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Blasphemy or not?

GUEST,Mickey MacConnell 09 Apr 01 - 08:06 PM
wysiwyg 09 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,khandu 09 Apr 01 - 08:34 PM
Giac 09 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM
Mountain Dog 09 Apr 01 - 09:42 PM
Naemanson 09 Apr 01 - 09:50 PM
kendall 09 Apr 01 - 10:02 PM
Naemanson 09 Apr 01 - 11:08 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 01 - 01:15 AM
mousethief 10 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM
sian, west wales 10 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Apr 01 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 10 Apr 01 - 07:29 AM
jeffp 10 Apr 01 - 08:15 AM
Midchuck 10 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM
LR Mole 10 Apr 01 - 09:18 AM
CamiSu 10 Apr 01 - 09:50 AM
paddymac 10 Apr 01 - 09:52 AM
wysiwyg 10 Apr 01 - 09:59 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 01 - 10:20 AM
LR Mole 10 Apr 01 - 01:00 PM
annamill 10 Apr 01 - 01:25 PM
wysiwyg 10 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM
mousethief 10 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 01 - 01:40 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 01 - 01:49 PM
annamill 10 Apr 01 - 02:17 PM
Amos 10 Apr 01 - 02:36 PM
Amos 10 Apr 01 - 02:39 PM
Whistle Stop 10 Apr 01 - 03:01 PM
mousethief 10 Apr 01 - 03:29 PM
SINSULL 10 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Apr 01 - 03:47 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 01 - 03:52 PM
GUEST, Mickey MacConnell 10 Apr 01 - 05:00 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Apr 01 - 08:20 PM
chordstrangler 11 Apr 01 - 07:35 AM
jeffp 11 Apr 01 - 08:24 AM
Whistle Stop 11 Apr 01 - 08:36 AM
CamiSu 11 Apr 01 - 08:42 AM
Mrrzy 11 Apr 01 - 09:49 AM
Amos 11 Apr 01 - 10:39 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Apr 01 - 10:47 AM
wysiwyg 11 Apr 01 - 10:57 AM
Giac 11 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM
mousethief 11 Apr 01 - 11:37 AM
mousethief 11 Apr 01 - 11:53 AM
Whistle Stop 11 Apr 01 - 12:59 PM
mousethief 11 Apr 01 - 01:09 PM
Whistle Stop 11 Apr 01 - 01:53 PM
mousethief 11 Apr 01 - 01:59 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Apr 01 - 02:47 PM
Whistle Stop 11 Apr 01 - 03:20 PM
annamill 11 Apr 01 - 03:59 PM
mousethief 11 Apr 01 - 06:33 PM
InOBU 11 Apr 01 - 06:47 PM
Lonesome EJ 11 Apr 01 - 06:50 PM
Ebbie 11 Apr 01 - 07:07 PM
mousethief 12 Apr 01 - 03:33 AM
Whistle Stop 12 Apr 01 - 08:48 AM
Gervase 12 Apr 01 - 09:15 AM
chordstrangler 12 Apr 01 - 03:40 PM
ChaosCat 12 Apr 01 - 07:12 PM
ChaosCat 12 Apr 01 - 07:28 PM
katlaughing 12 Apr 01 - 07:41 PM
John Hardly 12 Apr 01 - 08:18 PM
chordstrangler 12 Apr 01 - 09:47 PM
bbc 12 Apr 01 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Arne Langsetmo 13 Apr 01 - 02:29 AM
mousethief 13 Apr 01 - 02:45 AM
Sourdough 13 Apr 01 - 03:46 AM
mousethief 13 Apr 01 - 03:56 AM
katlaughing 13 Apr 01 - 05:20 AM
Whistle Stop 13 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM
John Hardly 13 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM
Whistle Stop 13 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Arne Langsetmo 13 Apr 01 - 11:08 AM
Kim C 13 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,khandu 13 Apr 01 - 02:06 PM
wysiwyg 13 Apr 01 - 02:09 PM
Gervase 15 Apr 01 - 06:44 AM
jcdevildog 15 Apr 01 - 08:35 PM
Burke 16 Apr 01 - 08:48 PM
Ruthie A 17 Apr 01 - 02:17 PM
RichM 17 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 01 - 05:36 PM
chordstrangler 20 Apr 01 - 08:28 PM
Irish sergeant 21 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM
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Subject: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,Mickey MacConnell
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 08:06 PM

This is a genuine request for some honest opinions. I promise it is not spamming or any form of self promotion since I have given up gigging and have little or nothing to gain by indulging in such practices.

My problem is that I have been accused by quite a number of people of indulging in blasphemy because of a song I wrote called "The First Good Friday" which is on my second and last album. In my time I have been accused of hypocrisy, bigotry, incitement to hatred and musical incompetence. I can live with all that but, honestly, blasphemy is a step too far.

The song is an experimental one and tries to imagine what two countrymen might have said to each other on meeting on the morning of the first Good Friday and discussing the crucifixion. I honestly thought it was anything but blasphemy, but perhaps I'm losing my touch in my old age.

I don't know how to handle the blue clicky things but you can find a full version of the song by following the links to the album Joined Up Writing on my webpage at www.mickeymacconnell.com. It should play if you have Real Player loaded.

I'm a member of Mudcat but my cookie seems to have gone absent without leave. I swear to the almighty Joe Offer and other great virtual overseers that this is a genuine attempt to elicit the opinions of those I respect and admire.

Best wishes to all......Mickey


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

Mickey, my husband is an Epsicopal priest. We had a long talk recently about heresies, blasphemies, etc., especially in light of our current culture. One of the (I think) more important things we arrived at was that throughout Christian history, some people have tried to keep thinking and figure out more than whatever they were taught. And that this is a good part of being human. Where human thinking has gone wrong has been when people disagreed over things in a rigid and unprayerful fashion... When this has been extreme, heresies and schisms have been the result, with each side rigidly committed not only to their own rightness but to the sinful WRONGNESS of the other-- and that's just old legalism at work again, which is also very human. (Not our best side!)

