Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why this title?

So why would an atheist use the title of a hymn as the name of her blog?

Well, in church last weekend, we sang "Earth and All Stars."  It's always been one of my favorites, because it's a catchy tune, and because of the incredibly goofy line "loud boiling test tubes."  But as I sang it, it occurred to me that it must be the most humanist hymn in the entire Lutheran hymnal.  Most of it (classrooms and labs, loud boiling test tubes... knowledge and truth, loud sounding wisdom) is really about what humans have accomplished, via hard work (engines and steel, loud pounding hammers) and science.

Of course, at the end of each stanza, all that we've accomplished is attributed to God.  But I found myself rewriting a bit in my head, and thought it made more sense this way:

Knowledge and truth,
loud sounding wisdom,
sing to the world a new song!
...We have done marvelous things.
Sing to the world a new song!

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