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Friday, April 07, 2023

Inside Neil Young's Faith: An Old Man Takes A Look At Young's Religion

Neil Young in the shadow of a cross 
From the Journey Through The Past Album

The song "Timberline" -- from Neil Young's unreleased 2001 album "Toast" with Crazy Horse album -- told the story of an unemployed lumberjack and his worldly battles with faith.
"Fooled by the Lord 
Fooled by his grace 
I put my faith in Jesus 
Took away my livin’ 
Took away my place 
Oh Lord" 

While Neil Young's views on "faith" are sprinkled throughout his lyrics over the decades, his actual "beliefs" are often some what inscrutable.

The earliest directly overt song on faith by Neil Young was the song "Soldier" from 1972's Journey Through the Past album with the following lyrics:

"Jesus, I saw you 
Walkin’ on the river 
I don't believe you 
You can't deliver 
Right away
 I wonder why"

Journey Through the Past 
Original Soundtracks Recordings by Neil Young - 1972
Since the song "Soldier" -- which was written and recorded in November 1971 -- much, much has happened in Neil Young's life which has caused him to reflect on these weighty matters and compose many additional songs referencing faith and God.
We begin...

neil_hands_avc worldcafe-logo.jpg 

In 2005, on NPR's World Cafe,  Neil Young was interviewed on the  "Prairie Wind" CD. 

In the interview with World Cafe's David Dye, Neil revealed some rather personal observations on faith and politics. And long time readers of Thrasher's Wheat know that we have a particular fondness for the collision of politics and religion

The question was a lead-in to "Prairie Wind"'s "When God Made Me", a song with lyrics that have provoked a wide range of reaction

Here's a partial transcript:

YOUNG: "I think religion and freedom of religion and people’s relationship with God is something that should not be hijacked by any certain political party.
The Founding Fathers of this country, there were only a couple of them that were religiously-based or were God-fearing. And now, in the Bush cabinet, you have almost, like, a hundred percent Christian. I just think it’s out of balance. I respect their religion, I respect the way they feel, I respect everything about the way they want to worship, I respect their right to do whatever they want. But, I just want to be respected for my right and have my relationship with God, and I don’t want any political party to be accused of not being faith-based or to be anti-faith because they don’t happen to agree with some Christian ethics or some Christian ways of life.
Christianity can be respected just like Muslim religions, like Jewish religion, just like any other religion.
Your relationship with God is about your relationship with God. When you go to Heaven, or wherever you go, you... it’s between you and God. It’s not between, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t, you know, I could be called a pagan, I suppose, but if you go back far enough, you’ll find that pagans really are people who believe in the Earth, they’re people who believe in the harmony of nature. They’re like the Indians, they’re like the Great Spirit, they believe in the Great Spirit, and it was the insecurity of Christianity that turned paganism into a negative term. 
And, if you go back to the roots of these things, and see where they came from, you know, I respect everyone’s right to do whatever they want to do, but I think that, this particular administration, and in the country this time, and it’s only a temporary thing – I have faith in that – but, ah, I think they’ve just hijacked people’s right for freedom of religion and, they’ve confused the separation of church and state.
Prayer meetings in the White House, um, all the time, you know, all of these things. There’s nothing wrong with having a prayer meeting, but, and obviously there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a prayer meeting, I wouldn’t, you know, be against that under any circumstances, but it’s a little bit too focused in one place, and it seems to be that, that, you know, Christianity has taken a turn here, attendance is down in churches, there’s a disbelief, it, it’s been hijacked, I feel like something is totally out of whack, and I think we’re going to get it back, I think there’s going to be a rebound, it’s a pendulum, and but the way it’s going right now, there’s just too much of it, you know, I’d like my kids to grow up free, to live the way they want to live and to worship their own, worship the way they want to worship without pressure in the United States of America."



