Sunday, June 24, 2007

Scared Faithless

Tonight the Ugly Swan and I caught the bus down to the Seattle Center for a Seattle Men's Chorus concert called "Scared Faithless." It was a beautiful show centered around the theme of (can you guess?) religion and homosexuality. About half the music was psalms, hymns, and gospel music like Randall Thompson's "Alleluia," "God Help the Outcasts" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Y.M. Barnwell's "Would You Harbor Me?"; while the other half was more political, often satirical songs like "The Fundamental" (in which listeners are encouraged to get up, grab their Bibles, and "do the Fundamental"), "A Hymn to Fred Phelps: God Hates Fags" (in which Mrs. Phelps and a barbershop-style octet ponder whom among fags, dykes, Jews, and Mormons God wants them to hate most), and even a tribute to closeted LDS missionaries called "Sweet Mormon Boy." Woven into the songs were brief narratives from members of the chorus telling of their personal experiences with faith--or lack thereof, as represented by a man who prefers the terms "reasonable" or "rational" to "atheist" or "agnostic" as labels to describe himself. Despite the fun poked at fundamentalism and religion in general, the concert really was not an attack on faith but rather a celebration of faith in all its forms; one of my favorite songs was one in which the lead singer proudly proclaims that he cannot remain in the closet, that God has made him this way and he can no longer deny that he is unchangeably... Catholic.

8 comments:

Sir Jupiter said...

I got invited by two different people and then sprained my ankle.

I guess God didn't want me to go.

TK said...

Re: one of your favorite songs - Is that b/c you identify with him - only a different religion? :)

I meant that somewhat in jest, but at the same time, I find it interesting that (it seems to me) many LDS gays leave not b/c they don't agree w/the religion, but simply the policy toward gay marriage / gay relationships.

No mixed agenda in my comment - I just really wonder about that, or is my observation incorrect?

Mr. Fob said...

You're right, TK, that a lot of LDS gays leave the church because of the gay issue and not because they no longer believe in the church. However, I'm not one of them--that's largely why I stopped attending church, but not the only reason I stopped believing, which happened a couple years such policies would have any personal impact on me. I liked the song, I think, because it was funny and because it acknowledged that other things can be as intrinsic and important to one's identity as sexuality, which is often not recognized in contexts like this.

Edgy said...

The Catholic song of which you speak is, I believe "Epiphany." It's from the off-broadway show Altar Boyz, which is probably the best offering on off-Broadway currently. I wonder when it'll actually hit the Great White Way.

Mr. Fob said...

Yup, that's the song.

TK said...

Thanks for your reply, MF. That answered a couple of my questions.

Melyngoch said...

I just want to know how to do the Fundamental. Do you need special ankle-length clothes if you're Mormon?

Sir Jupiter said...

"Do the fundamental"?

What's that? Some form of the hokey pokey?