Saturday, March 15, 2014

Deconstructing Mr. E

Are you insane? I'm not actually going to deconstruct a person. That would be very messy, and possibly illegal.

No, I'm here to present evidence before the Tribunal charging that the musician known to none but this blog post as "Mr. E" is an Enemy of Christianity. A foul purveyor of filth and decadence. Though he disguises his anti-Christian rhetoric in the trappings of theatrical production, this is but a thin veneer covering his true persona (which looks exactly like the veneer that covers it). No more disingenuous tactic has ever been taken by any other denizen of Hell.

Without ado, I present before you THE EVIDENCE:

EXHIBIT A: It All Makes Sense At The End:

"Hate Speech"
A Song Fu challenge to write a song of that title. In doing so, Mr. E takes on the persona of a fundamentalist hypocrite who preaches that God's love extends only to certain people...the right people... and never to those whose faith or politics differ from our own.

This subversive premise fails to acknowledge that no person on this Earth who professes to be a fundamentalist Christian might deviate in any way from those precepts taught by Christ himself. It fails to acknowledge not only the infallibility of the Word itself, but the word of any person who might put on a white suit and collect donations at a tent revival. 

Surely we can see the dangers inherent in this line of thought? If people thought for an instant that some liars and hypocrites might prey upon the most gullible of the faithful, then it is only a matter of time before all of the faithful turn away from all of the priesthood! This is decidedly un-Biblical. If it were in any way allowable for a person to decry hypocrisy among the Church, don't you think Our Lord would have warned us about false prophets in the Bible? Of course He would!

It is quite obvious that this song is an attack on all Christians. The idea that its lyrics prove otherwise is unsustainable to those who have better things to do than to actually consider such trash. 

EXHIBIT B: The Star:
A supernova?
A song with strong religious overtones of an archaeological expedition to a planet orbiting the remains of a supernova, whose entire civilization was snuffed out at its zenith in order that a star might outshine others in the sky over Bethlehem.

The concept and much of the lyrics of this piece are from a short story by "scientist" and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Scientist, indeed! A chemist, I'm told. We know all about the dangers of chemicals, don't we? When referring to the Star of Bethlehem, should we not instead limit our reading to those well-respected scholars who have made a study of the Bible, and thus may treat it with some respect; and not some dime-store novelist with a predilection for wild flights of fantasy?

Here Asimov (and thus Mr. E in his imitative and derivative fashion) agonize over the loss of billions of lives to herald the birth of One. Of course this is hypothetical clap-trap. If Our Lord wished us to ponder mysterious problems of ethics and morality, would He not have given us a conscience, and an intellect suitable to that task? Would He not have given us Imagination, and showed us its purpose in the telling of parables and allegories? Would He not work in mysterious ways Himself, so that we would be forced to employ them? Of course He would!

It is quite obvious that this song is an attack on all Christians. The idea that logic proves otherwise is unsustainable to those who have better things to do than to actually consider such trash. 

EXHIBIT C: The Death of a Meme:
A meme
A song in which Mr. E imagines a world in which humanity no longer believes in God. To fully understand the depths of this depravity, one must understand that "memes" come from the INTERNET. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that God did NOT come from the INTERNET. Therefore, God cannot be a meme. Furthermore, a meme would disappear if no one were to believe in it. God cannot disappear through lack of belief because He was here before there were people here to believe He existed here before there were people here. This logic is circular, providing closure, and is therefore perfect. QED.

If Man were meant to ponder vague hypothetical concepts, would not Our Lord have provided him with the means to do so? Would not our church leaders... medieval scholars of high standing and great renown... have allowed their minds to ponder such pointless intellectual curiosities as "How many angels can dance on the point of a pin," "Did Adam have a navel," or "Do angels defecate"? Would not they have adopted the musings of pagan philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle regarding the abstraction of forms? Of course they would!

It is quite obvious that this song is an attack on all Christians. The idea that history proves otherwise is unsustainable to those who have better things to do than to actually consider such trash. 

EXHIBIT D: (Vows):
Just LOOK at these lyrics [link]. Have you ever seen anything so heinous in your life? What monster would want these sung at his wedding? Mr. E compounds this atrocity by having these "vows" sung by two people. Two human people! 

Marriage is a Christian sacrament and a Christian sacrament only. If Society were to allow otherwise, would not our laws allow Atheists to marry? Or Muslims, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or Zoroastrians, or Shintoists, or Animists, or Satanists, or Pagans, or Pastafarians, or Wiccans, or Scientologists, or even Jedis? Would it not allow people to marry at a courthouse or Las Vegas "chapel", or in their own living rooms or back yards rather than in the sanctity of a consecrated Church structure? Of course it would!

