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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Faith is So Fragile

I never watch "American Idol." I only hear about it - constantly. But now there's a controversy about the Bob Jones University graduate who is a top contender for the whatever-it-is top title: He picked a nonChristian song! Auugh!

Hundreds of people gather each week to hear Sligh's music at Seacoast, where his electric guitar and vocals have become an integral part of services, Surratt said.

Support for Sligh also is strong at North Greenville University, the small Baptist school he attended for several years after leaving Bob Jones in the late 1990s. Cheryl Greene, the professor who helped Sligh hone his vocal talents, said just because Sligh may not be singing strictly Christian-themed songs shouldn't reflect on the depth of his faith. "It would be like me being in a jazz band," Greene said. "You can be a Christian or non-Christian. It's a style of music."

But Greene said she still has worries over Sligh's long-term spiritual journey. "Is he going to stand strong by his true Christian morals?" Greene said. "Christianity is a lifestyle ... and there are things in your life that you do need to stand for."

What a non-issue. Do these people have a problem with the guy appearing on a show called "American Idol" in the first place? Obviously not. So what's the big deal?

And moreover, why is his religion everyone's business anyway? It's not atheists who are raising a ruckus about this - it's his supposed fans.

I understood that one's relationship to God or Jesus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whoever was between you and Him/Her/It. In fact, that has been a staple of the Protestant Church - that no earthly authority or peer has any say in your relationship to whoever. That has changed, slowly, during the course of the evangelical movement in America. It now resembles the Puritan ethic, when everyone knew everyone else's business and constantly eyed each other for hidden flaws. Well, they found them all right.

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Anonymous AgnosticAtheist said...

Let him try singing a Christian song and see what Simon does to him. That would be fun to watch.

What is a "Christian" song anyway? If a song is about a relationship or love, etc. Don't Christians have relationships and love? As long as he's not singing about worshipping the devil, I think Christians should just let it go.

March 21, 2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger Aerik said...

I wish I could grab these people by the scruff of their necks and just yell at them.

Do you know how fucking stupid that claim is? Is every blank piece of paper an atheist piece of paper? Is every thing that doesn't have a Jesus. H. Tap-dancing Christ stamp on it non-christian and damaging to your faith, you fucking idiot?

March 21, 2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Whoa, Aerik! Settle down. :-) It's not worth it.

It seems to me that there are two definitions of faith: one is the holding of a belief, a template to be placed upon reality; the other is less rigid, just a general sense of trust in life and in oneself. The former fears the unknown; the other confronts, and even embraces it.

The latter is what Dawkins speaks of when he, the atheist, calls himself a "religious" person. We are seeing the former here with this singer and his fans.

March 21, 2007 9:02 PM  
Blogger Roopster said...


I agree with Kristine. It's just not worth getting so riled up. A greater impact can be made with kindness and compassion.


March 21, 2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger AJM said...

I never watch "American Idol." I only hear about it--constantly...

I have the same problem, and I want compensation. I could have used those neurons for something useful, otherwise, dammit... And that's something worth getting angry about...

Seriously, as to that bizarre 'not a Christian tune' thing, well, y'know how I've got a theory for most of the odd things believers get on about?

Well, I'm not sure I can help you here.

Sorry. I had something going for a second on ritual cleanliness and the bubble-like quality of a cosmology that's not particularly built to accomodate anything so base and of this Earth as actual evidence... but then I thought for a second about the sheer scale of the zaniness, and I lost it... Whatever it was.

Nope. I just can't handle this. My mind is now officially blown.

I mean, really, that's too much. I've now got this image of a devout believer walking to the store to pick up a quart of milk. They are consumed with anxiety with each step. 'This paving stone... I see no cross on this paving stone... Is this a Christian paving stone? What about the door? Can I open the door if it was not manufactured in a corporation the Bakkers sheltered money in? Can I ask someone, maybe? But what if they have... gasp... heathen cooties?

'And will they have Christian milk?'

My advice to anyone with such concerns: stay home. You'll be happier, we'll be happier. And don't watch American Idol... Tho', come to think of it, that's probably good advice for everyone.

March 22, 2007 7:14 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

'And will they have Christian milk?'

They do. It's mixed with honey, don't you know. ;-)

Did you see this? Or this? (There's more; I'll look for it, if you wanna see it.)

March 22, 2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

AgnosticAtheist: Christian songs are what you get when you take any random love song and substitute "Jesus" for "baby".

(With due props to The Simpsons. ;))

March 22, 2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger AJM said...

Did you see this? Or this? (There's more; I'll look for it, if you wanna see it.)...

Oh, no thanks (waves airily...) I think I'll just eat this bowlful of broken glass 'n rusty nails...

Seriously. Wow. Made the mistake of actually reading the comments at 'Good math/bad math...'

Should have known better. There is no woo like numerological woo... That, on the heels of the apparently 'unChristian' calculus was a bit much.

March 22, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

I wish there was a way I could filter certain news out of my life - like just about any sports and certainly AI. Xtians call their delusion of Xmusic hitting mainstream "crossing over". So much for that! I would listen to Britney Spears over and over before I would torture myself with "Stryper" or "Sandy patty" or any of that crap.

Another example of how Xtians get frustrated because they can't pretend that this a world only for Xtians with Xhairstylists, Xplumbers, Xmusic, Xcredit cards etc...

Someday they will have their own little world with a dome over it - of course it will have a laser missile defense system just in case. maybe then we can all sin and fornicate in peace.

March 22, 2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger David said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 23, 2007 2:30 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Tom Monahan's "Ave Maria" town (opening soon!) is exactly that - an ideal Christian community for Christians only. It doesn't have a dome over it, but it is a place where, according to the current Mother Jones, a Christian girl can look at other Christian girl and instead of "wondering if they've given their bodies, I can know that they're pure." (Had enough, everyone?)

March 23, 2007 9:10 AM  

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