Antitheist Anthems

Here’s a short collection of atheist, or more accurately antitheist, songs that I happen to like. Note that rather than having one line about atheism, all of these songs have it as a central theme. There are many more songs that have a single line about non-belief, e.g. Human League’s “Love Action” and The Clash’s “Death or Glory”. I have not included such songs on this list.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Please note that for me, the music stopped in about 1988. I know very little music from after that. I have no good excuse. I guess I’m just not that into music as a whole. I like some music very much, but have never really taken a strong interest in it. And, lately what music I have added to my collection has been older rather than newer.

Regardless, here are a few of my favorites with antitheist themes.

XTC’s “Dear God” is my personal favorite. This video has the lyrics. Note: There’s a slight mistake in the lyrics at about 30 seconds in. The words should be “starving on their feet” rather than “starving in the street”. Sorry if I’m being overly anal-retentive (as usual).

Of course, probably the number one classic is John Lennon’s “Imagine”. It’s almost embarrassing to include it as everyone knows it practically by heart already, or so I imagine.

One thing seriously different about Imagine than the others is that it presents a positive impression of atheism rather than an attack on religion. I have a friend or two who will probably hate the other songs and like this one for that reason alone.

Depeche Mode’s “Blasphemous Rumours is a truly great song for atheists and especially anti-theists. This is a rare longer version with disturbing imagery that that matches the lyrics, though I don’t love the pause in the music in the middle. If you will be disturbed by images of suicide and the like, I suggest clicking this link to the standard, shorter, and less graphic version instead of watching the embedded video.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s Cathedral is a good one, though not as much of a favorite for me personally. It’s a bit too generically anti-Christian rather than being against all theistic religions.

I googled a bit to check the lists of others. Surprisingly, I had forgotten about Jethro Tull’s My God. This is another that is more anti-Christian than generically antitheist. Though, this one makes up for it a bit in the last line.

Please feel free to add to my list.

4 Responses to Antitheist Anthems

  1. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    I wouldn’t call them “Anthems” but I do like a few songs of an anti-religious bent. I like a few religious songs too, but that is a different thread?

    Your own Personal Jesus–Depeche Mode (?–maybe that other band?) covered by Marilyn Manson
    God’s Song – Randy Newman (Very Subversive)
    Every Song by Leonard Cohen ((Thats just my emotions after reading his book “Beautiful Losers” that guts religion–on my Top 5 Book List))
    When in Rome – Phil Ochs (Incredible!!)
    Sympathy for the Devil – Stones

    More time I think, the more I can remember–but its not a category I use.

  2. Forgot about this one.

  3. Just heard another that must be added to this list. This song by Genesis is called Jesus He Knows Me.

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