Saturday, April 11, 2009

God's song

Heard this today on KEXP. I've long been fascinated with songs that explore religion from a secular or semi-secular point of view that isn't essentially disrespectful -- that is, music that asks spiritual questions thoughtfully, even when there's anger in the asking. (XTC's "Dear God" is a fine example.) "Letter From God To Man" certainly succeeds on that level, and it provides a nice contrast to one of my favorite songs, Randy Newman's "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)," in which the Lord is portrayed, as I wrote in 2005, as "a cackling sadist who gets off on our misguided need for him." I like the vision, in "Letter," of a Deity who's willing to share the blame for humanity's troubles but unwilling to shoulder all of it. That's a God I could at least consider believing in.

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