31 July 2003

A few of the blogs around town, and I think Rosa Mystica was the first, have posted a link to CorruptChristianMusic. Warning: this website is nasty, absurd, and anti-Catholic (as far as I'm concerned, those three are often packaged together).

Being partial to chant, I naturally morphed into a fire-breathing dragon when I read the following on the page about the band Delirious:
"Delirious has many ungodly associations - this includes having monks sing chants on their Glo CD, in their opening song, 'God Your My God' [sic]...A chant is an incantation which is an abomination in the sight of God. Chanting is done in many false religions. Buddhism, Paganism, Witchcraft, Druidism, Roman Catholicism, Muslims [aka Islam?] are just a few of the many types of religions that practice this pagan, heathen ritual!"

So. Chant is a pagan, heathen ritual, is it? Let's see.
Yes, many religions have chant. However, the types of chanting done in different religions are as different as jazz and classical music, and used for different purposes. In fact, the only links are really that they are unaccompanied religious music, and usually don't use the same scales that would be familiar to modern, Western ears. I guarantee you that no one who wasn't deaf would confuse Buddhist chant with Gregorian chant.

Chant was used by the Jews of 2,000 years ago. The Chosen People, remember them? Yeah, the ones God gave the Old Testament to, which you seem to like to quote from. You may also remember that Jesus was a practicing Jew. Which means he went to the synagogue and the Temple, and he heard the chant that the Jews sang in their religious rituals. It's even possible that he did some chanting himself. So obviously, not all chant is that bad, if Jesus did it.

But wait, there's more. Modern musicologists and chant experts (and not all of them those big, bad Roman Catholics) claim that Gregorian chant developed out of the chant used by the Jews at the time of Christ. Which means, in short, that Gregorian chant is the closest thing we have to the music that God himself might have sung during his time on earth. And you call it "an abomination in the sight of God?" I'm sorry, I must have missed the chapter where Jesus showed his righteous anger towards the people who were singing in the Temple.

Incidentally, please get your terminology straight. Chant is not, in itself, a ritual. At least, not the kind of chant that appeared on the CD you dislike you much. That kind of chant is music for a ritual. "Muslims" is not a religion--the religion of the Muslim people is Islam. And some Buddhists might take offense at you saying that they worship a different God from the one you worship; not all forms of Buddhism acknowledge a divinity. You have a problem with Roman Catholicism claiming to be the one, true Church? You yourself think that other religions are false, and if other religions are false, then logically you must believe the one you adhere to to be true. What's your problem?

Ok, I'm done now. I'll pray for the people who run that disturbing site.

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