Science & Faith
3/23/12 at 09:48 AM 0 Comments

Bad Religion: Punk "Science & Religion" Rock on the DC "Reason Rally" Stage

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Bad Religion in Stockholm, 2004

Earlier I introduced punk rocker and PhD evolutionary biologist Greg Graffin. I noted his similarities to Richard Dawkins, and their highly anticipated joint appearance at the DC Reason Rally on Saturday March 24.

Let's explore the anti-theistic music of Greg Graffin's Bad Religion punk band a bit more, because popular culture has been of great assistance to the atheist movement. Bad Religion is likely to be well received on the stage of the Reason Rally. Let's see why by analyzing two more songs from the 2010 album The Dissent of Man: "Won't Somebody" and "Meeting of the Minds." These are two good candidates for the Reason Rally on March 24th, 2012 at the National Mall.

Won't Somebody (complete lyrics)

Out in the cold like a bundle of coal
little packets of darkness wanting to glow
well there's nobody home and there's a wreck in the yard
well maybe they're coming back
if we wish really hard
If we wish real hard now

Won't somebody please come up with something
cuz jesus just don't seem to be impartially working
And all of the rest are really down in the ratings
so everyone is gonna keep on waiting

Waiting for peace at the end of the street
back behind our apartment and in passenger seats
just a moment of bliss amid all of the waste
the despair and oblivion of our precarious race
it's ours to face now

Won't somebody please come up with something
cuz jesus just don't seem to be impartially working
and all of the rest are really down in the ratings
so everyone is gonna keep on waiting

Now I know nothing lasts forever
so we might as well wish for a [cursing God] fix of this toxic changing weather

Won't somebody come up with something
cuz Jesus just don't seem to be impartially working
and all of the others can barely stay in the running
but everyone is still right here waiting

Won't somebody please come up with something

Won't somebody please come up with something

Won't somebody please

This song suggests that if Jesus really were God's son, the savior of the world, then we would all be equally happy right now. We aren't, so Jesus is not really divine. This is the popular "problem of evil" path to atheism. Other religions don't offer any better solution, so we are left with a hopeless yearning for a savior from suffering. "It's ours to face now" on our own because we "know nothing lasts forever." We live in an uncaring material world that is destined to oblivion. This is Graffin's good news for humanity?

Remember my Graffin quotation from my earlier post linked above?

Raising my son and daughter with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever or that everything might cease is actually very valuable. It gives them perspective and allows them to treat not only their fellow humans, but rare commodities better and with more appreciation.

Now you can better appreciate the emptiness of this declaration, given Graffin's own worldview on display in his "Won't Somebody" song.

Here are some of the most telling lyrics from the last song I shall analyze in Graffin's album The Dissent of Man: Meeting of the Minds.

In 325, the Council devised
A set of sacred testaments, transparent and wise
The truth is only ever relied
On that which we agree and abide

At the meeting of the minds
Reading of the times
Open the blinds to our complicated lives
We all need some kind of creed to lead us to light

In old Tennessee, the last century
All scopes were fixed on legal tricks and whether or not we
Should teach kids natural philosophy
Despite uncomfortable verity

At the meeting of the minds
Reading of the times
Open the blinds to our complicated lives
We all need some kind of creed to lead us to light

There's a beacon that shines in the night
A dark pitch though it may be
And the halcyon fields of opportunity
Turn out to be consensual and arbitrary

Graffin employs a simplistic "Science vs. Christiainity" storyline here that does not stand up to historical scrutiny. The Bible is an arbitrary collection of mere human documents, he believes. (To see the evidence to the contrary, watch TrueU: Is the Bible Reliable?). Graffin acknowledges a deep human need for guidance, but dismisses biblical authority. His authority is "science," which Christian fundamentalists allegedly opposed in the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 (see my earlier blog about what the Scopes Trial was really about). As someone with a PhD from Cornell University in a program of study that was heavily weighted toward the history of science, Graffin should know better about the Scopes Trial. However, he did study under William Provine, a Cornell historian of biology known for his bitterly anti-Christian outlook. Provine's bias bleeds through Graffin. Provine was featured in the movie Expelled as the evolutionary biologist who teaches that there is no free will or objective purpose to our existence.

Can you just see the masses of people rockin to the tunes of this punk evolutionary "science and religion" propaganda? Atheists will love it. The press covering the Reason Rally will swoon. It will all seem so reasonable.

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