Pharyngula

Our own Jonas Brothers?

There’s a funny Cat and Girl comic that makes fun of our success as atheists, saying that we’ve gone mainstream. Read it, I got a chuckle…but one of the panels listing factors in our loss of indie cred says, “We have our own Jonas Brothers.” Now I’m stuck. I can’t figure out who our equivalent would be.

In case you don’t know, the Jonas Brothers are a band that plays a kind of Christian pop — they’re on the Disney Channel and appeal to prepubescent girls like David Cassidy did to my generation, only they are even more wholesome and extremely overt in their religiosity.

I’m pondering this, and can’t even imagine a proudly atheist band that plays bubblegum for kiddies, or has a show that sucks in adolescent eyeballs quite like the Jonas Brothers do. Maybe the cartoon is wrong. Maybe we aren’t quite that mainstream yet. Or maybe I’m just so out of it I’ve missed the latest godless sensation.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 30, 2009

    If we ever become Jonas Brother like, I’m joining the priesthood.

  2. #2 blueelm
    April 30, 2009

    Well, I believe we do have Bjork and the guy from Muse. So… well. That’s pretty good actually.

  3. #3 tony
    April 30, 2009

    I think the wiggles are pretty much a-religious (if not outright atheist) – don’t know if a weird Australian children’s show/band would count (they do have a resident pirate, and are the antithesis of Barney, so they must have some value)

  4. #5 Michelle R
    April 30, 2009

    I dunno. Are the Simple Plan guys atheists?

  5. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 30, 2009

    Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins

    Oh wait that’s not what you meant

  6. #7 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2009

    I’m waiting for our own Discovery Institute.

    Why can’t we be as absurd as religionists, instead of just as obnoxious?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  7. #8 Strangebrew
    April 30, 2009

    Keith and Mick…now that is something to aspire to…

    Please allow me to introduce myself…I’m a man of wealth and taste…!…oh yeah…

  8. #9 Steve Ulven
    April 30, 2009

    I listened to Deicide as a kid. Does that count?

  9. #10 Ashley
    April 30, 2009

    I’m a lurker here, but I had to comment on this thread. Barenaked Ladies, on track #4 “Raisins” of their children’s CD “Snacktime”, sing the immortal lines:

    Raisins come from grapes,
    People come from apes,
    I come from Canada.

    So I’d like to nominate BNL, and second the comment about the Wiggles as well.

  10. #11 Dennis
    April 30, 2009

    Hmmm… if you’re looking to entice a younger audience with music- that overt religiosity makes more money. Religious based music just ends up being a shallow copy of real music anyhow. I doubt those 14 year old girls will be listening to them in 6 years.

    Bah- we need no stinkin’ boy-band.

  11. #12 drew
    April 30, 2009

    I vote for Bad Religion.
    Not exactly bubblegum, but awesome:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGqA1lNXYhg

  12. #13 Porco Dio
    April 30, 2009

    an idea of a band parading themselves as atheists is not compatible with my world-view of atheism…

    anyway, there are enough hippie bands out there…

  13. #14 aporeticus
    April 30, 2009

    Posted by: Dennis | April 30, 2009 11:24 AM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_(music)

    Hmm. This link doesn’t work:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_christians_(music)

    Until there are too many atheists to list, I’d say we’re not mainstream!

  14. #15 SamB
    April 30, 2009

    Goddamn, I hate the Jonas Brothers. I loathe the fact that anti-sex/anti-choice/christian propaganda has a mainstream commercial presence, and all the bullshit it feeds is being pumped straight into the impressionable minds of young/teenage girls. See also: Twilight

    So yeah… I don’t think atheism has anything that represents anything like that.

    That South Park episode that takes the piss out JB is brilliant. Go watch it.

  15. #16 Anon
    April 30, 2009
  16. #17 Laura
    April 30, 2009

    SamB– Yep, as soon as I saw this I immediately thought of that South Park episode, it’s awesome! Especially when Mickey goes off on them…

  17. #18 Ranson
    April 30, 2009

    Anyone know the affiliations of the guys from They Might Be Giants? They’ve got indie cred, geek cred, are kid-friendly, popular, and smart.

    Anyone?

  18. #19 Karley
    April 30, 2009

    Green Day maybe?

  19. #20 T.Converse
    April 30, 2009

    I’m pondering this, and can’t even imagine a proudly atheist band that plays bubblegum for kiddies…

    Nobody plays ‘bubblegum’ proudly, only delusionally.

  20. #21 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    According to that list at Wikipedia, the Gallaghers are the closest we have (brothers at least). Or possibly the Flaming Lips (relentless happy and all). Although the Flaming Lips are better than everything, so presumably they aren’t our Jonas Brothers; they are our Belle & Sebastian or something.

