unlikely to burn any churches, or write songs about how much they hate theists.

The search for atheist music continues.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Matt_R
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:31 PM

I thought it funny that they had R.E.M's song "Losing My Religion" on there. Even though Michael Stipe has repeated on numberous occasions that "losing my religion" is a Southern-ism for losing one's temper, as his mother used to say "Now don't go making me lose my religion!". R.E.M. are from Athens, Georgia.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM

and I found it odd they included a number of pagan artistes.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:42 PM

Mmario, I think that just indicates exactly which axe they're grinding. Anything that seems anti- or non-Christian would seem to be "atheist" to the person who made the page. Which just supports the claim I made, above, about the type of atheist who needs something to fight.

You might even say that some who call themselves atheists aren't really quite there yet. They haven't stopped fighting God yet. Can you be mad at somebody who you believe doesn't exist?

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:52 PM

On that website they state clearly that they collect music that I (and other contributors) consider interesting to the atheist point of view. It was my fault to write just 'atheist music' without explaining more. But there are atheist songs on that list and you surely don't want to make me believe, Alex, that within 9 minutes you have scanned the whole list including the link to an outside source to find that there are no atheist songs on that list and been able to post a long response.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM

What do you want, Wolfgang? If there really is Atheist music, is it my duty to sift through a whole page of "music interesting to an atheist viewpoint" to find it?

If it's there, show it to us. Making us sift for it like diamonds in a sandpile is a bit much.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:05 PM

you can't bait me, Alex, maybe at another thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:11 PM

I think all of this pretty well shows that in the same way that most people (including those who regard themselves as Christians) don't have a clue as to what Christianity is all about, they (including atheists) don't have a foggy about atheism either.

As far as I can tell, there seem to be two kinds of atheists: those who are rabidly anti-religious, and those who counldn't care less about religion in general. Those who don't care probably don't write songs about religion. Therefore, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a truly atheist song.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:14 PM

I'm not interested in baiting you, Wolfgang (at least in this thread).

But we've got an exchange going like this:

M: Can believers sing atheist songs?
Many: Are there atheist songs?
W: Sure! Look at this site!
A: I looked; I didn't see any.
W: They're there; just look harder!
A: Can you find one and show us?
W: Don't try to bait me!

Thus your "bait me" comment is something of a non-sequitur.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:20 PM

LOL!

My parents were this kind of atheist when I was a kid:

Moderately anti-religious.

Mildly contemptuous of people who were religious.

Most of the time not thinking much about it.

Not having much of a clue about either religion or atheism, in fact.

Since then, my mother has become more sort of mystical, and my father still basically doesn't think about it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:47 PM

LH, sounds like my folks, except the mystical mom. They both still basically don't think about it. But they seem to have accepted the fact that I became a believer, and the caustic comments have all but died out on that front.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:03 PM

Likewise, although I am hard to direct caustic comments at...because I do not belong to any specific church or religion...I accept the good points in all of them...and avoid the fanatics who insist their way is the ONLY way.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:09 PM

I always thought it was hard to direct caustic comments at LH because of the stunned looks and the trembling lower lip...


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:15 PM

Ha! Ha! Mario, you sly bastard....that didn't stop my erstwhile school companions, I can assure you. I remember school the way someone else might remember hell, but it did have its good moments too.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:46 PM

If a Devout Athiest can sing Amazing Grace (& I do) then the answer in this computer has to be YES.
The problem I have is finding an Athiestic song that holds some merit
It is in human nature to say "Yes" more readilly than "No" so any song that is negative may very well be unappealing to most listeners. If most people don't like it then it is not likely to be sung.

well this is what I believe.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:10 PM

"Stand-up for Judas" is a strange song--if you trim off the last verse (which is not about Jesus or Judas anyway) and soft sell the chorus, it can be read in two antithetical ways--if you are a spiritualist, Jesus seems right, if you are a materialist, Judas seems right--Too bad Leon ruined his own song by pasting on a verse that leads us toward what he thinks at the end, rather than leaving us to consider a rather important paradox--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 04:20 PM

Somebody suggested I delete this message. I have mixed feelings about it, but I finally decided it had no value and it would be better to delete it. I couldn't see much logic in it - just an excuse to use some crude four-letter sexual references and link them to the Bible.

Guest, If you'd like to give me a reason why I should re-post this message and identify you by name and e-mail address, send me an e-mail. You can find my address in Mudcat Resources. If anybody else wants a copy of the message, let me know.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 06:25 PM

Couldn't even be bother to make up a name to attach to your filthy rantings, GUEST? Or were you afraid you'd be criticized for lifting your text from one of those old American Nazi Party Flyers on pornography in the Bible that George Lincoln Rockwell and Company used to send out?


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:54 PM

Wow! This has to be a milestone!!! I have NEVER known Joe Offer to delete a message uninvited by the author before. Mark the date -- a NEW LOW for the Sewer Profundo crowd, and probably loss of a night's sleep for Joe, but I expect a brave and worthy step in any case, although how would I know?

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:41 PM

I'm a very active Catholic, and I can't say I have any problem with any of the songs listed. "Stand Up for Judas" gives me something to think about, and I don't find it offensive. I learned "Plastic Jesus" and "Vatican Rag" and Has Anybody Seen J.C. at a Catholic seminary when I was a student there in the 1960's - I suspect all three of these songs were written by Christians of the liberal persuasion, which is where I fit in the spectrum.
If it were a song that expressed hatred for believers, that might be something I'd find offensive. I think most atheists just don't believe in God - they're usually a lot more tolerant of believers, than believers are of them.