Blashphemy is actually a narrowly-definable sin having to do with parading a thing of the Holy Spirit as NOT the Spirit, or sort of vice versa. It has to do with pasting a bad thing onto the face of the holy and passing it off as the holy, or denying the holiness of what is holy in a destructive fashion that causes others to turn from the holy toward something else held up as better.

I have not seen your song yet, and with this crummy 486 I may never see it unless you post the words here or e-mail them to me. But from the way you wrote your post, I bet it does not fit this latter description (blasphemy), but rather the former (a person trying to think through a thing). I bet you are someone trying to THINK. The Episcopal Church recognizes this as an important thing we humans do to meet what is holy, in full will and enagagement.

I'd be pleased to discuss with you further. Things like this, though, have often not gone well at Mudcat. I hope this time it does. But I'd be pleased to discuss further in e-mail and if you'd like to be in touch, please do.

Now another thing you need to consider is, if the culture within which you are doing this song receives it as painful or wrong or blasphemous, does it matter of you are technically right? (Legalism again!) Perhaps there is a higher level on which you can say what you are trying to dsay with this song that does not cause bad feeling?

I have a great booklet that talks about the Good and the Great in Art. One aspect of the discussion in it is about Good Art portraying accurately the fallibilities and distress patterns of people, while Great Art rises above this to inspire us beyond our usual level of perception and response. So... maybe this song is, for you, an interim stab at what you want to say.

Finally, it sounds to me (IMO) like the people who have evaluated this song so harshly are themselves heavily engaged in legalism. The bottom line is, it is not up actually to them to define blasphemy, nor me, nor you, nor anyone else on the planet. It is defined by God. And He can tell you Himself if you are in error, if you are seeking His guidance. Don't settle for anyone else's voice but His, and your own thoughtful and prayerful response to it, if you really want to reach peace on this subject and if you really want to know what you "should" do with this song.

BUT KEEP THINKING.

(Click HERE to e-mail me.)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,khandu
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 08:34 PM

Mickey, I have real player on my computer but I was unable to access your song.

However, regarding blasphemy, it must stem from one's heart. From the description of the song, I wonder what would upset people to the point of calling you a blasphemer.

To some, questioning God is blasphemy. I do not believe that is true. If God is not big enough to take honest questioning, the He is not big enough to be called God.

God knows us by our hearts. We may look holy to the masses and still be full of dead men's bones; or, we may look vile to man, and yet be holy before God.

What is in the heart is the "heart of the matter". If blasphemy was not in your heart when you wrote this song, you are not a blasphemer.

I thank you for your concern. Even that is a sign of what is in your heart.

Grace and Peace to you.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Giac
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM

Mickey -

I tried all four songs underlined. RealPlayer loads, but the songs won't play. When you get the links fixed, let us know. I'd like to hear the songs.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 09:42 PM

The error message I get on my RealPlayer is this:

"Cannot open. Please verify that the path and filename are correct and try again."

I'm with everyone else; I'd love to hear the song. (Seems possible that your file's been moved and no-one's told the server?)

(Your mention of a poet met in Listowel in your notes on "The Man Who Drank the Farm" made me smile, too; it's a place that always makes me think of John B. Keane, one of my favorite men of wit and letters.)


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 09:50 PM

I'm another who could not get the songs to play.

Blasphemy is in the ear of the hearer and not necessarily in the mouth of the speaker. Unfortunately that means little to a zealot who will try his best to hang you for saying what you say. History has shown that the ten commandments also mean little to such a person.

My view is that we are moving into another Dark Ages with spirituality taking over as the guiding force for many people. In such a time those who speak out will get the axe. Be careful.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 10:02 PM

Brett, I am much more spiritual than religeous, because organized religeon turns me off. Wanna talk about it?


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 11:08 PM

Kendall, when it comes to religions I look at history and fear the future.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:15 AM

Mickey, I didn't get an error message, but just a blank on my Real Player when I tried to listen to your song.

I am glad you've asked and know that Mudcatters will have a diversity of opinions readily shared. For myself, I would say how can one blaspheme when it comes from one's heart, which is open to one's own god? I think most people who make such charges are really hiding from what they may see in their own hearts and trying to blame it on someone else, such as yourself.

George Bernard Shaw said, "All great truths begin as blasphemies."

May your god bless you and yours,

kat


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM

I hope you will post the lyrics. I'd love to see exactly what it is that you are receiving flak over.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM

The man who wrote "Only Our Rivers" is a man who thinks before he writes. I'm with everyone else on this one. I'm sure God prefers someone who takes time to work things out and thinks things through to someone who blindly follows dogma ...

My dad got all aerated with me once because I read a piece in Church on Good Friday (I think by Bonhoffer) arguing that Judas was a hero (almost said 'lynchpin' there - oops) in the Easter story. He had a problem with that, obviously, but it had a huge effect on me. Made me *think*! These stories which question - as yours seems to do - give faith momentum.

Please post the words - I'm looking forward to seeing them!

sian


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 04:55 AM

Can it be as "bad" as 'Stand up for Judas' - Dick Gaughan?

Frankly, I'd just tell them to go read the bit about the Road to Emmaus, that was just two blokes, having been scared for their lives as well, talking over what had happened. From the description you gave, it sounds like that is what your song was, people of the time discussing an issue that affected them. Don't we do the same with Becks and Posh ~ Bill and Monica??

Personally, I find blasphemy a bit overrated. Monty Python went out of their way to stress that Life of Brian was about Brian, not Jesus. They still got slated and the film was an all time best seller (although I understand there are states that won't stock it and indeed my own local cinema didn't show it for 2 years.....). People were burned at the stake for blasphemy when their only crime was to say that Jesus had a sense of humour.

If it has a good tune and people are concerned enough to think about the lyrics and remember them afterwards, then you have a good song. And good songs should never be left silent.

LTS


Click for "Stand Up For Judas" (Leon Rosselson)

(-Joe Offer-)


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 07:29 AM

Mickey, from my memory of it there is no blasphemy in the song at all, unless asking people to think is a crime againt anyone's God.
Songs like this, and Cry, Cry, Cry's "Mary Magdaline", examine his effect on others, as seen through their eyes.
Hold your head up, you are worth more to this world than the sum of all who decry you.
Remember, "they say that kissings a sin" too.
love, john.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: jeffp
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 08:15 AM

Please add me to the list of people who would like to see the lyrics.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM

The concept of blasphemy is blasphemous.

