Sacred Secular Songs

Gerald Augustinus of Cafeteria is Closed fame wrote something that stuck a chord with me (pun intended).

On his blog, Gerald states that the John Lennon song Imagine is truly vile:

“After the “peace studies” hogwash, this song fits in well. It’s basically a Leftist manifesto. First, rejection of a life beyond this - no heaven, no hell. Then, like the Communists, an “Internationale” - no countries, just one global politburo. No religion - well, the Communists tried to make that come true as well. No possessions - a brotherhood of man - worked out really well! No incentive, no effort, thus Communism resulting in nothing, equally shared by all. The nice melody really soothes you into the vile message. Of course, singing of “no possessions” is particularly cute coming from a gazillionaire.”

When I was young, I often wondered why adults didn’t object to the obvious promotion of atheism. As a parent, shopping with young children, I’d cringe every time it was played.

Yet to criticize this song seemed sacrilegious. To dislike Imagine was akin to disliking peace. Today, as I read the comments made on Gerald’s site, I am amazed of how many others feel the same. Perhaps its popularity is due to the left-leaning media.

:newidea: Since there is a category for Christian music (thereby excusing storekeepers from playing it in their shops), I hereby declare (drum roll) that Imagine, composed by the late John Lennon (God rest his soul), be the first entry into the new category of Sacred Secular Songs. These are songs that promote, embrace, and inculcate popular culture with leftist, communist, humanist, atheist, and materialist views. They are songs that are played throughout our society without shame and would make a descent Christian blush.

If anyone out there has a suggestion, please feel free to add to this first-of-a kind category. Thank you and God Bless.

Material Girl - Madonna

Sure, why not? :smiley: I like this kind of thing but I’m not a raving Lennon fan!

I don’t agree with your inclusion of ‘materialism’, a sin Christians are just as guilty of as others; so let’s stick with the secular humanist hymns.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands, Deep One Perfect Morning, Head On
David Rudder - Down Deh
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
James - Space, Johnny Yen
Iggy Pop - The Passenger
Ozzy Osbourne - Dreamer
Deltron3030 - Virus

And what’ve you got? ‘On Eagle’s Wings’? ‘How Great Thou Art’? I think I know what I like.


Of course, Christians are as guilty as others when it comes to being materialistic (I include myself, too). But that doesn’t make it right.

Just in case I give the wrong impression: The whole notion of this new classification of music is to spur dialogue and to have fun. I do not mean to “black list” any artist nor their music. Nor do I advocate boycotting them but I think the discussions here can contribute to greater awareness.

Really, why do artist who are Christian need to have a separate category? How many cross-over to “mainstream”? And who defines what’s mainstream? So if Christian artists can have a separate category, why can’t secularists?

The way I look at it is this: good musicians try to make good music first. Christian musicians, for good or ill, try to glorify God first – and making good music is an often all-too-distant second.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against religious music in itself. I love Gregorian chant, old gospel, spirituals, and so on. But would any of those fit well into a secular genre? Would Paul Robeson’s gospel albums sit nicely on a shelf next to James Brown’s celebrations of human nature? Would the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos get along well with Qntal or the Cocteau Twins? There’s a little bit of a thematic clash here. For the same reasons, I don’t have any issue with classifying Christian pop or rock in its own genre.

Also, I should note that a good many of the songs I listed weren’t written or performed by very materialist artists. David Rudder in particular is, as far as I know, a devout and ascetic Rastafarian, and one of his best songs, ‘High Mas’, is actually a hymn written around the Paternoster.

I find it interesting that John Lennon’s song, Imagine, was performed during the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Turin…

Poison - I Want Action
Poison - Unskinny Bop

**Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls **
Motley Crue - Wild Side (actually includes the lyrics “Our Father who ain’t in Heaven” and “Holy Mary, mother may I?, Pray for us on the Wild Side”, “I carry my crucifix under my death list, forward my mail to me in hell”)

Whitesnake - Slide it In

Should I continue? My generation of rock music is chock full of homages to sex and the party lifestyle. I still love the sound of the music, even if I cringe at the lyrics. I actually can’t listen to Wild Side at all anymore. I can’t stand the thought of singing along absentmindedly to the lyrics.

Oh and “… Always look on the bright side of life…”

Re: John Lennon’s Imagine

When I was young, I often wondered why adults didn’t object to the obvious promotion of atheism. As a parent, shopping with young children, I’d cringe every time it was played.

Exactly! But never fear, Sister Angela Joseph was on the case back in 1971 in the music class she occasionally taught us. She asked us what kind of world could the song portray…did it mean that there was no free choice in a society as depicted by the song. Would a Big Brother keep this supposed Utopia in check? Would people be persecuted in hidden camps to keep this dream world going? She told us free choice allows evil to exist, but good can fight and overtake evil. She was one sharp nun…she also led us to the bad points of the song “I Can’t Live (If Living Is Without You)” by Harry Nillson. She was preparing us for the love-life rejections we were sure to encounter as teens and helped us to see that no one should make us feel like we can’t go on if they reject us.

I never liked it. Always wondered why everyone else did. It is in our unflinching, unbending ideals that order is maintained! To comprimise is akin to TREACHERY!!!

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