I gotta say there's one "atheist" think that has found popularity that bugs me - it's that walking fish with the word "Darwin" in it. It's a parody of the popular Christian fish symbol. I suppose it's kind of funny, but it give the incorrect implication that Christians don't believe in evolution. It's true that some Christians don't believe in evolution, but most Christians I know believe that God created and is still creating the world through the wonderful processes of nature, including the process of evolution.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:23 PM

I saw one of those fish things that I really want to get. It had the familiar fish outline, and inside it it said, "N'Chips"

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:29 PM

Right on, Joe! How anyone can think evolution and spiritual beliefs are mutually exclusive is beyond me. Most of the spiritual sources I've studied assert that evolution happens on all levels of reality...physical, genetic, emotional, astral, soul level, and even on the level of the divine itself.

No surprise to me. As above, so below.

The main difference is that reductionists think it's simply a case of natural selection, whereas spiritual teachings indicate that it is considerably more than that...i.e. a purposeful intention on a conscious level to strive for a higher condition and expression of life.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:32 AM

well, I'll argue (friendly discussion?) against many religious concepts.....but there just ain't NO doubt, religion IS good for creating songs!...I'll sing with you, from "Ave Maria" to "Standing in the Need of Prayer", 'cause I can't even imagine it making any sense to write Atheist music ....I can even appreciate the moods, needs, cares and concerns that went into gospel and other religious songs.....they were made by people who CARED and felt and loved. I do NOT make fun of honest, deeply felt religious music, (though there IS some that is little more than bad commercials for some TV preachers).

(funny...at places like the Getaway, we almost never debate these things, we just sing the songs and enjoy each other)


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: toadfrog
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:33 AM

I guess "atheist song" is kind of a peculiar concept, like the "conservative song," on that other thread. There is no feeling in atheism per se; you really can't make a good song about it. The feeling is in the hostility toward human institutions religions may be associated with. And there are lots of blasphemous song, blasphemy being part of the contrarian nature of Man.

I think "The Preacher and the Slave" is the closest thing to an atheist song I've ever heard. Maybe there could be a song called "Unsurprising Grace" or "Completely boring and commonplace Grace"?

Another thought - Perry Como used to sing

"Every time I hear a newborn baby cry
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why - I believe!

An atheist could easily make up a song structured like that, pointing out all the yucky phenomena that cast doubt on the idea of a just & omnipotent God.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:38 AM

and then I went and read Sourdoughs post about singing gospel and wondered why I can make the point that well


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:39 AM

CAN'T make the post


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:36 AM

I believe there is at least one truly athiest song. "Spirit in the Sky" (Norman Greenbaum?) It seems very sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek. Strange thing is. A christian could sing every word of it, and mean it. It is a very well-written song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE QUIET JOYS OF BROTHERHOOD^^
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:20 AM

While a few folks get it, a large number seem to be missing the point entirely. I personally don't have the slightest bit of interest in singing songs about things I don't believe in, or in singing songs trying to illustrate why something doesn't exist. It sounds like an incredibly dumb idea to me.

I prefer songs about things I do believe in. Songs about how beautiful the earth is, or how amazingly compassionate and loving people can be when they stop trying to prove they're better than other people.

Let's quit screwing around with what atheists don't believe in. Lets find songs about what we do believe in. I believe people have a spark of Something More in them. I also think people can destroy that spark.


THE QUIET JOYS OF BROTHERHOOD
(Richard Farina)

As gentle tides go rolling by
Along the salt sea strand
The colors blend and roll as one
Together in the sand
And often do the winds entwine
To send the distant call
The quiet joys of brotherhood
And love is lord of all

The oat and wheat together rise
Along the common ground
The mare and stallion light and dark
Have thunder in their sound
The rainbow sign, the blended flower
Still have my heart enthralled
The quiet joys of brotherhood
And love is lord of all

But man has come to plow the tide
The oak lies on the ground
I hear their fires in the fields
They drive the stallion down
The roses bleed, but light and dark
The winds do seldom call
The running sands recall the time
When love was lord of all

From the singing of Sandy Denny on 'Sandy'.
JC


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:32 AM

Yeah, but that's the thing, Jeri - Atheist "religion" is not to have a religion, so it's kind of a contradiction of terms to have songs about something that isn't. However, atheists have ethics and emotions, and humanistic interests - but none of those things are exclusively atheist. Songs that are critical about religion aren't atheist, because they aren't about atheism. So, I think we end up with the fact that there just aren't atheist songs. Atheists sings lots of songs about lots of stuff, but not about atheism.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: IanC
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:51 AM

Hey, Little Hawk

Which one of us are you suggesting can remember hell?

;-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 05:44 AM

Amos, it's not the first time Joe has cleared an entry. He does it very seldom and I think he does it just right, but he has done it before. (click for an earlier example)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: SDShad
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM

Well, I don't think I can necessarily say "yes" any better than those who already have, but here goes my take anyway, as brief as I can muster:

As a believer, I can sing any music that celebrates the positive or that positively calls warning of negative influences in society. I can't and won't sing music, be it from Christians, atheists, Cargo Culters, or Scientologists, or whatever have you, that excludes, belittles, dehumanizes, or demonizes other people and their sincere beliefs. Many of the positive things that atheists of good will and heart may wish to celebrate in song are things that religioius believers of good will and heart can celebrate too, and join in the song: the power of the human will, the necessity of freedom, the inherent dignity of being human.

And if nothing else, this thread has been well worth it for Little Hawk's interesting and kinetic posting, those of a man "harpooned by his own flippin' thread." :-) What an unexpected image it was to be asked to "observe [this thread] as it crawls forth, jibbering demonically...." I like yer style, mister.

And what rough post, its timestamp come round at last,
Slouches towards West Chester to be born?