Hmmm. Have I just discovered perpetual motion? I think there's a logical closed loop there.

I stand by the statement irregardless. And irregardless of the complaints of pedants who claim that there's no such word as "irregardless." Be b*****ed to the lot, says I.

P.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 09:18 AM

Bless the kindness of this place. An odd thought that occurred to me, walking upstairs yesterday: why are there so many reproductions of the cross around and none of opened tombs? Seems to me the opening was the thing to be celebrated. Anyway, many who cry Blasphemy seem to be wanting power: I'm working on a faucet for the sea.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: CamiSu
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 09:50 AM

I, too would like to see the words.

I remember a conversation where my friend said "The fact that we're having this conversation is proof that there is God". The trouble with blasphemy seems to be that what one person sees as such, may be another's sacred belief! I would say that if you've written an honestly thoughtful song, then it cannot be blasphemous, because it seems that our purpose here is to discover the nature of God and from that discover the best way to express that nature ourselves...

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: paddymac
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 09:52 AM

Blasphemy - just another tool of the thought police, and a classic example of intolerance. As noted by others above, it is indeed largely in the eye of the beholder. Note also Kendall's comment about spirituality: it is vastly different than religiosity. I see spirituality as a very personal contemplative interaction with whatever the individual conceives of as the "other world(s)". Religiosity, on the other hand, seems to blindly insist on some particular form as the only valid form of spiritual expression. It strikes me as more about control than anything else. It brings to mind the supression of gnosticism in the 5th century, and the Albigensian Crusade of the early 13th. Never be afraid to think! Sadly, experience teaches that it is sometimes prudent to be cautious about sharing those thoughts.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 09:59 AM

Mickey,

LR Mole, the cross without the figure of Jesus on it is meant to symbolize the Risen Christ. In fact there has been a lot of denominational debate over which cross is approriate to display-- the cross with the suffereing Jesus, or the cross with Jesus all-gone, risen.

One of Greg's brothers came up with something one day when he was wondering. If Jesus had been a figure of the Old West, would the sign of the cross be replaced with the sing of the noose? (Head encircles head several times and yanks up), and would communion consist of sarsaparilla? You can imagine on from there. Mary Magdalene looking like Miss Kitty, Saint Luke as Doc... Pharisees and Scribes the flatlanders who just came West and bought up everything including the paper... Anyway the NT would read a lot like Gunsmoke and our churches would now be using harmonicas and guitars instead of big pipe organs?? Bringing in the Sheaves would shift to Git Along Lil Dogies? Adds a whole new dimension to Home on the Range too.

Oh and also, don't mix up blasphemy (and heresy) with sacrilege. Three different things people often confuse... maybe the people accusing you mean sacrilege. I still think they are probably wrong.

And I have a CD to send you if you will e-mail me your snail address.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 10:20 AM

LRMole, if you walk into any Unity Church, (not Unitarian, it is different) you will not see a cross, you will see a set of wings, with an orb in the center, above the altar which are symbolic of the positive outcome of the cruxifiction. Unity is a metaphysical church which focusses on the positive and the metaphysical meanings of the bible. They also use a dove rising up with an olive branc of peace in its mouth as a symbol.

Likewise, while not a religion, but a study of metaphysic, which touches on spirituality, the Rosicrucian Order - AMORC also uses wings as a positive symbol.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:00 PM

Yipes! Hey, ever hear "Brother, Where Are You?" by Oscar Brown Jr.? (No relation to the current movie). I haven't thought of that song in years; now I have to go home and play it for myself.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: annamill
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:25 PM

Retrieving your cookie is easy. I'm amazed that no one addressed this problem. There is a drop down box at the top of the forum and in there you can click on "Restore your cookie" (something like that). Just follow the directions and your cookie is restored. You just need your user name and your password.

Then we can talk about blasphemy. When I know who's askin'.

I'm non-religious and I think anything that hurts, kills, or degrades humanity is blasphemy.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM

I'm having computer problems here and this complicated my post above, which is why my comments to Mickey and LRM are kinda mixed up. I bet they can figure out which was which though, and maybe a volunteer will move Mickey's name to clear it up for me.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM

We need to clear Mickey's name? What crime is he accused of?

I think Annamill's definition is a good start; obviously as a believer I would take it further, but any definition should certainly include what she said, for humans are image-bearers of God.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:40 PM

I used to think of the cross as an odd symbol for Christianity, but I think I'm beginning to understand its potency as a symbol. The great challenge for Christ was not the Resurrection. God took care of that. The challenge was the fulfillment of His destiny to face a terrifying death of the body as a means of redeeming man's sin and earning eternal life for man's spirit. When He said "Father take this cup from me", He was expressing the natural and understandable fear of death that anyone would experience. His acceptance of physical suffering and death, of the Cross, represents the triumph of his spirit and the transformation of man.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 01:49 PM

annamil, darlin', you really are talking to Mickey MacConnell, who lost his cookie as chordstrangler and good for you for telling him how to get it back.

For more of an idea of who is asking, please see these two threads:

A Musical Autobiography Obituary

Michael MacConnell - All Our Rivers

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: annamill
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 02:17 PM

Oh... sorry.. (talented man)

Unfortunately, I said all I can on blasphemy..

;-)

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 02:36 PM

Blasphemy as a concept teaches us that certain kinds of communication are bad and should not be permitted. This may or may not be true. But an honest communication cannot be a blasphemous one in any real way. It may however be an "illicit" one in the sense that you don't have the permission of your peers to utter certain thoughts. This leads you to the tough question -- on whom do you depend to issue your license to communicate? For my part, it's between me and my own cockamamie version of the infinite. Others may prefer Rome. Chacun a son mauvais gout.

