Posts tagged ‘Mumford And Sons’

Why I Am Not Pro-Life

“If only my enemy were bigger than my apathy, I could have won”.

~Mumford and Sons

So I had a strange conversation with my toilet the other day.  I was cleaning the bathroom and finishing by wiping down the small strip of tile behind the toilet.  How it gets dirty back there is beyond me.  There I was, bent over and armed with a paper towel and some generic cleaner when all of a sudden my toilet whispers in my ear.

“I am the King of Spain”.

I stop cleaning and suppress an incredulous look as to spare the toilet’s feelings (he’s a little sensitive).  Politely, I say, “Toilet, clearly you are not the King of Spain”.

“Oh yes I am,” ensured the toilet, “now BOW to your King!”

Now, I’ve had some fairly deep conversations with my toilet and I know he’s not completely devoid of logical reasoning, so either he was just joking or he truly flipped his lid – pun intended.  “What makes you think you are the King of Spain?” I inquired.

“Because I am,” the toilet said, flatly.

“But you’re not”.

“Oh yes I am!” repeated the toilet.

By this time I’m getting a little frustrated and decided that I wasn’t going to let the toilet win this debate.  “Listen toilet, you seem to have flushed all your logic down the drain (again, pun intended).  You are not royalty, you’re not Spanish, heck, you’re not even human!  You are made of porcelain and pixie-dust and the greatest thing you will ever achieve in life is not the ruling of a country, but assisting in the potty training of my two-year old son.

“No YOU listen, peasant!  All those things don’t matter.  I am the King of Spain simply because I say I am.  Now BOW TO YOUR KING!”

((End Scene))

I’m being intentionally weird for a reason.  I’m about to throw a seriously heavy topic at you so I thought I’d soften it with a little strange levity.  And I promise I have a point.  The point is that one cannot be something by simply claiming it to be so.  There has to be some sort of action involved.  Even if toilets could talk and think, it would be absolutely ludicrous for one to believe that it is the King of Spain simply by believing that it is.

Just about as ludicrous as me believing I’m Pro-Life by simply saying that I am.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really wish I could call myself Pro-Life, but I can’t.  And this bothers me, but not enough to actually do something about it.

I guess it would be appropriate at this time to give my definition of Pro-Life.  To me, the label “Pro-Life” has nothing to do with one’s belief regarding abortion.  Sure, I’m against abortion, but that doesn’t make me Pro-Life, it makes me opinionated.  I feel to put the Pro-Life label on someone who doesn’t believe in abortion without any other qualifications is an absurd gesture.  By this logic, the murderer who blows up the clinic and kills numerous doctors and nurses is Pro-Life – and that’s just not right.  The term “Pro-Life” deserves much more than that.

To me, being Pro-Life means that you actually care enough about the lives of others and their suffering to actually DO something about it.  Being Pro-Life isn’t about blindly giving to a charity with paltry funds earned in excess; it’s about investing, really investing in the lives of the less fortunate without qualification and with potential self-sacrifices.  And it’s not all about money.  It’s about releasing oneself; one’s time and convenience and tears and skills and mental stability to those whom God loves just as equally.

And I really want to be Pro-Life.

Now, I want to make it clear that I believe it is a vastly foolish thing to impoverish oneself in order to fight things like poverty.  A fireman does not intentionally set himself on fire to do his job, although it might happen accidentally.  Unless God tells me otherwise, I honestly don’t feel convicted by spending some money to drink soda and keep my apartment warm in the winter.  But I want to do at least something – SOMETHING to make this world a better place.  I want to get to the point where I can see a needy friend and realize that paying for his electric bill one month is far more important than me playing a new video game one month.

So here is my current status: I’m bothered.  I’m bothered by the fact that there are urban schools in my own city where black kids get the crappiest of education.  I’m upset that large regions of Africa are places of literal hell on earth.  I get oh-so-slightly emotional when I read news articles about disasters that obliterate people’s well being en masse.  I get stressed out when I think about epidemics like war and hunger and AIDS and racism and child prostitution.

But not enough to do something about it – and that bothers me.

It’s a sad condition I am in, to care enough to be uncomfortable but not enough to act  – but still enough to feel a good dose of self-loathing.  So maybe I’ll start an AA group, Apathetics Anonymous.  And maybe I’ll find miserable like-minded people; and the misery of our collective company will grow and rise to face the giant of our apathy…and we’ll act.  Perhaps our combined efforts won’t soothe the suffering of the masses, but maybe one mouth will get fed, one child will be loved, one widow will be comforted and one lonely prison inmate will feel like a human again – and that would be enough for the time.

And maybe we could eventually say, “Why yes, I AM Pro-Life”.  And say it with an honest smile.

Now, that would be a beautiful thing.

Four Finger Inspirations II: Mumford And Sons “Sigh No More”

One of my relentless missions in life is to find Jesus in modern culture.  I’m not talking about Christian pop culture like Christian music, books, media, etc.  These things are all well and good but will, unfortunately, never impact many people who simply don’t like this particular culture’s style.

I, too, have become increasingly dissatisfied with much of the modern Christian music and media out there.  Again, not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just rarely ever invokes any of my emotional triggers.  I wish it did.  I sometimes wish I could turn on and enjoy the local Christian music station because it would be a lot easier than dealing with the genetic makeup that is me, a picky tortured artist.

So whenever I find something that inspires me in incredible ways, of course I’m going to slap it up on this website.  I encourage you to click the link above, if you’ve not already done so.  And hey, if it’s not your cup of tea or doesn’t give you any tinglies, sorry about that.  Maybe next time.

A big thanks to my buddy Jordan for turning me on to this band.  Jordan is my music pimp.  He is crazier about music than I am and every time he finds a band he knows I’ll like, he tells me about them.  A lot my favorite music is because of him so I believe that everyone in life needs a music pimp.  You just can’t have Jordan.  Go find your own.

What you just heard is a song called “Sigh No More” by the band Mumford And Sons.  I’ve listened to this song about 15 times already today because they pretty much sum up the manifesto of my life in two lines.

“Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free. Be more like the man you were made to be. There is a design, an alignment, a cry of my heart to see, the beauty of love as it was made to be.”

There is a design, an alignment, a cry of my heart to see, the beauty of love as it was made to be.  Holy crap.  Not many people write like this anymore.

As a Christian, I’m convinced that this intended love, this perfect and beautiful thing is Jesus Christ’s love.  There is simply no other religion or philosophy that has ever shared the same radical and intense ethos of love as Jesus.  He set the standard.  And I believe that this sometimes even scandalous love can be the hardest thing for us humans to ascribe to one another. It is truly a weighty mission to fully understand and give this love, especially to people whom we think do not deserve it.

I love this song because, although is has many religious overtones, it connects with a broad group of people.  I’ve read many comments online from non-religious people and atheists defending the message of this song.  One person wrote, “I’m personally not a fan of preaching but if religion can produce music this beautiful among all the other things it has done in the past…”

Even non-Christians still understand the deep need for this perfect love.

What’s ironic is Mumford And Sons is not a Christian band, and I have no evidence that they claim to be Christians, although most of their songs are riddled with Christian themes.  And a few F-bombs here and there as well.  They once stated in an interview, “We’re not a Christian rock band as such, the album deals with dilemmas every man deals with in life as do we. Faith is just one thing we’ve gone with. It’s one subject that can’t be ignored and we’ve tried to deal with it.”

Faith can’t be ignored.

So although these guys will never make the cover of Christianity today, they are ministering.  It goes to show that all good things can be used for God’s purposes.

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