An Old Man Takes A Look At Neil's Religion
Neil in the shadow of a cross
From the Journey Through The Past Album
In a blog post titled "Old Man Take A Look At My Religion", The Mighty Barrister (10/24/05) takes a few hard shots at Neil's comments on religion in the recent interview on NPR's World Cafe, which we highlighted yesterday. In the interview, Neil revealed some rather personal observations on faith and politics.
And The Mighty Barrister is not happy and displays some rather "un-christian hate-like" behavior. Hmm, the irony.
"What annoys me more than [Prairie Wind's] insipid lyrics and banal melodies is Neil Young's self-righteous spirituality. After saying that everyone is entitled to practice his or her own religion, he attacked the Bush administration on the basis that it is "almost 100% Christian." That would be news to Ari Fleischer, David Frum, Ken Melman, Josh Bolten, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Michael Chertoff, Matt Schlapp, and a host of other non-Christians filling some of the most important roles in the administration.
His song "When God Made Me" is admittedly a not-so-subtle attack on the Bush administration, and on Christianity in general.
What is it about Christianity that bothers Young? There's "just too much of it" in the White House. How does that harm Neil Young? Because they don't respect his right to worship the way he sees fit to worship.
How many times did Bushhitler and his Christianazi Flying Monkey Swarm of Death descend upon poor old Neil Young and interfere with his right to worship a rock?"
Not really sure what that last bit of nonsense is all about? Talk about paranoia...
But aside from the standard tactic of twisting a quote to suit one's purpose, it looks like The Mighty Barrister has also seen fit to cherry pick a quote out of context.
Now really. It almost seems that The Mighty Barrister is threatened by Neil's faith.
All of the Bush figures cited by MB (Ari Fleischer, David Frum, et al) are NOT cabinet appointees, but republican staffers, contrary to Young's point about Bush's cabinet.
Clearly, The Mighty Barrister has missed Young's point completely regarding the separation of chuch and state.
And how in the world did he conclude that "When God Made Me" is "admittedly a not-so-subtle attack on the Bush administration, and on Christianity in general"?
A very close analysis of the lyrics reveals nothing of the sort. There's been quite a bit of debate about the lyrics and here's what commenter Togu posted about "When God Made Me" lyrics:
"This is an incredible song because of what Neil achieves with the lyrics and music combined. It is a warm melody and rendition, so you can't say that Neil is out to argue. The song is disarming because of its plaintive melody and questioning. It makes you ask: can God who is so great and so gracious really be as limiting as we humans often make him out to be?
The song also celebrates the incredible diversity of persons that God created and the wonderful gifts God gave to each person and asks what those gifts are meant to be used for. It also asks why don't we cherish these gifts in the way they were meant to be used?
I'm a Christian myself and I'm sorry to see how some feel the need to peg this as a Christian or non-Christian song. Listen to the music first and let its honest questions move you."
Blogger Dave Faulkner offers a much healthier and even handed comment from the Christian community on the song. His comments come in the context of similar comments that Neil made in an interview in Word Magazine:
"Rather than dismiss Young due to those apparently strange views it would be better to look seriously at what he says. Of course as a Christian I don't believe that the doctrine of God making humankind in his image is about conceit or arrogance: it's an act of pure grace and it should not make us careless with the rest of creation. But the problem is, that is precisely the way it has been taken for centuries and we now have an environmental problem.
We need to hold this together with Young's statement that 'We're all here together, we're all nature', except that I would just change that last word from 'nature' to 'creation'."
So Stop hating. Start participating.