A


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 02:39 PM

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision,

then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

Audre Lorde


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:01 PM

The cynics among us might suggest that the cross became the symbol of Christianity primarily because it is an easy symbol to duplicate. Christianity, like other belief systems, seeks to propagate itself through the use of succinct messages (what might be called "sound bites") and easily reproduced symbols. This is especially important when one considers the multitude of languages and cultures in which Christianity has been introduced, and the large number of illiterates that have been taken into the fold, in the ancient past as well as in more recent times. A symbol that is readily identifiable and easy to duplicate is very important to a movement like that. My guess is that the stuff about an empty cross vs. a full cross, or about winged orbs being a more appropriate symbol, all came after the fact.

I mean no disrespect to Christians in saying this; I'm merely considering the communications and "marketing" aspects of this. Whether it's a cross, a Star of David, or the golden arches, the value of a simple and appealing logo should not be underestimated.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:29 PM

Whistle Stop, I wonder if you can apply that market-based sort of thinking to a pre-market economy? It seems like reading "modern" ways of thinking back into an older culture which may or may not have thought in those terms.

Just an observation.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM

I got lost on MP3. Mickey, if you didn't intend blasphemy, how could it be blasphemous?

How are you enjoying retirement?
Mary


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:47 PM

Whistle Stop...I don't think you have to be a cynic to recognize the sense of your "logo" argument. Christianity is and was an evangelical belief, spreading from the Middle East throughout the world. The cross as a symbol would have been an extraordinary conversation starting point. The incidents surrounding Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, quite apart from the inherent moral code and rituals within Christianity, made for great storytelling. Martyrdom is a fascinating topic, especially for a cause, and especially when that cause is the promise of Heaven for all mankind.

As with any powerful symbol, the cross is more than a nifty design icon and door-opener. It is important for all the reasons listed in my previous post, and for historical reasons, both as an object of worship and as a target for iconoclasts.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 03:52 PM

Interesting point, Whistle Stop, as for the winged orb as used in the Rosucrucian Order, that came from ancient Egyptian times, pre-Christianity. I think it is neat, though, that it has been adopted by Unity and others as a symbol of renewal, etc.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST, Mickey MacConnell
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for all the comments folks. I'm truly sorry about the cock up with the web site. I will be back home in a few hours time and will post the words. Mickey


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 08:20 PM

Not forgetting the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Paddymac!

Blasphemy is just a man-made invention, like God.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIRST GOOD FRIDAY (Mickey MacConnell)
From: chordstrangler
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 07:35 AM

Sorry it has taken so long to get around to this but here, finally, are the words of The First Good Friday. It was written for two voices so imagine it as a conversation.
Again I'm sorry about the web page problem. Are there any very bright people out there who might help me solve the problem.
M

THE FIRST GOOD FRIDAY
(Mickey MacConnell)

Sunlight claws a far horizon
bleeding, burning, blazing blinding
the darkness melts in a burst of crimson flame.
Sunlight pours down on the trees
and drips like honey through the leaves
on two countrymen met on a dusty lane.

Hello Daniel, you're out bright and early
and by your clothes I'd say its fairly
safe to say you're heading for the town.
Aye last night I heard the whole sad story
of what's befallen Joe and Mary
and I thought it only right to rally round.

I hear they didn't bring the body home
to bury him here with their own
some people say big Joe was too ashamed.
And herself, I hear, took it so bad
that she hasn't spoke a single word
she's just sitting there and whispering his name.

Sure 'twas her that filled the young lad's head
with things she heard and stuff she read
'tis said 'twas that that drove the lad astray.
Aye when you're not content with what you have
its easy to go to the bad
not like your young lad like all the neighbours say.

They're not all as smart as our young Judas
he's the sharpest, he's the shrewdest
a perfect son, our constant pride and joy.
He's got so much money stays out so late
now that he's working for the State
That's Judas, That's My Boy.

Joe's young lad really knew his craft
his joinery was a work of art
I'd say he was gifted with his father's hands.
There was a lot of her in him as well
and she seemed to have him in her spell
as she sat there smiling, making all her plans.

Mind you he was the lad could shoe a cart
before he had to get too smart
and went mingling with the rabble in the town.
Aye and he mixed with whores and pimps and thieves
and mad prophets and their crazy priests
not like your young lad, he'd never let you down.

[instrumental break]

Well, I'll let you be upon your way
I've caused you far too much delay
and at this time of year there's so much work to do.
I suppose my calling means no more
than to tell them that's what friends are for
and I'll let them know that you'll be calling too.

When the evening sun goes down
I'll dress myself and I'll go to town
and I'll say how much I'm sorry to big Joe.
And I'll try not to look into his eyes
or listen to the mother's cries
as I lift the latch and out the door I go.

Sunrise claws a far horizon
bleeding, burning, blazing blinding
the darkness melts in a burst of crimson flame.
Sunlight pours down on the trees
and drips like honey through the leaves
on two countrymen met on a dusty lane.
Line Breaks <br> and italics added.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: jeffp
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 08:24 AM

Wow. Powerful song. I see no blasphemy in it at all. In fact I like it.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 08:36 AM

Great lyrics to that one; worth reading twice!

Alex, I think that today's market-based thinking is largely a codification of concepts that existed before modern times. Modern western society seeks to make everything a science, with theories that can be proven, principles that can be built upon, and specialized jargon for communicating with other practitioners. But that doesn't mean that all of the underlying concepts were invented in modern times. I think that the basics of marketing (or "salesmanship") have been understood and used for many centuries, by politicians, religious leaders, merchants, and lots of other folks. The same could also be said of psychology, sociology, and other related fields.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: CamiSu
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 08:42 AM

I like it too. Sounds like people I know. Also underlines the idea that a prophet is without honor in his own country. And how many people do I know who worship the false god of money?

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 09:49 AM

Somebody want to do a blicky to the Blasphemy v. Sacrilege thread? Might be relevant...

Here you go:
Blasphemy vs Heresy


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 10:39 AM

Wow! What a great song, man! Love it! Blasphemy my royal Irish arse!!!

A


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 10:47 AM

That's fantastic. It is so good. Wish I could hear a tune for it.

