It Must Be Opposite Day…

Get this: A Christian is complaining because his high school’s (voluntary after-school) choir is singing a song that includes the phrase “There is no truth except Allah”:

James Harper, a senior at Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, put his objection to singing “Zikr,” a song written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman, in an email to Mesa County School District 51 officials. When the school stood by choir director Marcia Wieland’s selection, Harper said, he quit.

“I don’t want to come across as a bigot or a racist, but I really don’t feel it is appropriate for students in a public high school to be singing an Islamic worship song,” Harper told KREX-TV. “This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet … I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth.”

Mind you the school isn’t trying to push Islam to the students. They just happen to be singing a variety of songs from different cultures and some have religious themes to them.

“Students are not required to participate, and receive no academic credit for doing so,” [district spokesman Jeff Kirtland] said.

At an upcoming concert, the choir is scheduled to sing an Irish folk song and an Christian song titled “Prayer of the Children,” in addition to the song by Rahman.

So the complaint is frivolous.

I just want to know where these people are when the songs are explicitly — and only — Christian in nature. If an atheist complains about that, there’s an uproar against the atheist.

That’s Christian privilege for you. It’s all fine when they sing about your imaginary friend, but when it’s someone else’s, you feel very uncomfortable…

Just keep this article handy. It’s hypocrisy waiting to happen.

(Thanks to Chris for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    What I’m curious about is whether he has a specific exception to the Islamic song or whether any of the other religious songs bother him too. It appears to be the former.

  • Gunstargreen

    We always ask what they would say if their kids were presented something Islamic. Well here’s our answer.

  • FSq

    Just so typical of the fucking christians. They want THEIR religion promoted, and if we don’t promote their Kool-Aid they cry “persecution” all the way home just like the little piggy….

  • Dynaboy

    It’s not opposite day, it’s hypocrite day. Which, by the way, is every day.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t be a Christian without being a hypocrite

  • Volunteer

    I’m fairly certain that every high school across the nation performs Hallelujah at one point or another. We never sang any worship song other than Jewish or Christian songs. I would have loved to had the chance to sing islamic songs

  • digitalatheist



    Oh my aching head.

  • Xeon2000

    Maybe he thought joining the public school choir really meant “Christian choir”.

  • MASeiler

    …just like a typical atheist, throwing all Christians under the bus…doesn’t feel very good does it? I’m a Catholic, have been for 30 years….that’s me. I couldn’t care less about what you do or don’t believe, who you do or do not worship, all I care about is that you’re a good, kind person. 

  • confused

    wait, this is a student? so, he quit school? quit the choir? or did it mean to say he is a senior teacher, or something like that?

  • Christoph Burschka

    Man, if he doesn’t like it, he should just not listen to it, right? :-P #prayerbanner

  • Mairianna

    Yep.  That’s us Atheists – calling James Harper “an evil little thing” and posting death threats on his Facebook page.  

  • Anonymous

    “This is worshipping another God”…..LoL…that gets me every time. 

  • Felyx Leiter

    My public high school choir performed it during our graduation ceremony twelve years ago.

  • FSq

    I am calling Shenanigans on you Mr. Seiler. If you actively support the Catholic Church, then you are part of the problem and not the solution. Sorry to burst your moderate-Christian bubble, but you have blood on your hands.

    And this alleged “war on religion” is PURE BULLSHIT. You have such privilege as a result of merely calling yourself christian, so do not try to argue from that stance. There is a difference between persecution and preferential treatment, and what is currently happening is that we are speaking up to remove your preferred status and telling you, “you have to play by the same rules”.

    If you cannot see that, then you are indeed the problem. 

    Now go back to your club house that has a leader in a pointy hat, who says he has a direct channel to “god” (is it DISH or another god-provider that gives him his reception, because my subscription ran out and I am looking for new providers) and actively hides pedophiles and treats women as chattle.

  • FSq

    If we simply look at that statement alone, he recognizes there are other gods….BLASPHEMER!!!

  • Gary Hill

    What gets me is the level of paranoia and cultural ignorance exhibited by American Christians. They seem to think that their god speaks English and has an English name.

    Allah simply means ‘god’.

    Arabic speaking Christians call their god ‘Allah’.

  • Dan Dorfman

    Someone should tell him “you’re perfectly free to not sing it. Nobody’s forcing you to listen to it or to perform it.”