 Neil Young's Decade Album Cover - 1977

In a blog post titled "Old Man Take A Look At My Religion", The Mighty Barrister (10/24/05) took a few hard shots at Neil Young's comments on religion in a 2005 interview on NPR's World Cafe

In the interview, Neil Young revealed some rather personal observations on faith and politics. As we noted, some missed Neil Young's point completely regarding the separation of church and state. On the contrary, "Prairie Wind"'s song "When God Made Me" is not "a subtle attack on Christianity". 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 healthy and even handed comment from the Christian community on the song "When God Made Me". 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'."



"Did God give me my voice so that others could silence me?"
Neil Young sings "When God Made Me"
Live 8 Benefit Concert - July 2005

It strikes us that the lyrics of Neil Young's "When God Made Me" from 2005's album Prairie Wind still continue to be poignantly prescient.

Did he give me the gift of voice
so some could silence me?
Did he give me the gift of vision
not knowing what I might see?
Did he give me the gift of compassion
to help my fellow man?

When God made me.

(Complete lyrics and analysis for "When God Made Me".)

And just as Young's performing of John Lennon's "Imagine" for the 9/11 "Tribute" and the song's debut at the Live 8 Benefit Concert in July 2005, the performance has incited passions.

The reaction to the song's lyrics for "When God Made Me" generated more reader comments than just about any other article on Thrasher's Wheat history at the time.

For example, from Peter V.:
"A beautiful song, lyrics and melody, which embodies the heartfelt surge that is mounting in America's conscience to challenge the overbearing sentiments of the religious right that have been choking the compassion of this country. This song fills my heart with hope that once again we will know that the power of God is love."

And Goodlife said:
"Hearing "When God Made Me" caused me to flip on the computer and "google" looking for the lyrics. I am a believer ... but not a part of the fundamentalist right. This is a song which touches my inner spirit. I hope many will hear its message, and think deeply about who they are underneath the encumberances of their everyday life."

Of course not everyone was pleased when rock stars venture into the debate on religion. Tim Graham posts on NewsBusters:
"Are rock stars trying to give us lectures as they sing on hurricane-relief benefits? Last night's mega-channel concert featured Neil Young sang his song "When God Made Me." The lyrics clearly show Young thinks that the problem with religion is that God tends to favor people who believe he exists. That, and religion is the reason for too many bloody wars. Some compare it to John Lennon's "Imagine," but Lennon wants no God, and Young just thinks He might be a Unitarian Universalist."

Neil Young
Photo by Danny Clinch

Here's an interview with Neil Young from the TW Archives (via Esquire circa 2006) on "What I've Learned" by Cal Fussman:

What about God have you learned?

Neil Young: When I was six, I really didn't know what God was. But I did know about Sunday school. I was reading a lot about God, but I was bored. I couldn't wait to get out of Sunday school. God was secondary to the whole thing. But as time went by, I got more and more angry, to the point where I didn't like religion. Hate is a strong word. But I just kept getting angrier and angrier...until finally I wasn't angry anymore. I was just peaceful, because I thought: This is not fruitful for me. I rejected the whole thing and found peace in paganism. Jesus didn't go to church. I went way back before Jesus. Back to the forest, to the wheat fields, to the river, to the ocean. I go where the wind is. That's my church.

Where Do We Go Now ... 
or Where Did We Go From There?  
Charles Theater, Baltimore, MD
December 2012

(Note: Photo not Photoshopped)

From the November issue of Word Magazine, interviewer Robert Sandall asks Neil Young whether he is a Christian?

YOUNG: "I don't know. I don't think so. I certainly don't say, don't be a Christian. Everybody needs something to hang their hat on. But I really don't buy into any particular story. The Indians had something going on with their 'great spirit' as a term for God. They were more concerned with the trees, the grasslands, the animals and a sense of balance. It's a pagan thing and there's nothing bad about paganism. It only became bad because of the insecurity of the church. That song is about the self-righteousness that makes certain people think God created man in his own image. What a conceited idea! What about the squirrel? What happened to him? We're all here together, we're all nature. One big thing."