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:26 AM

Only remembered for what we have done

And the thread around these lyrics is also worth reading.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:51 AM

SDShad/Chris - I think you said what I wanted to say a lot clearer than I did. You can't really write songs about things you don't believe are there. Well, you can, but it would have to be a humorous song, I think.

These Would Be A Few Of My Favorite Things If I Thought They Existed
Battle Hymn of the Republic: "Mine eyes have not seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

I could write a serious song if I had time, but I have a feeling it would piss off a lot more religious folks than the religious songs piss off the atheists. Maybe I'm just too paranoid.

We all sing songs about things we believe in. The fact that I can sing songs about my beliefs and have folks from all religions join in because those beliefs are general is not a bad thing, eh?

I'm signing off shortly to go to Old Songs Festival. Love to you all. May you all sing songs that bring joy to yourself and others. No matter what our beliefs are, we're all here on this earth now, and it's our job to make it a better place. Just my opinion, but I think some folks may agree.

When our eyes do see the plight
Despair has brought our land
And long for days of quiet light
When we'll together stand
The time will come again, my friends
Once we can but recall
The quiet joys of brotherhood
And love is lord of all


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:14 PM

I think that, before you decide if there are atheist songs, or not, you have to consider the different things that "atheist"can mean--

"Atheism" actually pre-existed Christianity, Anaxagoras was called an atheist, because he believed the sun was a rock, rather than a divine being, Theodorus was exiled because he did not believe in anything divine, and of course, old Socrates got into a lot of trouble because he didn't believe in the State Gods--More recently, perhaps in the spirit of Theodorus, Spinoza believed that God was the total of everything, and, since there was no separate, "divine being" in his philosophy, he was denounced as an atheist, an odd situation for a person who was also called"The God-Intoxicated Man"--

Mostly, when people talk about atheism, they tend to mean materialism, which is to say the idea that everything can be explained mechanically, or at least in terms of concrete things, and needs related to those things--

I think it is important to remember that atheism is not fundamentally anti-religious or anti-Christian (though Communists, who embraced Engels dialectical materials certainly were anti-christian)--in fact, it is possible to point out that atheism is a fundamental element in Christian thought, if you consider that it refutes superstition, emperor gods, and idolatry--

Quite a lot of material there for songs, if you asked me--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:42 PM

You can trust the moon to move the mighty oceans
You can trust the sun to shine upon the land
You take the little that you know and you do the best you can
And you leave the rest to the quiet faith of man.

Bill Staines


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:47 PM

Man, oh, man! This thread gets around to some wonderful stuff.

Beautiful Richard Farina lyric. Thanks, Jeri.

Thanks also for the Bill Staines quote, Ebbie.

M.Ted - Yeah! One man's atheist is another man's holy mystic. I personally think that Spinoza had it right...God is the total of everything. Of course the Church denounced him as an atheist...he was threatening their monopoly on God and worldly power! If everything is holy how can you terrorize and control the population any longer and fight religious wars and slaughter the heathen? Did Anaxagoras believe that the sun was a rock, and therefore not a diving being? Odd. Why couldn't it be a rock and ALSO a divine being? :-) Answer me that!

It's sure amusing to think that some, based on my beliefs, would apparently consider me an atheist, while others would consider me quite the opposite. Hilarious!

We've got material for a thousand songs here.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:15 PM

Atheism maintains that there is no single Divine Identity which governs the whole spectrum of existence. Such a philosophical position is perfectly reasonable, especially in reaction against the anthropomorphic Sesame Street types who imagine some well-muscled white male sitting on a cloud as a handy way to come to terms with infinity and spirituality. Especially an old bearded white guy who not only sees everything in the universe but is ALSO intensely interested in your personal sexual pecadilloes. Talk about untenable scenarios!!!

SOME atheists, of course, are also pure materialists who entertain the equally ridiculous extreme that all spiritual and creative phenomena are entirely attributed to accidents of intersection between electronic fields, atoms, molecules, and mass. Oy!! The sheer mathematical impossibility (compared to the number of changes that woulkd be required to culminate in our full spectrum of operational species just hereabouts in spaace and time) is mindboggling -- probably something on the order of winning the Venusian Lottery telepathically!!

Oh, I know, someone is going to pop up and remind me that they DID win the Venusian Lottery telepathically. Sorry!! :>)

But to speak to the topic of this thread, by definition a believer can sing anything he wishes to. This is a silly question -- it is like asking if Richard Burton could act the role of a 15th Century Dane while still not believing he was, himself, Danish. Dohhh!!!

The very question implies a very ungenerous impression of the capabilities of the human spirit indeed.

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:17 PM

Sorry, "divine" being, not "diving" being. Sheesh. If the sun was a diving being, we would be in big trouble...the Pacific just ain't big enough for that, let alone the Atlantic.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: SDShad
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:29 PM

So if that other divine being were also a diving being, would He be the graceful, athletic type of diver, or the tubby cannonballer type?

nonsensicalShad


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:47 PM

LH--I am not sure what the Church thought of Baruch Spinoza, a rabinical student, he was banned from the synagogue for his ideas--also he was one of the early advocates of free thought and free speech--

Amos, I am not sure if your definition, as per the one divine entity, is a good one, since it would mean that atheism would be consistant with dualism--this seems like a trifling bit of nitpickiness, except that it can be argued that Thomism, which is a fundamental element in modern Catholicism(and like it or not, you Lutherans, modern Christianity) , hinges on the dualistic notion of matter and form--I'll give the atheists Spinoza and Pantheism, materialism, and a chunk of Socratic thought, but if we hand over Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, then, for all intents and purposes, Christianity is Atheism!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

