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Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms”: Atheism in Pop Culture Part 5

Boatmans_callI really like this song by Nick Cave. It does a beautiful job of tapping into religious emotions and images and language, while still being entirely godless. And I love that it’s a pop love song that begins with the line, “I don’t believe in an interventionist God.” It’s from his record “The Boatman’s Call,” and it goes very much like this:

Into My Arms
by Nick Cave

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know darling that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms O Lord
Into my arms O Lord
Into my arms O Lord
Into my arms

And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candle burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

Comments

  1. says

    Yes, it’s a lovely song. I’m pretty sure though that Nick Cave is simply suggesting that he doesn’t believe in the God of orthodox theism. I’m led to believe that he actually identifies himself as a Christian.

  2. says

    All he says is that he doesn’t believe in an *interventionist* god or angels. He doesn’t say that he doesn’t believe in god at all. Especially when he uses the capital H for Him and says Christ.
    However, he could be atheist.
    Either way, you’re right, this is beautiful, and this is the kind of atheism I love. The kind that hasn’t forgotten the beauty of religious emotions and imagery. The kind that doesn’t think that religion is completely useless… that knows it has some good in it, some purpose, and that much beauty can be found in it… even if you don’t necessarily believe in it or use it to shape your life, your path, or your beliefs.
    …hmm… I think that’s what I do with religion. I keep in mind that, most likely, most of it is bullshit at worst, simply untrue at best, however, it has an amazing ability to touch some people’s hearts and “souls” and enrich peoples lives. I let it enrich my life while keeping things in perspective. If only that was the view of more spiritual people.

  3. Don says

    Nick has a personal and deeply wierd take on religion, try reading ‘And The Ass Saw The Angel’.
    Or check this out,

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