I want to share part of a message from a friend I just recently received about what has been accomplished in Egypt by it’s people, along with the lyrics of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables.

“I can’t find the words.

Thank you (the people of Egypt) who did this on behalf of all people everywhere.

Now we will hear and potentially see how change comes with compromise. Too bad, this was never about democracy, religion, or righteousness. The people of Egypt made it known that it was first about freedom.”

 

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Enjolras

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing a song of angry men?

It is the music of a people

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart

Echoes the beating of the drums

There is a life about to start

When tomorrow comes!

Combeferre

Will you join in our crusade?

Who will be strong and stand with me?

Somewhere beyond the barricade

Is there a world you long to see?

Courfeyrac

Then join in the fight

That will give you the right to be free!!

All

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing a song of angry men?

It is the music of a people

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart

Echoes the beating of the drums

There is a life about to start

When tomorrow comes!

Feuilly

Will you give all you can give

So that our banner may advance

Some will fall and some will live

Will you stand up and take your chance?

The blood of the martyrs

Will water the meadows of France!

All

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing a song of angry men?

It is the music of a people

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart

Echoes the beating of the drums

There is a life about to start

When tomorrow comes



This is an excellent testament, I feel, to all that seems to have always been wrong with not only the catholic church, but with all organized religion when used to control people and command ruthless power over them.  As the religious scholar Karen Armstrong says, it’s not religion itself that is a bad thing, it is the way people use religion that’s the problem.  Not many of us would begrudge someone’s faith as something personal that gives them peace and comfort in difficult times, or the faith that brings a group of people together in community to witness, celebrate and find support and strength among one another, as black Americans have done since the days of slavery, eventually forming the civil rights movement and its activism.   It seems to me that Fry does try to say in the beginning of this presentation that he would not hold these uses of religion in any sort of contempt.   Nonetheless, one friend of mine, a humanist himself, has commented that this speech by Fry holds some potential for bigotry towards people using religion for good.   Please take the time to watch this outstanding case against, at least, the history of the catholic church and see what you think.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/02/08/stephen-fry-v-the-catholic-church