We therefore know that marriage is limited to Christian sacrament because none of those groups have ever been allowed to marry, nor may that change. And we know that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution supports this religious establishment, preventing the government from making any laws to change that sacred tradition. And we know that Christians are commanded not to privately hallow a consecrated marriage above secular marriage while still allowing other groups their religious and civil liberties because we just know it. It's self-evident, so stop making us think about it already. Jesus told us what He thinks..

It is quite obvious that this song is an attack on all Christians. The idea that the beating hearts of millions prove otherwise is unsustainable to those who have better things to do than to actually consider such trash. 

EXHIBIT E: A Brave New World:
Apparently, this is
a real thing.
And now we reach the straw that broke the camel's back. A song which makes these other transgressions pale in comparison. Here Mr. E unconvincingly "takes on the role" of a "teacher" who is "forced" to teach his students from a "sacred text" foisted upon him by "our right-wing governor and Republican supermajorities in our State House and Senate and the will of conservative courts and, of course, evangelical lobbyists"

Here we have the smoking gun! Why else would Mr. E have named these groups explicitly, if not due to his rabid hatred of them! This song belongs to the previous challenge! There is no possibility that Mr. E respects the "wall of separation" between Church and State described by Thomas Jefferson. There is no possibility that his interpretation of the First Amendment includes a literal reading of the phrase, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". There is no possibility that Mr. E respects the accomplishments of centuries of scientific inquiry. There is no possibility that what he decries is the Fundamentalist insistence that ALL of Life's answers are contained in a book that we hold to be infallible despite the fact that it quite plainly mis-states the value of pi. For if any of that were reasonable, then would not many of the great scientists such as Isaac Newton or Johannes Kepler or Gregor Mendel have been religious scholars who looked for truth not only in the Books of Revelation; but also in the Book of Nature spake into existence by Our Lord? Would not the Laws of Nature which require no interpretation be as (or more) binding to us than the written translations of ancient oral tradition which have undergone numerous translations with resulting loss of fidelity? Would not a full understanding of the will of God require an acceptance and inquisitive study of those natural laws as they are, and not as we mere humans wish them to be?  Of course it would!

No, this is hatred, plain and simple, with malice of forethought. We know that there are no Christians who adopt the principles of reason and scientific inquiry; none who maintain an unhealthy over-reliance on rationality and intellect; none who look to the Bible for an understanding of morality and to Science for an understanding of the physical world. These beings do not exist, for if they did, they would have started the scientific revolution themselves, constructing for themselves the foundation of science, which must then have been abandoned by Fundamentalists who failed to comprehend the point.

It is quite obvious that this song is an attack on all Christians. The idea that common sense, rationality, and the physical laws governing the entire Universe prove otherwise is unsustainable to those who have better things to do than to actually consider such trash. 

We must therefore find Mr. E GUILTY of the charges of hate-mongering and anti-Christian thought, and sentence him to be nice, or at least write something hateful about somebody else for a change. After all, we all know that the proper redress for wrongs done to us involves doing wrong to some random stranger who wasn't even in the conversation. If that weren't true, would not Our Lord have commanded us, "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them"?

Of course He would.


JoAnn in VA said...

Haters gonna hate.

JoAnn in VA said...

Actions and intentions; Reconstructing Mr E
“Actions speak louder than words; that’s the truth not just a saying
Your actions really were heard! They sure meant a lot to me!”

While it is not yet possible for one human to read another’s mind and know what their thoughts and intentions are in doing a thing, long experience has led us to draw conclusions of probable intentions based upon their actions. When looking at the songs listed above, and reacting to them, I found myself noticing patterns of behavior which indicated a deep contempt for Christians, their religions and their beliefs.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I see and recognize and disapprove of certain practices within organized religion in general and certain Christian churches in particular. The Catholic Churches history of covering up sexual predators in the priesthood and moving them to other dioceses where they would repeat the behavior year after year is abhorrent to me. Tom Minchin has a brilliant song, the Pope Song It condemns specific activities and says that if you don’t you are as bad as the ones raping boys. It doesn’t say that all Catholics are stupid or even imply it in any way.
I hate trying to explain to people that the Westboro Baptists are NOTHING like the rest of those who call themselves Baptists, and that every Christian I know disapproves of their actions, especially at military funerals. The Mormon splinter groups which practice polygamy, marrying multiple new wives- often in their teens, and who kick out the teen boys if they do anything wrong so that there are fewer to compete for the girls in marriage is also something I dislike. It doesn’t mean I hate all Mormons though.