Neil Young - 2005
Photo by Chris Pizzello

From "Companion" interview with Neil Young by JODY DENBERG in OCTOBER 2005:
JODY DENBERG: Neil, thank you so much for joining us for this Prairie Wind Companion. Prairie Wind seems a definitive snapshot of where you're at today as you approach 60 and it's a beautiful piece. But in the hundreds of songs you've written it's been rare that you've sung directly about God. What were the circumstances of you composing Prairie Wind's final song, When God Made Me?

NEIL YOUNG: First of all I didn't know what I was doing. There was a little room with a piano in it. And the piano is locked in the room. It'll never leave the room unless they destroy the room. It can't leave, 'cause the room was built around it. And the room is in a church. The studio is in a church. So the ceiling of this studio has got a few little vents in it. And if you stand on top of a ladder with a flashlight and look up through the holes, you can see the, the church windows.

And this old huge roof and everything, and it's closed off, because to get the right sound and everything they, they made a lower roof. But when you see that, it really gets you. And then I just started playing this hymn. And, and, you know, a Spooner Oldham is one of the most beautiful, uh, beautiful Gospel, you know, on the organ, it's just great. I mean he's just alive with it.

So, you know, I've learned a lot from him over the years, just listening to him. So all the passing chords and the blending of things together, the, but all hymns seem to have these little passages on the piano between them that sets up the next verse, kind of gets everybody in the key and kicks it around and gets ready to go. It's, so I found myself just playing this, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Still don't.

One of the things that, that bothers me today is how religion seems to have been hijacked and politicized by the administration. The thing that bothers me the most is how one political party can say that the other political party is not faith-based. That, how can you say something like that? And I think it doesn't represent America. It only represents part of America. And I think that faith has a lot to do with family and loving God.

It doesn't matter whether you read the Koran or whether you're a Buddhist or whether you're, whatever you are, you're still trying to get in touch with the one thing that made us all, who we are, the great spirit. So I feel like that's been taken away from us. It's being used as a tool against some people. And, uh, and so that bothers me a lot. I don't like to go into church and hear the Star Spangled Banner.

That's a song about bombs bursting in air. Let's, let's have God Bless America if we're going to sing a song like that. I don't think that one is really needed either. But if you're going to have one, let's, let's have one that, that, that tries not to think about our country only. Let's start, let's have a song that tries to think about humanity and, you know.

So, you know, one of my friends went to church last week here in and, and had to stand there while we sang about, you know, bombs bursting in the air and that was the first thing. I don't believe that. I don't, and, and I think a lot of Americans and Canadians and just citizens of the planet don't necessarily go along with that. And that's why there's such an upheaval in the church and that, you know, attendance is off?

Some places it's up. But a lot of places it's not up. It's down. And it's because the church has been, you know, taken to all these different places. And really, it should be everywhere. It shouldn't be a tool.

JODY DENBERG: Neil Young asking the big questions on When God Made Me, the final song on his new album. The answers my friend are blowing in the Prairie Wind. Neil's new album that brings together his dreams, his love of family and friends, and his concern for the ecology in a way he's never done before.
prairie-wind-companion-cd.jpg prairie-wind-companion-cd.jpg
Prairie Wind Companion CD

Here are the lyrics for the Neil Young song "When God Made Me" from Sharry (Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive) posted on Rust:

Was he thinking about my country,
or the colour of my skin?
Was he thinking about my religion,
and the way I worshipped him?
Did he create just me in his image,
or every living thing?

When God made me.
When God made me.

Was he planning only for believers,
or for those who just had faith?
Did he envision all wars
that were fought in his name?
Did he say there was only one way
to be close to him?

When God made me.
When God made me.

Did he give me the gift of love
to say who I could choose?

When God made me.
When God made me.
When God made me.

Did he give me the gift of voice
so some could silence me?
Did he give me the gift of vision
not knowing what I might see?
Did he give me the gift of compassion
to help my fellow man?

When God made me.
When God made me.
When God made me.

The lyrics are ripe for interpretation. And everybody likes to analyze Neil's song meanings.

