Religion in TV, Movies, Books, etc.

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Furrowed Brow
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Post #1

Post by Furrowed Brow »

There are now many cover versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. This one is my favourite by a country mile. If you have not heard these guys sing before you are in for a treat. Nilsen, Holm, Lind and Fuentes Nilsen sings last and it gives me the shivers.

Is Hallelujah a religious song, or does it just use religious narrative for different purposes. Do people of faith find something in the song to support their faith or are they challenged by it? I think the song is dark and weary and not a call to faith, more the opposite. How do you respond to what is I think a brilliant piece of music.

Also: what is your favourite version of Hallelujah and which version is the worst?

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Re: Hallelujah

Post #21

Post by lamar1234 »

[Replying to pleepy]

Matthew 15:18
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

The only thing that comes out of the heart is blood. It's just a pump.

This song was written by Leonard Cohen. Lets look at who this guy is.

Cohen is Jewish, and he has drawn from Jewish religious and cultural imagery throughout his career.
Cohen is described as an observant Jew.

Mr. Cohen keeps the Sabbath even while on tour and performed for Israeli troops during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. So how does he square that faith with his continued practice of Zen? "Allen Ginsberg asked me the same question many years ago," he said. "Well, for one thing, in the tradition of Zen that I've practiced, there is no prayerful worship and there is no affirmation of a deity. So theologically there is no challenge to any Jewish belief."

Cohen has been involved with Buddhism since the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996; however, he still considers himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism.


This man is Anti Christ.

Leonard Cohen is the Anti-Christ? I'm simply terrified to ask, I actually suspect you know or will come up with one, but here goes, could you please identify where the Mark 666 is on Leonard Cohen? Should be on his head, no?

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Now lets actually read the song.

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?

So the Chord would of been the one that pleased King Saul.

How do you know this?

Let us say it was music for Jesus Chrst, Cohen then says but you do not care for it do ya.
That means you care not for pleasing Christ, that means you care not for Christ.

Please explain how you got ANYTHING other than Cohen telling someone that he believes whoever it is simply doesn't like music? Anything after that seems a pretty big stretch.

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

The King has to be Soul, baffled, praising the Lord. The Lord is not the God of confusion.

Why does the king have to be Saul? The ONLY name mentioned is David, not Saul. Please reconcile these to Biblical verses if you can:

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Thess 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof

Matthew 16:4King James Version (KJV)
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;

You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

This is talking on David and Samson. How women had power over them through lust.
Is this offering Teaching, correction or instruction, no. It is just some random events with a praise the Lord at the end.

Please show the difference between this sort of thing and, say, the Phelps' signs that follow the line "Thank God for IEDs" "Thank God for dead soldiers" "Thank God for Katrina" or "Thank God for 9/11" What's the problem with just taking on "Thank God at the end of pretty much ANY statement?

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

This sounds like someone is fornicating and the know they should not. THis is quite demeaning.

Read it again, then. There's NOTHING in the lines that can ONLY be describing fornication. Who is this demeaning to?

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

There is few ways you can look at this and it is sick.

I'm so sorry, my friend, but I'm having a hard time concluding anything other than you could find 'sickness' in a cupcake recipe or the ingredients off of an aspirin bottle. Are you sure, really sure you're interpreting these lyrics correctly?

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
So this is an unbeliever.

'Doubter' or 'skeptic' would be more accurate. You see, when someone says "Maybe" they're usually indicating that they don't actually already know the answer.

But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

This means to shoot someone who shot you.
This goes against what Jesus said, love your neighbour as yourself.

Why couldn't it be 'shots of love,' like Cupid's arrows?
Did you think, perhaps, that there is NO way to shoot at someone who outdrew you?
I don't know you, I don't think I've ever interacted with you before. This is just a wild guess and you don't have to be honest if you don't want to. You don't particularly 'owe' that to me.
You own at least one gun, don't you?
You've pondered this scenario, even if you do not in fact own a gun, I suspect: Someone you most likely would describe as 'anti-Christ,'
'Spawn of Satan,' or maybe just 'The Beast' gets his gun out before you do and plugs you. Your family is behind you as you begin to bleed out on the ground. The gunman starts to walk towards your family. Are you comfortable saying that with the last bit of strength you have, you WOULDN'T shoot this person/demon/minion of the morning star? You would lay down your gun and as you lost consciousness you'd tell the gunman "I love you!"

I'm sorry, my friend, I don't believe that.

It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light

It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

more demoralizing words.

So, a song attempting to capture any negative feelings is "demoralizing"? How is it that so many people of faith, no less, dearly LOVE this song. You listen to this song and are 'demoralized.' So many more are UPLIFTED by it.

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
The name? Christ. Christs name in vain.

But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags

So, "a cold and broken Hallelujah" is demoralizing but "Humans are mobile globs of garbage" is, what, uplifting?

This song is as hollow as they come I do not think Leonard wrote it.

I'm just going to take another wild guess, but you wouldn't be suggesting that Satan wrote it, would you?

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Re: Hallelujah

Post #22

Post by Checkpoint »

[Replying to post 20 by lamar1234]
A comment following this post, I'm going from memory, is "it's an aid to lose your faith."

I don't get that, at all, from it.

The singing Roman Catholic priest does a very pretty version in which he changes the lyrics to discuss a couple getting married. It's actually easier to find that version than the Cohen lyrics version from him, I believe.

I once saw Ray Comfort post about how sad it is that atheists can't appreciate the architecture in a gothic cathedral or can't appreciate religious music.

This notion is just bizarre to me.
I see Cohen as a great song writer whose Jewish religious roots become obvious in some of his songs.

As a Christian, I especially enjoy his "If it be Your will".

Here is a lyrics version. If you enjoy it make sure you listen to a Webb Sisters version.

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Post #23

Post by dianaiad »

Just poking my head in here....

When I first heard this song, and actually could hear the words, I was so disappointed in it; it seemed...as has been perceived by a few in here...to be an 'anti-Christ/ian' song, of despair, of losing faith and crying to a God Who isn't there.

But then....

I started thinking about the two men who are presented in the song lyrics; David, who saw Bathsheba on the roof, wanted her and sent her husband to the front ranks of the war specifically to be killed,

And Samson, who also betrayed his own beliefs, and was in turn betrayed by Delilah (that's the hair cutting thing).

The thing about both men is that BOTH men fell to the bottom of despair and of, well, completely screwing up. "it all went wrong,' according to Cohen. THEY did it; it wasn't 'done to them.'

More importantly, and more pertinently to the song, I think, is that both men tried desperately to repent and to come back. Samson did it by pulling the building down around his enemies (and himself) in a final act of revenge/repentance/something, and David, though he didn't have quite so dramatic an event, spent the rest of his life trying to atone/repent, and he was told, according to the story, that God would not, after all, leave his soul in hell.

In other words, both men sinned grievously, both men repented, and both men, though they reaped the consequences of their actions, also found hope and some sort of redemption.

At the end,
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah

It is an anthem to the Lord in a way that mighty hymns sung by huge choirs accompanied by organs can't touch. It's the other side of Handel.

It is, quite possibly, the most HOPEFUL Hallelujah I have ever heard; we come to the Lord broken and aware of our own shortcomings, and still trust that He will love us...and have us...and heal us after all.

It's the song the adulteress might have sung when Jesus saved her from being stoned, or the prostitute might have heard when she bathed His feet.

It is, sometimes, the song that most fits when we are at our most defeated:

When we "stand before the lord of song
With nothing on [our toungues] but hallelujah"

Whether Cohen MEANT it to be taken this way or not I don't know, but....it's the way I hear it.

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