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Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Cutting religion

January 4, 2006

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To the editor:

If we are going to separate church and state, let's do it completely. Let's start with laws. Most laws regarding how individuals conduct themselves, that is, how we agree to interact in society, are based on Judeo-Christian precepts. I say let's do away with the statutes regarding murder, rape, theft, assault and other laws based on "morality."

I also think we should take a hard look at the music being taught in the public schools and state institutions across the country. Most of the classics written by Mozart, Bach and Beethoven are church music written for the Catholic church. It must go.

Philosophy courses should no longer teach Augustine, Thomas Moore, Socrates or Plato. They were much too influenced by religion. The state does not need the church.

The best way for the whole church and state thing to be reconciled is for the state to eliminate the church altogether like the Soviet Union did. There was a country ahead of its time.

Scott Burkhart,

Lawrence

Comments

Ember 8 years, 11 months ago

Laws that exist do not do so because they are based in religious views. They exist, and have existed, in many other cultures. They stave off anarchy, or at the very least social chaos.

Last I knew, most of the music composed by Mozart and Company were written for the ruling aristocracy, not religious leaders.

Since religion IS a philosophy to an extent, there is nothing wrong with reviewing the philosophies of the people named. Although Plato was more interested in governmental structures and Socrates was more interested in philosophy as a whole than in religion, but that is besides the point I suppose. Being brought before the judges of that time as a 'menace to society' and for 'corrupting the youth' probably has no bearing on the issue either.

Perhaps the next letter will have a bit more intelligence within the author. Or at least a better grasp of history.

rtwngr 8 years, 11 months ago

Ember, you display your ignorance. Look at the "uncivilized" people in history. Murder, rape, slavery - these were the norm in their world.

The music WAS written for the church if you took half the time and half the mind to look.

In ancient Greece and Rome philosophy was a religion.

Bradley Kemp 8 years, 11 months ago

"Most laws ... are based on Judeo-Christian precepts. I say let's do away with the statutes regarding murder, rape, theft, assault and other laws based on 'morality.'"

I've always wanted to ask someone who believes this...

Did god condemn murder, for example, because it was immoral? Or is it immoral because god condemned it?

If something is immoral ONLY because god says so -- and not for some anterior reason -- then how might believers go about determining whether some new phenomenon is moral or not?

They couldn't. Not logically.

kuhusker 8 years, 11 months ago

Gotta love those great "Christian" philosophers Socrates and Plato!

satchel 8 years, 11 months ago

Scott...

You're absolutely correct... if we take what has started to its logical conclusion (a society totally without God)... we have HELL.

rtwngr... well said.

Ragingbear 8 years, 11 months ago

Religion often dictates the morals of society, at least the more subtle part of it. Laws reflect the morals of that society by providing structure. Often, throughout time, the church and governing body were one in the same. This did not lead to a more moral system that led us into a golden age. In fact, it led us into what is known as the Dark Ages, a period where any developement was brought to a standstill, and the people kept stupid by the will of the church.

Another similer period was the Spanish Inquisition, and others throughout history show that the line between Church and State being destroyed only led to horrid abuses of that power.

As for the music, it was made for both aristocrats, and for the church. And who were the aristocrats at the time? Most of them were church leaders, after all, those tithings had to go somewhere. The music was reflective of that very much so.

DuQuesne 8 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Burkhart: Please find enclosed one (1) coupon entitling the holder to a free proctological consultation and one (1) gift certificate for $50 payable to the tow-truck service of your choice so that you may resolve your obvious problem.

-Schuyler Duquesne

DuQuesne 8 years, 11 months ago

Complimentary shampoo and cotton swabs for ear-cleaning will follow under separate cover, once you've gotten your head out.

-SD

Ember 8 years, 11 months ago

Mozart's musical history, in historical presentation form http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~tan/Mozartreq/mozartpage.html#2

Bach's musical history, in historical presentation form http://www.baroquemusic.org/bqxjsbach.html

Beethoven's musical history, presented in historical format http://www.raptusassociation.org/

There are no direct links within any of these pages to suggest any direct influence on their creations by the Church, but instead, under commission from various members of the European aristocracy.

"In ancient Greece and Rome philosophy was a religion."