I'm sorry but the logic here is a bit tortuous, and possibly specious. Atheism by etymological decomposition is a statement of "No God" as a belief. It does not equate except in some local variants as a belief of "no spiritualness" nor one of "no infinity". At least if we accept Theos as the Greek root tyo be translated into "God". If instead you translate it as "godhood", "godliness", or "divinity as a quality of advanced spirituality" then atheism approaches materialism asymptotically. But I was using the usual American sense of "single-identitiy infinitude of spirit", or whatever phrase you wish to put on it. If you believe that all spirituality, for example, is a composite hologram of interactions from the trillions to the nth power of individual spiritual viewpoints that participate in the universe, running bodies or not, on Earth or elsewhere, highly capable or lower than stones and completely overwhelmed, then you can be an atheist and a devout spiritualist, explain all mystic and spiritualistic and miraculous phenomena, and still enjoy physics 101 and quantum mechanics and Darwinian theory PLUS you get to take your own personal responsibility for your code of conduct and sexual activity as a free bonus!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

I'm sorry but the logic here is a bit tortuous, and possibly specious. Atheism by etymological decomposition is a statement of "No God" as a belief. It does not equate except in some local variants as a belief of "no spiritualness" nor one of "no infinity". At least if we accept Theos as the Greek root tyo be translated into "God". If instead you translate it as "godhood", "godliness", or "divinity as a quality of advanced spirituality" then atheism approaches materialism asymptotically. But I was using the usual American sense of "single-identitiy infinitude of spirit", or whatever phrase you wish to put on it. If you believe that all spirituality, for example, is a composite hologram of interactions from the trillions to the nth power of individual spiritual viewpoints that participate in the universe, running bodies or not, on Earth or elsewhere, highly capable or lower than stones and completely overwhelmed, then you can be an atheist and a devout spiritualist, explain all mystic and spiritualistic and miraculous phenomena, and still enjoy physics 101 and quantum mechanics and Darwinian theory PLUS you get to take your own personal responsibility for your code of conduct and sexual activity as a free bonus!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:51 PM

Amos, can you say that WITHOUT run-on sentences? I couldn't follow you, wherever it was you went.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 05:16 PM

Amos - the hamster read that last post of yours twice, ran around the cage frantically, fell on its back and started foaming at the mouth, then lapsed into unconsciousness. I hold you responsible.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Matt_R
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 06:05 PM

Ah yes, Spinoza. Wasn't he the guy who wrote "The Natural Inferiority of Women"? Lovely fellow.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 06:22 PM

You have to remember, Matt, he lived in a very different time. If you were to hunt around for men at that time who considered women as their equals, it would have been a fruitless search, I'm afraid. Therefore, to judge him simply on that basis is hardly apt, I think.

Non-whites were considered naturally inferior as well at that time (by whites, that is...).

And so on, and so on...

I'm sure that a number of things you and I take for granted will be seen in a different light a hundred years from now.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Les Jones, once of Ellesmere Port now of Man
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 03:50 AM

Ok, someone else may have asked this question earlier but I can't be bothered to read all the stuff on this microscopic subject. Can a blue man sing the whites? BDDDB


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 01:51 PM

Wash your face with cold water, and sit for a few minutes, Amos--oh, and breathe through your nose!

Seriously, I actually understood what you were saying, and, as I said, as far as I am concerned, anyway, that idea that you are putting forth is a theistic rather than atheistic view--when you make a "Composite Holgram" of trillions of individual spiritual viewpoints, you are creating a god--

Appologies to everyone--these discussions always make everyone's head spin-- most of the heated discussion is not from disagreement, it is from trying to figure out what someone is saying in the first place--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 02:21 PM

Geez you guys!! What I wrote was perfectly clear to me!!! LOL!!!

1. A-theism comes from two roots meaning NO and "theos", a Greek word usually translated to mean "God".

2. The translation from the Greek is dicey because of all the cultural overload we stick on the word "god" so we should be aware that the Greeks might have had a different view of what it means.

3. So we have two branches of definition of atheism. One is just "No God" , using the usual sense of a Single Cosmic Entitiy. That's what we usually mean by an atheist. If someone posing as an atheist extended that definition to all forms of spiritual phenomena, he would be a pure materialist.

4. Using the FIRST defintion, an atheist is just soemone who rejects the One Big Being cosmology.

5. Such a person could still be devoutly spiritual. For example he could believe in individual spiritual beings who by huge numbers of creative interactions have created this particular hologram we hold to be the physical universe.

6. . The proposition for individual spiritual natures has a lot more evidence going for it than the prposition that there is a gigantic Scout Leader hidden in the wings.

7. Using such a paradigm one could use the best models of phsyics, biology and evolution while ALSO being able to account for a lot of the funny anomalies which medicine and physics often have to ignore as falling outside the framework of their models. These are usually labeled statistical anomalies, experimental artifacts or some other high-falutin' label so we will still think we are "being scientific".

Hope this is clearer. As for such a hologram being a "God" that is just semiotic slap-shooting. The fundamental differences are as basic and clear as the difference between, say, "Pearl Harbor", the movie, and the actual sum total of all events centered around that part of the planet in real time on the day of the actual bombing.

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:21 PM

Amos--!!!!!

That is exceptionally concise, clear, thoughtful, and well-said!!!

The only term I had to look up was "slap-shooting"...

Lin (and John, lurking at the other computer)


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:33 PM

Guest, Les Jones--Uh, Nat King Cole?? LOL!

And Joe, when I applied my Darwin Fish to the window of my truck I was NOT making a statement about Christians not believing in evolution--although in the state of Kansas, I might have some basis for thinking that (at least that seemed the concensus among a FORMER school board).

I simply thought it was funny, and a mildly sarcastic comment about what I perceive to be the Christian habit of proselytizing.

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:38 PM

Thanks, Lin!! I feel much better!! I meant slap-shooting to be the hockey equivalent of shooting from the hip. Anyway, I'm glad to hear I can still communicate!!! Those damned gerbils had me worried!

