Music and purity... Help?

Hello all,

I am desperately trying to clean out my music library after hearing an incredible talk about purity, but it is so hard to figure out where some artists lie in the vastness between ‘satanic’ and ‘holy’!! Does anyone know of a website/resource that clearly and accurately states the religious views of mainstream artists? Or am I hoping for too much?.. :confused:

Thanks for any help you can give me!

The talk was about

Check the lyrics of the songs. If they include anything evil like violence, carnal delight (forniation, lust, porn, obscene noises, etc.), drugs, insults, cursing, racism, sexism, unjust anger, envy, infantcide, celebrity worship, idoltry, anti-Semtism, anti-Catholicism, sacrilege, or, worst of all, disrespect toward God, than throw them out.

There is better music here: vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/cap-mus-sistina/documents/index_inni_en.htm

You might be tempted to keep evil music because it sounds good and is fun to listen to you or friends like it, but that is the temptation of sin. Sin seems good on the surface, but that is because the eyes only see the good thing, not the evil that it is. For example, if you saw adultery, you might think it is good, because you see the act of sex, and sex is itself good, but you might not know the act is evil because it is contrary to marital charity. You might say, “It looks harmless and enoyable, why do people hate adultery? It is only two people having fun and being loving.” But you might not see that the activity is immoral because the two persons aren’t married to each other and cheating is contray to marriage, wherein the spouses give themselves to one another to the exclusion of all other people - for such is the union of marital charity, whereby they are no longer two flesh but one flesh. Adultery cannot be good because it is outside of marriage, so the persons can’t become one flesh with each other. Moreover, when you look at sin, you might forget about the Lord God, whom you have married in baptism, and so you would be tempted to cheat on Him by committing sin. Think of His love for you and your love for Him when you made your vows to Him at the altar and you will, by His grace, resist the temptation to commit sin.

Why would you care about that? You should take a more formalist approach to people’s music. If the song itself is impure (like some of the dumb songs in hip-hop :rolleyes:), then get rid of it. However, if you’re going to get rid of a good song just cuz the artist doesn’t live the life you wish for him/her, then you’ve pretty much committed a form of ad hominem. Even classical artists like Mozart were far from saintly.

The Church does not publish a list of forbidden or acceptable artists one may listen to. If someone purports to offer you such a list, I would be extremely skeptical. You will just have to make these decisions on your own. God is calling you to apply the graces you received by virtue of your Baptism to discern for yourself what needs to go and what can stay. No one here can make that decision for you. Consider it an opportunity to grow that God has blessed you with. :slight_smile:

I will say, generally speaking, that Catholics are under no moral imperative to only listen to music, watch TV, read books, buy products, or visit websites solely from people who are living virtuous, morally upright lives. If you choose to do so, you are more than welcome to try, but you are under no obligation to play detective and attempt to uncover the religious beliefs of anyone.

I believe it is a mistake to label music as “satanic”. There is a miniscule amount of music that is truly satanic (and it probably originates from Scandinavian death/black metal bands that you have never hear of). Certainly, the devil tries to use anything (even things that are, by themselves good or at least morally neutral) in order to keep you from God. But that doesn’t make the thing itself “satanic”. Do you see the distinction?

Of course, there is music out there whose lyrics promote sinful things, but it is better to simply speak of it as such rather than use the term “satanic”. We ought to be careful to be accurate with our words. When we toss around the word “satanic” so much, people tend to take us less seriously.

The most important thing, I would say, is to evaluate how the music affects you. If it causes you to sin, throw it out. If it makes you uncomfortable to listen to it, even if it doesn’t tempt you to sin (for example, listening to a song glorifying premarital sex may not cause you to want to engage in such behavior, but it may make you uncomfortable to hear), you may want to throw it out. It’s up to you.

I’ve known people who, after their conversion, found it necessary and cathartic to throw away CDs and movies that they were now no longer comfortable listening to (or watching). But then I know people for whom this was not really necessary. Myself, I fall into the latter category. Even if a song (or movie or book) doesn’t conform 100% to Catholic teaching, I can still enjoy it without being drawn into sinful behavior. Of course, there is still some stuff that I simply wouldn’t go near, not because it would lead me to sin but because it’s so contradictory to my faith that I would derive no enjoyment from subjecting myself to it.

So, the choice is yours. :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone, you all make a lot of sense. I think I have a good system down now for evaluating my music :slight_smile: My iPod will be holier in no time :wink:
Thanks so much for you clarity!

God Bless,
-Sara

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