As a popular music historian (of a sort), I am constantly banging head first into hit songs about people's imaginary friends. And, as such, I mourn for the nation and the world.

So ...

Question 1). Which are your most hated god-centric popular songs? (Mine are, in order, "God Bless The U.S.A." (Lee Greenwood), "Jesus Take The Wheel" (Carrie Underwood) and "Jesus Walks" (Kanye West).

Question 2). Do you have any god-centric popular songs that you rather like, despite their theme? (I'll only admit to "Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum, though there are one or two others.)

Question 3). This one is going to be a stumper, I fear. Aside from "Imagine" by John Lennon, is there/are there another/other popular song(s) which are expressly atheistic/humanistic and specifically don't call upon an invisible friend? (I say "popular," in that there are probably many by a variety of indie artists, but those don't necessarily swim in the mainstream where everyone would have heard it on the radio.)

There are a million reasons why there wouldn't be -- not the least of which it's hard to sing about a negative of something (belief), but maybe I'm overlooking something.

Tags: Atheism, Culture, Music, Pop

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Answering #2 here: Neko Case covers a few religious/gospel songs, and I really enjoy her covers (of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm a huge Neko fan anyway). The most blatantly religious is John Saw That Number. I love the tune enough to even sing along, although I don't sing the "Holy, holy to the lord" parts. I also really love her cover of "Wayfaring Stranger" (sorry, didn't feel like linking to the lyrics on that one), although it's probably because that song doesn't directly mention god.

As for #3, "Dear God" is probably my anthem.
Songs like "God Bless the U.S.A." bother me as well. Any song that related government with religion will probably make the hairs on my neck stand up. Beyond that, I can't think of any other songs at this moment.

I do like a number of songs that adopt religion into their lyrics. My taste in music leaves me listening to Avenged Sevenfold, one band that has a lot of biblical references in their lyrics, even if the songs themselves do not promote religion. In fact, I actually found some of their retellings of religious stories very gripping, such as the retelling of the stary of Cain and Abel in Chapter 4. There's nothing wrong with the Christian Bible being a source of inspiration. Ultimately, I enjoy music that expresses philosophy, real spirituality, and the importance of individuality and free thought.

My favorite band is most definitely Machinae Supremacy. They're a small band who started making music based around video games and science fiction, but many of their later releases stress the importance of free thought and the lyrics ask many questions of life and death, when they're not bashing corrupt governments/media and ignorance all together.

Two good songs concerning religion by Machinae Supremacy are "I Know the Reaper" and "Violator". If you don't like the sound of their music, or don't feel like listening to them, at least look up the lyrics of their music. Many of their songs are very uplifting to me.

Machinae Supremacy lies no where near the definition of "popular", but they're a band I like to spread the word about.
The good thing about being an atheist is that the subject matter of a piece of art does not alter the appreciation of it. For devout Abrahamic monotheistic religious zealouts, it would seem blasphemous to listen to music condemning the name of god and its teachings.

Being an atheist, I can appreciate devotional poetry, art and music simply on their aesthetic purposes.

To answer the question, my favourite god-centric (not necessarily christian, for I don't believe they are openly christian) groups is a group called The Flower Kings.
Damn, I like that Lee Greenwood song. I like the USA because it's better than my own country, that's it. And because of that, I think I can hear the "God Bless the USA" without flinching. I also like the Carrie Underwood song, even before listening exactly what it was about. The other one I haven't heard. If there is any god song that I dislike, I'd say it's most of the church songs, trying to disguise the zeal and bigottry in a message of love and unity.

There is a song in Spanish that says "I'll crawl. I want to be at your feet. I'll bleed all my heart. To hell my soul I'l give", which is supposed to be a love song of a guy who wants to be with this girl. Doesn't say that there is no god, but the idea of giving away one's soul to the devil is kind of appealing.
1) I hate the song "Above All"

2) I love Chris Rice's "My Cathedral" because I love nature (but not god)
Lyrics here
and I also like Chris Rice's "Cartoon Song" even though it's about cartoons being saved (ugg)
Has anybody listened to Epica's Cry for the Moon? The music in itself is awesome, and the lyrics are even better. It doesn't explicity says that there is no god, but says "Follow your common sense/You cannot hide yourself/behind a fairytale forever and ever", which is pretty obvious what they are talking about. However, they seem to criticize more the fact that religious people often use their belief to commit abuses and spread hatred and biggotry: "Indoctrinated minds so very often/Contain sick thoughts/And commit most of the evil they preach against"

I love the group and that's my favorite song. Oh, and if you want a good laugh with a "christian song", don't forget to check "WWJD".
I only have the the album The Divine Conspiracy. I'll have to find that one... :)
The song is uploaded in my profile, I don't know if you can download ir from there. If not, I might be able to get a link to download the song, but I'm not sure how legal is that.
sweeet... ^__^
One more for number 3: "My sweet Neo Con", from The Rolling Stones. It's mostly a song against Bush and the republican party, but has the lyrics "You call yourself a Christian/I think that you're a hypocrite".
Answer 1) Besides the ones you mentioned, I'm gonna also say, God Bless America. while not popular in the chart sense, it's still heard in far too many places. Oh and also, I never liked "You Light Up My Life" which was popular in the 70s in which she made sure everyone knew that it was about God. I am also not a Creed fan. They come off as preachy to me. I also am a big Metal fan but really don't like Stryper or Petra both thematically and musically.

Answer 2) I like a lot of metal like Manowar and while, yes, I understand they are talking about "Other" Gods, I still have heard the sarcastic question, "How you can like this song, if you don't believe in any Gods?" or "So, you believe in that but not God God?". I mean, I don't believe in the force, but I can still enjoy Star Wars.

I also like the song, Hallelujah written by Leonard Cohen. Now, I put this song as a song I like that is god-centric because that is the general consensus of this song. Strangely though, I find this song a bit Atheistic in theme... Something in it's tone. One verse goes as follows:

Maybe there's a god above
but all I've ever learned from love
was to shoot somebody who outdrew ya.

It's not a cry that you hear at night
it's not someone whose seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah.

...anyway, it's a beautiful piece of music when it's performed well.

While lookkng up a link for Answer 3, I becam an instant fan of this parody.

Answer 3) "What If God Was One Of Us" Anything that gets them asking questions is a good thing. "Dear God" by XTC (i linked to a Sarah McLachlan version which is a good updated version. "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" is also very good.
This is perhaps the best "peace" song of all time. Totally non-aggressive and, quite frankly, hard to argue against. Any unkind word toward the song makes the critic look foolish, cynical or bigoted. Experience has shown me people putting down this song's message looking like fools after being asked about their value system. I don't rub it in, however. I want them to see what they're actually saying and how they try to justify their bigotry.

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