A Song to an Atheist

October 5, 2007 | By | 5 Replies More

I have a friend who wrote a song to me. (Free mp3 download courtesy of Anderson Productions, Ltd.) “Dear Friend” appeared on Russ Anderson’s 2003 album, “Arsenal Street”. All his CD’s are Available here. I recommend listening to the song before proceeding.

This nice, eerie, and sometimes psychedelic song is a heartfelt plea for me to discard my narrow, science-informed view of the world and just try to accept the ultimate truth of his favorite, ancient, re-translated book.
When my very Christian 11 year old nephew heard the song, he worried that it would anger me. He is fond of both Russ and myself, and the song conveys a basic disconnect. Conversations I’ve had with other Absolute Biblically Literal Truth Christians indicate that these are common misperceptions of atheist ideology.

Let’s examine some of the contentions in the song:

You say it’s all a lie” implies that my disbelief in God is equivalent to my casting the aspersion of a willful falsehood on believers. I have no doubt about their sincerity, their total faith and dedication to their belief. I’m sure that the multitudinous original authors of the various books of the Bible, and most of the innumerable editors since then, were quite sincere, as well. They were smart people who had no alternative explanations for seemingly random acts of God. Now, I believe we do.

How can you hope to see, when you close your eyes” implies that I don’t look at the testimony of the Bible. I have casually read much of it, and there is a lot of good allegory and even some sections of historical interest. As archeology becomes more subtle, precise, and accurate more pieces of the Bible are being proven historical. But I don’t think that proving that one segment of the anthology is correct proves that all the other, unrelated sections of it are.

My eyes are open to many sources, so that that one source becomes a small fraction of what I have seen. But I have seen it. I just don’t weight the one source as even equal to the rest of the total knowledge that Man has accumulated both before and since the Bible was written.

What do you hope to gain, what do you fear to lose” implies motives that are not relevant to my belief. I don’t hope to gain anything by believing in nothing supernatural, nor do I fear to lose by having something that is currently defined as supernatural being eventually proved natural. But I am guided by my faith in the completely natural universe to wait for measurable proof of anything that doesn’t fit the paradigm and model of the Natural Sciences; the Laws of Nature that we (as a civilization) are continuously and asymptotically refining.

I’ve been inside your shoes, but you’ve never been in mine” might appear correct at first blush. I have never been a blind faith sort, but Russ had a period of irreligiousness.

I was raised by scientists, had was exposed to the rituals and mythologies of several cultures as a child. In my adolescence I did flirt with various supernatural belief systems: ESP, UFO’s, magic, Bhagavad-Gita, Torah, and so on. But the more I learned the more amazing and appealing the non-magical world became to me. He, raised as a Christian, had gone though a skeptical period in his adolescence. Then he had a born-again experience; his conversion to “the truth.”I don’t think either of us has actually been in the other’s shoes.

But the overriding theme is, “Dear friend, I’m begging you.” The song conveys quite well his distress that, as nice a guy as I generally am, I am doomed to eternal hellfire unless I accept his faith. Both the music and the words are such a touching plea that it never occurred to me to take offense.

I may disagree with the words, but I do like the song. Russ has written and recorded many songs that are played on Internet Radio Stations and some FM stations around the world. See his site for the details. Most of the broadcasters are promoting primarily his Christian-themed compositions.

I am partial to his “(God is) The Color of Water” from the Y2K “Milo’s Garden” album. He also writes love songs, fun songs, songs of mourning, and political songs (“Remember Tianenman” comes to mind, and is a free download from his site). He has 5 albums for sale on his site, the latest can be bought in single-song downloads. There are samples of all of his songs on his site.


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Category: American Culture, Communication, Meaning of Life, Religion, Web Site

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's one potential response to your friend's pleas for you to convert: http://www.pizdaus.com/pics/MhYn8Km5i2Zb.jpg

  2. Russ Anderson says:

    Oh Dan. Do you really think that I never read this? Ok, here we go…

    1. The Bible is not merely a "re-translated" book. I know you still are under the impression that is has been translated from one translation to another, over and over. This is not true. It is probably the most pain stakingly, accurately translated book from antiquity. All of the modern translations are done from the oldest biblical manuscripts available. The maunuscripts of the New Testament, by the way, are more in number and closer to the original writings (and events) than any other book from antiquity. If you discount their authenticity, you must also discount the translations of Plato and Socrates, both of which are done from manuscripts that are no closer to the originals than a thousand years or so.

    2. You have not read "much of it", not even casually. And your understanding of it; historically, sociologically, philosophically, etc. etc.; is about as good as my understanding of quarks.

    3. I have been in your shoes. Apparently, more so than I originally thought. I am not someone who, "raised as a Christian, had gone through a skeptical period in his adolescence." I had no religious training at all. Nor is my faith in Jesus based on any kind of "blind faith". As a teenager (actually at about age 11), I began my search for the truth. I looked into the same things that you did, and more besides. I certainly was not interested in that "Jesus stuff" (that was just not cool), so it definitely had to be proven to me to be true.

    4. Milo's Garden came out in 1998, not 2000. : )

    Also, I don't have any free downloads anymore. Sorry.

    I am surprised that, as a scientist, you haven't better researched your facts before publishing. But, then again, that seems to be the way of the modern scientist. : P

  3. Ben says:

    1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat waz invisible, An he maded the skiez An da Urf, but he no eated it.

    2 The Urfs wus witout shapez An wus dark An scary An stufs, An he rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

    3 An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.

    4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stufs, An seperatered teh lite from dark An stufs but taht wuz ok cuz cats can seez in teh dark An not tripz ovr nethin. an Ceiling Cat sayz u mus hav da moneyz 2 git da milkz.

    5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. Teh evning An morning was teh first day.

    6 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh ceilingz of waterz, with waterz up An waterz down. An he maded hole in teh Ceiling.

    7 An Ceiling Cat doed the skiez with waterz down An waterz up, An stuff.

    8 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh firmmint wich iz funny bibel naim 4 ceiling, so evning An morning was teh twoth day.

    9 An Ceiling Cat gotted all no waterz into ur base, so no waterz wus not wetted An Ceiling Cat hadz teh dry placez cuz cats dusnt lieks to get wet,

    10 An Ceiling Cat called no waterz urths and waters oshunz, so tehre.

    11 An Ceiling Cat sayed, wants grass An stuff! so tehr wuz seedz An stufs, An fruitzors An vegbatels.

    12 An Ceiling Cat sawed that weedz ish teh good stuff, so, letz tehre be weed. (and catnipz 2, so wen i makes kittehs they can getz hai.)

    13 An so teh evning An the morning of the threeth day.

    14 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has lightz in the firmmint for dividing day from no day.

    15 So tehre, lights everwaer, like chrissmass, wai.

    16 An Ceiling Cat doeth two greate lightz, teh most big for day, teh other for no day.

    17 An Ceiling Cat screweth tehm on firmmint, with big nails An stuff.

    18 An Ceiling Cat sawed it wus the goodz, so wai.

    19 An so teh evning An the morning of the furth day.

    20 An Ceiling Cat sayed, letz teh waterz brings forht the loots An stuff, An phishes, An burdies, that flyeths over the no waterz An swimmeths in the waterz.

    21 An Ceiling Cat created big fishies An see monstrs, which wuz like big cows, except they not mooed, An other stuffs that gives the mooves, An Ceiling Cat wuz plezed.

  4. Vicki Baker says:

    <a>Ceiling Cat? Are you up there?

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