A Little Friday Afternoon Harmony

Covering the Jason Mraz song “Lucky”, sisters Camille and Haley Harris come off as a really sweet and charming pair of young women with gorgeous, well harmonized voices:

Wasn’t that beautiful? Okay, the ugly complications of politics are below the fold. Skip that stuff if you’d like to end your experience of these talented and passionate young women with their uncomplicated loveliness.

So you may have recognized these young women from this other video in which they are no less enthusiastic and their voices are no less beautiful—but in which all their passion and pretty singing are perversely put to supporting the odious Rick Santorum.

Now, the lyrics are lazy and hackneyed and painfully politically blunt. But that’s a disease that afflicts at least 99% of didactic political songwriting which is more interested in its message than being lyrical in any artistic sense. The very well-meaning and politically approvable “Bad Romance” take-off, which was recently made in honor of the women’s suffrage movement, had lyrics and singing so unimaginative and atrocious that I just couldn’t make it through even one viewing. Part of that also might be that I love the original Bad Romance just too much to endure it. (What’s that? Those lyrics are hackneyed too? SHUT UP! THEY’RE GENIUS!!)

But I digress. No, I don’t approve of the Harris family’s (apparently) theocratic politics or the ways that the parents have (probably) used their homeschooling and Christian schooling to hide their kids from perspectives and truths which might be detrimental to their faith.

But they don’t seem to be terribly evil and on a perfectly human level I don’t see much need for any hate and derision to be flying their way. I don’t see what good is done by YouTubers voting down the sisters’ utterly politically indifferent “Lucky” video or making foul “spreading Santorum” jokes in its comments sections or expressing other rancor towards them. They’re relatively young, passionate, well meaning people. Their ideas need to be challenged. Their candidate needs to be understood as the regressive extremist that he is. But these young people do not need to be slung with mud for making a positive video about their political beliefs.

They are only 20 and 18 years old and their upbringing has most likely limited their exposure to a whole lot of important facts and ideas. They have time to still mature as thinkers and people and to become increasingly more responsible for their moral and political views. In the meantime, they don’t deserve vitriol and mockery just for being naïvely wrong and believing the only things they’ve ever known.

Finally, below is another beautifully sung, though lyrically overly straightforward, political song that they put up online this month. This one is against sex slavery. You’ll note within it that Camille depicts the exploited women as not being sure their prayers are even heard and she specifically stresses that it will take other people’s action for their prayers to be answered. Nowhere is Jesus expected to magically save the day. That’s a bit of honesty about the realities of the world mixed in with an admirable passion for justice. Hopefully a keener grasp of more of the realities of the world will sharpen both their senses of justice as they continue to grow.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • furtivezoog

    I think that part of the explanation for the negative reactions to their video (beyond the fact that this is on the internet…) could be that people who are dismissed in total with such animus for being gay, etc., are liable to strike back similarly. It may not be the correct or most effective response for any desired outcome, but it is understandable. (I don’t even like the cursing by bloggers on here, shrinking violet that I appear to be. When I say “s**t” or something worse my wife–whose family sounds like the Osbournes–laughs and tries to get me to say it again.)

    More effective, I think, would be people leaving comments of utmost civility, communicating their common humanity: “I am gay and I love my husband, my children, and my community…”

  • Contrarian

    Are they related to Gregg Harris, of homeschooling fame?

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      They’re not his kids. I don’t know about any possible further connections.


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