Remember, Jesus knew all along what was going to happen, and who was going to do it. Same as God gave us free will and choice, to eat the apple or not. There wouldn't have been an apple, if it hadn't been in the Plan.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 10:57 AM

Mickey,

My husband has preached many a sermon in exactly the same vein... using a story that might have happened in the context of the times and the mindset of the people, to expose a truth far opposite to the story. Some stroies are best told from that view.... because so often we ourselves are like the people in the story, although we think ourtselves better. He did one just last week about the Scribes and Pharisees, showing us how human they were as they made the decisions of the crucifixion... they sounded a lot like US, and not on a good day!

A song or story like yours calls us back to a sense of our own silliness, if it's preached right, at the right time, to people for whom it is the next logical piece to hear. And in homiletics, there is also the assumption that the preacher has a personal, pastoral relationship with most of the hearers as individuals, so they hear it differently and feel easier about talking it over later with him or her. And it comes within a context of prayer... there are ways for the people to channel their response to it.

Perhaps yours is so powerful that it brought up more discomfort within the listeners than they could handle without lashing out. Perhaps the real effect of it came later, after they had excoriated you; and maybe it has been a good effect. Truth has a way of sinking into even the most rigid heart and mind, and it kicks in when the time is right for it to be applied.

I had been invited to present the first meditation on Good Friday and have since declined for a variety of reasons. Now I feel stupid-- I'd have read them your song and your remarks about it. And maybe some of the other remarks. And then left them there to sit and think on it.

I am going to print it for my husband. I bet it will work its way into a sermon before too long.

Khandu, BTW, we also loved your comment to the effect that "you can still be full of a dead man's bones." I always read the Vigil lesson on Ezekiel and that line really hit me.... and Hardiman. It's so powerful.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Giac
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM

Good song, Mickey! I'd say those who were riled by it likely can only find comfort in rhetoric. This is a unique view.

Hope the clicky thing gets fixed so we can hear the tune.

Thanks for the Easter song.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 11:37 AM

I see nothing blasphemous in it at all, and the opening lines are sheer bloody poetry.

There is a historical inaccuracy though; Joseph died before the crucifixion (this is why he commended Mary to the care of John the Beloved; if Joseph were still alive that would not have been necessary).

But that's neither here nor there. It's a very powerful and commendable song, not the least bit blasphemous, and you are to be congratulated for writing it.

On the "free market" thing -- well yes it is based on older ideas, but nevertheless reading our market-based understanding of the world back into the 1st century AD (or CE) is more than a little anachronistic, IMHO. The idea of the apostles sitting around discussing what symbol to use based on what would sell best is ludicrous.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 11:53 AM

At the risk of seeming impertinent, this reminds me of a sonnet I wrote about Mary. Here it is.

Not in her own town

Oh sure! She said an angel came to call
And told her young Yeshua came from God.
Imagine! Joseph just believed it all!
I never would have thought him such a sod!
Oh yes! It's all quite true, and what is more,
remember when the soldiers came to slay
our sons? She thought that they were looking for
her own Yeshua, and apologized the day
they returned from Egypt. Then last year there was
that incident -- you remember -- he left the van
and stayed in the Temple. She said it's because
he was teaching the rabbis HaShem's master plan!
Hush! she comes now -- quiet -- there she goes!
"And a sword shall pierce thine own heart." Well she knows.

© 1991 Alex E. Riggle - All Rights Reserved.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 12:59 PM

Alex, if you read the New Testament (particularly all those books between the Gospels and Revelation), you will find that the question of "marketing" Christianity -- or "spreading the gospel," if you will -- was very much on the minds of the early Christians. One example of this is the great disputes in the early Christian communities about whether Christianity was for all people, or just for the Jews. If it was for all people, there were certain steps that had to be taken to make it more "marketable" to non-Jews. Which quickly brought them to the question of whether one could become a Christian without first being circumcised; it was recognized that requiring gentiles to undergo a painful and potentially dangerous operation before converting to Christianity would make conversions much rarer. The issue was ultimately decided on practical (non-theological) grounds, with an eye to encouraging conversions and therefore marketing Christianity to a larger population.

Again, this is not a value judgment, just an observation that any movement that hopes to gain widespread acceptance has to think about how its message is packaged, and how universally appealing its symbols are. Same as it ever was -- I don't think it's anachronistic at all.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 01:09 PM

I'm with you until you get to "and therefore marketing Christianity to a larger population."

This is 20th/21st century thinking. They had already been told to go out and make disciples of all nations. They weren't "eyeing larger populations" for marketing. They were deciding what was necessary for Gentiles. Since circumcision wasn't necessary (which was shown clearly by the fact that Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit without it (Acts 15:8), why make people go through it? The decision is presented as one primarily of compassion (15:19), not marketing.

Your "spin" is obviously possible, but I'd say neither necessary nor terribly accurate.

Perhaps we shall have to agree to disagree.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 01:53 PM

I'll agree to disagree, but I think this is more an issue of semantics than substance. I say "marketing Christianity to a larger population," while you say "making disciples of all nations". Sounds like the same thing to me. Also, please note that Acts comes after the Gospels, and recounts the activities of "early Christians," which is exactly what I was talking about.

I think most Christian scholars recognize that the question of bringing Christianity to the gentiles (or bringing the gentiles to Christianity) was an important topic, and was much discussed among the Apostles and later disciples. In my view, the decision to not require circumcision as a prerequisite to conversion can be both compassionate and good marketing. In reality, I suspect it was motivated more out of marketing considerations than compassion -- since the likely result of the other decision would be that gentiles would not convert, therefore considerations of compassion don't enter into it. [And I would remind you that "spin" is another new word for an old concept -- the early Christians were rather adept at it, too.]

At any rate, I'm glad we can discuss such sensitive topics without being unkind to each other. One hesitates to discuss religion in any forum, but so far this has been very pleasant -- thanks.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 01:59 PM

The problem I have with what you're saying, Whistle Stop, is that it seems to imply that the early Xians didn't care what was RIGHT or TRUE, only what was marketable. Now while this is obviously true of "Bishop" Spong, I am loath (due to my religious beliefs) to believe this of the apostles.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 02:47 PM

The links to music files on the site are relative; that is, they point to the file-name only, so if the files are not in the same directory as the pages on the server, they won't work.  An "absolute" link would include "http://" as part of the file-path.  The error message I get reads "C:\PROGRAM FILES\YUANSOFT\ALTOMP3 MAKER\output\The%20First%20GoodFriday.m3u", which suggests to me that the pages have been made using html-writing software, and the file-path refers to files on the compiler's own computer rather than to the files on the server, assuming that they are there somewhere.  This is an annoying feature of some html writing programmes that put in hyperlinks automatically, and often leads to invisible pictures and so on on websites; the site builder can see them, but nobody else can!