  21. #22 Desert Son
    April 30, 2009

    In case you don’t know, the Jonas Brothers are a band that plays a kind of Christian pop ? they’re on the Disney Channel and appeal to prepubescent girls like David Cassidy did to my generation, only they are even more wholesome and extremely overt in their religiosity

    It’s things like this that make me sometimes wonder if there really are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know!(tm)

    That said, it’s been a while since I threw out a good, hearty, “Iä! Iä! Cthulhu ftagn!”

    So, consider yerselves ftagn-ed.

    Off to listen to The Who on my mp3 player in an effort to steel-wool the Jonas Brothers knowledge from my brain. St. Entwistle the Ox, preserve us!

    No kings,

    Robert

  22. #23 Barklikeadog
    April 30, 2009

    I’m so sick of the Jonas Bros. Yes I have that age girl around. The twin boy caught me watching the Southpark spoof on the JB’s last night and got a chuckle from it. Told him not to tell “you know who” for fear of offending.

  23. #24 IST
    April 30, 2009

    Not certain if all the members are atheist, but The Lowest of the Low have some decidedly atheist lyrics… some rather Marxist ones too.

  24. #25 Kindred16
    April 30, 2009

    Because I love metal, I nominate Gamma Ray as our metal-Jonas Brothers:

    From “Real World”

    So let me live and let me be
    your eyes are blind
    but I can see

    God is an illusion and there ain’t no paradise
    and there is no underworld below
    Out there is no Heaven and there ain’t no Antichrist
    Welcome to the real World
    and the show!

  25. #26 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    How in Moloch’s name did I forget to link this when mentioning Belkle & Sebastian in relation to Cat and Girl? http://catandgirl.com/?p=553

  26. #27 Anon
    April 30, 2009

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yJMO_uYBZQ

    “This is a song about anal sex and God…”

  27. #28 Aaron
    April 30, 2009

    According to Trey Parker & Matt Stone, the Jonas Brothers makes little girls ‘ginies tingle; And when little girls’ ‘ginies tingle, Mickey Mouse makes lots of money.

    I would think that if the Atheist nation had an equivalent version of Jonas Brothers, we would be more ethical about it and not try to sell Atheism through sexual suggestiveness.

    (Any word on whether or not Victoria Silvstedt can play music? Surely we can get her lip-synching…)

  28. #29 Glendon Mellow
    April 30, 2009

    We might have Lily Allen. Some of the lyrics on “Him” are certainly critical and questioning of the point in a god.

    Even in my recovered-gothiness and love of electronica I profess a love for Allen’s music.

  29. #30 Michael Fugate
    April 30, 2009

    XTC

  30. #31 Forrest Prince
    April 30, 2009

    OK, you asked for it. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED UNDER COPYRIGHT. Yes, this is MY atheist song.

    Sung to the tune of some old Johnny Lee Hooker slow blues shuffle:

    Ain’ No Skypilot Comin’

    by Forrest R. Prince
    2006
    all rights reserved

    Ain’t no skypilot comin’
    Won’t be no trumpet inna clouds
    Nobody’s knee’s gonna havta bend
    Ain’t nobody’s head gotta bow

    Ain’t no skypilot comin’
    Nobody’s gettin’ “left behind”
    All that talk is just toxic
    Pollutin’ otherwise healthy minds

    Now we build our temples on every corner
    Fill em up every Sunday to the brim
    So all of our gods and goddesses
    Can see how perfect we all have been

    Ain’t no skypilot comin’
    But that’s no reason to despair
    Hope is a natural human emotion
    Love is what makes life fair

    Ain’t no afterlife comin’
    Won’t be no pearly gates by ‘n by
    Matter of fact that whole god idea is just fiction
    It bein’ impolite to call it a pack of lies

    Ain’t no such thing as magic
    Ain’t no angels, ain’t no elves
    And if there is to be any salvation
    We’ve gotta save ourselves

    So let’s get our act together
    Let reason be our guide
    Let’s get these hands of our busy workin’
    Prayin’ with em is just a waste of time

    Now you know there ain’t no skypilot comin’
    I said you know what I say is true
    And so if we want a better world
    It’s up to me and you!

  31. #32 JM
    April 30, 2009

    We have Modest Mouse. Not quite the same as the JB, (ok, not even close) but at least they had a hit song or two on MTV.

  32. #33 Svlad
    April 30, 2009

    #16

    Comparing Tim Minchin to the Jonas Brothers?

