‘Music’ Category Archives

15
Jun

TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL “THE BOOK OF MORMON”: Insightful, stupid, blasphemous — or what?

by Arnold Jago in Entertainment, Faith, God, Media, Music, Truth

Since 1949, “Tony” awards have been given annually for musicals judged the best of the year.

Some famous winners include “Sound of Music” (1960), “Man of La Mancha” (1966) and “Phantom of the Opera” (1988). Some others have been pretty forgettable.

This year’s top award-winner is a musical called “The Book of Mormon”.

Its theme is mockery of organised religion.

Blended, however, with a dash of feel-good tolerance and empathy for the heroes — a couple of muddled would-be Mormon missionaries . . . .

The story’s take-home message is that religion can do good — so long as we disregard whether it is true . . . .

Questions of God, eternity — and any purpose to life beyond worldly ones — are to be strenuously ignored.

This musical thus throws religious believers a bone — in the hope that they will accept the mockery in good spirit — and in the process compromise their faith . . . .

* * *

Media reviews have varied from it being the “funniest musical ever” to being merely “slick and smutty”.

Spokespersons for the Mormons themselves have tried to play it cool and not over-react.

One official response was, “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of Scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”

From a Christian point of view, the musical may or may not be blasphemous — depending how seriously one takes it — but the Mormon Church’s response is definitely blasphemous.

* * *

Christian teaching is so incompatible with Mormon teaching that one must reply that reading the Book of Mormon can only lead people AWAY from Christ.

The founder of the Mormon religion (Joseph Smith) taught about a “plurality of gods”. He claimed that God was not always God, but became God.

Smith claimed that he himself would become God: “When I get to my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father . . . and I will take his place, and therefore become exalted myself”.

World headquarters. Mormon temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

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9
Apr

FUNERALS: Are they the place for pop music, eulogies and slide shows?

by Arnold Jago in Death, God, Lifestyle, Modern Church, Music, Prayer

Several months ago, the priests of Australia’s Sale diocese asked their bishop, Bishop Prowse, to give them some guidelines regarding Catholic funerals.

He did.

The guidelines include recommending that non-religious  music, power-point presentations and eulogies of praise for the deceased are not appropriate.

When asked whether these rules might drive some away from a church funeral — preferring to go somewhere where they can make up their own program with pop music etc., the bishop said, “I hope not . . . .”

He added, “We are there to pray. It’s a Catholic church . . . .”

* * *

This constitutes a bit of a crossroads for the Church.

We must ask ourselves, what is the Church for?

Is its role to comfort everybody . . . making us feel that our current attitudes and tastes are all that God wants for us . . . ?

Or must we face the fact that funerals – like everything else in life – should be done in such a way as to show God that we love him and want to offer him respect.

It’s a matter of putting first things first.

The first thing God wants from us is that we offer him prayers for the soul of the person who has died.

After that, by all means hold a wake at somebody’s house or a hall somewhere and reminisce, joke, play secular music, look at photos etc.

All of that can be very good. But it comes second.

* * *

To be honest, none of us can be certain that we are good enough to face the judgment of God trusting in our own merits.

The Church reminds us that we need each others’ prayers at the hour of death.

God is no rubber stamp, consigning everybody to heaven — regardless of whether they obeyed him in this life or not.

For some non-Catholic “churches”, a funeral may be primarily a time for “celebrating” a person’s life.

But for Catholics, the prayers of intercession for the dead are the central focus.

Bishop Christopher Prowse. Defender of funerals being a more or less traditional Catholic Requiem Mass.

6
Apr

AN EVENING OF MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT FOR MODERN YOUNG PEOPLE: What are we trying to turn them into?

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Entertainment, God, Music, Youth

Forever Young Festival 2011”, aimed at 13 to 17-year olds, will be held in a warehouse at Docklands, Melbourne, in the April school holidays.

The night before Good Friday, to be exact.

Holy Thursday night is a holy time for people who respect Jesus Christ.

The night Christ spent hours in the Garden of Olives praying — preparing himself for death by crucifixion the next day.

Mock that occasion and you mock God.

* * *

The festival stars entertainers including Wynter Gordon.

Gordon’s current song “Dirty Talk” is on the Festival’s website.

The lyrics include uplifting thoughts:

“I want to do some dirty things to you tonight, I want to fight all through the night, night, night”, and “love machine, by myself, climax, hot wax/S&M on the floor/ I like it hard core . . . .”   

