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657247 Posts in 9253 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Finding God in music.  (Read 7358 times)
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sashwap
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Posts: 1316


« Reply #100 on: Sep 13, 2009, 02:09:23 AM »

i don't understand. what is perfect information?

i don't have to (or want to) convince you to be an atheist, 'cause what i was saying is it sounded like you are one and you're just trying to dress it up in way that suits you (spiritual agnostic).

With the perfect information thing: I find it hard to believe that we'll ever be sure that there is nothing we don't know or understand.

On atheism: you might want to look it up.

there will ALWAYS be stuff we don't understand.

anyway, i was just joshing you. this thread is pretty funny -- i sorta skimmed the first post and didn't really grasp it AT ALL and so i skipped to the end, saw the "spiritual agnostic" thing... and here we are. i don't really know what happened in between. also, i am well-read on the subject of atheism, but point taken.  Cool
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dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #101 on: Sep 13, 2009, 02:38:21 AM »

Oh God, well,

Well, most people already know this, but I am a semi-observant Catholic.  I have a very committed faith in the existence of God, and a much-more-shaky but nonetheless very real and personally important faith in the basic tenants outlined in the Nicene Creed (which I'm just using here as a shorthand, I could definitely elaborate).

If you would - I just wikipedia-refreshed my memory of the Nicene Creed and I'm curious where you land with that one.  Which pieces are important and which not so much and how much personal interpretation is happening there.

Going point-by-point would get a little ridiculous and crazy for the purposes of this thread, so just briefly:

While it's relatively easy to come to a belief or faith or suspicion that God exists (or a more vague supernatural power or force) obviously a belief that 2000 years ago he had a son (for Catholics pretty close to literally) and sent him to earth to preach and get killed is a lot harder to swallow.  And the divinity of Christ is definitely a question I have and will go back and forth on, and reflect on my whole life.  

But I think

A) the idea of God present among humans, not just metaphorically, not just as a symbol, not just as an essence or a divine spark or what-have-you, but as flesh-and-blood, molecule-for-molecule, sat-in-a-womb-for-9-months human both in the Incarnation and in the Eucharist is an incredibly powerful, incredibly radical one.  

B) whether he was the son of God or not, and whether it was close to his actual words or not, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew is an early, nearly-perfect articulation of humanist values, and almost exactly what I would expect God to say if he came to earth in first century Palestine.  

That's just my bit on the divinity of Christ; I have whole schpiels about spiritual communities, resurrection of the body, Marianism, etc

But beyond that 90% of the Catechism can go fuck itself.  I could go into more or less detail about what keeps me Catholic despite "the general up-with-peoplism that I display in most other matters" but it would only be of interest to other Catholics or lapsed Catholics, I suspect.

I'm extremely interested in this too, actually.  Maybe because I grew up in Massachusetts and have spent serious time in New Jersey, which almost makes me a lapsed Catholic by default.

There's a hint of it above; I make an enormous distinction between what the Church says on theological matters and what it says on moral/ethical/political matters.  Theologically, there's a lot in the Catholic Church I love that's unique even among Christian denominations:  The lack of a real body/spirit distinction (this is a HUGE thing that gets almost no play when Christianity is discussed), Marianism, the importance of communal tradition over Scripture/law fetishism, etc.  Clearly there's a lot to hate in how this all bears out practically and politically, which brings me to:


A convenient metaphor I always use with my liberal-minded friends is that I feel the same way about the Catholic Church that I feel about America.  I was born into it, and I feel like it has at its center important, radical, populist ideals that it's betrayed or otherwise fucked on a regular basis for as long as it's existed.  But I was born there and I'll die there; and it's too important a project to abandon to crazy conservative people.  

And I'm really fucking interested in this part, because I'm with you on the America analogy, since I feel pretty much the same way, but I don't see the importance of Catholicism versus the alternatives.  In turnabout: not trying to be a dick, I just want it explained.

In the most practical sense, I mean only that the Catholic Church is a wealthy, massive institution that ain't going nowhere, and that if liberal-minded Catholics abandon it, it's not going to help matters.  But in a broader sense (and one that might seem weird and masochistic to people who weren't raised Catholic and make perfect sense to people who were), I feel like it's my birthright, like I'm merely the latest in a long line of highly-conflicted drunken Irishmen who sucked it up and went to church on Sunday.  We're better for doing it, and the Church is better for having us there.  

There's a long tradition of liberal/pseudo/renegade Catholics (and I'm stealing a line from CharmingTedious here), from St. Francis of Assisi to Graham Greene to Dorothy Day to Steven Colbert.  The America metaphor comes back in, because I feel like the Church is this giant, big tent community.  The brass fucks up a lot, but the goodwill and populism it was founded on leaves room for this vibrant, insane, diverse community.