  • Alexa Joy

    Wow, this student obviously hasn’t sang in many choirs before! Almost every high school choir will explore songs from another religion or culture.  I’m a vocal education major, and have spent many years in choirs and other vocal ensembles. Singing religious music is pretty much a given if you’re into choral singing –  choral music was predominantly religious for hundreds of years! I’ve sung songs with religious content from all sorts of religions over the years, and I’m an atheist. I’ve never objected to singing non-secular songs, either. Some of the most beautiful choral pieces ever composed were religious in nature, and this student is severely limiting himself if he only wants to sing Christian songs.

  • Ani Sharmin

    I just want to know where these people are when the songs are explicitly — and only — Christian in nature.

    This, basically. Also, I was thinking what Anonymous above wrote about them singling out the Islamic song and not caring about the other religious songs.

  • Ani Sharmin

    That’s nice of you, but many of the officials in your Church disagree with you. They care very much what people believe and try to force us to follow their rules.

  • MASeiler

    Oh I know they do, and by no means am I saying they are right in what they do or that I agree with what they do. As a Catholic I have a certain spiritual belief, doesn’t mean that I believe in the old, crusty white guys in Rome. They are men and are therefore fallible, as we all are. I think the issue is that FSq thinks that I care about politics, I don’t. I am an individual. As I said earlier, if you’re a good person, I will get along great with you regardless of your belief system (both religious and political). 

  • Rich Wilson

    Uh, ok, THAT’S a big net.  In as much as we’re probably all hypocrites about something that might be technically true.  But I know Christians who are no more hypocritical than me, and in this case would roll their eyes at the kid just as much as we are.

  • Mistletoe Ethaniel

    Hey guys… I’m still kind of new, and am still working some of this stuff out, but: is this an example of an apologist?

  • Mistletoe Ethaniel

    Color me not remotely surprised.  My school had something similar happen over “Imagine”.

  • Frank Jones

    Worst article ever.  Just wasted 3 minutes of my life. Hypocrite and bigot Mehta complains about a Christian who does not want to praise another god. Yet he doesn’t mention, that a muslim would never do the same either. If you forced a muslim to worship Jesus, he would probably behead you. And probably hypocrite Mehta would say that’s OK because we should not impose our believes on others. Just disgusting.

  • Daniel Miles

    I attended high school just up the road from Grand Junction in Fort Collins 13 years ago where I was very involved with my high school choir community. I was then and continue to be an “angry atheist.” I support suits against government institutions that violate the separation of church and state like suits against “under god” in the pledge of allegiance, but my experience in my choirs 13 years ago wasn’t one of those violations. Part of a musical education is a historical and cultural education, and that involves exposure to religious texts. I never felt that my school or my choir teacher was pushing a religious agenda despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the music we sang had sacred text.
    Now, I don’t know the details of this choir or this school, but I’d be really surprised if they were all that different. Forcing children to pledge allegiance to “one nation under God” constitutes a government endorsement of religion but a exposing children to religious text as part of a musical and historical education does not constitute a government endorsement?

  • Frank Jones






  • Frank Jones

     I don’t think any of you bigoted idiots gets the point here. And also, you don’t seem to have a problem with muslims killing non-muslims in the name of their wicked cult. Yet you go after a kid who doesn’t want to worship allah? Seriously? You got to be fucking kidding me.

  • Paul Reed


  • Frank Jones

    Blood on his hands? So what about all the muslims? They must have blood all over them but you fail to mention this. Mohammed killed, tortured, abused, enslaved, raped. Jesus preached peace and forgiveness. Yet you point your finger at Christians? Seriously? Man, how can one become so bigoted and hypocritical? Just amazing.

  • Frank Jones

    So lets see: it is OK on this board to bash Christianity but not islam and you call yourselves atheists. Is that correct?

  • Anonymous

    For the same reason that all caps make baby jesus cry?

  • LifeinTraffic

    That is quite a big chip on your shoulder you have. If you’d like to maybe think for yourself, you could probably get rid of it and walk a little taller.

    Since you say “so-called atheists,” and “atheists like you,” I’m going to assume you’re not an atheist, but a theist. Since you don’t say what religion, I’ll guess Christian just based on probability.