Or something like that.

If the teenagers considering attending this get-together were familiar with the Bible, they’d know the words of Saint Paul in the New Testament:

“Dear friends . . . let your minds be filled with whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is upright and pure, whatever is lovely and admirable, whatever is good and praiseworthy, think about these things . . . .”

* * *

Is the entertainment provided by W Gordon likely to be true, honourable and pure?

A Family Council of Victoria spokesman describes the event as “totally inappropriate”. He says, “I blame parents because too many parents have insufficient control of their children these days,”

However the man from the Australian Drug Foundation says it appears to be a “positive, well-run event that kids will enjoy.” 

Parents have a lot going against them, however much they try to control their children.

This festival is advertised on Facebook and sponsored by a fashion clothing chain.

Facebook: a purpose-designed means to undermine and bypass parents.

And the clown paid to save our young from drugs?  He doesn’t care what kind of soft porn or whatever the small fry are exposed to.

Geoff Munro. Head of the Australian Drug Foundation.

17
Feb

MENTAL ILLNESS IN YOUNG AUSTRALIANS: More “Early Intervention”? What about prevention? What about marijuana?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Health, Lifestyle, Music, Youth

Some experts say that most mental illness is present by the time the sufferer turns 25.

Including Australian government mental health advisor, Professor Patrick McGorry.

He wants funding for psychiatric “early intervention” units for the young, separate from older mental health patients.

He may be right.

If cure rates are improved by such services, as he claims — and if they save money – let’s try them.

* * *

Little is said, however, about PREVENTING mental illness.

Some psychosis may have a genetic basis.

In many, however, there are factors that should have been preventable.

* * *

Recent research confirms that links between marijuana and mental illness are “stronger and clearer than ever”.

Marijuana smokers are 40 percent more likely to develop schizophrenia. For habitual daily users, it’s more like 200 percent higher.

About 14 percent of Australia’s cases of psychosis wouldn’t have occurred had the patient not used marijuana.

20 percent of heavy users start before turning 12. They are the ones at greatest risk.

Persons supplying marijuana to youngsters should be ruthlessly punished.

* * *

Another factor linked to psychiatric disease is abortion.

Research in New Zealand by Professor David Fergusson has found women having abortions 40 percent more prone to subsequent mental illness.

Yet in NZ, 98 percent of abortions are done on “mental health grounds”.

Do women carrying an unintended pregnancy through to delivery really risk more “mental health” problems – preventable by abortion?

No, the opposite is the case.

Yet politicians – notably the Greens and the Australian “Labor” Party – always seek  to make abortions easier to get

Where abortion is concerned, our society seems to have gone mad as well as bad.

* * *

Those in real-life contact with psychotic people tell how most of them have been dabbling in the occult.

Today’s children regularly expose themselves to occult-saturated video games, song lyrics etc.

If they pick up mum’s ladies mag, they’ll find more of the same – psychics, witches, reiki fans etc.

Professor Patrick McGorry. Wants more money for more psychiatric units for young people

13
Aug

THE FIRST CHRISTIAN PRAYER: The Hail Mary

by Arnold Jago in Jesus, Music, Prayer

The Christian era of history started at the moment of the conception of Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells how the angel visited the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce to her what was happening (the Annunciation).

Gospel of Saint Luke, chapter 1:

“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.”

That greeting of the angel has been used  ever since — and  is still used all the time, by Christians, as a prayer, the wording of which is usually as follows:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen”

Many today still recite the prayer in Latin, as has been done traditionally for 21 centuries.

“Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.”

The Latin “Hail Mary” has been set to music by many of the world’s greatest composers — some of the most beautiful words in the world, set to some of the most beautiful music in the world.

Listen to this. Follow the words in Latin as you listen.

Make the words your own prayer to Our Lord’s mother.

17
Jul

MORE BEAUTY: the Our Father

by Arnold Jago in Beauty, Music, Prayer

Beautiful words. Beautiful music. Beautiful icons. It all makes God seem very real.

It makes you want to be a better person.

If you pray this prayer sincerely, you will become a better person.

The change will be unmistakeable.

When the disciples of Jesus asked him, “Teach us how to pray,” these are the words he gave them.

Listen to them:

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

hallowed by Thy name.

Thy Kingdom come.

Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.”