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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For #1 and 2, I don't really have much of an answer, I don't tend to catch a lot of religious music.

For #3, Alot of Marilyn Manson's work is anti-theistic and I enjoy it immensely, John Lennon comes at a close second.
1) Most hated god-centric songs: Geoff Moore "I believe in evolution", Billy Currington "God is great, beer is good, people are crazy"

2) Most tolerated: I like songs like "Amazing Grace", "Oh Happy Day" and "The Lord Bless you and keep you" - choir songs from my days in high school. Also that song

3) Although they may not fit, I really love the Electric Hellfire Club's song "Unholy Roller", Marilyn Manson's "S/ain't"

I don't know where to put this one but I absolutely adore that song "Hallelujah" from the Shrek soundtrack. It's haunting. :D
I know this an older post but I appreciate certain styles of music and wish to chime in.
As for question 1) I have a tendency to revile most religiously themed anthems
As for question 2) Back in the 80's - early 90's there was a band called Tourniquet I liked up until I realized the lyrics were Christian based propaganda.
Now for the reason I'm here, question 3) Epica - "Cry For The Moon" is a beautiful piece anti-theist music and many of their other songs are the same way.
After Forever is by far my favorite band and their song "Follow In The Cry" seems artistically anti-theist.
Opeth's track "The Grand Conjuration" also appears anti-theistic as well.

When I say that a track "seems" anti-theistic I only mean "in my interpretation" as I have no real idea of the song's true intent or that of it's creator
"Cry for the Moon" is one of my favorite Epica songs. :) \m/ Their new album, Design Your Universe is pretty good too.
Primordial - Gallows Hymn:

Sister, do not pray for me
There is no forgiveness here
Just the longest, darkest night
And my peoples end

Brother, many a crooked day we spent
Telling tales and making myths
Sharpening our tongues for the final fight
Yet doing little but growing old

I was never a religious man
So why should I put my faith in you?
You burned your bridges a long time ago
I'm a heathen, searching for his soul
A couple songs I've come across recently... I was watching Julie Sweeney's Letting Go of God on tv the other day. Jill Sobule recorded a song by the same title for the special. If you go to this link you can download it from Sweeney's site: http://www.juliasweeney.com/letting_go_mini/index.html

Epica's new album, Design Your Universe has some really good tracks on it. Here's an except of the song "Kingdom of Heaven":

"Scorn shall be directed at the genius
Represses subtle theories of the light
to the questions of life

Quantum physics leads us to
Answers to the great taboos
We create the world around us
god is every living soul"
I'm not a country fan any more than I'm a religion fan, but I fell in love with Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Between Here and Gone" album and the ones that followed it. That cd contains many religious references, not surprising since it seems to be focused on death and the hereafter. I know she's a christian, but her approach seems to be very much against the current American conservative christian approach. She's a thinker.

I don't mind songs that use religious metaphors, as long as the composer/lyricist shows some brain cells at work and doesn't get all fundamental about it. But I also enjoy blasphemy the same way; smart, not stupid.
I want a Flying Spaghetti Monster song that sounds good, and isn't too, too obvious til the end maybe :)
I'm gonna just answer number 2 here.. but even though I pretty much dislike country music as a whole I have a soft spot for Go Rest High On That Mountain by Vince Gill. Probably because they played it at every freaking funeral I've been to and I can hold myself together pretty well for the most part, until this song comes on. Then I turn into a blubbering, sobbing moron. Not that I wasn't sad or crying already, it just sends me over the edge and sends a whole new wave of emotion and starts it over again.
That's the song I was going to list. I love that song, even though I don't agree with the message. The music is amazing, but the lyrics I could do without. Great song though.
I'm very disappointed in what "atheist"music I do hear.I hate metal with a passion and that what I seem to encounter.How about happy songs about not being a non-believer.A few years back I bought a CD of atheist music from the FFRF where Dan Barker sang some nice atheist songs.
Unfortunately biblical references too often passes for poetic depth. Dylan’s been getting away with it for years. My all time favorite atheist song is probably “Hand Of the Almighty” by John Butler. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLwtqwnI6ko

There are way too many god songs to pick a worst one, at least for me. Although when you throw in some America First crap, like Lee Greenwood, it reaches almost colossal proportions. The ones I like would have great music, or be in a foreign language – if the song is well performed I can make up my own content regardless of how much god is actually in there.

Here’s a song I wrote a few years ago. It may be too folkie for some of you but it gets the point across.


"Mister God"

a little piece of rock came down one bright and shiny day
to fall upon this earthly ground from many million miles away
and the people from the institute, they took it in their stride
they said "it came from the planet Mars and its got life inside”

and what I want to know is what're you gonna do now, Mister God?

Galileo was a scientist who made his matters worse
when he said the earth was not the center of the universe
“oh yes it is,” they said, “and that's where it's gonna stay”
and they arrested him for heresy and jailed him away

and what I want to know is what're you gonna do now, Mister God?

Darwin had a thought, he could not keep it to himself
that he was once a monkey and so was everybody else
“but man is in the image,” they said, “and the image must be true
so if we were once a monkey, god was once a monkey too"

and what I want to know is what're you gonna do now, Mister God?

way down in Arizona land, in a sacred native place
they're building them a telescope for staring into space
and the church is there to bankroll, to help and not to hurt them
should the aliens be heathens they'd like to be the first to convert them

and what I want to know is what're you gonna do now, Mister God?

in matters of reality it's always touch and go
some would like to dam it up and some would let the waters flow
but it’s a simple calculation when the final score is in
between the rock and the water, the water always wins

and what I want to know is what're you gonna do now, Mister God?

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