    You best be joking bro

  33. #34 eyelessgame
    April 30, 2009

    I dunno, I’m all for selling atheism through sexual suggstiveness. “Lose your religion, lose your guilt / Come see what’s under this man’s kilt” — nothing wrong with that…

  34. #35 Quidam
    April 30, 2009

    I nominate the Arrogant Worms (from Canada again)

    Jesus’ Brother Bob
    The Arrogant Worms
    Send “Jesus’ Brother Bob” Ringtones to Cell

    If you haven’t heard of me
    I wouldn’t be surprised
    I bet you know my relatives
    Their names will never die
    My mother is a saint
    And my brother is a god
    But all I am is Jesus’ brother Bob

    Jesus’ brother Bob, Jesus’ brother Bob
    A nobody relative of the son of God
    If only I’d been born just a little sooner
    I’d be more than the brother of God Junior

    I have to pay the ferry
    To cross the Galilee
    But not my brother
    No not him
    He walks across for free
    I finally get to work
    ‘Bout a quarter after nine
    Already he’s turning water into wine

    Jesus’ brother Bob, Jesus’ brother Bob
    A nobody relative of the son of God
    If only I’d been born just a little sooner
    I’d be more than the brother of God Junior

    One day when I was home
    I heard a mighty roar
    There were a thousand people
    Right outside the door
    Help us, Jesus, help us!
    Came the cheering from the mob
    But then they got a look at me
    “Oh nuts! it’s only Bob”

    Jesus’ brother Bob, Jesus’ brother Bob
    A nobody relative of the son of God
    If only I’d been born just a little sooner
    I’d be more than the brother of God Junior

    He died upon the cross
    I thought that I was free
    Finally people would get to know
    Me for me
    (Hi Bob, Hi Judas!)
    This was my big chance
    To finally get ahead
    The next thing you know
    He’s rising from the dead

    Jesus’ brother Bob, Jesus’ brother Bob
    A nobody relative of the son of God
    If only I’d been born just a little sooner
    I’d be more than the brother of God Junior

    Everybody!

    Jesus’ brother Bob, Jesus’ brother Bob
    A nobody relative of the son of God
    If only I’d been born just a little sooner
    I’d be more than the brother of God Junior

  35. #36 John Rummel
    April 30, 2009

    George Hrab rocks:

    http://www.geologicrecords.net/

  36. #37 Rev Matt
    April 30, 2009

    I seem to recall several Wiggles songs based on Biblical stories, they have Christmas videos involving the Nativity, not the slightest bit atheist. They also do a fair number of Jewish numbers in their earlier videos. I think they try to reach out to all the major religions but definitely favor the Judeo-Christian mythology for song material.

    My kids (ages 2-5) like anything they can dance to and I avoid playing much kid-targeted music for them. As a result they love Barenaked Ladies, Prince, Del Tha Funky Homo Sapien, lots of indie bands, and atheist friendly artists like MC Paul Barman, Tori Amos, and Greydon Square.

  37. #38 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    Nobody plays ‘bubblegum’ proudly, only delusionally.

    The Pooh Sticks always struck me as proudly (if self-consciously) bubble-gummy.

  38. #39 phoenixphire24
    April 30, 2009

    I second Tim Minchin! That guy is hilarious. I wish he played shows in the US. :(

  39. #40 Jennifurret
    April 30, 2009

    Alright, you asked for it. Here’s my spoof of the Jonas Brother’s song SOS. If only I could sing:

    http://blaghag.blogspot.com/2009/04/we-need-atheist-jonas-brothers.html

    FSM

    Told you I made dinner plans
    For you and me and someone else
    Have you met my noodley friend?
    Well I’m done
    With pretending to be apart of your
    congregation

    Oohh this is the FSM.
    Please don?t you condemn
    Makes as much sense as God
    It’s true
    He made the mountain for you
    And the midgit too

    See the decline of pirates on this graph?
    Cause global warming ? now don?t laugh
    Better believe I have been
    Touched by his appendage

    So this is where the story ends
    Linking you to talk.origins
    Well I’m done with texting
    Learn something about evolution

    Oohh this is the FSM.
    Please don?t you condemn
    Makes as much sense as God
    It’s true
    He made the mountain for you
    And the midgit too

    See the decline of pirates on this graph?
    Cause global warming ? now don?t laugh
    Better believe I have been
    Touched by his appendage

    Next time I see you
    Don?t tell me I?m going to hell
    Because I don?t even believe in it LOL

    Oohh this is the FSM.
    Please don?t you condemn
    Makes as much sense as God
    It’s true
    He made the mountain for you
    And the midgit too

    Oohh this is the FSM.
    Please don?t you condemn
    Makes as much sense as God
    It’s true
    He made the mountain for you
    And the midgit too

    See the decline of pirates on this graph?
    Cause global warming ? now don?t laugh
    Better believe I have been
    Touched by his appendage

    His appendage

    His noodley appendage

  40. #41 LtStorm
    April 30, 2009

    I vote for Bad Religion.
    Not exactly bubblegum, but awesome:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGqA1lNXYhg

    Really, if you’re going to mention them, you need to mention their song, American Jesus;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oe_Rxt9wB0&feature=related

  41. #42 Sigmund
    April 30, 2009

    Any truth in the rumors that a new atheist supergroup duo has been formed by the philosopher AC Grayling and our own PZ Myers?
    I think the name AC/PZ has a sort of ring about it.

