Tunes for Tuesday Confessional

I was raised Catholic. I’m not the church-goer I used to be but I find comfort in going to mass once in a while. And I don’t have to go to mass. I can visit a Methodist church, synagogue, Unitarian, Buddhist – it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I am moved spiritually and encouraged to think and grow as a spiritual being I don’t care where I go to church. And that frustrates my church going friends. I live in America’s Bible Belt. I have friends that want me to visit their church. One of the third or fourth questions you’re asked when you meet someone new is, “Where do you go to church?” I always give an answer (usually where ever I went last) – and then mentally file away the information not to discuss religion with that person.

And I’ve been fairly careful here not to discuss religion. I don’t like to discuss it, frankly. I have such a broad view that I offend people. Seriously. How could I possibly offend people if I have a broad view, you ask? It seems everyone wants me to narrow my view. Be more rigid in my beliefs. But I believe “One mountain, many paths.” I think I can get something from a whole host of religions out there. I’m open enough to visit them. Read their books. I’m careful. I stay away from anything “cultish.”

Quite honestly, I think man has tainted what God intended.

Last week, I posted my top 20 songs on my iPod. The playlist is really 25. And I very conveniently left off 5 songs. Five songs that might tag me as a “bible thumper,” “holy roller, ” “religious nut.” I’ve promised good, honest writing here on my blog. I wasn’t very honest last week. I’m fixing that now.

The Five Songs Left Off My Playlist

5. …And I Pray – Matt Perrone – I love this song. It reminds me that there is something bigger than me. Bigger than I’ll ever comprehend. And that prayer, even when it doesn’t seem to work, is necessary – for me, anyway. Prayer keeps me grounded.

4. Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright – Not exactly a religious song. Not really. But I thought the title might throw you – especially sharing company with the other four songs on this list.

3. Holy Lamb – Yes – A hopeful, loving, beautiful song celebrating life, nature, children, love. So hopeful. I adore this song.

2. Heaven – Live – I love the message in this song. “I don’t need no one to tell me about heaven/I look at my daughter and I believe/I don’t need no proof when it comes to God and truth/I can see the sunset and I perceive”

and the number one song (that actually hold the #4 place on my list)……

1. When the Saints – Sara Groves – This song keeps me on track. It reminds me to do right. No matter what the cost. I can handle whatever life throws me. And I have the strength to take the tougher road. Because, “when the saints go marching in, I want to be one of them.”

O.K. So, there you have it. The whole truth. Please absolve me of my sin. I’ve confessed to leaving out a part of me because I was afraid of criticism. I was afraid of offending someone. But the complete list is a part of me. Every song. Not just the secular ones. Not just the safe ones. Last week I was experiencing a moment of weakness that I’m trying to rectify.  

Deep breath.

 Throw your stones or roses – I’m ready.


Filed under Music

32 responses to “Tunes for Tuesday Confessional

  1. Nicki

    A whole bouquet of roses coming at you, Jane. We do all get up the mountain differently and it is the journey and the community that we get up there with – whether one or a dozen – that helps define us and our differing faiths.

  2. suzicate

    I also believe their is “one mountain, many paths” and no one true religion. A lot of my family are JW’s so you know they think there’s is the only way. Also. like you, I veer away from anything I feel cultish. Funny, I just wrote a post, set for tomorrow but was hesitant to publish because it’s about my own spiritual journey, of which I am currently on hiatus from church. And I absolutely love old time gospel…something about hearing it fills me with warm fuzzies and hope.

    • Post it, post it, post it! I can’t wait to read it. (My husband’s sister is JW – do I have some stories to tell!)

      • suzicate

        Boy, do I have some, too. None in this blog though. I’ve posted…it’s just different from my usual post. I hope I don’t turn people off with it.

  3. Love that line, “one mountain, many paths”. I think it is perfect for life. I am Catholic as well and a priest got a lot of flack at my church for recently preaching about the importance of other religions in his sermon. He talked about how God has a plan for everyone, not just Catholics and many were in uproar. It is so closed minded to me. Bravo for not being afraid!

  4. Who would throw stones at you for loving beautiful music?? Not me!

  5. Roses, friend, only roses.

    I love your metaphor of many paths, one mountain – not one I had heard before. I am a work in progress. I too was raised Catholic and still love some parts of the ritual of religion in general, but would now describe myself as “curious” or “spiritual” rather than religious.

  6. it is interesting to me how some get offended by other’s beliefs. not much offends me–it is the other person’s right to feel/think the way they do, as it is my right to think the way i do.

    thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. absolutely! how can there possibly be one way, one saviour, one path? from being spiritually uplifted by nature (that’s the pagen in me) to meditation, to sitting in a spiritual center here in LA where the music alone can make your soul come alive, it’s ultimately what moves you to experience that higher power, trust in the Universe, bigger than me, I am not alone THING. This coming from the ex step-daughter of a Methodist minister, I am openly and honestly jaded away from separate religions by firsthand experience with hypocrisy and unacceptance. That’s my truth, and I’m thankful for the lesson!

  8. I am offended. Not!

    Hey, I am very religious. It is a piece of my being! However, I don’t ask about a person’s religious beliefs UNLESS they have already broached the subject with me. I try and respect all religious beliefs.

