Cardinal condemns pop devil music
FROM RICHARD OWEN
ONE of the Roman Catholic world's most powerful figures
has branded rock music an "instrument of the Devil" and
urged young people not to listen to it for fear of
endangering their souls.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the modern successor
to the Inquisition, said there were "diabolical and
satanic messages" in much of today's heavy metal music.
But he also warned the young against the "subliminal"
satanic influence to be found in songs by such groups
as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen,
Led Zeppelin and the Eagles.
Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregration for
the Doctrine of the Faith, is considered the highest
moral authority in the Vatican after the Pope, at whose
side he has been for almost all of the latter's 18-year
reign. His stern admonishment and even excommunication
of dissident theologians has earned him a fearsome
Speaking yesterday at a Mass marking the feast of St
Cecilia, the patron saint of music, Cardinal Ratzinger
agreed that there were many good things in modern pop
music, but added that there was also a great deal that
"endangers the human soul". He urged heavy metal bands
in particular to "purify themselves".
Vatican officials identified some of the "worst
offenders" as Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and AC/DC,
whose initials they claimed referred not to alternating
current or even bisexuality, but to the satanic phrase
"Anti-Christ, Death to Christ".
Wondering what all these "loving" and "tolerant" would be saying if the
above was said by a muslim religious figure?
On the sideline, it's good to know that the Inquisition, some liar is trying
to pass as a "spanish" phenomenon, is still alive and well, albeit in a
modern form to suit the latest fashion of course. God, what would these "loving"
and "tolerant" people would do if they ever manage to govern again...!
===I actually happen to agree with the Cardinal..... It depends on the
music.... For example there is certain music that degrades women such as
"All the women say Ho, Ho...." That is a popular tune... Ho, unbeknownst
to some, means whore.... Now, some music is fine, but he did not call an
all right ban on Music..... I know in Islam music no matter what it is
supposed to be something Mohammed PBUH did not like at least that is what
I heard when I lived in the ME and I did read in the National Geographic
in article about Syria where a boy from Hamah who loved his violin had it
broken by his relative who was extreme and said music is a sin.....Among
Jews and Christians people are told to sing to the Lord... Music is not a
sin...... I know that the Syrian boy was very sad his instrument was
broken and he bought another one and hid it in another house and his
relative found out and he wanted to lecture him about it..... To me that
sounds wierd...... Let us take religion out of this for a second, if you
will, and tell me if how positive is 2Live Crew to society, how about
songs that say women are sex objects, teach people that crime is cool
etc.... We need to give our children healthy minds and keep them away
from this kind of music no matter what our beliefs are, but music is
important for their lives and be very constructive...... No one has
really been adversely affected by Classical Music from what I have heard
in my life..... Anyway, i don't think any Sheikh Ballouz would disagree
with the Cardinal, but the Cardinal would disagree with people who want
to ban music all together.. I mean seriously I like Ragheb Alameh, Tony
Kiwan, George Wassouf, Abdul Wahab etc... And they do not produce
> On the sideline, it's good to know that the Inquisition, some liar is trying
> to pass as a "spanish" phenomenon, is still alive and well, albeit in a
> modern form to suit the latest fashion of course. God, what would these "loving"
> and "tolerant" people would do if they ever manage to govern again...!
=======================Will you take an advil..... No one would say
anything if Elie Ghalib was not whipped... Leave guys like Elie Ghalib
alone... Anyway, a fellow SCLer emailed the story to me because he was
converned about the issue and I guess he wanted me to speak about this
issue..... This is about human rights... Amnesty international condemned
this act.....And some Amnesty International Members are not Christians
and most probably contain Athiest, Jewish, Moslem and you are going to
tell me Amnesty International is pursuing an Inquisition... I am glad in
France they do not think like you and they let that Moslem girls wear
Hijab...... Unfortunately minorities know no such respect in arabic
countries not that they respect each other .....We are all one human race
and we better act like it... Gemal Abdel Nasser that some admire as a
hero wanted to do away with these laws... Do you know that Abdel Nasser
had some attempts on his life..... Who killed Sadat?
Boy am I glad he didn't speak out against Omm Kalthoum... I would have
been really pissed.
I am so glad you brought this story up. I think that it is a given that
religious figurues will speak out against what they see as a tearing away
at social fabric. That does not mean that they are right, but they still
have the freedom to speak their minds. I go to church every week, but I
cannot live without my Soundgarden and Pearl Jam (Omm Kalthoum, too.)