  42. #43 deep
    April 30, 2009

    I think only the lead singer of Bad Religion is an atheist.

  43. #44 uncle frogy
    April 30, 2009

    I think any one thinks that Christian pop is trying to sell religion with music has really got it backward.
    It is just using the vainer of religion to make money, hopefully millions. Not unlike the online Christian book sellers who thought that they could be the Christian Barns & Nobel.
    Just part of the “prosperity gospel”.
    They just want to be like the world while condemning it.
    IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

  44. #45 Jay
    April 30, 2009

    Didn’t one of the Jonas Brothers hook up with both Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez? I’m not sure they’re living up to the message they’re being paid to send…

  45. #46 Svlad
    April 30, 2009

    phoenixphire, may I direct your attention to #33

  46. #47 Ompompanoosuc
    April 30, 2009

    This must be our JB.

    artist: MC Hawking
    “Fuck The Creationists”

    Trash Talk
    Ah yeah, here we go again!
    Damn! This is some funky shit that I be laying down on your ass.
    This one goes out to all my homey’s working in the field of
    evolutionary science.
    Check it!

    Verse 1
    Fuck the damn creationists, those bunch of dumb-ass bitches,
    every time I think of them my trigger finger itches.
    They want to have their bullshit, taught in public class,
    Stephen J. Gould should put his foot right up their ass.
    Noah and his ark, Adam and his Eve,
    straight up fairy stories even children don’t believe.
    I’m not saying there’s no god, that’s not for me to say,
    all I’m saying is the Earth was not made in a day.

    Chorus
    Fuck, fuck, fuck,
    fuck the Creationists.

    Trash Talk
    Break it down.
    Ah damn, this is a funky jam!
    I’m about ready to kick this bitch back in.
    Check it.

    Verse 2
    Fuck the damn creationists I say it with authority,
    because kicking their punk asses be me paramount priority.
    Them wack-ass bitches say, “evolution’s just a theory”,
    they best step off, them brainless fools, I’ll give them cause to fear me.
    The cosmos is expanding every second, every day,
    but their minds are shrinking as they close their eyes and pray.
    They call their bullshit science like the word could give them cred,
    if them bitches be scientists then cap me in the head.

    Chorus

    Trash Talk
    Bass!
    Bring that shit in!
    Ah yeah, that’s right, fuck them all motherfuckers.
    Fucking punk ass creationists trying to set scientific thought back 400 years.
    Fuck that!
    If them superstitious motherfuckers want to have that kind of party,
    I’m going to put my dick in the mashed potatoes.
    Fucking creationists.
    Fuck them.

  47. #48 Senritsu
    April 30, 2009

    My 10 year old discovered the HPLHS’s solstice CD pack last December, and goes around singing their songs all the time.

    Nothing like walking through the grocery store while your child sings “Death to the World, Cthulhu’s come; let Earth abhor this thing; let every mind, prepare for doom, as anguish and woe he’ll bring…”

    Not really bubblegum, I guess.

  48. #49 Ron Sullivan
    April 30, 2009

    Hey, Ompompanoosuc, I’ve got the T-shirt!

  49. #50 Sarah Trachtenberg
    April 30, 2009

    I don’t think atheists, even though we may be more or less obnoxious as anyone else, would stoop to “gettin’ them while they’re young” with dogmatic media designed to suck in kids. I’ve seen Disney channel shows (shudder) and other kids’ media and could actually feel my IQ dropping.
    Not My God
    http://www.sarahtrachtenberg.com

  50. #51 catgirl
    April 30, 2009

    I’ve always thought that purity rings are kind of pointless for the Jonas Brothers. It’s sort of like me wearing a ring to promise that I’ll never become and Olympic swimmer.

  51. #52 Spiv
    April 30, 2009

    Guys, seriously, we have David F’king Gilmore. (I’m pretty sure that’s his middle name too).

    Others worth mentioning:
    Ani DiFranco
    Brian Eno
    and Maynard Keenan (of Tool/Perfect Circle)

    I’m pretty sure we also have Tom Waits, although he seems to be out of the conversation other than a few poking gestures about the sillyness of it all. Hard to know when he means something.

    Keep your jonas brothers. I’ve no use for em.

  52. #53 Brock
    April 30, 2009

    Nobody mentioned the Florida band “Atheist”? Tech/death metal is practically the opposite of bubblegum pop, no? Recommended album: Unquestionable Presence – very awesome.
    http://metal-archives.com/band.php?id=304

    (I like how this just turned into a thread about atheist musicians. If I had to pick actual brothers though, I’d go with the Gallaghers, they’re so lovably hateful)

  53. #54 JD
    April 30, 2009

    Anyone remember the Gospel Gangstas? I was fired for making fun of them at a record company executive meeting.

