I am an athe­ist. There is no god. I’m sure of that, as sure as I can be. I want to make that com­pletely clear.

Still, this one makes me oogy-​​soft-​​warm-​​fuzzy.

I remem­ber hear­ing this as a child and being deeply moved by it. I didn’t really grasp the ref­er­ences, but the music incised me and left its mark forever.

Unlike the cur­rent cult of hate-​​fanatics being raised to die or kill for a god that is not there, the chil­dren of the 1970s had a sense that god, if he existed, might not even be a he; and that was okay; as long as we could run through the fields and roll in the grass, as long as Mom and Dad loved us, we were doing all right.

It’s so beau­ti­ful, this song. It’s unabashedly wor­ship­ful; and yet, I love it so. It reminds me of sum­mer in Nebraska, of my mom, young and pretty, smil­ing at me; it reminds me of end­less sea­sons of bot­tom­less, inno­cent love.

How sad I was then, only five and just start­ing to taste life, to think that peo­ple might die; how ter­ri­ble it seemed to me that any­one could ever end. Never to see a fra­grant summer’s day again. Never to won­der at the rain. Never again to hear Mom say, I love you.

Listen.


Morning has bro­ken like the first morn­ing.
Blackbird has spo­ken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morn­ing,
praise for them spring­ing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sun­lit from heaven
like the first dew­fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweet­ness of the wet gar­den
sprung in com­plete­ness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sun­light; mine is the morn­ing.
Born of the one light, Eden saw play.
Praise with ela­tion, praise every morn­ing.
God’s recre­ation of the new day.

This song is, I think, one of the most lovely things I have ever heard in the English canon.

This song was sung, accord­ing to the US gov­ern­ment, by a ter­ror­ist.

We’re try­ing to kill these peo­ple. We’re try­ing to kill Muslims. We’re try­ing to kill the peo­ple who do things like this song.

Well, what the fuck — they’re just a bunch of rag­heads, right? So who cares?

Listen:

We’re try­ing to kill them, we are killing them, and it is wrong, and it must stop. Even if it means we’re the losers.

We must stop.