    When, in the US, has a Muslim received the death penalty for leaving their faith? Wait…never? You’ve not made a point here. There are extremists in any cause, and most especially in religion. Islam is no better or worse, it just depends where and how it’s practiced.  Oh, and just in case you missed it, the bible says the same thing:     Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord
    alone, shall be doomed.  (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

     In your lovely little religious myth text (the bible), if someone doesn’t believe in a particular version of god, they burn in hell for eternity. The god of that book commands the violent killing of men, women, and children for all kinds of reasons, including  It’s not good to make comparisons between Christianity’s death toll based on religion and the death tolls of other religions. Christians lose that game on sheer numbers.

    We are not “Islam appeasers.” We simply believe in freedom of religion, meaning anyone should be free to believe in whatever religion (or lack thereof) that they like. Unlike small-minded bigots, I don’t persecute people on the basis of their faith. I have friends of many faiths, from Muslim to Buddhist to Catholic to Jewish to Pagan to those like myself who don’t believe in the supernatural. What we do say is that Christians in this country enjoy special privilege, and when that is challenged they react very, very poorly.

    And, as far as willful ignorance….well, I think you made your point above.

  • Paul Reed

    Frank Jones, calm the hell down, take a deep breath and think for a sec.
    This article has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. Seriously. Read it again.
    A Christian complained about an islamic song. That’s it. This article observes that they’re experiencing a taster of what everyone else goes through when Christian privelege is involved in virtually everything.

    If you hate Islam that’s up to you, but don’t bring it into an unrelated article.

  • FSq

    The argument isn’t about Muslims, so why bring them up? Just because they behave badly as well does not excuse the christian evils, it just means you have company!

    This is the old “Everybody else was driving 70 mph, so why am I getting the ticket?” defense. Even IF everyone else is allegedly doing something wrong, it does not excuse you own piss-poor digressions.

    So, sorry, but you are dead wrong, as yes, if you are a moderate christian, you are just as culpable and have blood on the hands.

  • FSq

    Sort of. More an example of the “True Scotsman” and the cherry-picker. He wants all the glory without the bad stuff, so he invents his own form of catholicism to excuse the bad stuff; it is a sort of “hide it under the rug and hopefully no one will check” kind of strategy.

  • FSq

    Individuals vote Seiler. How is that not political? Do you vote? And how do you vote? What re your core values for voting? Don’t bullshit us with “I am an individual and am not political”. If you vote, you are political, and if you vote according to some mythic book of alleged morality you are the enemy. Also, by associating with the church and keeping your mouth shut vis-a-vis its evils, you are allowing them to continue its horrific acts.

    As a side note:

    n 1960 conservati­ves were worried that the Catholic Democratic candidate would get his directives from the Pope; JFK had to reassure America that his religion is secondary to his oath of office. 

    In 2012, Republican­s and conservati­ves wish to let Catholic Bishops decide what is acceptable when it comes to employer based health insurance. We seem to be going backwards.

  • FSq

    Well, you are what is referred to as an idiot.


  • FSq

    Sorry Rich, unless that christian you talk about is stoning people and putting women to death, they are hypocrites. 

  • FSq



  • FSq

    YES! Hemant! Well done sir, you just took three minutes of life away from an asshole!

    Keep up the good work! 

    We need more life spans shortened like this guys! 

  • Rich Wilson

    If you did a little more reading on this site before leaping to giant conclusions you’re realize that this has nothing to do with appeasing Islam.  It has to do with highlighting Christian hypocrisy.

    We’re equal opportunity anti-theist bigots around here!

  • Rich Wilson

    Well, I’m talking about Christians who think the earth is 4.3 billion years old and all life on this planet shares common ancestry.  So… I’m not sure where that leaves us :-)

  • Rich Wilson

    No, we go after a kid who thinks everyone else should worship his god.

  • Marco Conti

    I don’t want to come across as a bigot or a racist”
    but please let me spew my bigoted, racially tinged views anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Uh oh, he went all caps;  he’s serious now.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Islam is shit, just like Christianity and Judaism and any other religion you care to name.  

  • Rich Wilson

    Oh for fuck’s sake, do you even know who Alexander Aan is?

  • GentleGiant

    Jon Stewart said it best!

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I once pointed this out to a fundie friend of mine and he didn’t believe me. Even after he looked up the word he still said it wasn’t the same god.

  • Jude

    ” you don’t seem to have a problem with muslims killing non-muslims in the name of their wicked cult ”

    Um – have you ever read anything on this site besides this one post?