    Excerpt from actual song/video:
    God gave me the ladies (asses bounce in the air)
    God gave me the Merecedes (rapper points to ride)
    God’s been good to me (smugly grins in self-satisfaction)

  54. #55 daveau
    April 30, 2009

    Couch Flambeau out of Milwaukee. They have songs with names like “Satan’s Buddies”. Hilarious stuff.

    Short of that, we might have to create our own band. Clearly, they would have to promote premarital promiscuity.

    What else? Name suggestions?

  55. #56 NeilMcCauley
    April 30, 2009

    Yeah, I knew that David Gilmour and Roger Waters were atheist, which is pretty much all I need.

  56. #57 «bønez_brigade»
    April 30, 2009

    Most atheists probably don’t want shitty bubble-gum pop, anyway (judging from all the ones I’ve encountered, at least).

    TOOL & APC are quite soothing to my godless auditory system (with the exception of ‘Emotive’, of course).

  57. #58 nerdXcore
    April 30, 2009

    It’s not pop, or mainstream, but we do have atheist dance music:

    Science Club

  58. #59 Aliandre
    April 30, 2009

    OK, since Brock mentioned Atheist, I think that I can add another metal band (that I probably wouldn’t play for kids, but if they choose to listen…)

    Machine Head: “Halo” off of The Blackening is a great battle anthem for atheists.

    The chorus:

    Halo over our demise
    Following a god so blind
    Sallow in their sickening
    Swallow not the sh*t they feed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLbMloO6wXM

  59. #60 Charles
    April 30, 2009

    Chumbawumba.

  60. #61 NewEnglandBob
    April 30, 2009

    That comic was not that funny but the comment there were hilarious.

  61. #62 Teresa
    April 30, 2009

    My 11-year-old is a Rush fan…the humanist Rock band, nut the Conservative Christianist blow-hard.

  62. #63 Pat
    April 30, 2009

    We’ve got the Gershwins, Randy Newman, Bjork, XTC, the Beatles (for the most part), Cole Porter, maybe Mozart, Brian Eno, Yip Harburg, Aaron Copeland, Matthew Sweet, Ani DiFranco, Scott Joplin, Barry Manilow, Henry Rollins, Chumbawumba, Eddie Vedder, Richard Strauss, Bob Geldof, maybe Beethoven…

    Wait, Mickey Dolenz! Is it the Monkees? Wait, Mike Nesmith is a Christian Science guy. I’m stumped.

  63. #64 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    If we’re just listing godless musicians we like now:
    Crass and Caetano Veloso.

  64. #65 Roger
    April 30, 2009

    I…I had no idea that the Jonas Brothers were a bunch of godbots. Yet another reason for me to despise them.

  65. #66 steve8282
    April 30, 2009

    Second plug for George Hrab Not bubble gum but good enough to listen to a music and not message.

  66. #67 G.D.
    April 30, 2009

    Now, Pat #63 is the first one who’s sort of on track here. Brahms, Delius, Richard Strauss and Massenet all tried to sell atheism through their music (respective examples: Brahms’ Deutsche Requiem, Delius’ A Mass of Life and his Requiem, Richard Strauss’s tone poems Also Sprach Zarathustra and his Alpensinfonie (originally subtitled ‘the Anti-Christian’) and Massenet in several operas, in particular Manon (after having made a huge success with several large-scale oratiorios on themes from the old Testament, topics he explicitly thought were “rubbish” but which made good money)). Add to that list a couple of explicit atheists such as Ligeti, Shostakovich, Fauré, Vaughan Williams (vacillated between atheism and agnosticism) etc and you’ve got plenty of masterly music on our side.

    Who cares about those pop and rock bands? Unsophisticated music for unsophisticated minds

  67. #68 12xuser
    April 30, 2009

    NOFX and Dillinger Four are my favorite in-your-face atheist bands.

  68. #69 Lance
    April 30, 2009

    Rush is totally in vogue right now (although many fans like myself have been loyal followers for decades), so I nominate them. They’re all pretty outspoken about their (lack of religious) beliefs and their music speaks for itself.

  69. #70 Anonymous
    April 30, 2009

    @PZ: “Maybe the cartoon is wrong. Maybe we aren’t quite that mainstream yet.”

    I got the impression that the idea of the cartoon was that *if* we got so mainstream that there were an atheist band of that style then we would actually be rather disappointed in the situation (see the scowl on girl 1).
    And, I have to kind of agree. One of the appealing things about atheism, especially *the new atheism*, is that it is not mainstream. Yes, on one level I strive for a world where atheism in normal, but on another level, I’ll miss being the unconventional one. Or as the bumper sticker says: Why be lamron?