That is what I call freedom to choose what is right for you. That happens
to be one of the most basic and fundamental of human rights. Luckily for
us, living in the western world, we enjoy that right. At one time, Lebanon
enjoyed those rights, too. But, I guess, maybe we couldn't handle so much
> On the sideline, it's good to know that the Inquisition, some liar is
> to pass as a "spanish" phenomenon, is still alive and well, albeit in a
> modern form to suit the latest fashion of course. God, what would these
> and "tolerant" people would do if they ever manage to govern again...!
Well, the Xtian religion went through it's 'middle ages', and the people
who had perpetrated those crimes were defenitely not going by Xtian
teachings. You will always find closed minded people, and usually they
will spring from all religions. Religious poeple who try to force their
ideas on others through intimidation and violence, do not understand the
idea behind faith. They are usually insecure about their faith, because
they always view the other religions as a threat. The other religions are
viewed as a threat, because they may be more appealing.
But answer this, how do you equate what the Cardinal was saying to issuing
a death threat against a Salman Rushdie, or whipping the heck out of an
innocent Xtian for falling in love with a Muslim woman? How do explain a
young Jordanian man living for fear of his life (from his own family,
nontheless) in a monastary because he chose to believe in Jesus Christ?
How do you equate the Cardinal's words with what has been happening in
Bosnia (I know, a bunch of Xtians are responsible for that one) or Sudan.
I hope for everyone's sake the Muslim religion will learn from the 'Xtian'
"spanish" phonomenon and not repeat it... The vast majority of the Muslims
I know, have a responsible view on human rights, as well as separation of
religion and state. I am glad to say the Hazem's and Salah's are but a
sorry minority of "two dimentional" internet characters. That kind of
character can only harm the Muslim religion. The Zahr's are the hope of
A few days ago Kal Masri put out a list that poked fun at the persona of
Jesus Crist (which I thought was pretty funny.) Fact is, the "loving" and
"tolerant" were truly loving and tolerant. If the "loving" and "tolerant"
speak out against acts against humanity, done in the name of religion, it
is only to make this world a better place.
As for your faith in your religion's teachings, it is up to you to keep it
strong. Allowing others to openly challange its ideas, will only prove
your religion and faith stronger. Back in 1918, the turks led a mass of
Xtians to the river side and asked them to convert or face death, we know
the rest of the story...
Your mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open!
>Yes, religious people have the right to say whatever they like.
>However and although I'm not qualified to judge, I think you should
>your posiion vis-a-vis the religion.
>First, all religions have some rules that are meant to regulate your
>spiritual being. A part of that is to 'adjust' your wishes. To tailor
> a religion according to your wishes (accepting prayers, but refusing
>other things like their views on music) contradicts the teaching :)
>Secondly, religions (the major ones at least) see themselves as valid
>alternatives to existing systems (including Democracy). To say: 'thank
>God, I live in a democracy and I'm able to do as I wish' contradicts
>the religious teaching. Religions want you to accept them, not some parts
>them you picked under the guise of freedom of choice afforded in
>Thirdly, yes religious people make mistakes. For them, a mistake can be
>corrected (by other religious rules and judgements) but they wouldn't
>accept Democracy just to ensure a proper mechanism to coorect any
First of all, I hate AOL 3.0......
Second, you are correct, religious organization have a duty to reach into
our lives. That can be good, but that can be bad, too. My criticism of
religion spans the spectrum, and is not intended against any person, and I
apologize to anyone I may have offended.
You know, the Nazis ( and I am not equating any religion with Nazism, but
just trying to prove a point) can come up with a hundred reasons as to why
facism was good and helpful to the Germans. Politics, like religion, stems
from ideas that are put down on paper by man. God may have said the words,
but by the time they reach you and me, they have been transcribed and
printed by a mere mortal. The bottom line, as put forth in the Nazi
trials, we are responsible for our own actions as human beings.