:>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:58 PM

Hamsters! I tried to get the gerbils to read it and they point blank refused to...

Okay...I get your drift.

The way I see it is...there is no gigantic Scout Leader hidden in the wings. God isn't separate from anything else, so how can God hide in the wings?

But everything is spiritual.

Living beings have different levels of awareness...conscious, subconscious, dream state, automatic body functions, cell functions, nerve systems, immune defenses, superconscious, etc....

What I term "God" is the highest level of purposeful consciousness possible in each being.

It is within each being, but may not be expressing itself clearly if it is layered over by lower levels of consciousness. In fact it may not appear to ever be expressing itself at all.

That doesn't mean it isn't there, waiting to express itself...if the other levels would shut up, step aside, and let it.

Self-realization involves disciplining and calming the lower levels of consciousness so that the God-self can be activated.

Which is danged hard to do when you're yakking on Mudcat about all kinds of contentious and extraordinary stuff!

EEEEEEYYYAAAAAAAGHHHHH!!!

I'm gonna go meditate for a bit. :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 05:45 PM

Good idea. I'll join you....bzzzzzzzzzzzztttttt.......swwssssssstttt.....nnyeeoooowwwww..... whusssssshhhhhhh.......

a


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 05:55 PM

I believe that Carl Sagan once said something to the effect that "Perhaps intelligent life is the the Cosmos' way of knowing itself. Can it be that God is just now being born?"

Just a thought. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:03 PM

It's OK, Lin. I can handle it....just don't go puttin' one of them there Darwinfish on my car. ;-)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:39 PM

Depending on what you mean by a "being(a a guy with a pointy hat and glasses, or a woman with a magic wand, for instance)", Amos, according to your definition Christianity, at least post-St. Thomas Acquinas, is atheistic--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:51 PM

I'm sorry, M. ted, but I don't follow the argument -- the whole of modern Christianity asserts a monotheistic Godhead which took a conscious role in affairs on planet Earth, including "having a Son", whatever that means to an infinite being, and "sending him" (ditto) "down" to represent "him" in the affairs of human beings. This is about the extreme of theism, unless you are making a point too subtle for me to grasp. Especially when you take into account all the third-person-male-singular personification with which we have lambasted our spawn into acceptable conduct over the centuries. How theistic could it get?

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:27 PM

I promise, Joe. But if I could find a fish like Alex was talking about (with "NChips" inside), my truck would be wearin' another one. LOL!

This is a lot of interesting and well-thought-out argument, but ya know, I kinda doubt that anyone is going to change their opinion because of anything somebody else has said here. The very nature of the subject is directed at core beliefs, and those beliefs are seldom changed through discussion.

So--everybody have fun and play nice...I'm outta here. :>)

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,lodadack@aol.com
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:35 PM

Sorry, I don't believe atheists exist. They're a myth.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Jeep man
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:04 PM

PLASTIC JESUS, sounded pretty good when Luke sang it just after his mother died,(Cool Hand Luke.

I like it and I'm an atheist,(Swear to God). Jeep


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 01:18 AM

Amos,

I think my point may be a little more in the subtle range-

Fairly obvious from your posts that you aren't familiar with, say, the writings of St. Thomas Acquinas, or of Aristotle's concepts relating to form and matter--not that you necessarily should, but, if you are going to try to explain what you believe, and especially to relate it to Christian ideas, then these guys should be on your must read list-- (Massive amounts of text were here but have been trashed) Well, I was going to try and explain 2000 odd years of philosphy briefly, which turns out to be impossible, so I will just say that if you were to look into real Christian thought, and not the pablum that is cranked out by the bushel for consumption by people who hope that an hour in church will offset all their failings as human beings--you would really be surprised to find out that your ideas don't fall far from the tree--

Don't misunderstand me, I am not selling anything--just pointing out that, for those few (very, very, few, it turns out) who care to think about such things, these ideas have been worked over by the great philosophers, and make for fairly interesting reading, reflection, and discussion--

The discussions moved beyond the business of a guy on a throne with a pointy hat and that sort of thing a really long time ago (thousand years, at least) and onto concepts, like form and matter, and first cause, with diversions into being and nothingness etc.

Anyway, I my point all along has been that when you step beyond materialism and allow for spiritual areas, you begin to enter the Christian realms--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 10:13 AM

Believers fail to realized that they know little about religion. It's like being in a forest. You can learn all about the trees in that forest there, but you have to get out of it to learn about forests. If you stay in a particular religion, you have no rational postulates, just 'divine' dictums, and almost all debate involves circular arguments, and when that fails they just say that 'faith' is the final answer to every question, but it's really just another baseless postulate.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 09:51 PM

No arguements on that, GUEST--strangest thing in the world to talk with priest and ministers candidly about what they believe and then listen to the way they carry on with their "flocks". I think that it is unfortunate indeed that very few religious leaders dare to talk honestly about what they believe--


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 10:37 PM

I dunno. Maybe it's because I have a theology degree, but I've heard lots of candid talk from clergy of all faiths. The clergy are more than willing to talk with those who understand the nuances and are willing to listen. Many people want a once-a-week feelgood session and easy answers to complex issues, and don't want to be bothered with being challenged by their religion.
We have 1,500 families in our Catholic parish. I'd say that we have several hundred people who are willing to ask questions and think their own thoughts, and they're truly impressive people. Then we have a vast majority of normal people who are good folks, but not moral or mental giants. Then we have a small number of people who are bound up in superstition, prejudice, and moral rigidity - unfortunately, those are the people that outsiders notice and refer to as "believers."
Give us religious people a break, hey? We're not the mindless robots some people seem to think we are.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: SDShad
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 12:36 AM

Joe, you said it much better than I coulda. There's really nothing in GUEST's description of believers that comes close to describing my spiritual life.

