Can Church Be Hip? Ctd

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by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

You’ll probably get this a thousand times, but anything by the Mountain Goats is pretty hip religious music.  And the brain behind the band, John Darnielle, has described himself as a regular churchgoer.  They also count Stephen Colbert as a fan, so not really sure how much more hip you can get. That, and on their most recent album, The Life of the World to Come, all the song names are biblical verses.

Darnielle talked about his faith with the Stranger in 2008:

I consider myself religiousI'm Catholic, both by blood and by tendency, and I mean "religious" in the sense of the word that occasionally makes Protestants uncomfortable: I like ritual and repetitive prayers, and I think a communal relationship with God is many orders of magnitude more important than "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ." I prefer being told what to do and how to pray. I don't think I'm smart enough or eloquent enough to write prayers that are worth God's time.

At the same time, though, I'm in the same boat that everybody else is in: In my heart, I doubt there's a God at all. Most of what most religions teach is utterly ridiculous, and besides, I'm a pro-choice feminist, so the Church that I love and which I'll never fully be able to leave is also my enemy.

I stopped going to church years ago and hardly ever go these days, and I won't take Communion when I do, because those are the rules. I'm as likely to pray the Hare Krishna mahamantra as I am the rosary. But I do pray, as devoutly as I can, even though I suspect we're just animals crawling on the surface of a godless earth. I do it because it gives me comfort and peace, even if that's illusory, and because I think that a prayerful mood is a powerful thing in the world and can be a real force for good.

I'd recommended the song "No Children".  (It's not religious, just soul-crushingly beautiful.)

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