Honestly I have no idea if I'm making sense to anyone but myself at this point.  
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 03:04:16 AM by dieblucasdie » Logged

he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
donblood
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« Reply #102 on: Sep 13, 2009, 02:55:03 AM »

Makes sense to me but there's a lot there to process.  I'm going to mull and get back.
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donblood
Guest
« Reply #103 on: Sep 13, 2009, 02:55:22 AM »

(& thanks, that was enormously helpful)

edit:  especially (A) & (B) which knocked me around a bit.

double edit:  not sure if you intended the "Oh God, well" prelude as a masterstroke but it came across that way.
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 02:58:25 AM by donblood » Logged
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #104 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:06:48 AM »

haha, no, just meant "Oh God, well" as "how am I going to articulate this in a clear way without getting bogged down in a bunch of Catholic arcana that nobody cares about."

Really maybe a better shorthand is "I have the same complex, fiercely-devoted, love/hate, co-dependent, vaguely-masochistic relationship with the Catholic Church as I do with Big Hollywood and The CW"
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 03:19:55 AM by dieblucasdie » Logged

he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
Ignatius
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Posts: 7082


« Reply #105 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:08:55 AM »

Automatically feeling dumb on the heels of blucas' considered Catholicism..

I can't stand up and recite the Nicene Creed. It's almost painful to recognize that an institution that was so critically important to my mother and my dad's mom, that set up the basis of my morality and double-bonded my extended family is at its core irreconcilable with what I actually believe.

But fuck me too if all my CCD teachers weren't the biggest dicks in Pleasantville.
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C of heartbreak
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Posts: 5285


« Reply #106 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:10:09 AM »

You know blucas, I can see where you're coming from here. A lot of people don't realize it because 2000 years of ubiquity have kind of taken awesomeness out of Catholicism, but for someone who thinks seriously about how he eats the flesh of the son of God every Sunday, the noncomittal musings of the spiritual can seem somewhat sophomoric.

@ billy goat: You say that people are unwilling to accept God because they feel that nothing can be greater than them. But have you ever considered that "God created man in his own image" might be backwards?

I'd like to post some lyrics but I really only see god in Bach's music.
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HOW WOULD I BE? WHAT WOULD I DO?
G.C.R
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Posts: 6219


« Reply #107 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:17:00 AM »

Blucas can I send that post to a friend of mine? There are issues there that I KNOW she will want to discuss (endlessly) and you articulate some stuff that I'd really like to know her take on.
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I think it's fair to assume we'll be inebriated and covered in bodily effluvia all weekend
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #108 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:19:32 AM »

Totally Grace.  Let me know what she says too. 
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he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #109 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:22:45 AM »

Automatically feeling dumb on the heels of blucas' considered Catholicism..

I can't stand up and recite the Nicene Creed. It's almost painful to recognize that an institution that was so critically important to my mother and my dad's mom, that set up the basis of my morality and double-bonded my extended family is at its core irreconcilable with what I actually believe.

But fuck me too if all my CCD teachers weren't the biggest dicks in Pleasantville.

So you went to public school, then?  That right there's the difference.  The Nicene Creed is just the one from Mass, dude!  I'm sure you can say it as long as you have 15-35 old ladies saying it along with you
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he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
milly balgeary
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Posts: 11512


« Reply #110 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:30:17 AM »

that really was pretty excellent as a post on catholic religion. the rawness comes through. i can't believe i'm still awake! if anything, the post is interesting because it reunites the medieval self with the modern self, the medieval self being enormously enamored of the concept of shame, which was the human denominator until about 1500-1600.

i'm not an authority on what the modern self considers the overreaching impulse (i'd guess it's selfhood itself) but dieblue carefully illustrates the narrative of modern catholic shame crossed with the new unknown human spiritual dna (which i still think deserves, respectfully, to not be named though i hazard to guess it is Selfhood).

i don't feel shame though( i am an follower of selfhood). if a god exists, he is a slaver, and the self shall rise above, even if i must encrypt my emotions and my communications/signals within a secret language that an all-powerful being must guess-at, and if he strikes me with his lightning pronged double attack, in the next world i shall burn, and plan in my head, ways to murder him, over and over and over. cause he is a dick.

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milly balgeary
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Posts: 11512


« Reply #111 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:34:04 AM »

hey jesus/god, if you were able to dicipher my last post, hey, buddies...i've been drinking.
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Ignatius
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Posts: 7082


« Reply #112 on: Sep 13, 2009, 03:56:16 AM »

Automatically feeling dumb on the heels of blucas' considered Catholicism..

I can't stand up and recite the Nicene Creed. It's almost painful to recognize that an institution that was so critically important to my mother and my dad's mom, that set up the basis of my morality and double-bonded my extended family is at its core irreconcilable with what I actually believe.

But fuck me too if all my CCD teachers weren't the biggest dicks in Pleasantville.