And, I, uhm had a bunch of other stuff to add on how I really feel towards all those hard, exclusivist, and negative passages in Christian scripture which non-Christians understandably view with a cautious eye, but I typed it all up and accidentally deleted the whole thing when I was making the last revisions on it, so I'll just post the short version:

No exclusivism for me, thanks.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 12:56 AM

Well, in fact I have read both Aquinas and Aristotle, M.T., although certainly not in toto, and not for thirty years or more! :>) It's no problem to me if the deeper students of Christianity want to wind their way into different defintions of their own terms; but it would be nice if they'd get that third person singular male pronoun out of their semiotic mesh. It makes it too easy to associate the deep propositions with the shallow, hearing them encoded in such similar language, if ya see what I mean. I maintain that the common-use defintion of atheism does not equal, necessarily, a-spiritualism. But it is a tiring and abstract point which is not going to bear much fruit, I am afraid. I prefer to escape the tangle foot by using more baggage-feree functional descriptions. But I don't think it makes me a-religious to do so!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Gervase
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 06:35 AM

Phew, where were we?
I turned my back deliberately on Christianity and any other theistic religions many years ago, but I still enjoy church services (you can't beat belting out good hymns and carols) and just keep my mouth shut during those bits that I find offensive/absurd/incredible, like the creed.
Maybe that makes me a hypocrite (and it wouldn't be the first time I've been called that!), but I see no problem with singing songs that I don't necessarily agree with. After all, how many good songs are there about murder, adultery, whaling or whatever that still get sung?
If someone is a believer (in anything), one would hope that their belief/faith or whatever it is they have would be strong enough to be able to take a bit of gentle ribbing and piss-taking.
After all, this God geezer that a lot of you believe in must have a sense of humour. Look at...insert racial stereotype/morris dancer here
Ultimately it's down to the individual. I wouldn't wish to sing a racist song because I would find it offensive, so if a Christian found an atheist song offensive I wouldn't expect him/her to sing it.
But I'd agree with Wolfgang that Only Remembered makes a superb secular hymn. It's certainly one of my favourites, and one that I'd choose for my own non-Christian funeral.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: JulieF
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:40 AM

I tend to think that there are no atheistic songs because being an atheist is a statement of what you don't believe - and this usually doesn't translate into song very well.

I have been an atheist scince I was about eleven but it was only in later year that I firmed up on what I do believe ie that as there was no spiritual guiding presence then we must to our best for each other. This makes me a secular humanist and I do believe that there are many hummanist songs. 'A man's a man for 'a that' for instance. However,people approach hummanism from many angles and thus many belivers may sing hummanistic songs with all their heart.

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,SIMPLEMINDED
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:34 AM

Silly me. All I wanted to do was find Lyrics for "Theres A Hole In The Bucket" and I got sucked into this thread! I have to admit I was intrigued by the question since I have recently been wondering the opposite. Can atheists sing songs of worship to God? Do you all realize how serious you have gotten about such a simple question? I hope I remember to check back for feedback! Anyone know where I can find the complete Lyrics to "Theres A Hole In The Bucket"?


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:38 AM

I'm with simpleminded. My post that pointed out strange things in the Bible, asked straightforward questions in unmistakable language was deleted as pornographic.

Just do the next right thing (as best you can figure it out) and the God (he/she/it) business will take care of itself. Now back to important thing like songs. I'm done here.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:58 PM

I think Gervase hit the nail on the head with the term "secular hymn." "Only Remembered" fits that perfectly, as do some of the songs Bob Franke wrote. "Atheist song" gives the implication of a rejection of belief, rather than simply not having religious beliefs.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,g
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 01:26 PM


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 03:27 PM

But of course "Only Remembered" is in Ira Sankey's collection Sacred Songs and Solos, in the section called "The Christian Life". Written by Horatius Bonar, with the tune by Ira Sankey.

It's good that with a bit of tweaking and a verse added by John Tams it's equally suitable for a believer or a non-believer. Or rather its suitable for both kinds of believer.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 03:29 PM

And here's ankther song thaat on one level is atheistr, and oin anither is anything but:

"Friday Morning" by Sydney Carter

It was on a Friday morning
That they took me from the cell,
And I saw they had a carpenter
To crucify as well.
You can blame it on to Pilate
You can blame it on the Jews,
You can blame it on the Devil,
It's God who I accuse.
It's God they ought to crucify
Instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter
A-hanging on the tree.

You can blame it on to Adam,
You can blame it on to Eve.
You can blame it on the apple,
But that I can't believe.
It was God who made the Devil
And the Woman and the Man,
And there wouldn't be an Apple
If it wasn't in the plan.
It's God they ought to crucify
Instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter
A-hanging on the tree.

Now Barabbas was a killer
And they let Barabbas go.
But you are being crucified
For nothing, here below.
But God is up in heaven
And he doesn't do a thing:
With a million angels watching,
And they never move a wing.
It's God they ought to crucify
Instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter
A-hanging on the tree.

To hell with Jehovah,
To the carpenter I said,
I wish that a carpenter
Had made the world instead.
Goodbye and good luck to you,
Our ways will soon divide.
Remember me in heaven,
The man you hung beside
It's God they ought to crucify
Instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter
A-hanging on the tree.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 04:28 PM

Sometines ambiguity is the best way to convey something. This one made McGrath think. And I want to thank him for giving it to me.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 04:34 PM

To add my 2¢ to the topic: the song is what counts, not the singer. If you don't believe in the song, as a song, then don't sing it. If you're a professional, singing what you're told to sing, for wages, then grit your teeth and do your job.