Of course, it could be something else entirely...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 03:20 PM

Alex, I have no such constraints, so I can view the Apostles as being every bit as conniving as the rest of us (he says with a mischievous grin). My own feeling is that they were sincere in their beliefs, but that this didn't preclude them dealing with the practicalities of conveying their message to large numbers of people in a way that those people could easily relate to. In modern terms, they knew their target demographic, and put some thought into how to package their product so as to increase their market share. I also think they had a pragmatic, "don't sweat the small stuff" attitude when it came to things like circumcision -- the theological justification for circumcision was never very convincing (in my opinion), and they probably figured that they would do more good than harm by dispensing with this quaint little ritual. [I started to say that they probably felt they shouldn't sweat the small stuff, but that could be misinterpreted, given the topic we're discussing!]

Again, I should stress that I don't see anything immoral in any of this; I'm certainly not implying that it's the same as marketing cigarettes to kids. But a hammer is a hammer -- it's the same tool, whether you're using it to build a hospital or a concentration camp. One could say the same about the "tools" of effective mass communication. Does that make it go down any easier?


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: annamill
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 03:59 PM

Mickey, (can I call you Mickey too?) that was awesome! It brought tears to my eyes. It might have been just like that. That was not blasphemy, in the religious sense, at all.

I'd love to hear it. I must get your CD.

Hey! Are you sure this wasn't spam????

JOKING.... ;-) **BG**

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 06:33 PM

But it seems to me that you're saying, not that they marketed their message, but rather that they changed their message to fit the market, i.e. that it didn't really matter to them WHAT the content of the message was, as long as they got SOME message out to the largest possible market.

Which I can't see.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 06:47 PM

Mickey - you brilliant ol' skin - Cathal's friend in New York, Larry here, the Uilleann piper. Around the time of the loss of Bongo Knock, the only dear pet (mouse) of my wife Genie and I, Cathal sang your great song about the death of the clown. I'd love it if you post the words... the smile was painted but the clown was dead!
My very best to Cathal and from Genie as well...
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 06:50 PM

The cynics among us might suggest that the cross became the symbol of Christianity primarily because it is an easy symbol to duplicate - Whistle Stop

Like he said before, Mousethief. I would disagree with the word "primarily" in his above statement. Ease of duplication and instant recognization were added bonuses to the fact that the symbol formed the crux of the story of Christ.

Oh...and great song lyrics, Chord


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Apr 01 - 07:07 PM

Mickey, great song. I too would love to hear it live.

Makes one wonder how often something like that event occurs today- and we haven't a clue... Gads, I wish I knew more!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 03:33 AM

Also I picture this young roman couple sitting down and deciding on where to go to church.

"Well, honey, those nice Mithras worshippers are well-accepted by the Roman government, but their symbol is pretty stupid. A white bull? Please. They must be joking."

"Yes, dear, that's true. Now these Christians, they're constantly being fed to the lions, but by all the gods! What a great symbol they have in that "cross" thing! You have to love its stark simplicity, don't you?"

"Quite right, my love. It's sort of like the letter "X" but stood at a quarter-turn. Very fetching. Yes, even if we are killed in the arena, I think I would prefer to belong to a religion that has the good sense to pick a memorable and easily reproducible symbol."

"Right. It's settled then. Next Sunday we go and join the Inquirer's Class at the church of the Christians."

"Right. Now what about supper tonight? I was thinking about Welsh Rarebit..."

Guys, I just can't see it.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 08:48 AM

Alex, you're overstating it a bit. I'm not commenting on the validity of the Christian message, nor saying that people convert to Christianity solely because of how appealing the cross symbol is. What I am saying is that a simple, readily identifiable, easily reproduced logo has a lot to recommend it, particularly when used to represent a movement that aspires to be multi-cultural. Remember, the "logo" aspect of this discussion didn't start out by anyone saying that the symbol is all there is to Christianity -- it was simply a question of the use of the cross (occupied or unoccupied) as a symbol, as opposed to some other symbol (such as a winged orb or an empty tomb). The "decision" to have the cross represent Christianity, as opposed to having it represented by some other symbol, was probably part conscious choice and part folk process; people who were seeking a symbol probably recognized the value of a simple symbol like the cross (which could be scratched onto the back of slave tags, or drawn on a rock next to the doorway, or symbolized by the surreptitious crossing of the fingers), and then its value was confirmed when people gravitated to it and away from other, less universally appealing symbols (like the fish symbol, which has also been used to represent Christianity at various points in time).

People don't go to McDonalds because of the cute little golden arches logo, any more than people convert to Christianity because they like the symbol of the cross. But McDonalds is very successful at the marketing game, and they recognize that having such a simple and readily identifiable logo helps them with getting their product into the marketplace and having people recognize it. You may love McDonalds hamburgers, or hate them, but that really has nothing to do with the wisdom of their choice of logos. Same concept, different application. We needn't make such a big deal out of it, really.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Gervase
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 09:15 AM

Mickey, that's a powerful and good song - and (speaking as a lapsed Catholic, I know) I think only a purblind fool could call it blasphemous.
I found it moving and thought-provoking to the point where I questioned my own lack of faith, which itself has more to do with the intolerance and spin imposed on the teachings of Christ the man by St Paul and his successors than anything else.
And I can't wait to hear it, as soon as some geezer with a spanner and an oily rag has fixed the blicky.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 03:40 PM

Hi to all and thanks a million for the reassurance. I honestly thought that I might have lost my grip, but the reaction has cheered me no end.

Malcom, I think that you might have hit the nail on the head as regards the soundfile problem. My good wife is the technical genius of the house - my webmistress - and she says that you have cracked it. I don't know myself, I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to things technical.

