Heresy, in a good way

Phillip Pullman and others on the stage adaptation of His Dark Materials.

It occurs to me that the English can use words like “blasphemy” with a straight face better than Americans.

The books are blasphemy, of course. Well-written, thoughtful blasphemy that challenges certain religious principles directly and without apology. I don’t know anyone that has had their fundamental faith or lack thereof altered by the books; but the ideas in same certainly merit being tossed about, discussed, examined, not put off in a corner and made untouchable.

Fortunately, Pullman doesn’t back down or apologize, at all.

While we’re on the subject of blasphemy, here are some song lyrics, off a holiday tape sent to us by lucy_anne some years ago and still much-listened to:

There are fewer heretical Hanukah songs, and most of them seem to work by humor (Adam Sandler’s song, the South Park song). Hanukah songs in general are thin on the ground. I remember agreeing with a high school friend that we would swap traditions: she would sing Hanukah songs all day, and I would sing Christmas songs. Needless to say, she ran out of music a lot faster than I did.

But Hanukah is a minor holiday. For moving Jewish holiday music, one needs to look to Rosh Hashanah and Passover.

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