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 04:46 PM

M.T.:

when you step beyond materialism and allow for spiritual areas, you begin to enter the Christian realms--

You may enter the realms that Christians stake out for themselves, but that doesn't make it so; it is reminiscent of Cortes coming ashore and claiming the whole of North and South and Central America in the name of her Most Catholic Majesty, the Queen of Spain. The prior residents may not be amused.

As for the topic of the thread, the question is ridiculous and without meaning. One may do as one decides one may -- right up to the point where one decides otherwise.

A


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 11:56 PM

I looked at the thread title...thought "Ha! What smartass started this one?" and discovered it was me back in 2001! LOL!

Now I recall that I wrote an atheist song back in the early 70's, when I was a young and very logical-minded atheist. Its main point was: religion is a crock, there is no God, and the only thing people can rely on is their own courage, intelligence, and ability to deal with reality as best they can.

Ironical. I was once the very image of my most devoted philosophical opponents on this forum...

Man, was I lonely in those days.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 01:51 PM

You were so much older then, LH. You're younger than that now...


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Subject: RE: BS - Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 03:08 PM

You bring up a good point, Amos - as a Roman Catholic, I belong to the church of the conquistadores, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and all sorts of other bloody episodes. I belong to the church of Pope Alexander VI, the father of Lucretia and Cesare Borgia. Those were Catholics who slaughtered each other in Rwanda a few years back, and Catholics in Croatia slaughtered Orthodox Serbs in World War II. I certainly can't say that Catholics in Ireland behaved themselves admirably at all times, either. It's also a church that has had abusive nuns and pedophile priests. My church has a sordid past, and I think I have to acknowledge it.

On the other hand, it's also a church where I've found a home for all of the 55 years of my life, where I've received a wonderful education and a very positive outlook on life, where I was supported by loving people in good times and bad. It's a church where I've worked 20 hours a week for most of my life. It's a church that operates most of the effective poverty and social service programs in my area.

It's a good church, and I'm proud to be a Catholic - but it is hard for me to reconcile my church's atrocities with the good I've found in it. Many people have suggested that I should leave the Catholic Church and join a church that doesn't have such a sordid past. I suppose I could, but the Catholic Church is home to me, and it has been a good home. The fact of the matter is that every organization has something sordid in its past (or its future), no matter how perfect it pretends to be. Perfect families have embarrassing relatives, even if they don't acknowledge them. Even atheists aren't perfect.

Yes, I see the politicians and the perverts in my church, and I guess I have to acknowledge that they are members of the church as much as I am - but that doesn't mean I have to abandon the church and cede control to them. I think it means that I'm obliged to do what I can to make my church do what it should be doing - and which it often does very well. I must acknowledge that there are many who have done awful things in the name of my church, but I must not give up and surrender control to them.

I think being a Catholic is similar to being an American. America has an idealistic, mythological foundation that most countries don't have and don't understand. We were the result of European conquest of the land of aboriginal people they destroyed, but we are also a nation born of poor, simple immigrants who came here only to seek freedom and survival. The churches have wonderful sacred writings like creeds and scriptures that serve as their founding documents, and Americans have the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Bill of Rights - and those idealistic founding documents are often used by powerful people as rationalization for all sorts of atrocities. We have our saints - Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt and Kennedy and Columbus - saints who had very human flaws that you don't see in their portraits and official biographies. We fought questionable wars in Mexico, in Cuba and the Philippines, in Vietnam, in Iraq, and in countless other countries. For most of the history of the United States, we have had presidents and legislatures I cannot respect. Despite our faults, we are a wonderful country, and we have done wonderful things. As a people, we believe in freedom and equality and justice and a good life for all the people of the world - even though our government and our industry do terrible things all over this world.

So how can I, in good conscience, be an American and a Catholic? Well, I'm a good guy, and I always try to do my best to be generous and fair to everyone - and I am just as much a Catholic as the Pope, and just as much an American as George Bush. I choose to have my own values and ideals define my existence as a Catholic and as an American. I believe in the founding ideals and myths of my church and my country, even though I honestly acknowledge their faults. I refuse to acknowledge that George Bush owns America any more than I do, or that John Paul II owns the Catholic Church any more than I do. They may be in charge, and I may have to tolerate them to some extent, but I contend that I and people like me are the heart of America and the heart of the Catholic Church.

So yeah, I'm a Catholic, and I'm an American - but that doesn't make me a bad person. As a Catholic and as an American, I have much to be ashamed of - but I also have much that I can be proud of. Certainly, however, I must have a huge amount of humility if I am a Catholic and an American. And yes, I can sing atheist songs, and I can sing Christian songs, and I can sing the songs of all those that believe in justice and generosity and love and peace. But I cannot sing the songs of hatred and prejudice and war and oppression.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 03:50 PM

Well said, Joe.

As Chesterton wrote "It is not enough for a man to disapprove of Pimlico: in that case he will merely cut his throat or move to Chelsea. Nor certainly is it enough for a man to approve of Pimlico for then it would remain Pimlico, which would be awful. The only way out of it is for somebody to love Pimlico...as mothers love their children."

It's only when we can actually recognise the things that are wrong with something or someone that we can really know whether we love them. That's why, when you come across people who insist that nothing is wrong (with the Church, or America, or anything worth loving), and who get angry at people who point out that there is, that doesn't really feel like loyalty, it feels like panic.


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Poppa Gator, cookieless at work
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 04:26 PM

Beautiful essay, Joe.

As someone who generally identifies himself as an ex-Catholic, I'm *almost* persuaded to rejoin the Church! If for no other reason, I can't call myself an "ex-American," and I was entirely persuaded by your description of how being a Catholic is analogous to being an American.