InOBU, I'm half afraid to ask about the dead pet mouse but thanks for the kind words. I will post the words of the clown for you here tomorrow, that is if the rest of the Catters don't rise up in rebellion at my hogging too much space.

Again thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement.

Regards, Mickey


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: ChaosCat
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 07:12 PM

Glad you posted a link- I love it! You're a talented songwriter & performer, and if anyone thinks it's blasphemy, then ta 'ell with 'em!(Just kidding.) But if you've never caused a controversy, then you probably aren't an artist, right?

Keep it up, and thanks for sharing!


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: ChaosCat
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 07:28 PM

~Slapping self in the forehead~ I KNEW your voice sounded familiar! Sheesh. I downloaded and listened to the song, then went back to look over your page, and found myself blushing. I'm giving advice and encouragement to *you*? I must be half blind- you're just short of a legend!


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 07:41 PM

WOW! Mickey, that is a beautiful song, so poetic, in many different ways. You have not lost "it" in any way, shape, or form and I, for one, would welcome your taking up a lot more space around here. Thanks for sharing it with us and come back with more, okay?

MT and WS - interesting debate and Alex, you sure made me laugh with that scenario.

All the best,

kat


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: John Hardly
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 08:18 PM

Mickey,
Even from a fundementalist upbringing I can tell you that, though there may be historical inaccuracies (the before mentioned by Alex) and the ambiguity impied by the conversation that Judas was not one who travelled in the company of Jesus (I assume the lying, comforting of one father to another), I see no blasphemy--not even close. VERY well written song!

"The cynics among us might suggest that the cross became the symbol of Christianity primarily because it is an easy symbol to duplicate. Christianity, like other belief systems, seeks to propagate itself through the use of succinct messages (what might be called "sound bites") and easily reproduced symbols. This is especially important when one considers the multitude of languages and cultures in which Christianity has been introduced, and the large number of illiterates that have been taken into the fold, in the ancient past as well as in more recent times. A symbol that is readily identifiable and easy to duplicate is very important to a movement like that.

I mean no disrespect to Christians in saying this; I'm merely considering the communications and "marketing" aspects of this. Whether it's a cross, a Star of David, or the golden arches, the value of a simple and appealing logo should not be underestimated."


Whistle Stop
Interesting that from the cynical point of view of an unbeliever this is portrayed as a negative (inferrence=how to dupe the ignorant)

In the song "All My Trials" the line reads;
"If religion was a thing that money could buy,
The rich would live, but the poor would die.

I've always thought it an appropriate paraphrase to say that;

If religion was a thing that intellect could buy,
The intellectual would live...

rather counter to a Christianity that reaches to the weakest among us and offers them grace.

Were it not a simple message---how cruel that God?


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 09:47 PM

It appears that the little man with the spanner and the oily rag - he who is an intimate friend of the webmistress - has had some success at last. Mickey.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: bbc
Date: 12 Apr 01 - 10:21 PM

Mickey,

Thanks for sharing w/ us. I am quite a traditional Christian & I see no blasphemy in it.

bbc (Protestant in NY)


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 02:29 AM

"Stand Up For Judas" was written by Leon Rosselson (but Gaughan did a fine recording of it on "Handful of Earth"). Some people think ROsselson was being tongue-in-cheek. I think he was dead serious.

I once played it on WWUH radio; and immediately got a call from one of the other DJs saying "I can't believe you played that". Seems that one other DJ had played it once, and some thin-skinned bloke in the listening audience had taken it on himself not to call the DJ and voice a complaint, but rather to send a letter directly to the university president. The president, mindful of both artistic integrity and First Amendment concerns, simply handed the letter to the radio station GM, who responded appropriately. . . .

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 02:45 AM

Some people see decisions where others see only coincidence that looks like choice only in hindsight.

Thanks for the nice word, Kat.

Arne, can you post the words for "Stand up for Jesus"?

Maybe this needs a new thread.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Sourdough
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 03:46 AM

The cross as a marketing tool: It reminds me of the hilarious comedy routines of The 10,000 Year Old Man (Mel Brooks) reminiscing about the old days to reporter (Carl Reiner). He remembered Jesus and described the attractiveness of the cross ("Simple but elegant") and described how they were manufactured (It took two men. They each took a stick and rushed at each other, smashing together) and how it was so much of an improvement over the Star of David. To make those stars, six guys had to rush together. It required a lot of teamwork and when the timing was a little off, people would get hurt.

Now, back to reality, I believe that the symbol of the early Christians was a fish, perhaps for several hundred years. What I find interesting about that is that it is an intellectually derived symbol, a Greek acronymn which spelled the Greek word for fish. I have no doubt that there are Christians here who know the meaning of the acronym but I have forgotten the phrase, something like Icthys with the first two letters standing for Jesus Christ.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 03:56 AM

I esu ---- Jesus
X ristos - Christ
TH eou --- of God
Y ius ---- Son
S oter --- Savior

where Ixthys is, in fact, the Greek word for Fish.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 05:20 AM

Stand up for Judas can be found in THIS THREAD thanks to Suzanne(skw).

It is a good song and well sung by Roy Bailey on the tape Suzanne sent me. Thanks, Suzanne!

kat


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM

John Hardly, I appreciate your post, but after having read it three times, I still don't understand what you're saying. Whether I'm an "unbeliever" or not probably depends on your definition, but I never said or implied that paying attention to the symbols we use, or how they might be viewed by others, is a bad thing. Actually, I consider it to be an example of effective communication, which I view as a good thing.

But I think I've devoted enough time to this sidebar marketing discussion, particularly when it involves a topic that others might take personally. I'll say one last time, I meant no offense, and hope none was taken.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM

Definitely none taken (you proven yourself a very inoffensive guy to me! :o))

I may have mis-interpreted your inferrence--I inferred what you didn't imply!

I guess what I was pointing out is a phenomenon I find interesting--In matters of faith (which includes just about anything we can't imperically know) we always revert to our default settings.