JoAnn in VA said...

In “It all makes sense in the end” various things which I personally believe in, including the idea that humans are not just an accident were presented in an attractive musical package, and that is what made it so hard to handle- I kept thinking “This would be such a great gospel song- but it is so hateful!” I once told Edric I would like to redo the lyrics and make it into a real gospel song, and he quickly asked that I not do so. Science forbid that I should use any of his works to praise God.
And it would be so easy to do, too! Until he starts listing all of the exceptions to God’s love and salvation, the rest of the song is about things which I truly believe…even if it is sung with a decided sneer in the voice, even if the congregation are called sheep- and not in a loving “I am the good shepherd, and my sheep know my voice” kind of way. No, these are the DUMB sheep, the stupid people who blindly follow along until they are marched into the slaughterhouse. He really turns on the hatred in the final section, where he starts pretending to be this insane evangelical nutjob who starts judging others and condemning them –in reality we are taught that that is God’s job, not ours. Was it just him being a good actor? Or was it the real Edric coming though? I don’t know. I only know I was hurt by it, and tried not to think of it too much. Because he was my friend back then.
The big question for me in all the songs you listed was what was the underlying motive behind writing them and singing them with such passion? It wasn’t just for a song competition- he could have chosen other topics, just as the other participants did. Instead he has chosen to write songs over and over condemning the faults and fallacies of Christianity, and imply that those who follow that faith are idiots for doing so.
Why did he write them? To warn people not to fall for the stupid Christian lies, or just to mock those who still believe in Jesus? He has never, to my knowledge, written a song condemning the people of Israel regarding the Palestinians- is that because he agrees with their side in the conflict as I do? How about the Muslims, I have never seen him condemning them for stoning women for talking to a man not her husband, or hanging gay men slowly from cranes in the street, or an adult man marrying an 8 year old and raping her to death on their wedding night.
No, it is always the Christians that he mocks, belittles and insults. One, maybe two songs about this could be ignored- but this is a pattern of attack, and his latest song was pure hate.

And because I had the nerve to object to this on my journal about it, he had me kicked out of Spintunes. He used to be my friend.

Dave Leigh said...

"It All Makes Sense At The End" It is plainly and obviously written from the point of view of the character, a con-man "fleecing" his sheep, as is made plain by the lyrics:

"So send your money!"
"Tell a friend!"
"‘Cause Heaven’s just around the bend!"

The song decries hypocrites, pure and simple, and absolutely no one else. It has a great deal of artistic and moral value.It is hugely effective precisely because it does suck the listener in, and then expose those behaviors from which we are commanded to abstain. As a Christian, I immediately see that if it makes even one fellow Christian reconsider one area of irrational bigotry or hatred it's "mission accomplished". It doesn't NEED a re-write from you to praise God, as it ALREADY does God's work. Whether Edric himself sees it as "God's work" or just "saying the right thing" is irrelevant.

But this does bring a question to mind about what you wrote:

"...who starts judging others and condemning them –in reality we are taught that that is God’s job, not ours."

You are being as judgemental as it's possible for a human to be, and you are condemning not just Edric, but others based on your judgement. I could name the names. So why are YOU doing God's job? You really don't have to tell me here, JoAnn... you are the one who needs the answer.

As for SpinTunes, NO ONE "had" you kicked out. You did that. On the seventeenth of February you wrote a post on your LiveJournal that was entitled "The Rules". ( It is not accurate. I know that for certain because I am one of the individuals who argued your case to have you re-instated. But it is accurate *enough* to show that you knew the consequences for your actions. Yet YOU chose to post what you did. You do NOT get to blame that on Edric. You do NOT even get to blame it on Heather. Not here. You try that here and I'll call it out.

Dave Leigh said...

Now, let me state this plainly, so that there is no misunderstanding. I am doing it here because this is the place you chose.

You are wrong. You were wrong when you screamed curses at Travis for having followed the rules exactly as published and not changing his vote after the fact for your benefit. You are wrong when you believe that he has some sort of vendetta against you.You are wrong when you denounce Edric as a hate-monger. You are wrong when you imagine that these things are targeted at you. Those "rules" were put in place precisely because other competitors and judges needed to be free from this sort of outburst.

And even if ANY of it were true, defense of Christianity does not involve inviting people to "bash" other groups. PERIOD. Rather, it requires us to act like Christians. READ Luke 6:27-36 What is written there is not a suggestion.

I say this because I'm your friend, and it needs to be said.

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