Personally, I command a lot of respect for Muslims, and that stems from my
respect for my Muslim friends, my country, the Middle East and humanity in
general. I totally refuse the notion behind the 'chosen peole' syndrome
that afflicts most religions of the world. I would much rather be free to
select my religion than to be forced by some decree to adopt it. I am sure
that is the case with you, as well. You wouldn't want to abandon your
religion because someone else sees your religion as a threat. But, we
cannot say the same for many people who have suffered because of religious
choices (whether they were Muslims, Christians, Jews, athiests, etc...) I
am sure you have heard of the Jewish tribe that superfucially practiced
Catholicism in Portugal, for centuries, to avoid persecution. There is
something about people's faith that makes it very personal, no??? Maybe,
we should show a little respect for their wishes, no???
I do not, and will not question God's will, but I will always question my
own. This is the process that, I hope, will make me a better human being.
I was given a brain by God, to make my decisions, and no bearded or robed
man will brainwash me otherwise. If that is something I have to deal with
later, then so be it. I will answer to God, and not to the bearded or
>>But answer this, how do you equate what the Cardinal was saying to
>>a death threat against a Salman Rushdie, or whipping the heck out of an
>>innocent Xtian for falling in love with a Muslim woman? How do explain a
>>young Jordanian man living for fear of his life (from his own family,
>>nontheless) in a monastary because he chose to believe in Jesus Christ?
>>How do you equate the Cardinal's words with what has been happening in
>>Bosnia (I know, a bunch of Xtians are responsible for that one) or
>>I hope for everyone's sake the Muslim religion will learn from the
>>"spanish" phonomenon and not repeat it...
>You forget to insert 'please' in the beginning of the question, didn't
Excuse me, please :)
>First of all, I didn't equate what the cardinal said with other things
>like the fatwa,..and the rest of the examples.
>However and leaving aside my own opinion on the fatwa against Rushdie,
>I myself see parallels between what the cardinal said and the examples
>For example, in the case of the fatwa, Khomeini described Rushdie's book
>as evil, not very different from what the cardinal said about the
>musicians. Khomeini however went on to give a religious determination
>(according to his religious school), but the cardinal didn't give the
>determination according to his school.
In case you missed my point, I don't wholehartedly agree with the
Cardinal. He is known as a hard liner, but don't most religions carry
those, like dragging a heavy piece of luggage around a congested Beirut
Airport? There are irresponsible acts done by the media, but it is up to
us to descern the right from the wrong.
>However, if you ask how the Church deals with the like
>of those attacked by the cadinal, I wouldn't be surprised if death was
>answer. In the past, far less serious charge merited death as you well
>The same goes for whipping and the apostate. the Church in
>the past have prescribed severe punishment (including death) for those
>who marry outside their religions, and for apostates. The fact that
>the Church is the not the governing authority as it used to be before,
>and thus they don't have to spell out what they would do if they are
>confronted with mixed marriage issues and in the case of apostates,
>the fact they are in this position doesn't mean that they have
>changed their ways.
>I'm aware of the fact that the church has renounced many of its previous
>acts (Galileo and Darwin and in fact, they might soon reconsider the case
>of a person they burnt sometime ago: his name was Giordano Bruno
>who was burnt on the orders of the Inquisition in February 1600 for
>heresy). However, many suspect that these reconsiderations are done
>in order to polish the image of the church. They suspect that the Church
>might behave better if it regains the power and governs, but we have no
>means of telling. But we do know for sure that when they gverned in the
>past, they killed, burnt, etc etc. The Church is asking to take its word
>that they are better now. I'm asking you to look at Islam and see that
>the rules are there and see how the two cases differ. The Church is
>a promise, I'm giving binding assurances that don't change according to
>circumstances of moment.
You are correct! IMHO, the Church has been very misguided in the past, and
probably will be in the future. You still have hardline so called
Christians who bomb abortion clinics. Those actions do not, in any shape
or form, reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ. But, I am very happy to
note that the Church (that I know) no longer has the power to kill,
prosecute people or call for Crusades.
I think, for those reasons, the Church is now a much better place to be.
I was hoping the Muslim religion would not repeat those gastly mistakes,
previously done by both religions. I am sure, as much as you care about
your religion, you wouldn't want that to happen either.
>I didn't read the post, but let me tell you that poking fun at the
>of Jesus in Islam is an extremely serious matter. In fact, had Salman
>written the book about Jesus, the book would have been banned and
>the author would have been charged according to Islam.
I apologize for offended you. Again, IMHO, if Salman Rushdie wants to
write a book about Jesus, it his his opinion, and he will have to answer
to his God (if he has one.) It is not my position to punish him, but I
will always fight for his right, as well as yours, to speak your mind.