An example. People who for spiritual of other reasons reject the possibility that the Bible could be historically accurate will accept without question that the reason the Bible cotains a "Flood story" is because it borrows from a universally used religious myth. The Bible believer looks at the universally used "Flood myth" and find confirmation that the Bible is true (He assumes the other religions are the borrowers)---JH


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM

Thanks, JH. I agree that we all tend to view these things from our own perspectives. The whole "cross as a symbol" discussion was just something I thought was mildly interesting, and relevant (but not necessarily central) to the discussion that was going on in this thread. I thought it was pretty innocuous.

Whatever our personal beliefs or faith backgrounds, I think we can all agree that people use symbols and language to communicate, and some symbols and language are more effective than others -- particularly when trying to communicate with people from other cultures. That's really all I was getting at, but the discussion probably went on too long, and my point kind of got distorted (ridiculed, in fact) along the way.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 11:08 AM

Alex:

Not sure what the words are for "Stand Up For Jesus". Never heard that one. The song I mentioned had a slightly different title (and if _that's_ the one you wanted, I'll try to scrounge them up). ;-)

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM

Mickey, that is fabulous. Just fabulous. Don't let anyone tell you any different.

And khandu, you are always the voice of reason. I have always maintained it's what's in a person's heart that matters.

Speaking of symbols, I understand that the little fish (icthus) was one of the first symbols that early Christians used to identify each other.


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: GUEST,khandu
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 02:06 PM

Excellent song, Mickey, excellent!

No Blasphemy here.

I believe that the "Christian" songs that actually personalize the characters have a much stronger impact than most of the traditional Gospel songs.

Consider "He's Alive" or "Too Small a Price" by Don Francisco (and many others that he wrote). These songs capture the sometimes grueling emotions that the characters must have felt, hence, causing the listener to feel them, also.

This song is in that vein.

You beliefs were not posted with this thread. That's fine. Whatever they may be, they are yours. However, I would consider this song a "gospel" song. Why? By showing the perspective of Judas as having been the "good" son and Jesus as having been the erroneous one, the song infers the opposite.

Of course, that is my own biased perspective. But whatdaiknow? I still think Dylan is writing gospel songs!

Great work, Mickey. Best to ya!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Apr 01 - 02:09 PM

I would be pleased to add this to the Gospel Tape Lending Library if anyone would like to donate a copy for it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 06:44 AM

Good to see the oil rag and spanner have worked Mickey - a great song, and thanks for the info on ordering the CDs (shameless plug here - listen to the tracks, and if you're not tempted to buy the CDs you've clearly got Van Gogh's ear for music!)


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: jcdevildog
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 08:35 PM

Beautiful song--great lyrics, and a lovely tune as well.

As an aetheist, I'm no expert on what constitutes blasphemy, but my guess would be that the problems some people have had with the song have to do with their not understanding its use of irony. Every time I see an ironic piece in the press, it's followed by horrified outcries from people who took it literally. So maybe they think the song is a criticism of the Virgin Mary. Then again, it could hit a bit too close to home with some folks who are quick to criticise anyone around them who is "different" in some way.

I say, Keep up the good work!


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Burke
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 08:48 PM

I almost didn't read this thread because I didn't want to get in a theoretical discussion.

Glad I read it. I really like the song & the issues aren't theoretical. I can see why some might not like it, I think this song is just a little too close for comfort. It's not what it you're saying about Jesus or his folks that's the problem. It's when we find ourselves in the attitudes of the neighbors, that hurts. We can excuse the men of the song, in a pre-resurrection context, but have no excuse for ourselves.

Just a niggle, shouldn't it be The First Holy Saturday? It sounds like the day after the crucifixion, but before the resurrection. Good Friday has a more familiar, meaningful ring, though. Probably better marketing. :-)


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Ruthie A
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:17 PM

I'm Wiccan, and I still think that song's amazing. As far as we know, it could well be true. The people mentioned were human, after all. The only reason I can think of it being confused with blasphemy is simple and utter ignorance.

Ruthie


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: RichM
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM

I just listened to the song;
it's beautiful, and moving, and i can hear no disrespect in it...simply the condolences for friends, and sympathy for their sorrow...all set to a gorgeous haunting melody

This is a good song; one that I would like to sing.

Good work, brother Mickey

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 05:36 PM

I guess you'd call me a church-goin' man. I spent 8 years in a Catholic seminary and got a degree in Theology, and I've worked in the church ever since, usually as a religion teacher. With those credentials, I hereby declare the song non-blasphemous. My Catholic Encyclopedia says this: Athough in English this originally meant any injurious words or statements, it has come to mean explicitly words or actions dishonoring God or words or actions of irreverence against God. Nope, the song doesn't fit the definition. It makes people think, however; and some may consider that dangerous.

It seems to me that the word "blasphemy" is thrown about most often by those who are self-righteous about their beliefs, and I always seem to detect a strong flavor of hatefulness in that sort of people. I remember going to see the film The Last Temptation of Christ, walking through a shouting line of picketers who condemned a movie they hadn't seen as "blasphemous." I thought it was a pretty good movie, although perhaps a bit too pious and possibly too timid in expressing the ideas Nikos Kazantzakis had expressed so powerfully in the book.

A few years ago, there was a television series called Nothing Sacred, which was the most realistic representation of Catholic parish life I've seen. The right-wingers called "blasphemy" and flooded the network with complaints and threats of boycotts. I think the show was cancelled because of poor ratings, but it's a shame it disappeared so quickly.

I found Mickey's song inspiring and thought-provoking. Of course, I also like Rosselson's Stand Up For Judas.

The MP3 on Mickey's Website (click) seems to work OK now, although I wasn't able to play it on Windows Media Player and had to use RealPlayer for it. You may have better luck if you right-click on the link and choose "save targat as" to download it. I added line breaks to the lyrics Mickey posted, and put in italics so you can tell which singer is singing what. Hope that's OK.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 08:28 PM

Joe, Belated thanks for the technical help and the kind words. I now consider myself absolved and in the clear.

With gratitude, Mickey


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Subject: RE: Blasphemy or not?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM

Chordstrangler: I see no blasphemy. I do see however very powerfull moving and evocative lyrics. (This old 486 dinosaur won't do music, more's the pity) Your talented writing fills me with both joy and envy. Kindest reguards, Neil


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