  70. #71 Jacob-Paul
    April 30, 2009

    G.D: “Who cares about those pop and rock bands? Unsophisticated music for unsophisticated minds”

    Pop maybe, but rock?? Hell no! Especially not metal, but I like those composers you mentioned too ;-)

    Back to the topic – the point is that is no atheist equivalent of the Jonas Brothers, and there never will be, I hope…

  71. #72 Die Anyway
    April 30, 2009

    Damn TypeKey. It said it knew who I was but then posted me as Anonymous. Sigh…

  72. #73 DiscomBob
    April 30, 2009

    Zap-pa! Zap-pa! Zap-pa!

  73. #74 Charles
    April 30, 2009

    Crass. Easily the best.

  74. #75 Mark Temporis
    April 30, 2009

    Senritsu@48: That is so cute! I love the Cthulhu carols too; I always put them in rotation around the holiday season and giggle because nobody ever listens past the tunes and notices that I am praising the Great Old Ones instead of their lame excuse for a death cult.

    The atheist equivalents of the Jonas Brothers would likely have enough self-awareness to learn to sing or play instruments before embarking on a musical career.

  75. #76 Anonymous
    April 30, 2009

    When I think of the effect that the Jonas Brothers have on preteen girls, I think of a line I read in an obituary for Ray Charles: “He didn’t put sex into church music — he just stopped denying it was there.”

    Of course, the Jonas Brothers have more in common with NKOTB than with Ray Charles, but the sentiment is still appropriate.

  76. #77 Richard Wolford
    April 30, 2009

    What about Xtreme? On their album “Waiting for the Punchline” there is a song titled “There is no God”. I’ve been an Xtreme fan off and on for the last decade and a half.

  77. #78 Mark Roberts
    April 30, 2009

    Probably Rush. Check out “Faithless”, on their album “Snakes and Arrows”:

    I’ve got my own moral compass to steer by
    A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
    And all the preaching voices –
    Empty vessels of dreams so loud
    As they move among the crowd
    Fools and thieves are well disguised
    In the temple and market place

    Like a stone in the river
    Against the floods of spring
    I will quietly resist

    Like the willows in the wind
    Or the cliffs along the ocean
    I will quietly resist

    I don’t have faith in faith
    I don’t believe in belief
    You can call me faithless
    You can call me faithless
    I still cling to hope
    And I believe in love
    And that’s faith enough for me

    I’ve got my own spirit level for balance
    To tell if my choice is leaning up or down
    And all the shouting voices
    Try to throw me off my course
    Some by sermon, some by force
    Fools and thieves are dangerous
    In the temple and market place

    Like a forest bows to winter
    Beneath the deep white silence
    I will quietly resist

    Like a flower in the desert
    That only blooms at night
    I will quietly resist

  78. #79 Mike
    April 30, 2009

    I always liked Concrete Blonde’s lyric:

    God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slummin.

    From ‘Wendy’ on Bloodletting.

  79. #80 Pat
    April 30, 2009

    In the unlikely event you are unfamiliar with XTC’s “Dear God,” here it is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk41Gbjljfo

  80. #81 Intelligent Desinger
    April 30, 2009

    Intelligent Design creationism is all about hiding Jesus under a blanket of pseudoscience and smuggling him into the public schools. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Naturally, I strongly disagree.

  81. #82 Chiaroscuro
    April 30, 2009

    Atheism going mainstream?
    One more reason to start worshiping Odin.

  82. #83 Svlad
    April 30, 2009

    I don’t know if they’re atheists and they’re certainly not comparable to the Jonas Brothers, but Arcade Fire’s 2nd album Neon Bible seems pretty anti-religious. Also it’s a amazing album.

  83. #84 Pat
    April 30, 2009

    “Dear God” was initially released as a B-side. College radio stations started playing it and one got a bomb threat as a result. The news helped make the song one of XTC’s biggest hits. The distributor recalled all discs of the “Skylarking” album and reissued it with “Dear God” included.

    The NY Times reported:

    XTC’s guitarist and the writer of ”Dear God,” Andy Partridge, was surprised by the uproar. ”At first, I thought it hadn’t come out barbed enough,” he said. ”It’s sort of banal. People shouldn’t be annoyed by this tiny little soap bubble of an idea, this 90th-hand idea that maybe there isn’t an aging English actor wrapped in a sheet on a ball of cotton wool saying, ‘I’m going to make you win the lottery this morning.’ For Chrysler’s sake, I’m just saying maybe there isn’t a God – and these Christian, tolerant people want to chain-saw me.”

  84. #85 Svlad
    April 30, 2009

    *an FFFFFFFFU

  85. #86 teammarty
    April 30, 2009

    John Lennon.