>Welcome to any challenge. But there's a great deal of difference between
>an honest challenge and derogatory remarks dressed as criticism.
>Around 1/4 of the Earth population are muslims. I would have thought
>that this fact at least, should prompt the challenge to be set with a
>minimum degree of respect, rather than this arrogance and impudence we
So, the majority of Eurpoeans are Christians. Does that mean they all
agree with the Cardinal?
Habibi Ibrahim, I grew up in Lebanon, and I live in Montreal for 8 years.
I get along with Muslims just as well as Christians. I can disagree with
Muslims as much as I can disagree with Christians. Assholes, are a fact
for people of all religious sects, and unfortunately, some are
hemorrhoids. I would hate to think that we are going to be divided or
ridiculed over the differences in our ideology. The fact that you are
somewhat tolerant of my ideas is a good sign. I hope you would carry that
mentality back with you should you return to our homeland.
>>Your mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open!
>My mind is open but unlike the parachute, its function doesn't depend
>on the available "current in the air".
The parachute is a device that you must depend on to save your life in
certain situations. With all due respect, but parachutes do not depent on
the current in the air to work. Nor do they depend on the person's
religious or political affiliation. They just need existance of atmosphere
and some 'hummus' in your stomach to weigh you down (or even better, in MY
stomach, but that won't weigh YOU down.) If you are tumbling in the air at
5,000 feet ( no, I am not corageous enough to jump from an airplane,) a
parachute must be open to save your life. Sure, if the air current is
strong, you may drift away and miss your drop zone, but then again, you
might get to visit a place that you had never though of visiting! Maybe,
this place will change your perspective on life. Isn't that what education
is all about???
The Arabs built one of the richest and greatest empires by "opening their
parachutes", and accepting ideas from all over. I don't think we have had
them very open lately, and boy, have we been spiralling down.
[ ... ]
I have deleted most of the post. In some points, I completely agree with
you. In other points, you formed opinions that differ quite a bit from
the conventional views. It's clear however that your intentions are good.
>>>Your mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open!
>>My mind is open but unlike the parachute, its function doesn't depend
>>on the available "current in the air".
>The parachute is a device that you must depend on to save your life in
>certain situations. With all due respect, but parachutes do not depent on
>the current in the air to work. Nor do they depend on the person's
>religious or political affiliation. They just need existance of atmosphere
>and some 'hummus' in your stomach to weigh you down (or even better, in MY
>stomach, but that won't weigh YOU down.) If you are tumbling in the air at
>5,000 feet ( no, I am not corageous enough to jump from an airplane,) a
>parachute must be open to save your life. Sure, if the air current is
>strong, you may drift away and miss your drop zone, but then again, you
>might get to visit a place that you had never though of visiting! Maybe,
>this place will change your perspective on life. Isn't that what education
>is all about???
I agree that many discoveries and many educating experiences were/are made
by pure chance. However, in some conditions, your may not be allowed to jump, in
occasions you miss the drop zone, and in other occasions, you might end up
hanging from a tree. All that assuming that the others didn't see you in your
descend. Once your path is known, your cover is blown, and your capabilities
are exposed. The parachute is one of the clues that might give away, and others
can discover your tricks. Furthermore, some circumstances
render your parachute completely useless: cities, seas and forests are not the
places that can be discovered by parachutes.
Worst of all however, the parachute is for the fittest. Paratroopers are the
fittest in every army. As such, they are not the tool for the privileged,
while the whole purpose of education is to bring the ordinary and the less
privileged into a higher level.
Sorry no. I prefer the mind that doesn't depend on outside suitable consitions,
a mind that is able to access all things, and I prefer all to have minds, so a
proper communication can take place.
>The Arabs built one of the richest and greatest empires by "opening their
>parachutes", and accepting ideas from all over. I don't think we have had
>them very open lately, and boy, have we been spiralling down.
Arabs jumped in an uncertian air believing that their parachutes will save them,
they are caught in the storm and it's playing with them now.
Sometimes they move to the left, sometimes to the right, sometimes on top of
each other :) ...
The route they took before is still there, although brough due to neglect.
Once they decide to follow the route, not only will they go forward, but they
will also have the chance to meet others and interact with them.
"Inna ja3alnakum shou3ouban wa qaba-ela li-ta3arafou" as the verse goes (if I
got it right).