  • FSq

    Then they are cherry picking and using convenient christainaity and are….wait for it….hypocrites…

  • Conrad

    Interesting, I’ve sung in both high school and college choirs. We had plenty of muslim members, and they all sang the numerous christian songs we performed without complaint. What planet are you on Frank?

  • Ubi Dubium

    Funny.  We have a post bashing xianity and we get a troll yelling that we aren’t picking on islam enough.  And when we have a post bashing islam, there’s usually a troll there complaing that we  shoud bash xianity instead.  Wonder if it’s the same troll?

  • Rich Wilson
  • Robin Raianiemi

    Whenever one prefaces a statement with “I don’t mean to sound racist or bigoted”, you know the next thing out of their yaps is going to be something racist and/or bigoted. 

  • GentleGiant


    Well, at least in your case there’s no doubt, it’s clearly both, with a hefty dose of jackass thrown in for good measure.

  • Larry Meredith

    I’d have a problem singing that song too, or any worship song. Sounds like a valid complaint to me, even if it’s completely hypocritical coming from Christians.

  • Larry Meredith

     I don’t see how it’s bigoted to be anti-islam. Just hypocritical coming from a Christian.

  • Wintermute472002

    Do you have any idea how stupid you sound when you call yourself Catholic and in the same sentence claim you don’t follow the Pope? You may as well call yourself a Christian and say that you don’t care too much what that Jesus guy said.

  • Wintermute472002

    Well, says bigotry is ‘stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own,’ so, honestly, it seems pretty obvious why refusing to sing a song simply because you don’t believe in the god it mentions would be considered bigoted.

  • Frank Jones

    I just love the ignorance and hypocrisy of the people here!

    Buddhism is bad. Christianity is bad. Judaism is bad. Hinduism is bad.

    Notwithstanding the fact that non-muslims, including atheists, get killed, abused tortured etc in every single muslim country. But this seems to be OK with the savages posting here.

    Looks like I am the only true atheist here. And at least I’m not a hypocrite and bigot like the rest of the folks here. Looks like have to visit this forum more often and pop your little bubble of pure hypocrisy.

    Watching bigots come up with their nonsense is fun.

  • Tim

    Actually, it’s not cherry picking…it’s interpretation. The bible does not outright say that the earth is less than 10,000 years old anymore than it says it’s billions of years old. You’re right in stating that it’s hypocritical to claim the validity of the bible, then not follow their god’s demands (for punishments, etc) but on the subject of Earth’s age and/or evolution after the initial creation, the bible is open to that interpretation.

  • Rich Wilson

    The the FUCK on here has said Islam is good?


    Jesus fucking Christ with a broomstick.  I know I should’t feed the trolls, but you’re about as dense as the one I came across yesterday who thinks the US Pledge of Allegiance is from the bible.  Leviticus 19:19 if you must know.

  • Frank Jones

    @google-134e53d6f0aa3b188ea5cf302f772a58:disqus LifeinTraffic AND ALL THE OTHER HYPOCRITES:

    Uhm, I realize you don’t know what you’re talking about. No surprise though.

    1st of all, I am an Atheist. Unlike you, I dislike all religions, except for maybe Buddhism which has no god. You in contrast seem to make an exception for islam. Since when does that hate cult not qualify as a religion, please? Maybe I missed something unless you argue that sharia law that comes with islam makes it more of an ideology. Which would be kind of true, but then again kind of ridiculous, considering this argument would come from you pseudo-”atheists”. But you people keep surprising me, so who knows…

    2nd, there’s many honor killings in the US and Canada. The other day, a Canadian muslim  man, his wife and son were sentenced for drowning his ex-wife and 3 daughters for unislamic behavior. This week, a mother, father and daughter were arrested in Phoenix for torturing their daughter for talking to a boy.

    Further we have:

    Palestina Isa

    Sandeela Kanwal

    Amina and Sarah Said

    Aasiya Zubair

    Jessica Mokdad

    All these muslim teen girls were killed by their relatives. Drowned stabbed, run over, strangulated, shot several times and so forth.

    The list could go on and on.

    But I guess your  ignorance is a bliss.

    Yet none of you bigots probably has posted one of your petty little comments here when these girls were murdered, condemning islam. Instead you’re getting off on bashing Christians, Jews or whoever. It’s just so embarrassing to read your comments because somehow, between the lines, I can feel that most of you would try to come up with an excuse for the killings of these young teenage girls listed above. Just because you believe Islam needs some special protection. Perhaps because you perceive it as weak? Yet the fact that islam is spreading worldwide, followed by suffering, hate and terror seems to be OK. How come I even think that many of you believe we deserved 9/11?
    So how can anyone of you dare to criticize me for opposing hatred and violence in the name of a religion, or ideology rather, while calling yourselves atheists? You post your shabby little comments, thinking how smart, literate or whatever you are and that you got it all figured out. But I got a news flash for you: you haven’t.

