Essay: (Christian) Religious Music

What many religious folks seem to forget or don’t know is that for more years than most of them have been alive, I identified as Christian and practiced that religion, albeit the Catholic version (as a youth, it was the Irish Catholic brand for Carlin fans). I’ve lived in their church. I did more than my share of pay, pray, and obey. I swam in the deep end of godly religiosity. I was once a pubic hair from being ordained (imagine if I had gone through with that?).

I object when religion is forced on me or others. I decry when money taken from me and used to further any religion’s hold on government, society, culture, or basic freedoms. But religion is forced on us politically and money is taken from us and given to religions.

It annoys me (not offends or insults) when religious people lie about other people. Those others may be people of other religious or denominational beliefs, people of no religious practice (aka, nones), agnostics, and (mostly) atheists, like me. I also see many no true Scotsman lies.

Some folks incorrectly think I’m offended by many things Christian, or God stuff. I seldom am. I’m atheist. I don’t care if that offends anyone. However, I see threats to people and problems created for people (albeit, usually not me directly) by religions. I see the irony when the religious charge me with persecution if I insist that they keep their religion out of my throat.

In all those years of trying to be a believer, I never attacked anyone for not holding my beliefs or who did not believe in God. If fact, I often found myself defending non-believers, either generally as a group or by name. It’s enough to say that I’ve been one and done it.

However, I want to tell y’all right here and now that I still like some religious music (not so much the gospel stuff). I’m talking about some Christmas music, Gregorian Chant, and fun R&R tunes that back in some god squad stuff.

I like Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum, and observant Jew who excited so many Christians with the song, except for the part about ‘I’ve never sinned’ (we can’t have sinless Jews singing about their friend, Jesus). Whoopsie, Norm. You see man, I don’t think Jesus was God or the son thereof either. That’s the sin: what you believe, not what you do or don’t do.

I also like ‘(Jesus Christ) Superstar,’ (Murray Head); ‘Jesus is Just Alright’ (Doobie Bros.); and even some back atcha stuff like ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ (Rolling Stones). I (we) don’t believe in the devil either. There’s more religiously inspired music I like. But my point’s made.

I don’t get why people would assume anything godly or religious might aggrieve me or any atheist, particularly former believers. I defend my conclusions, but I also accept their lack of universal popularity.

Are believers upset by secular music? Normally, they’re not. But nowadays we have the holiday tradition of accusatory (false) wars on the reason for the season (it’s not the reason) and how awful the Starbucks coffee cups are this year. Here Comes Santa Claus is not the same as here come Jesus right down Mary’s birth canal. But who cares? It’s just a song.

Do folks get their religious panties in a wad over nonreligious songs? Okay, maybe few weirdos do. But come on. Let’s be realistic here. At the end it is just a song or a movie or a book.

Bill

17 thoughts on “Essay: (Christian) Religious Music

  1. one of my favorite things is the entire soundtrack for Jesus Christ Superstar, especially the Gale Edwards directed version with Glenn Carter. It’s a good story, since, gee, it was made to make sense rather than the nonsense in the bible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boy are you preaching to my choir 😉 I loathe when anyone tries to shove their religion down my throat. I respect you and your beliefs; just leave me outta them.

    I actually love gospel music. No one can sing Silent Night like Mahalia Jackson… There is lots of good music out there of all genres. I don’t diss. If I am not fond of a type, guess what? I don’t listen to it!
    I haven’t heard a Murray Head song in eons… ‘Scuse my whilst I go searching…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It would have been as a deacon. I am happy that I decided against that. I had a lot of support, but the process was just too long. I used to know some cool priests and an interesting deacon or two. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree.
        Deacons cannot hear confessions. They can say Mass, but not consecrate the bread or wine (needs to be done beforehand) and they cannot do other little things. 🙂 I forget what.
        I like to use quotes from one Irish priest I knew (I knew none of them well). It is kind of ironic, but a long story. 🙂
        The one big problem virtually all Catholic priests have is that they are spoiled. They live in a very ‘not real’ world.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I admit to being limited in my knowledge of all the “jobs” related to the church… I never got into learning all the parts of the church nor who does what. I truly am a shitty Catholic (non practicing, fallen divorcee, etc. Who really never gave a shit).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s been more than 10 years since I walked away. Technically, from the POV of he “Church” I am excommunicated. Well, yeah, I’m atheist.
        All of Christianity is millions of people participating in the greatest deception of all time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hey, technically, so am I. Divorced from my first husband. Gasp! Remarried in a United Church (coz Mick really wanted that). All good. It’s not a club I wanna be in. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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