So you went to public school, then?  That right there's the difference.  The Nicene Creed is just the one from Mass, dude!  I'm sure you can say it as long as you have 15-35 old ladies saying it along with you

...(jerk)

You're right about public school, though. Our church was Dominican, and occasionally one of the Fathers would come talk in class. It always came as a huge surprise that we were allowed to ask them questions, let alone encouraged (almost always... one of 'em was angrily dogmatic ). My dad and all of his brothers went to Jesuit prep school and university, and my grandmother wanted us to do the same. If things had gone according to her wishes, I might have been more thoughtful about all this. But public education in my town was much much better than any nearby Catholic school, and that's how it went. I think that I'm slightly enamoured of Jesuits because I imagine my life would have gone better under their instruction. But this is nonsense.
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dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #113 on: Sep 13, 2009, 04:18:07 AM »

ha!  Well, I didn't mean it jerkishly; I just assumed you went to public school 'cause you mentioned CCD.  Obviously going to a Holy Cross school has left me with this vaguely-formed opinion that the Jesuits are overrated and too self-consciously intellectual, but, you know, they're still better than public schooling.  I do  Heart the Dominicans, though.  I sort of love the "Yeah, we're not the ascetic order or the intellectual order or the hierarchical order, we're just priests, for fuck's sake" thing they have going on. 

(FWIW I never had a person in religious orders for a religion or theology class; just dudes who decided that married life at $20,000 a year was still way better than the priesthood)
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 04:21:10 AM by dieblucasdie » Logged

he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
Charming Tedious
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Posts: 731


« Reply #114 on: Sep 13, 2009, 04:28:24 AM »

Hey, what about people like me who self-ID as "religious but not spiritual"?  Is that just annoying and confusing?
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Ignatius
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« Reply #115 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:49:03 PM »

I thought you were saying that because I went to public school I was unaware of the content of the Nicene Creed, or that I had said it many many times. In jest, of course.
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Illest Waffle
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Posts: 1240


« Reply #116 on: Sep 13, 2009, 07:50:54 PM »

Heart Dominicans too. Fried plantains are so fucking good.
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Charming Tedious
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Posts: 731


« Reply #117 on: Sep 14, 2009, 07:48:11 AM »

semi-related:  why is christian rock still so terrible?  How is it so immediately identifiable.

I was helping some friends table at a charity tent at a large multi-day music festival, when i heard from one of the smaller stages the first act of the day:

"HELLO SEATTLE!" in a sickly-sweet vocodered voice.

Thus began 30 minutes of, frankly, some of the most repulsive music I ever heard. Sort of like the Postal Service, except with the "insipid" knob turned up to 11. And only a 5 note vocal range.

The teenagers manning the booth with me all made disgusted faces, and we tried to wrap our heads around it. I speculated that this band were probably a new signing to a major label (majors will often force promotors to book new bands to get them exposure and use their popular artists as leverage--you can only have the Flaming Lips if you book Eisley etc) I also speculated that they were probably Christian. I didn't know why--I could just tell.

When I got home, I googled. Found out I was right on both counts.

My point is not to harsh on Owl City, as much as to ask: how did i know? There are a lot of crappy bands in the world. I couldn't hear the lyrics well enough to notice the vague spirituality. How could I tell they were a christian rock band?
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Maaik
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Posts: 15119


« Reply #118 on: Sep 14, 2009, 09:12:13 AM »

...earnestness?
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #119 on: Sep 14, 2009, 11:14:47 AM »

I'm going to make the guess that people who perform in the Christian rock subculture grew up listening to a higher-than-average amount of bands that also performed in the Christian rock subculture. So what you're hearing is the disproportionate influence of, say, Petra and Michael W. Smith (or maybe completely different Christian artists, but you get the point).
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
davy
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« Reply #120 on: Sep 14, 2009, 11:15:34 AM »

I think today's template is Jars of Clay. They were the first real crossover outside of Amy Grant, right?
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
Thermofusion
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« Reply #121 on: Sep 14, 2009, 11:21:35 AM »

I like faith+1
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triple paisley minimum
Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #122 on: Sep 14, 2009, 11:35:16 AM »

I think today's template is Jars of Clay. They were the first real crossover outside of Amy Grant, right?

Sure, but I'm more referring to bands that specifically did NOT cross over. The 77s would be another good example. I feel like it's all down to the fact that, starting probably in the late 70s, Christian rock was its own little world, completely separate from the "secular" rock culture, and therefore current Christian bands are influenced by previous Christian bands far more heavily than they are by the mainline rock tradition of the past 30 years. Jars of Clay are probably far more influential within the Christian subculture than outside of it, but a lot of other bands that might be heavily influential within the Christian subculture have absolutely no influence outside of that subculture. So they distort the music those bands make.

Just a theory.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #123 on: Sep 14, 2009, 01:09:27 PM »

Have y'all seen the Heather Whinna documentary?
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he was basically your only chance at making the world love you.
Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #124 on: Sep 14, 2009, 03:12:17 PM »

I've never even heard of it. What is it?
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
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