    I love songs with a spiritual message. They make my heart soar with their beautiful lyrics and engaging sound.

    I am glad that you are coming clean. I would hate to think of you as a liar…

  9. I love this post, Jane. It seems to me so hurtful when people get offended by/holier than thou about another person’s beliefs. How can you tell someone what they feel is wrong?

    I couldn’t agree more with your assertion that, in general, man has really screwed up spirituality. If there were one religion that were about faith and awe instead of power and rules and subjugation, I’d be all over it.

    The version of Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley is divine. And by that I mean raw and human and not at all divine. Many people have remade that Cohen, and I love love love that song.

  10. I had a quote on my wall when I was a teenager about each man finding his own path to God. Aside from the exclusive language, I really believe this. And I recently said in one of my posts that nothing terrifies me so much in a person as certainty — people who believe their way is the only way are the scariest people out there. I once turned a couple of missionaries away from my door on the grounds that I wanted to figure out this kind of stuff for myself and they said something like ‘shame about you going to Hell and everything, but have a nice day’.

    Aside from the religion thing, gospel music is the bomb. And Hallelujah is in my top ten also.

  11. Love it…3 of those are my favorites too!!!

  12. Once we get over thinking that “this” is “secular” and “that” is “non-secular,” everything falls into place. At least for me it does. My thinking is God owns everything and uses everything…music, art, culture, movies, science etc. to help us discover him. We were created to appreciate everything of beauty and reject everything of evil. Unfortunately life is very messy this side of heaven. Thank goodness for grace! I, too, shared this side of me earlier last year. Hope you like it.

  13. unabridgedgirl

    I think religion is personal, and I don’t think it should be pushed on a person. What you believe is what you believe.

    Also, I love the song Hallelujah.

  14. I’m so glad you came out and told us your other favorite songs. Never feel like you have to hide something from us . . . well, other than your name. Being offended because someone thinks s/he gets into heaven by strangling cats is one thing, but being offended because someone believes in a broad view of God is crazy. But then I have a broad view of religion that often offends my follow Catholics. Oh well.

  15. I agree with Allison – certainty is what is dangerous. People that feel they absolutely know who or what or IF God is make me uneasy. I adore you song selections and I applaud anyone who is religious or not using music to reach a higher plain. Music is spiritual because it speaks the language of the heart and soul.

    Do you know Reverend Billy? Well, he is a crazy political activist who calls himself a post religious Reverend of the Church of No Shopping. My next song is going to be about the cab ride I took with him! Alleluia!

  16. Just like you and the others have been telling me that I don’t need to apologize for being an agnostic or whatever, you shouldn’t feel apologetic or the need to hide that you are a person of faith, or the simple fact that these songs make you feel good! “Amazing Grace” brings tears to my eyes, and you know I am not Christian…

  17. I understand; I don’t always advertise the “christian” music I listen to because I don’t want it to define me, any more than I want myself defined by Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias and Jewel. I’m eclectic, in case you didn’t notice. 😉

  18. ck

    “Quite honestly, I think man has tainted what God intended.”

    I agree with you 100%. (And I also rarely talk about the music I listen to for the same reason.)

  19. If I like it I like it. doesn’t matter what kinda labels others have put on it.

  20. Hey, I am Jewish and I have Amazing Grace on my Ipod. It’s a beautiful song to me.

  21. I say let it all hang out. And we’re glad you did. Don’t let peer pressure or preconceived ideas of what others might think. You top 25 is your top 25. Period. There’s no need to edit the real you. So that would be a rose from me as well. You didn’t really think anyone would throw a stone, did you? 🙂

    Just for you I went and listened to #1. I found it on YouTube. Nice vocals and a cute tune.

    I actually have a fair amount of “Christian music” on my hard drive. I don’t care if it’s religious or creepy goth themes – neither really floats my boat. But I reserve the right to listen to the songs I like.

  22. KUDOS, Jane! Loved that you did this. Never feel bad for who you are. I have to agree with Naptimewriting about the Buckley version of Hallelujah. It is one of my all time favorite songs. Gives me chills every time I hear it. I find it ethereal. Keep up the great work!

  23. angelcel

    Gosh I’ve never been asked what church I attend. I think here in Europe it would be regarded as a slightly odd and maybe invasive question. Your broad views would probably reflect the feelings of the majority over here. I agree with unabridged girl, our religious beliefs are highly personal. They shouldn’t be pushed onto someone else and nor should we feel apologetic for holding them.

  24. We disagree on the faith issue, but I love the music! It’s like listening in on a conversation you’re having with someone else. Seeing what music moves people is so important in understanding them. Thanks for posting!

  25. I’ve got to go over and listen to this version of Halleluia. Love Cohen’s. The first time I heard it–chills.

    Gospel music is awesome. There’s something about it that is infectious.

    Great post. People spend way too much time being judgemental and not enough time respecting the varied and rich beliefs of others. Belittling others’ faith doesn’t draw people together. The diversity of belief in the world is fascinating, and it adds colour and depth to my friendships, whatever their religious persuasion may be. Bashing the beliefs of others is narrowminded at best.

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