Actually, religion and philosophy were almost diametrically opposed concepts, especially to the Greeks, although Romans took religion fairly seriously as well.

Murder and rape occur in our current society, so we must obviously be one of those 'uncivilized' cultures you were speaking about earlier.

Murder, rape, slavery.

You really just don't grasp how far off base you truly are at the moment do you, mon ami?

Come back when you have educated yourself a bit further, and have hopefully lost some of your naive belief that this country has always, and should always, revolve around religion.

ScottyMac 8 years, 11 months ago

"Most of the classics written by Mozart, Bach and Beethoven are church music written for the Catholic church."

Not bad for three Lutherans, eh?

wonderhorse 8 years, 11 months ago

And I thought they were Anabaptists....

Bruce Bertsch 8 years, 11 months ago

Not to pick a nit, but I always thought it was Thomas More, with one "o" not two. At least get your cites correct when attempting to make a point.

wonderhorse 8 years, 11 months ago

moderationman

He could be talking about the Thomas Moore who was a poet from Ireland(?) in the late 1700's.

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

Ember, even if the aristocracy commissioned musical compositions from Mozart and Beethoven, it does not diminish the fact that they are religious works, written as praise to the Christian God. The aristrocracy were Christian, and they paid artists to praise God.

What do you have to say about the influence of Gregorian chant on the development of western music? How about the canticles of the Byzantine church, the most important of which was the Magnificat , the canticle of the Virgin Mary? What about the motives of the ragas of the Hindi, the maqam of the Muslims?

Bach, Beethoven and Mozart are the benefactors of the development of religious music that began centuries ago.

You'd be surprised to learn that many rock songs are based on religious melodies.

Ember 8 years, 11 months ago

Just because a song contains lyrics reminiscent of religion does not qualify it as being religious in nature.

Does the same logic apply to other areas of human ingenuity, say science for example?

The Third Reich developed rocketry, based off of Goddard's designs, so I suppose that makes it a Christian scientific breakthrough.

Einstein was Jewish, I believe but could be wrong, so I suppose his theories and what not are the intellectual property of Judaism?

Once you start on that road, you will never reach the end of it, since you could claim just about everything, in one way or another, was either based in, or against a specific religion if you look long and hard enough.

If the aristocracy was Muslim, for example, would Mozart's concertos be Islamic in nature?

The aristocracy were deep in the right hand pocket of the church at that time, and since being paid ment conforming to a certain standard in music, obviously they wrote lyrics that were religious in sound.

And as for many rock songs being based on religious melodies, that's true and false at the same time.

There are a finite amount of possible chord combinations within music, and since most religions have spanned centuries, if not millenia, it's not suprising to find correlations within the rhythms to religious melodies.

Take 10,000 pennies at random, and you will discover a pattern in the mint years. Doesn't mean that any one of those years has any particular significance to it, though.

Gregorian chant I'm not overly familiar with, since I do try to avoid religious music whenever possible. Some beautiful voices, to be sure, but I object to the material.

And I am sure that you would be suprised that the first example of direct sound sampling between songs occured in the late 50's in Snoopy vs. The Red Baron.

Halfway through the song, there is a direct guitar rift that is the exact same notes as Louie Louie. I know because I compared sheet music on teh two and the notes are identical.

craigers 8 years, 11 months ago

Ember, why do you object to religious music or their material? Just a question, I'm not wanting an argument.

lilchick 8 years, 11 months ago

"Once you start on that road, you will never reach the end of it, since you could claim just about everything, in one way or another, was either based in, or against a specific religion if you look long and hard enough." - Ember

I think that was the main point of the letter by Mr. Burkhart. People are wanting to sanitize religion out of our government and schools and open everyday life but when you look at all of the aspects of religous beliefs that have been the conerstones for our society and civilized societies around the world you realize that this cannot be done. There is simply too much religious influence in civilized nations of the world.

"There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know." Harry S. Truman

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

"Once you start on that road, you will never reach the end of it, since you could claim just about everything, in one way or another, was either based in, or against a specific religion if you look long and hard enough."

Bingo. Eradicate the influence of religion on society and culture and you wil have......Dada.

TADA!

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