    Now keep whining.

  • Lgirl

    I am currently dealing with this issue in my daughter’s city public school choir (NS Canada). They have two selections that are christian in nature, Praise His Holy Name  and The Beauty of the Earth. I asked the music center’s director and my school board rep about the school board policy on sacred music? ( because my internet search found nothing) and recieved the reply that there are no policies in place regarding sacred music nor have they ever needed any.
    I recieved a phone call from the choir director who stated that the songs were chosen for their educational value and were in no way using the songs for their religious meaning. I asked if we replaced the word jesus with allah would she still have chosen this song and she replied that she would.
    I am at a loss as to where to turn next I am certain some sort of rights are being violated but have no idea what rule govern the school system in NS. My daughter is disenchanted with the choir at this point and is considering quitting.

  • Seicolegwr

    In most cases it’s not even possible for an atheist to bash Christianity and not by extension bash Islam? They’re pretty much based on the same fairy stories and hocus pocus philosophy – just the names are changed.

  • TiltedHorizon


    Wait. What?

    What article did you read?

  • Anonymous

    So very true.

  • Anonymous


    Suck it up and sing the song. Or, you know, quit and then whine about it…

  • Anonymous


    Apologies to everyone else, but this sort of willfully stupid and clueless fucktard doesn’t deserve a civilized response.

  • Fleda

    “I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth.”
    Note his unspoken assumption that his school choir is a Christinane choir. (No, that’s not a typo.)

  • Demonhype

    We sang Hallelujah, but not at graduation.  We also sang lots of religiously originated music in choir, among other things.  My public high school also performed Godspell in 1994.  And when the Senior Seminar art students got to paint on a ceiling tile–that would then be placed back in the ceiling for future art classes to look at–there were a handful of explicitly religious Christian ones.  But these were considered actually artistic expression, and if anyone had said “hey, that’s being forced to Praise Christ” no one would have taken it seriously.  But apparently, if you have a single song in a list of Jesus praise songs that mentions Allah, it becomes “forcing students to worship a got they don’t believe in”.  I guess that’s only okay when it’s Christians forcing non-Christians to worship Jesus.

  • Demonhype

     Don’t you understand?  If we don’t spend every single waking moment focusing on how BAD Islam is and how HORRIBLE it is and how EVIL it is then we are saying it is GOOD!!!!!1!! And if we DARE to NOTICE even a SINGLE bit of hypocrisy or injustice or evil from another religion (ie: Christianity), then we are saying Islam is GOOD!!!!!  On that same note,   if you weigh 300 lbs. and can point out someone who weights 400 lbs or 600 lbs, you simply aren’t fat and no one should ever think of you as being heavy!!!!  That’s how logic works!

    Much like fundies who say that any song that doesn’t explicitly praise Jesus and Christianity is praising the devil, any time you have an idea or discuss any subject without somehow managing to wedge in a rant about the EVIL of ISLAM, you are actually praising Islam and all it stands for!!!!

    “I have to get gas on the way home AND I HOPE I DON’T SEE ANY MUSLIMS BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL!!!!!”


    “Hey, that’s a cute new hairdo!  DAMNATION AND WOE TO ALL WHO PRACTICE ISLAM!!!!!”

    I have no idea how these kinds of people even manage to tie their shoes in the morning.  I guess, thank God for velcro (BUT NOT ALLAH, FOR THAT IS ISLAMIC AND EVIL, AS ARE ALL THINGS THAT ARE MUSLIM!!!!)

    ….you know, just to make sure everyone knows I’m not, like, praising Islam by not explicitly damning it while I sing the praises of velcro for remarkably stupid trolls.

  • Anonymous

    That seems a bit harsh, wmdkitty. I think it’s a matter of what songs are sung, how often the religious references come up, and whether there are ever songs chosen that have other religions. It’s hard to tell if there’s a problem based on what we know, but it’s possible that there may be one. 

  • Rich Wilson

    Hey, you know what would be really cool?  Since we’re all so woefully ignorant of the evils of Islam, if someone started a blog about the evils of Islam!  Then, you know, we could add bashing Islam to our regularly  scheduled bashing of Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism!