At first glance, certainly not Neil's most obtuse lyrics like ""And I saw you in my nightmares, but I'll see you in my dreams" but more like the enigmatic lyrics "What is the color when black is burned?".

On second glance there is a lot going on here. Start with the gospel choir-like Fisk University Jubilee Singers. The student vocalists introduced "slave songs" to the world and, in many opinions, preserved this music from extinction. So Neil has not embarked on some light-hearted exercise here as many seem to believe.

Neil and the Fisk University Jubilee Choir
Live 8 Benefit Concert - July 2005

From the comments:
"Musically this is a nice song, but in terms of lyrics it's a different story. Lennon's song "Imagine" was quite unambiguous.

Young's is totally ambiguous, asking ten questions, but giving no answers. You might think the answers are all obvious, and so might I, but I doubt we agree on what those obvious answers are. Is that the beauty of this song, or its evil side?"
"Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast"

How can a man asking 10 questions provoke so much discussion?

The debate and controversy over the "When God Made Me" lyrics continues to this day.

After flaring up after the song's debut at the Live 8 concert in July 2005, things settled down.

Then when the song reappeared for the Hurricane Katrina Benefit "Shelter From the Storm" in Septemeber 2005, the debate heated up once again. A comment by Matt M. sums things up as well as any of the many provocative interpretations:
"Keep in consideration that Neil Young is a musician and an entertainer.

He may very well have kept his real thoughts on God to himself, and set these lyrics to music and released them downstream to either collect as silt and drop to the bottom of the riverbed, or spawn and multiply farther along.

Either way, Neil has once again stirred the muddy waters of controversy.

And no matter what side you take, or what your reaction is, the fact remains that Neil knows how to spark a debate."

Read for your self how a man asking 10 simple questions ignited a firestorm.

An interesting exercise to answer Neil's questions laid out starkly in the deceptively simple lyrics.

Others question Neil's motives. For example, on Get Religion, Douglas LeBlanc writes rather absurdly and demonstrates a complete lack of lyrical analysis -- much less christian-like empathy:
"For a few decades now, John Lennon’s “Imagine” has served as a secularist hymn. From the end of The Killing Fields to the post-9/11 America: A Tribute to Heroes broadcast, “Imagine” has been there to tell us that the world could be so much more pleasant if only everyone were inclusive enough to set aside what they believe about God, the afterlife and other trivial matters.

Neil Young played “Imagine” on America: A Tribute to Heroes, and now he’s written a song that could join it in the pantheon of believer-bashing hymns.
You’ll likely hear “When God Made Me” many times in the coming decades, especially at elementary schools’ winter holiday festivals and weddings that favor vows custom-written by the bride and groom."

ECJ responds to the above post on Get Religion:
“The implied answer to every rhetorical question was ‘No.’ The song is a denial of both explicit revelation, and Exclusive Truth.

“Was He planning only for believers or for those who just have faith?”

He divides belief from faith, thus implicitly asserting that faith is more important than the object of the faith. Have faith in what? Can you have faith in God and yet disbelieve? Yes, you can, if what you disbelieve is the exclusive doctrine rooted in Revelation which demands conformity. If God is silent and we are all just struggling in the dark to find Him, then each man can follow whatever faith he thinks up in his own mind. Who is to question him?

“Did He envision all the wars that were fought in His name?.”

Since having faith is what is important, and not any specific content for that faith, then why should anyone fight over it? In essense he argues that the exclusive religious belief is dangerous because it leads people to fight. Of course, the important question is whether this exclusive belief is true. But he has already answered that in the previous line.

“Did He say there was only one way to be close to Him?”

This is the penultimate question. Is it true that God has revealed Himself through only one religion? Was Jesus lying or deceived or mistaken when He said “If you do not believe that I Am, you will die in your sins.” Place the question in the context of the previous two lines, and you see how the song frames the question.

This just scratches the surface. I could have just as easily focused on Providence. Or Sovereignty. I took the song and the artist seriously. And I think this is a reasonable and fair rendering of its meaning. It has nothing to do with grace and election. It presents a Theology of uncertainty - a god lost within the haze who knows nothing of holiness, and speaks with no clear voice."