  86. #87 Kermit
    April 30, 2009

    How about Texas folk rock with Timbuk3?
    @SONG: Eden Alley

    Chorus:
    We were raised in Eden Alley
    Where the music plays all night long
    & children make love in the shadows
    While the elders pray for kingdom come

    And the whiskey bottles, they shine like diamonds
    Every little swallow goes down like gold
    And the smell of garbage & sweet salvation
    Hovers like a blanket on the night so cold

    Chorus

    Oh the light that flickers like a buzzing halo
    Round the head of a serpent — that’s just a neon sign
    & the Salvation Army is the life of the party
    As they bob for apples in a tub of wine

    Chorus

    @SONG: Reverend Jack and his Roamin’ Cadillac Church

    Come hell or high water
    A soul’s got to find some release
    Some find it in power
    And some in heavenly peace
    Some look to the preacher
    As he speaks from his holy perch
    Me, I back Rev. Jack & his Roamin Cadillac Church

    So if you’re stuck at the station
    On the road to the Glory on High
    If you need some inspiration
    He’s got more than your money can buy
    If you’re lookin for salvation
    Well my friend it’s the end of your search
    Here comes Rev. Jack & his Roamin Cadillac Church

    Ain’t no use watchin the road, son
    When you ride in his automobile
    Cause we’re all back seat drivers,
    & there’s nobody at the wheel

    Now for the well-to-do doctor
    There’s a home & a summer retreat
    And for the jet-settin banker
    There’s a place in the social elite
    But for the poor & the hungry
    All the lost souls left in the lurch
    There’s just Rev. Jack & his Roamin Cadillac Church

  87. #88 Casey S
    April 30, 2009

    Unfortunately, Arcade Fire are christians. Still a good band though. I remember reading an interview where the lead singer discussed his christianity.

  88. #89 Dave
    April 30, 2009

    Mike@79:

    Dont tease like that, quote the whole verse:

    I told the priest, don’t count on any second coming.
    God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming.
    He had the balls to come, the gall to die and then forgive us.
    No, I don’t wonder why, I wonder what he thought it would get us.

  89. #90 natural cynic
    April 30, 2009

    @ 86
    I can’t imagine any better example than John.

  90. #91 2bookworm
    April 30, 2009

    PZ, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett, and Richard Dawkins should start a band. That would be awesome.

  91. #92 Matt Heath
    April 30, 2009

    Teammarty@86: Lennon quite explicitly denied being an atheist in an interview soon before his death.

  92. #93 Svlad
    April 30, 2009

    #90

    Oh no you didn’t

  93. #94 Kele Cable
    April 30, 2009

    While he may not be an atheist, Peter Hammill from Van der Graaf Generator wrote a song that was against the idea of an afterlife.

    http://www.sofasound.com/vdgcds/sllyrics.htm#2

    “Take away the threat of death
    and all you’re left with is a round of make-believe”

  94. #95 Fatmop
    April 30, 2009

    You know, we probably SHOULD have a Jonas Brothers. Only we could call it “A few atheists named Jonas who share common ancestry with apes.”

  95. #96 Fatmop
    April 30, 2009

    The Jonas Distant Evolutionary Cousins, perhaps.

  96. #97 Tulse
    April 30, 2009

    While I like “Dear God”, I think it’s precisely the kind of thing that makes Christians say atheists are “angry with God”, which means it’s really not my first choice for an atheist anthem.

  97. #98 The Tim Channel
    April 30, 2009

    Beep. Times up.

    Am I the only one here who is aware of Roy Zimmerman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwiPsgRrOs

    FWIW, I am only aware of him because PZ highlighted him ages ago. I’m guessing he’s as close as we got a ‘movement’ singer and maybe who the comic girls were referring to??

    No more miracles, loaves and fishes
    Been too busy with the washing of the dishes.

    Enjoy.

  98. #99 'Tis Himself
    April 30, 2009

    For us folkies, there’s Robbie O’Connell’s Born Again Agnostic.

  99. #100 Brownian, OM
    April 30, 2009
    Intelligent Design creationism is all about hiding Jesus under a blanket of pseudoscience and smuggling him into the public schools. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Naturally, I strongly disagree.

    Naturally Stimpy, you’ve got nothing to say beyond that–just like Intelligent Design.

    Vacuous holes of thought, the whole lot of you.

  100. #101 Ratso
    April 30, 2009

    See, you need more than one guy to be equivalent to the “Brothers.”
    Also, it helps if they’re, you know, brothers.

  101. #102 nick nick bobick
    April 30, 2009

    Didn’t anyone else see the statement “We have our own Jonas Brothers”, and the blank panel following it as part of the joke?

  102. #103 Free Lunch
    April 30, 2009

    Religious based music just ends up being a shallow copy of real music anyhow.

    Well, for pop or whatever, maybe, but J S Bach did a lot of real music, even though it was religious. Even Mozart, Beethoven and Bernstein managed to throw together some tolerable masses.

