I am a fan of Rock music, as well as many other genres, and have been for years. Perhaps this is why I always find it fascinating to hear, various religious figures arguing that the music I love is evil. In the Muslim world, such anti-rock attitudes are often linked with anti-westernism in general, but here in the west, we are more likely to be told that rock music is addictive, that it is a communist conspiracy or that it comes directly from Satan himself. Rock music, we are told has beats that authored by Satan, in a villainous plot to the control listeners and send them to hell. Such beliefs have given rise to some wild stories. Some of my favorites include, the tale that all rock bands pray to the Satan before recording, the claim that screamed vocals on rock records are created when the musicians are enjoying anal sex or that rumor that most rock albums have satanic messages backed masked into them, or the one that every year Keith Richards has all the blood drained from his body and replace with fresh blood from young donors.
While exploring this topic, I stumbled on to this video and found one part that I wanted to share with our readers. The video is of a Christian religious leader preaching on the evils of popular music. Beginning around, 1:54 he states that God does have preferences for everything and that he expresses the through his design. He states “God has made your ears to be able to take a certain amount of sound, and if you go beyond that level your going to hurt your ears.” He continues to point out that a damaged human ear drum does not heal itself the way other body parts due, making damage caused to ones ears by listening to loud music permanent.
He goes on to argue that God intentionally made our ears this way to express his distaste for rock music, which admittedly is often played loud. That is right, we are being told that believe the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of all things, demonstrates his preferences through design flaws. Are we to also assume that because god designed us such that we use the same opening to intake food and air, that he wanted to us to be vulnerable to chocking to death? It seems to me that it would have been much more useful for us to have ears, that can heal themselves, and to hear an even wider range of the sounds of nature, or to have eyes that could see more of the electromagnetic spectrum, including ionizing radiation and magnetic fields.
Beside, forcing us to conclude, that a supposedly benevolent creator’s designs are intentionally flawed, the preacher’s argument has another other problems, one being that it says nothing about specific genres of music at all. One can just as easily listen to Mozart’s or Bach’s music at the same loud volumes that you listen to Slayer’s with and it still has the same effect. Furthermore you can listen to Slayer at low enough volumes to make any damage to one’s ears negligible. I know many older people who were lifelong rockers, and I see no evidence that there hearing is any worse that of people who years were damage by the sound of gunfire in wars, or by the sounds of heavy machinery. Perhaps what God is really trying to tell us through this design is he is anti-war (but, that’s not too likely, given the wars he commands in the bible).
Also note: one can watch homosexual pornography, have sex with prostitutes and engage in a wide range other supposedly sinful behaviors without similar long-term damage to the body parts involved.
Needless to say, I reject the notion that a God exist, and that he communicating his musical preferences through making ears that thwart repair. I am willing to acknowledge that rock and roll musicians are not always the best role models, and that is actually part of the genre’s appeal, but to assert that it is from Satan is not only a load of superstitious nonsense, it also closes one off to a wide range of diverse, innovative and interesting sounds. I’ll go further to say that it has also done much to bring together people from diverse races, and creeds who otherwise would not have gotten along.