In an interview with The New York Times by Jon Pareles, Young commented:
"I feel like our religion and our faith have been hijacked.

What is bothering me the most is the misappropriation of religion and faith, the misuse of God and the house of worship. It's one faith with different people trying to express it in different ways. It's all about being the little guy in the big world."

In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine by Alec Wilkerson:
"Young has a seeker's sensitivity, a susceptibility to impressions received in passing or only half-clearly. The hymn "When God Made Me" is deeply subversive. It is meant to unsettle those ardent believers whose certainty of holiness makes them feel they can abusively enforce their beliefs on the rest of the world.

"I was asking questions about faith," Young says. "But one kept evading me. I couldn't figure out what the last question was."

Not until Young realized that the recording studio was actually in a former church, was he able to complete the song.

From A churchless song: “When God Made Me” - Church of the Churchless:
"The way I see “When God Made Me,” it offers a glimpse of how much better religions would be if their focus was on asking questions that didn’t have ready-made dogmatic answers.

I’m going to make it the Church of the Churchless theme song."


 "When God Made Me"

Neil Young and Fisk University Jubilee Choir
"Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast"


"The Companion Story"  is where Neil Young calls the "Companion" the "wisest person I've ever met."

"The wisest person I ever met had to be my companion in the hospital a few months ago. I was recovering from complications after an operation to remove an aneurism in my brain. She was about eighty-five years old and maybe five feet tall.

An old black lady from South Carolina. This young nurse wasn't really in touch with what she was doing, and the old lady would tell her how to do what she needed to do without telling her. She never talked down to her, just gave examples. I felt that this old woman must be deeply religious, but there was nothing forceful about her. I woke up one morning at a quarter to six and looked out the window. Fog was on the bridge outside the room, and I said, "Well, that's just beautiful." And she said: "Yes, it is." She turned toward me with this eighty-five-year-old face that didn't have a line on it, no strain, nothing, and she said:
"So the master's not taking you. It's not your turn."
The Vista and The Muse

Also, see "Prairie Wind": A Gentle Breeze Deceptively Lulls The Howls Of Loss.

So, if you got faith in Neil, then here's a Sunday sermon on "Finding God in Neil Young's Songs."



"Be A Miner for a Heart of God"
Calvary Chapel - Nederland, Colorado
(Click photo to enlarge)
Neil Young - God's Prophet?
"In this message we're going to talk about God's love, beauty and truth as it's found in the life and music of Neil Young. "The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us..."

~~ Theologian Walter Brueggemann in The Prophetic Imagination, pg 13

A YouTube comment:

"I agree with the pastor's explanation of why Neil is a prophet.

I knew Neil, he came on the scene and I felt love/ God.

He was my rowboat. The pastor said it all.

As Shaky my friend says "Neil's not God", she was challenging a comment I had made.

I wish she could hear this sermon."

Stop hating. Start participating.  

peace & love

Neil Young in "Mansion On The Hill" video

Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter!

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At 4/07/2023 02:53:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

There are many issues here worthy of discussion.

The Bush Cabinet full of "Christians" is pretty funny. One might say, with more accuracy, "the Bush cabinet was full of neo-liberal dogmatists who know just about nothing about anything close to theology. But then in a post-Kantian world, what is there to "know" about God?

Neil Young's take on religion often seems "wacky" but he might just be applying the fertile imagination to a vacuous subject matter. Hence, he can write songs like "Soldier" which is brilliant in its inchoate subversion. Why not just "wonder why" and let it go at that?

Our state representative talks loudly about her "faith" which is nothing more than a series of platitudes barely cloaking her relentless bigotry. When an artist like Neil shows up all hell is bound to break loose. Everything is worthy of reimagining or subject to a drag through the secular muck. The mix of religion with politics has now become its own faith or dogma, slogans that must be repeated to keep the world, state, and local orders (dominated by dogmatists and bigots in the United States).