    But who would have both the inside knowledge and angry passion necessary?

  • Erp

     Some so don’t want to believe it that they train missionaries to not use Allah when evangelizing Arabic speakers.   

  • Goodson

    Then, in all due respect, why are you on here attacking us. Go attack those in your own religion who foster hate and force religion down the throat of others. 

  • Larry Meredith

     consider requesting songs that are in favor of other religions or ones in favor of no religion. (Imagine by John Lennon?) At least this way it’s not exclusively Christian praises being sung.

  • Pureone

    Sweet. Logical Fallacy much?

  • Anonymous

    If you didn’t notice, we’re not attacking the kid. If we were doing that we would be saying things more along the lines of “This kid should die,” or “I’d like to shove his face in the dirt and personally find out if a boy can get pregnant” (BTW, a variation of that second one actually was said to Jessica Ahlquist).

    We’re attacking the hypocritical idea which many christians have that anyone can complain about being forced to say something about a religion that’s not theirs, unless their religion is none. There is a definite difference here, please learn that and keep it in mind in the future.

  • John

    Well said  Mairianna, include Jessica Ahlquist  also for all the ignorance and bigotry she has had to endure in Cranston RI.

  • Anonymous

     The interesting thing about ‘sacred’ music is that, as far as I know, there are no other songs which are so well written that have those same (frankly amazing) harmonies and such. I have never in my life sung a song that I felt was more able to encompass the entire emotional spectrum than ‘sacred’ music. I remember singing approximately half of Handel’s Messiah in my High School choir and it was absolutely amazing. Keep in mind, I’ve been an atheist since I was 14, and I was actually excited to be singing this because of it’s technical beauty (and difficulty).

    As long as the chorister is more focused on the technical aspects of the song and not using the song to actually preach to the students (And what does this song teach us about God?), then I personally take no issue with it. I am aware that this is your child and the choice is ultimately yours, but keep in mind that there really are things to learn musically from ‘sacred’ music that would be far more difficult to learn otherwise.

  • Alexa Joy

    You are limiting your daughter’s study of choral music SO much if you cut her off from music with religious themes. :( “For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter is a gorgeous piece! I doubt the choral director has religious motivations in picking the pieces. You are cutting your daughter off from studying the richness of choral music if you limit her to secular content.

  • Alexa Joy

    Great reply, I agree! :) And for beautiful, emotional secular music, check out Eric Whitacre. Especially his “Five Hebrew Love Songs”, performed by Hila Plitmann. It’s just stunning! (It also has SSA and SATB versions, but my favorite is the solo performance by Hila!)

  • Alexa Joy

    The issue is, Christian choral pieces have a tremendous amount to offer students in learning vocal technique. Sure, you could pick only modern secular pieces, but to be a versatile singer, you need to explore and learn the older styles and pieces as well.  (No chorister has lived until they have sung a long, elaborate Handel melisma!) Yes, much of this older music is religious in content. BUT, in choir, they do not focus on the religious message of the song, but rather in the techniques needed to convey the music. 

    There is so much beauty in sacred music! Listen to “Suscepit Israel” by Bach, or “Pie Jesu” by Faure. Students are missing out if they cannot study such music!

  • amyc

    Excuse you, Frank Jones. None of us has ever said that no killings happen in the name of Islam. This particular post has nothing to do with that though. Hemant has posted about the problems with Islam many times. Go find those posts, and you’ll see the comments do not make exceptions for Islam. I myself have a friend who had to run away from her family and change her name (I don’t even know her original name) to escape that religion. I think this is the first time I’ve seen you comment here. You need to do more lurking before you come in here guns blazing claiming that we would ever make excuses for somebody who killed, injured or threatened another person based on their religion, it is not tolerated here. And if you could show us an example of somebody doing that we would all excoriate that person. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’re derailing the conversation, so leave, or lurk more.

  • amyc

    We bash whatever religion deserves bashing for that particular post. In this post, it’s a christian making an ass of himself. When a post comes along with a muslim making an ass of himself, we’ll bash that one. Go read Maryam Namazie for a couple of days to get your fill of Islam bashing.

  • amyc

    Don’t ever join a choir then, because a good portion of choral music is religious.

  • amyc

    I know you’re being sarcastic, but Maryam Namazie over at Freethought Blogs has a good blog that’s mostly about the injustices within Islamic countries/cultures.