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: mg
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 04:38 PM

I'm a Catholic and I find it very difficult and schizophrenic almost..I would have to totally go against my conscience to believe what I am supposed to believe..especially about birth control, which I think should be mandatory for most people most of their lives. I think almost every social ill there is could be gotten around by this....but we used to have pretty songs and the church has done and continues to do some good things....mg


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 05:42 PM

Well, Mary, I think I can say that most Catholics believe in birth control. The rules are made by old guys in Rome. They may be saintly old men who think they know what's best for us - but in many cases, I think they're out of touch with real life. I think the same applies to our politicians and our Captains of Industry. Although they may hold authority over us, they often have a warped concept of life. We have to learn to live under their rule without relinquishing our individuality to them.
They are necessary, but they are not all-knowing. We are every bit as important as they are - and there are more of us, and this is our world and our faith. They're in charge, but what does that mean? Does faith demand obedience? I don't think so. I think we are bound to disobey when we disagree - and that doesn't make us less Catholic or less American.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 06:36 PM

Joe, Joe, how have the mighty fallen!! The Pope, God's own personal delegate to human affairs, his incarnation and voice-box in Planet Earth, is now merely "an old guy in Rome"???And "out of touch with real life"????

When did the flavor of the Church of Rome change so profoundly that such perspectives don't make you less Catholic?? Didn't the Holiness of Popes, Bishops and Priests once stand as a pillar of the Faith?

How long has this been going on???

A.


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 08:15 PM

Actually, I have now taken the time to read your earlier post more carefully, Joe, and it is truly good. I admire it. My question above was not meant to be quite as wiseacre as it sounded. I am seriously curious about the decline of the divinity of Popes just as, as an American, I am heir to the decline of the doctrine of divinity in kings.

A


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 09:19 PM

Church history is a fascinating spectator sport, Amos. Romans watch church politics with a cynical but enthusiastic interest - just as Washingtonians watch U.S. politics. I imagine New Yorkers watch Wall Street in the same way - or maybe they watch all of life in that way. Those in power always struggle to assume some sort of kinship with divinity, and some people actually believe them.

Rome likes to maintain the illusion of serene unchangeability and unquestioned power, but such has never been the case. There have always been saints like Augustine and Francis of Assisi and Martin Luther, there to ask the difficult questions. Throughout the history of Europe there have been times when the kings appointed the popes, and when the popes appointed the kings. The papacy has been heavy-duty politics from the very beginning.

There have been periods of absolute monarchy or dictatorship in most parts of the world, and many parts of the world have also had periods of some sort of rule by the people - the Vatican is subject to the same sort of ebb and flow of political power. And even though power changes form through the ages, most people are largely unaffected by it.

Think of real life, Amos. Most of us are quite effective in our lives, on a local level. In one way or another, many of us have a profound effect on the individuals we have constant contact with. Do rulers in Washington or Rome have that same profound effect on individuals all over their realms? No, I don't think so. The popes are there in Rome, fat and happy and blissfully out of touch with the real world. Most have provided little or no spiritual inspiration to believers, and some have been quite scandalous - and people were well aware of it. The current pope is actually a fairly inspiring sort of person, but he comes at a time when Catholics are generally also quite aware of his shortcomings.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 09:51 PM

I see what you mean, Joe, about the political history. So there is nothing heretical about rejecting the doctrine of infallibility, huh? The God to Man link is individualized? I thought this was a key distinction between Protestant and Catholic doctrine? Or is it just that you're personally unpersuaded by that particular piece of Church doctrine?

A


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 10:04 PM

The doctrine of infallibility stands, Amos - but it is widely misunderstood. The process of an infallible declaration is very complex and heavily nuanced - in general, for a doctrine to be infallible, it has to be a statement of faith or morals that has been generally believed by the faithful for the entire history of the church. Since the doctrine of infallibility was declared in the 1870's, it has only been used twice - both times to add titles to the Blessed Virgin Mary that don't make a heck of a lot of difference. The current pope and his minions have made statements that they say "might as well be infallible" - stuff like their declaration that the church can't ordain women because women don't look like Jesus - but they haven't followed the rules for a true ex cathedra infallible statement. Declarations like that are official policy - but there is room for change.
But the older an institution is, the slower it changes. And the Catholic Church is very, very old.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Joe. A complicated old soup, innit?? :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: PaulineL
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 12:14 AM

Joe, your original essay of 11-19-03 is full of beautiful thoughts beautifully written. I am truly impressed. My favorite part is at the very end, "And yes, I can sing atheist songs, and I can sing Christian songs, and I can sing the songs of all those that believe in justice and generosity and love and peace. But I cannot sing the songs of hatred and prejudice and war and oppression." Many of us are united by our beliefs. Let us not be separated by our religions.


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 12:31 PM

"Didn't the Holiness of Popes, Bishops and Priests once stand as a pillar of the Faith?"

If by "stand as a pillar of the Faith" you mean that Catholics have seen it as it is important that priest and bishops, including especially the Pope, should be personaly holy people, that's as true today as it ever has been.

Howevere if you mean that Catholics have believed that somehow the clergy and the bishops are preserved from being sinful human beings, by virtue of ordination, that's never been any kind of teaching - and in fact it would probably be some kind of heresy to assert that.

I remember when there was a case with a bishop having to duck and run because of his private life a few years back, and our Irish Parish Priest commented on it in the Mass: "Well, there's an old saying back home, 'It could happen to a bishop' - and it did didn't it?"


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Subject: RE: Can a believer sing Atheist songs?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 01:36 PM

I think Phil Ochs had the right idea when he said that he's rather hear a well written song espousing right wing views than a poorly written song supporting left wing attitudes . Phil, himself, of course was very much on the left.


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