“Keep Your Fearsome God At Bay”

During my high school years I was mentored by a terrific pastor who went on in subsequent years to become an agnostic. (We deconverted completely independently of each other, not influencing each other in that process at all.) The catchy song below is by his similarly religiously disaffected daughter Elissa Sapp’s indie band “Ballroom Spies”. Name your price and support indie music by buying the song at Bandcamp.

At Bay
Testify, the truth shall set you free
But trust and obey this is the only way,
We’re unequipped to see
What is there, what is real what is just beyond your fingertips
So just relax and slow your breath we’ll set it like an anesthetic drip

Pray for his swift return
When he will prey and burn and segregate the herd

All you minions
With your bold opinions
What have you seen what have you heard with your own ears
All you people
Cower below white steeples
Will those turrets keep your fearsome god away
Keep him at bay

Justify, letting logic go
Blind faith, exchange, deranged, inflicted fear
For your immortal soul

Pray for his swift return
When he will prey and burn and segregate the herd

All you minions
With your bold opinions
What have you seen what have you heard with your own ears
All you people
Cower below white steeples
Will those turrets keep your fearsome god away
Keep him at bay

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.

  • Hilary

    My thoughts? You really need to get the music for Tom Smiths song, The Here and Now. Then you need to listen to all the cool music Tom Smith has out on line.

    To a rocken’ gospel beat, first spoken, then sung:
    Spoken:
    Welcome, friends! Welcome once again to the Atheist/Agnostic/Humanist/Realist Olde-Time Down-Home Gospel Hour!
    My friends, I am here to bring to you the GOOD NEWS.
    The GOOD NEWS!
    That this is a beautiful and dangerous and mysterious world we live in.
    That there’s a lot we don’t know.
    A lot we may NEVER know.
    There may be a heaven —
    There may be a hell —
    There may be a devil —
    There may be a GOD —
    But there ain’t no PROOF.

    No hard-core science.
    No Road Map of the Stars to the Pearly Gates.
    No interview with Gabriel in Hot Archangels Monthly.
    We’ve got to take it all on faith.
    And that’s a little difficult for some of us.
    You hear about free will, you hear about making your own choice… and you’d like just a little bit o’ proof.
    And at some point, you realize there may not be no proof a-comin’.

    And at that point, you realize…
    There may NOT be a heaven.
    There may NOT be a hell.
    There may NOT be a Devil.
    There may NOT BE A GOD!
    And you say to yourself, “Well, what am I doin’ here?
    If there ain’t a god, what am I doin’ here?
    What is my purpose in life?”
    And I am here to tell you that your purpose in life Is EXACTLY THE SAME either way.
    If there’s a God, your purpose is to LIVE. To help people. To make the world a better place.
    And if there’s NOT a God… your purpose is to LIVE! To help people! To make the world a better place!

    Now, I know that some of you out there want there to be a God for a very different reason.
    Because you feel alone.
    Because without God, it’s a big, bad, scary, random universe out there.
    Let me tell you right now —
    it’s a big, bad, scary, random universe out there WITH God!
    Bad stuff happens.
    Good stuff happens.
    Stuff happens!
    If it doesn’t happen, you’re DEAD!

    But here’s the important part:
    You are not alone.
    YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
    You’ve got a family of SIX BILLION right here with you.
    You think they don’t know your troubles?
    You think they don’t know your heart?
    They know yours as well as they know their own.
    You think the world ain’t a scary place for them?
    It’s a scary place for everybody!
    But it’s also a fantastically beautiful place.
    And it’s the only place we know for sure we’ve got.
    So it is our DUTY, our PURPOSE IN LIFE, our REASON TO BE,
    to make this the BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS!
    Lemme tell ya….

    Sung:
    God made the world, so they say,
    And he did it in only seven days,
    But they can’t tell you if those days were short… or… long,
    And they think their God is threatened if the dates… are… wrong.

    God made Adam, God made Eve,
    Kicked ‘em out of Eden ’cause they were deceived (hiss that snake),
    They had children, one was good… one… scum,
    Cain killed Abel, then got married — where’d his wife… come… from?

    There’s all those little problems where the story doesn’t jibe,
    If God created all of us, why single out one tribe?
    Why weren’t there any dinosaurs on Noah’s floating zoo?
    Why tell us all these fairy tales when we’ve got stuff to do?

    We’ve got the world (we’ve got the world), the here and now (the here and now),
    Things happen, it’s only natural to ask how (ask… how)
    But there’s no reason to trust mytho…lo…gy,
    The world right here and now’s enough for me.

    God made Commandments, God made rules,
    God said “to build a better life, these are the tools”,
    He said the first four… are to wor…ship… me,
    If you don’t, you will be tortured for eter…ni…ty.

    But what if this world is all there is,
    What if, when you die, there ain’t no final quiz,
    No hell or heaven? Well, that’s all right… with… me…
    We’ll make it heaven here on earth, just wait… and… see.

    Why punish us forever for an arbitrary rule?
    Why set us up for failure? Does God have to be so cruel?
    Why give us all these instincts for committing mortal sins?
    Why give us all these ways to lose before the game begins?

    We’ve got the world (we’ve got the world), the here and now (the here and now),
    There may be nothing, al-Akhirah, or the Tao (eternal Tao)
    But I’ve got present responsibi…li…ty,
    The world right here and now’s enough for me.

    We’ve got the world (we’ve got the world), the here and now (the here and now),
    And you know we’re gonna make it somehow (some… how)
    But I ain’t countin’ on eter…ni…ty,
    The world right here and now’s enough for me.

    There may be God, and there may not
    The world we’re livin’ in might just be all we’ve got
    That ain’t no problem, ’cause, whether spawned… or… made,
    The only way to live is not to be… a…fraid.

    We’ve got our minds, we’ve got our hearts,
    We’ve got our souls and they’re the most important parts,
    We don’t need threatenin’ to tell what’s right… from… wrong
    Just mind your business, clean things up, and get a… long.

    The world is filled with wonderment and beauty near and far,
    And trying to understand it is just being who we are,
    If there’s a God, he told us that the world he made was ours,
    We’re almost done exploring here, the next stop is the stars.

    We’ve got the world (we’ve got the world), the here and now (the here and now),
    And we’re gonna reach the heavens somehow (some… how)
    It’s up to us to fulfill our des…ti…ny,
    The world right here and now’s enough for me (enough for me).

    We’ve got the world (we’ve got the world), the here and now (the here and now),
    And you know we’re gonna make it somehow (some… how)
    Find God within you — the rest comes na…tura…lly,
    The world right here and now’s enough for me.
    I say, the world right here and now’s enough for me.
    That’s right, the world right here and now’s enough for me.
    Ohhhhh… yeahhhh!

    Here’s his website: http://www.tomsmithonline.com/

    • Hilary

      I love this song, even though I am a religious theist, it still rocks me. Because it’s true that weither or not God exists, our purpose in life is the same: to live, to help people, and to make the world a better place. The only way to live life is not to be afraid, and whatever happens in the world to come, if there is one, the most important thing in life is to take care of this world, to be kind and try and help as much as possible in this life, in the here and now. So enjoy the music!

      Hilary

  • Hilary

    The other song you might like, a little more serious, is ‘I ain’t afraid” by the Klezmatics. They are a very cool Jewish band. Here is the English version, there is another cover of this song in both Yiddish and English. Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W0MTKG2tgQ

    Hilary

  • Hitchslapper

    Unless you’re talking about ‘NATURE’….. I believe all of ghod’s evil will be manifested only by the evils of Mankind…. not some spook in the sky.


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