At the very bottom of the awful quicksand of ignorance, known as fundamentalist Christianity, is hatred and fear: brothers in arms.

At 4/07/2023 03:21:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks much for thoughts here Abner.

You mention the song "Soldier". That's a really good counterpoint to "When God Made Me" that we don't think anyone has noted previously.

Back in 2005, we thought that WGMM was neil's most definitive statement on subject.

Maybe because Soldier is so brief and kind of overlooked maybe?

But now that you mention, maybe we should go back and re-listen and re-edit.

Altho this Good Friday compilation really spiraled out of control and needed some divine editing intervention.


At 4/07/2023 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Thrasher : Thanks so much for this great post!

I always saw the same meaning in the song, as it relates to open-mindedness in Religion. “My way or the highway” is not an inclusive ideology. If god made man in his image, God may be a monster! Men are capable of the most selfish wanton destruction, devil-may-care disregard for the one real home we have been given: Earth. I have faith in a vague Higher Power of my own understanding. I think he likes me a lot because he keeps saving me from all kinds of trouble and consequences of my free will. The mixing of church and state is not how this country is supposed to work. The hypocritical attitudes & actions of people who think they have discovered the ONE TRUE GOD are disgusting.

If we don’t got on with saving Earth, the humans will have no place to live. A few Billionaires & their crew might leave our home, but not likely. And if they do, they will only survive a few years as the intense radiation in space fries their cells, DNA, etc. Cancer will soon follow. Good luck!

@ Thrasher : Another fantastic post which has nothing to do with live music, I humbly point out. Just sayin’ there is more to this blog and all of us than just live music. I LOVE live music, just sayin’ ….

When God made Beer…. (Etc.) she was having a good day!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 4/07/2023 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Neil Young's fluid neo-paganism has many roots, or is it a typical post-modern syncretism? "Mother Earth" appears to be channeling St. Francis' Canticle of the Sun, an almost canonical text with some Catholics on the more progressive side of that institution. Then there is the frequent allusions to some North American native belief. I am sure that Neil Young has seen a sweat lodge from the inside. To yours truly being of Catholic upbringing "When God Made Me" carries a lot of Lutheran protestant attitude ("Here I stand. I can do no other"). All of that goes well with scepticism regarding any institutionalized form of faith or creed resulting in a somewhat private or individualistic religion, the shortcomings of which are well-known, lack of community and also commitment. For a self-declared Loner that's not a surprising stance to take.

At 4/07/2023 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Oh, and needless to say: this all fits well together with a neo-romantic world view.

At 4/07/2023 04:56:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

There are no loners.

At 4/07/2023 11:50:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Theashers : I would like to echo Alan’s sentiments about this site, “there is more to this blog, and all of us than just live music”. I see this site as so much more than just Neil ‘live’, and the folks that frequent here are intelligent and knowledgeable people who also happen to appreciate Neil Young. So many logical observations have been made here…just on this one subject. So please know that what you provide is far more important than just ’Neil in concert’.

Concerning the original post:

I feel that Neil is a very spiritual man who clearly doesn’t follow organized religion. For me personally, most organized religion has one major flaw….. it’s run by humans. We humans have egos that are apparently difficult to control, which in turn seems to be our achilles heel. The ego convinces us that if we believe we are right, then everyone else must be wrong. Resulting in war, famine, pestilence, and suffering. We use religion as a weapon, and those who have power ultimately give faith a bad name. Those without faith blame God instead of the people in power who use ‘their’ God as a weapon. I have a deep faith in something too big for us humans to comprehend, and whatever it is….it has allowed us free will. What we choose to use that free will is a personal choice. I choose to use it for love, peace, and understanding. Kindness is one of the most powerful qualities we have, and it costs nothing to give, or receive. Kindness towards others who are different from me. I don’t buy into the idea that America is the greatest country in the world, and everyone else should be like us. We need to start celebrating our differences around the world instead of fearing them. This planet is the only place in the universe where we all can live, and if there is other life in the universe, we haven’t found it yet. So we need to get over ourselves and start thinking about survival, instead of killing each other over religion. Time is running out, and if we can’t find a way to get along, then we’re doomed to keep repeating our mistakes, mistakes that we’ve been making throughout history.