  103. #104 DLC
    April 30, 2009

    HM.. showing my age here but… Imagine, by John Lennon.

  104. #105 Jenny Ashford
    April 30, 2009

    #79, that song “Tomorrow Wendy” was I think written by Andy Prieboy, of Wall of Voodoo fame. Great song though.

    And I third (fourth?) Bad Religion. I love them SO MUCH…

  105. #106 mrcreosote
    April 30, 2009

    The Caulfields, for ‘Devils Diary’

    “I’m bigger than Jesus, now”

  106. #107 Randy
    May 1, 2009

    One of the all time great atheist rockers is Lemmy Kilmeister of the mighty “Motorhead”. I have seen many an interview where he proudly shares his disdain of religion and, his lack of belief in god or an afterlife. Lemmy’s father was an Anglican vicar who abandoned his mother for another woman when he was a young boy, and since then he has had no use for religion. Check out songs like, “I don’t need religion”, and “Bad Religion”. I especially love it when Lemmy exclaims, “Rock and Roll! It’s the only religion that never let’s you down!” (during the crescendo of live versions of the sardonically titled song, “Killed by Death”.

  107. #108 Lilith
    May 1, 2009

    Let’s not forget the venerable British folk band, Oysterband, who have a T-Shirt that says on the front:

    God Protect Us
    From Your Followers

    and on the back:

    More Truth Is What We Need.

  108. #109 Timofei
    May 1, 2009

    I agree with Green Day suggestion. They’re basically bubblegum pop now, but I think they still have some atheistic lyrics.

  109. #110 JeffS
    May 1, 2009

    You can’t judge people under 25 for religious beliefs. They had 18+ years of being bombarded with it by people they trusted to teach them about the world.

    After 25 you should have enough real world experience to realize its all BS.

    Except in like mormon societies and all were you face being banished if you even voice concerns about your faith. Its harder for people to throw away beliefs when you have throw away your life with it.

  110. #111 Colonel Molerat
    May 1, 2009

    @ Ranson #18
    I really don’t know about They Might Be Giants, I tried looking online with no luck…
    They’re very scientific, occasionally say things that seem like a stab at religion, but at the same time, they can be so fond of ‘love’, that I’m not entirely sure I would be surprised if they believed in a very vague, liberal god…
    Anybody else know?
    And in terms of atheist music that we like… Anybody like the Tiger Lillies? They’re a cabaret (accordion, drums double bass) act who often sing about religion, either to attack it, or just to use the interesting imagery. They’d never be a ‘Jonas Brothers’ though… There were calls to ban them from Australia by ‘family’ groups.
    ‘Banging In The Nails’ –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTCr4do_rp4

  111. #112 Arwen
    May 1, 2009

    I still have Tim Minchin’s xmas song in my head.
    “Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords, but the lyrics are dodgy.”

  112. #113 Ranson
    May 1, 2009

    @ Colonel Molerat

    Thanks. I couldn’t find anything, either.

  113. #114 Mill
    May 1, 2009

    That brand of bubblegum-pop-with-guitars that Jonas Brothers peddle is loosely based on 90s pop-punk, so I think NOFX could be counted if you play fast and loose with the rules. Observe:

    “You’re wrong about virtues of Christianity
    And you’re wrong if you agree with Sean Hannity
    If you think that pride is about nationality, you’re wrong

    You’re wrong if you celebrate Columbus Day
    And You’re wrong if you think there’ll be a Judgement Day
    If you’re a charter member of the NRA, you’re wrong

    You’re wrong if you support capital punishment
    And you’re wrong if you don’t question your government
    If you think that reproductive rights are inconsequent, Fuck you, you’re wrong

    You’re wrong fighting Jihad, your blind faith in God
    Your religions are all flawed,
    You’re wrong about drug use, when its not abuse
    I hope you never reproduce”

    There’s more, but I just went with the verses that talk about religion.

  114. #115 KMG
    May 1, 2009

    I don’t know if Jonas Salk was an atheist, but he had two brothers. They would be the “Jonas’ Brothers”. I doubt prepubescent girls are lining up to see them, though.

  115. #116 Cheeto
    May 1, 2009

    We do have Sid the Science Kid.

    (which if you have pre-school age kids is really a terrific show)

  116. #117 Chuk
    May 1, 2009

    My kids listen to the Jonas Brothers a lot. I know they come off as pretty religious but the songs of theirs that I have heard don’t really fit the “Christian music” mold — they’re just basic bubblegum pop, sometimes just cover tunes.

    Plus they were funny on Saturday Night Live.

  117. #118 Paul
    May 1, 2009

    I vote for a revival of Oingo Boingo, but sadly I don’t think that even their more pop- and punk-like songs would go over too well.

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