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So, can an atheist listen to liturgical music?

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View Poll Results: So, can an atheist listen to liturgical music?
Its OK, no harm, no foul
44
91.67%
No, the music is only for believers
0
0%
No, a church will 'establish' itself in your speakers
2
4.17%
Just Tweak Off
2
4.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

So, can an atheist listen to liturgical music?

Old 10-31-04, 07:48 AM
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So, can an atheist listen to liturgical music?

OK, I have weird tastes. I like classical music, particularly from the Baroque and pre-Baroque eras (no it wasn't new when I was a kid ). The Church was one of the few major, reliable, paying sponsors, so much of it is liturgical.

Since we have polls on everything, I thought I'd try one on this. Right now, I'm listening to With Heart and Voice a collection of organ and chorale religious works.

Is this ok? Will the other atheists excommunicate me? Will the Christians convert me?

Edit: I probably should have added my viewpoint. I see it as no problem. I also enjoy science fiction movies even though I don't believe in warp drives and starships.

Last edited by OldDude; 10-31-04 at 08:22 AM.
Old 10-31-04, 07:55 AM
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Being an atheist isn't about what books you like or music you listen to, it's about not believing in a higher power. I know many great works of art that are inspired by religion. Look at Bosch, to name just one.
Old 10-31-04, 08:23 AM
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Yes. Yes. Yes.
Old 10-31-04, 08:27 AM
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Enjoy the music OldHeathen.
Old 10-31-04, 08:53 AM
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No problem for me. I really like Beethoven's Missa Solemnis for one.

I do not, however, like the hymn where the words of Beethoven's/Schiller's Ode to Joy are changed to be Christian. That's just wrong.
Old 10-31-04, 09:02 AM
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I was raised Baptist but have now completely turned away from their beliefs. I still catch myself listening to gospel music sometimes.
Old 10-31-04, 10:02 AM
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There is nothing wrong in listening to good music.
Old 10-31-04, 10:35 AM
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you don't have to be old to listen to oldies, you don't have to be in da hood for rap, you don't have to be country to listen to it... etc etc

perfectly fine.
Old 10-31-04, 10:39 AM
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Funny... one of the things I didn't like about churchy stuff was older hymns and choral music. Or even newer hymns. I don't miss that music in the least.
Old 10-31-04, 10:58 AM
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OldDude be a playa hata, you needs to keep it real son.


following the group lead, it's a-ok with me.
Old 10-31-04, 10:59 AM
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Can I? Yes.
Will I? Hell, no.
Old 10-31-04, 11:07 AM
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Sure. I really love Mozart's church music, for example. Wow, to think back to a time where religious music didn't suck.
Old 10-31-04, 11:54 AM
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How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)

Methinks it's not so much a concern over betraying their "faith", but much more a stick-in-the-eye statement against the other (majority) members of their society. Quite intellectually dishonest, if you ask me.
Old 10-31-04, 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)

Methinks it's not so much a concern over betraying their "faith", but much more a stick-in-the-eye statement against the other (majority) members of their society. Quite intellectually dishonest, if you ask me.
Have a day. Actually, there is a broad swath of Middle Eastern and Asian music that I can't bear to listen to and quite a bit of the classical music I listen to happens to be liturgical. But, whatever.

Oh, and I've read quite a bit more of the Bible than I have of the Koran.
Old 10-31-04, 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)

Methinks it's not so much a concern over betraying their "faith", but much more a stick-in-the-eye statement against the other (majority) members of their society. Quite intellectually dishonest, if you ask me.
When was the last time an atheist had a Muslim, Jew or Hindu person come to the door trying to convert them or testify the teachings of their religions while the atheist was trying to watch porn on a Sunday afternoon?
Old 10-31-04, 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)

Methinks it's not so much a concern over betraying their "faith", but much more a stick-in-the-eye statement against the other (majority) members of their society. Quite intellectually dishonest, if you ask me.
Not this again.

As has been noted many times, Christianity gets the bulk of atheist/secular attention in our society because it is the dominant religion and permeates our culture.

As I have pointed out before, India has a longstanding and strong atheist/secular movement. Is it shocking or intellectually dishonest that the bulk of their attention is directed at Hinduism?
Old 10-31-04, 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)

Methinks it's not so much a concern over betraying their "faith", but much more a stick-in-the-eye statement against the other (majority) members of their society. Quite intellectually dishonest, if you ask me.
You are partly right, but which religion do we deal with mostly in the U.S.? If Islam was the major religion and the one that most people grew up with then it would be that religion blasted. I have problems with Christianity, but have just as much a critical eye towards other religions. Just so happens there is one in my face more often.
Old 10-31-04, 12:54 PM
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Christians don't have a problem reading Greek literature like The Illiad, the same way I watch Biblical-based movies and enjoy them without any personal conflict.
Old 10-31-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
(When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)
You've probably seen it more than you think, because these symbols are the exact same when flipped and/or rotated.


Last edited by evitagen; 10-31-04 at 01:17 PM.
Old 10-31-04, 01:40 PM
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I'm surprised the question even came up.

To me, it's music. To religious people, it represents something more. Regardless of what they think, it's still music to me. And I can easily enjoy it if it's good music.

Same thing with the Bible. It's a book full of stories. The fact that some people attach greater meaning to it doesn't change its nature. And I can still enjoy that nature if I wish.

- David Stein
Old 10-31-04, 04:15 PM
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Music is music and just because . I'm an atheist and a lot of religiously motivated music is still great music.

On the other hand, I find a lot of "contemporary Christian" Music to be atrocious. The lyrics are Hallmark card sentiments set to music that makes Yanni sound like Motorhead.
Old 10-31-04, 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
How come it's always Christian stuff that atheists avoid? Meanwhile, they'll embrace stuff from other cultures and their religions without question or concern. I see it time and time again. (When was the last time you saw a goth kid wearing an upside down Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu symbol?)
When has the cross been limited to Christianity? In 21st century USA, the cross may be considered a de facto Christian symbol, but it's never been confined to it, nor is the symbolism particularly an original one.

Even as a religious symbol, the cross was rejected by some early Christians because it was considered a pagan symbol long before 33 AD.

So, it is possible that goths are using the 'upside down' version because they're trying to distance themselves from the Judeo-Christian cross, rather than belittling Christianity.
Old 10-31-04, 05:58 PM
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I say, knowck yourself out. My dad is an athiest, and he really enjoys the Gaither's Homecoming gospel series. Actually, I do as well, but probably more for the religious aspect. A lot of it is like listening to a well sung "America the Beautiful" or other "patriotic" songs. They bring a tear to my eye every time. I'm a wuss.
Old 10-31-04, 06:00 PM
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go ahead, why not.

most of the art from the renaisance was religious in nature. why deprive yourself
Old 10-31-04, 06:36 PM
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You can either listen to the music and expect a "God Bless You" when you sneeze, or you can get the sneeze option with no "God Bless You", but you can't listen to the music...







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