Don’t Forget Love

Peace 🙏

At 4/08/2023 06:01:00 AM, Blogger Ron said...

Well said Dan - find myself agreeing with every one of your words re the original post.

At 4/08/2023 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Great discussion from all in our intelligent group, but we already knew that because we are the hard core TW Neil Young fans!

@ Dionys, Dan, Abner, and all, thank you for your thoughts.

@ Thrasher(!!!), Thrashette, excellent post. We have seen SO many from you. But the river flows on, the source provides (we hope!). I have Faith it will. I find my God in nature more easily. Creation (Evolution, or whatever) is magnificent. This once rich planet had legions of critters that would amaze any witness. But mankind is not kind, man. Greed and power, ego and abuse.

There may be only one universal God that appears in every religion. There may be countless Gods. Who could know? As to my beliefs, I can’t accuse my invented God of having the power to control everything… and yet letting every horrible thing happen to people & all of Earth’s creatures, trees, water, air. I think My God does what it can to protect me, us, to help us. I believe that nobody knows who God is. I am an Agnostic with a bit of faith. I gotta do the footwork, but life-preserving outcomes seem to happen a lot. I wish it were so for everyone in the world.

But we are here as fans of Neil Young, and what he has to say about it is spot on, to me. Once again, Neil Young shares a wise opinion and attempts to make the world a better place with what power he has. He can be fierce, and he can be grumpy, but Uncle Neil is a Hell of a guy who has given us so much. Sure, he has a big bank account. I would wager his charitable giving is a higher % than Jeff Bezos or most any rich dude. It’s his nature.

When I nearly twist my ankle but don’t, I sometimes thank the Great Spirit for protection, if I am open. I have collected enough near death experiences that turned around fast, due to circumstances. Heroic intervention? I mean things like high speed car wrecks, bicycle wrecks, protected from violent psychopaths by uncanny circumstance. My brother & I sent one Young felon off to prison, by miraculous means, random, unlikely information that was shared, and a quirky twist of fate. Did random luck happen? Did God intervene? Who the hell knows? Nobody. Not even the pope. We made it all up. To pull the wool over everyone’s eyes?

Most World Religion seems to feature men dominating women, exploiting women, girls, boys, children, and using men to enforce it.
Make up your own God! That’s what I did. In fact, that’s how every religion began, I would guess.

Man may be the most effective weapon in the universe. Man is a planet killer, a murderer, a plunderer, a rapist, a racist, a monster. Ego indeed! I saw the greatest meme: Jesus with an AK-47. Hilarious in its irony.

But you Neil Young fans seem like a fine group of people! I am glad we can hang out here and talk about Neil’s Music Art and related topics. Thrasher has incredible creativity and optimism in our ongoing Neil Young-ology sessions.

I will endeavor to learn more Neil songs on the guitar should we run short on musical talent during our future meetup. Think of all the Name possibilities for our “Rusted Out Thrasher’s Wheat-stalk” (Wheat Stock?). This could see international folks, the TW lovin’ Friendly Folk Fest.

Thrasher, for the Love of God, please continue to carry on with this blog even if the live tours end. You know he is gonna do more live performances on NYA. He has so many recordings of live shows! There is so much more on the way.

Thank you to the Artist, Neil Young, who has created a catalog of music Art worthy of inclusion in the world’s greatest museum of what matters, along with Shakespeare, Einstein, Dylan, Da Vincci, etc.

Keep on Rockin’ in the “Free” world. Your brother Alan in Seattle

At 4/08/2023 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Thrasher : /…. “For the Love of Man.” Many Thanks!

At 4/12/2023 05:07:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

"when the laws of nature made me"..... doesn't sound as good.


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"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

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"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
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... and symbolism will be their downfall...

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(Frame from Official Music Video)

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"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
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Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

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Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
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(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

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the zen of neil
the power of rust
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