The latest thread on David Bowie's controversial video has spurred me to start this thread on a topic that has been simmering on my back burner for a while. Before I get into the topic, i think it would help to give a little bit of my personal background and my point of view today.
I was raised in a very by the book religious Catholic family. It wasn't overly strict, but religious faith was something that my parents always would be a lifetime commitment. My path diverged, and today I follow no religion. I hesitate to put a label on myself, so let's just say that my philosophy is to be sure I never make anything into a religion, especially religion.
That being said, I never let religious content in music affect whether or not I enjoy it. Handel's Messiah is a prime example of this. I find this music exciting, moving, and uplifting. Music can also have this same inspirational effect without any reference to religion. Music can be so important to one's emotional well being as to have the same effect as religion has for some. For me, music is one thing that comes as close to religious experience as I will get.
Here is a song by Alison Krauss, "In the Palm of Your Hand", which I enjoy very much even though i don't share the beliefs espoused in some of the lyrics. But the overall meaning of the lyrics, combined with the the beauty of the song, make a meaningful message shine through. Some things in life are much more important than material well being.
I would just like everyone to feel free to share your take on this, whether you are a devoutly religious person or simply value music to the extreme or are anywhere in between.