Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heritage not hate....

By now, most of the people who care know how hardly any of our founding fathers were evangelical Christians. Some were Deists, some where probably Atheists, most were skeptics at least. So I don't know how we got from that point to this point where non religious people can't get elected to any public office without at least paying some form of lip service to one denomination or another.

Well, color me impressed, Asheville, NC. They've elected an openly Atheist man, Cecil Bothwell to the city council. Its only the city council but its a start. Now, I don't know if this is a good choice or bad choice, since I know nothing about his politics, I just think its impressive that he was able to get elected at all.

Apparently, there are some crazies trying to bar him from service because the NC state constitution states that no one can hold public office if they "deny the being of almighty God." Obviously, their constitution is unconstitutional, but you can't explain that to crazy Confederate flag loving, former NAACP president H.K. Edgerton. So it goes.

I recently received an email from girl I knew in high school and also went to church with. She had purchased Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon, off of itunes and wanted to tell me how much she liked it. However she was curious what the terms "Deist" and "Humanist" meant, as she had seen them on my Facebook. I explained the terms and, through a few email exchanges, told her a little about my deconversion from Christianity. Being devoutly Christian herself, I suppose she found this somewhat disturbing and wrote me yesterday to explain that now she can't listen to some of the songs on the record because they show a disregard for the things she believes. She specifically referred to the song "How to Fake Like You're Nice & Caring." I've heard other people talk about how that is the most anti-Christian song on the record and it just goes to show that what you mean for a song to say and what it actually ends up saying to people can be two totally different things.

First off, the record is full of mixed philosophies mainly because there was a lot of time between the first and second record. So some songs have been around for a really long time by the time they get recorded. That's why in "Congratulations, April and Lucas" I'm sure that there "must be a god" but by the time I wrote "Congrats Seth & Kara" I thought that Old Testament Joshua was "an asshole" and by the time I wrote "My new Years Resolution..." I was sure that nobody knows anything about death and the afterlife.

"How to fake" was written out of frustration with our culture's politics and right wing political theatre but I used a lot of religious imagery so I'm sure its misleading to some people. To me, its one of the more, if not christian then certainly, moralist songs on the record.

All these mixed philosophies won't be problem on the third record though. I'm really happy with the way the writing is going. There will be parts that are so epic and anthemic that they'll seem like a Humanist praise and worship record (if that wasn't an oxymoron, that is), but I think it will also be the most personal thing I've ever written.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about losing fans, though. I know that either by circumstance or coincidence, we've aquired a lot of Christian fans over the years and I hope they remain fans. I hope they can continue to listen to Quiet Company and just accept that everyone's journey is different and that they don't have to agree with me to empathize with me. I made mewithoutYou my #1 record of the year and I certainly disagree with the philosophy of that band. But when I listen to them, I'm not sitting here going "Oh, I disagree with that and that and that." Instead, I'm sitting here going "Man, he's a great f**king lyricist!"

But who knows. That's me, I could be wrong.


  1. Dude, you're not wrong. Your opinions and ideas are just as valid as the next persons. OWN IT! :)

  2. I just came here to fist pump!

  3. Haha - you two are delightful.

  4. Still have me as a fan!

    *womp womp*

  5. I agree with your thoughts and I hope you wont lose any fans either. I still listen to some bands that have a Christian influence as long as their music isn't preachy.

  6. I just moved to Austin from Asheville. The town has always reminded me of Austin, but smaller and in the mountains. The town itself is one of the most liberal in the country, so I'm not surprised they elected an atheist. I'm guessing most of the pressure is coming from outside Asheville.

  7. The only thing I am really truly faithful in is that there is no one true way, but that hate is never the answer. Whether you're praying to a loving God or just praising the love you're blessed to receive in your life... I'm there.

    I think of all your songs, I identify with "The Beginning of Everything at the End of the World" most on a spiritual level. I wrote about this once, but didn't post it because 'm always afraid my family's going to see my blog and start trying to re-convert me or disown me or something.

    I'm not a devout Christian (which you know from our exchanges) but my husband is, and he loves you guys. So I don't think you'll lose all Christians, maybe just the insecure ones. Until you start singing about burning down churches I think you'll be fine.

  8. We're thinking of moving to Asheville! So, sweet.

    I think you, and the band, are one of the best things happening in the WORLD (not just the music world). You will inevitably lose fans, but you will also gain them. You guys...ah, you guys are brilliant.

  9. just wanted to stop by and say that I love your music. and some people are dumb but not all of them. thanks for making amazing music for me.