  • Buffy2q

    “”This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet .Why can’t he just sing everything but the part about ““There is no truth except Allah”?  Why does he have to make such a big deal about it?  The First Amendment says “Freedom OF Religion” not “Freedom FROM Religion”.  [/sarcasm]

  • Larry Meredith

     I won’t any sooner than I’ll try to get raped by a priest.

  • Ndonnan

    its true frank, hypocrite and bigot does describe hermut rather well at times. everrything he bangs on about religion applys 100% to him as well. he dosent realise it yet but atheism is his religion,and hes an evangalist.,priest and chior boy rolled into 1

  • ragarth

    ‘Cause your pro islam if you don’t mention how evil islam is every sentence, right? Forget the fact that talking about how evil islam is is actually off topic for this threat, and doing so is, by definition, changing the subject.

    This thread is about christian privilege, not how evil islam is. Clam it and keep your bigotry in check until a thread about islam rolls up.

  • dubliner

    Do you object to viewing art inspired by religion in museums as well? How dreadfully narrow minded. Why do some atheists have to go out of their way to copy the Christian Homeschool types who want to control their childrens eposure to everything that doesn’t fit within the narrow confines of their belief? 

  • FSq

    Careful, “Dick” Wade may jump in on you and give a several thousand word reply telling you to tone it down to his preferred level or you will incur his threat of banning, of which he is impotent in being able to institute.

    Good ol’ Dick….

  • Rich Wilson

    Who the hell is ‘hermut’?

  • Gingrichfe

    Thanks for the rhetorically elegant generalization.

  • Thackerie

     If all you care about is whether “you’re a good, kind person,” why the broad-brushed smear against atheists? That’s not very good nor kind of you.

  • Thackerie

     Dunno. Some “evangalist” who dosent [SIC] realize it yet, I guess.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Fundy spelling and grammar always cracks me up.

  • MariaO

    The bible is completely clear on the shape of the Earth though – it’s a flat disc resting on four pillars, the whole arrangement situated between the waters below and the waters above.  This is MUCH harder to “interpret away” than age or creation…

  • Anonymous

    It’s even more complicated than that. Heaven is a dome-shaped “firmament” (What material is firmament anyway?) designed to separate the waters above from the waters below.

    And then one of my favorite contradictions: Even though it’s resting on 4 pillars, God also lifted up the north end and hung it from nothing. And at a weird angle no less, because otherwise why would it’s spinning (since it’s hung badly) put the north star where it is?

  • Buffy2q

    Methinks you have a bit of a reading comprehension problem.   But you’ve been highly amusing at any rate. 

  • Rich Wilson

    Agreed.  I think the position that much of the bible is allegory and/or corrupted by human politics is realistic, not hypocritical.

  • Lgirl

     Thanks for the replies. I do understand that the study of music would be incomplete withouth sacred music.  It was my 13yo daughter who objected to singing “jesus jesus how I love thee.”   what made it even more uncomfortable for her is that  one of the girls raised her crucifixes in the air and waved her hand up in praise.
    I am glad to hear all of your interesting opinions.

  • Antoinette Gilchrest

     We are dealing with a similar issue with our daughter at her school too.  She is in 3rd grade and my issue with this is that at this age kids are too young.  They are not really old enough to truly understand the abstract concept of god an all it implies. I feel it is unnecessarily confusing.  It feels quiet propaganda to me to have kids singing christian hymns in school. When my daughter is in high school I will have no problem with the music selection because as others have stated there is technical value to this music. When she is old enough to truly understand the choice she is making I am ok with whatever she wants to do regarding religion. But please don’t expose my child to religious concepts in her public school when she will appreciate a secular song just as much, to her there is no difference right now.  And honestly, my child didn’t sign up for choir so she could sit out. Nor did the other kids that are having to sit out..  I feel the teacher has a responsibility to select songs that are all inclusive when the children are of an age that they are not permitted to choose for themselves.   And when I went to complain about the christian hymn being taught it was the typical “oh it’s just for education value.” But I know if it where a worship song for another religion it would likely get yanked out of the song book pretty quick. They Say that all religions can be represented but in practice it’s only christian spirituals that get selected.  It’s frustrating.  There are so many places where religiously minded people can go to sing and worship how ever they want. Please, can my little children have a school environment where they aren’t made to feel different because they were born to a godless family?