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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spirituality in Country Music


“Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell.  Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”  Unknown

The concept of spirituality pertains to personal growth and the ability to better one’s self.  Contrary to The Bible, the mass of spirituality to be found in country music is staggering.   The Bible primary settles upon Jewish folklore and history.  Moreover, other than the trite aphorisms that can be found in psalms and proverbs, The Bible is lacking any discourse for personal growth.  Moreover, what can be found in psalms and proverbs is lacking in terms of deep, thought provoking material.  The abundance of writing in The Bible does not touch on subjects neither compelling nor a basis for any sort of spirituality.  The spirituality that can be found in pop culture, and specifically in country music for the sake of this essay, is far more plentiful.  The copious amount of thought-provoking material that can be found in country music stimulates personal reflection which can lead to personal growth.

Through a basic, rudimentary reading of The Bible the most striking introductory finding is that the book, which is the center of the religions of western culture, lacks any real invocation of personal reflection.  The first few sections of The Bible center on Jewish history and folklore.  A literary source such as The Bible would be thought to stimulate emotions of peace and to serve as a model by which its readers should lead their life.  Rather than serving this purpose, The Bible simply is a collection of stories embellished from Jewish history.

Psalms and proverbs, as the name would indicate, should therefore serve as a guideline by which to live your life.  However, even these two sections of The Bible are lacking in that respect.  The psalms and proverbs do little in explaining or giving a blueprint on how to lead your life.  Rather, they are generally trite sayings and antidotes reflected without merit upon their own substance without any reflection or attachment to the concept of spirituality or living a fuller life.

The New testament of The Bible is the adjunct from the old testament of The Bible.  The New Testament is simply an explication of the death and resurrection of Jesus without a complex analysis or rundown of the life of Jesus which is commonly believed to be inspirational.  Throughout the New Testament as well as the Old Testament and the psalms and proverbs, the axioms that were said to be preached by Jesus do not appear.  The adage, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” as well as others that are said to be contained in The Bible are not.  The Bible itself is lacking as a source for spiritual growth.

Country music, rather, as well as segments of other pop culture, should be viewed as sources for personal growth. 

Lyrics that can be found in country music, such as the lyrics, “I went sky diving.  I went rocky mountain climbing … I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying”  that can be found in a popular song by Tim McGraw aid in personal growth and spiritual growth far better than do the pages of The Bible. 

The lyrics, rather self-explanatory, state that the feelings associated with living ones’ life to the fullest regardless of where you stand in life aid in the sort of spiritual growth that can make possible the creation of one’s self the person they always wanted to be.  

Moreover, the song buy Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers speaks of a loving God who always has everybody’s best interest in mind.  The lyric, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers, remember when you’re talking to the man upstairs, and just because he don’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t’ care.  Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” 

When listening to country music there are countless other examples that invoke the same sort of spirituality.

The concept of spirituality in The Bible does not hold true to the ideals that those who preach The Bible espouse.  Although it serves as a symbol for all that is good in mankind, it's shallow pages leave much that is lacking.  The concept of spirituality is almost untouched within the pages of The Bible.  While the lyrics of country music cannot be said to be divinely inspired in terms of the history of the Christian religion, they can be said to be in the tradition of what is the best of mankind. 

To sum up the song by George Strait, Love without End Amen, best reflects on the goodness of God and the goodness of mankind.  The lyric, “Let me tell you a secret about a Father’s love.  A secret that my daddy said was just between us.  Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then; it’s a love without end Amen”.  These lyrics serve as a striking example of a pursuit of personal growth and intriguing thoughts that can be found in country music.
Although I do not particularly believe in The Bible or established religion, it should be said that I believe in God.  I don’t believe in God because what preachers say, or what religion says, or out of faith.  I believe in God because of all that is good in mankind.  To borrow another adage from pop culture, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”  Similarly as long as hope, faith, and love exist the merits of a loving God must be recognized.