in stitches. [my favorite song, and album, about losing faith.]

There are lots of songs about loss of faith, so maybe if I thought about this for a long time I would come up with one I like even more, but this one is just so haunting to me. The whole album is about lost faith, but this song in particular grabs my heart and won’t let go. A song to God about no longer believing in God. When Bazan sings,

/ the crew had killed the captain, but they still can hear his voice / a shadow on the water, a whisper in the wind / on long walks with my daughter, who is lately full of questions about you /

It gets me every time. Most articulations of faith these days, including those pronouncing a lack of faith, are silly and thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions that can’t begin to grapple with the huge existential questions with which they are attempting to contend. On one side they talk about faith but do so by arguing for something that has never been orthodox, and didn’t exist until around 100 years ago. On the other side, they argue for the god of science, but do so by claiming facts that are actually pseudo-pop-science, rooted in ideas scientists haven’t believed for at least 50 years. It’s rare to hear someone discuss their thoughts intelligently.

This album, Bazan’s memoir of lost faith, is instead one of uncommon power and thoughtful wrestling. It’s a poetic explanation as to why he could no longer believe in the God he’d believed in all his life.

There are days when this is my song, even though I still personally believe in God.

/ My body bangs and twitches /
/ This brown liquor whets my tongue /
/ My fingers find the stitches /
/ Firmly back and forth they run /
/ I need no other memory /
/ Of the bits of me I left /
/ When all this lethal drinking /
/ Is to hopefully forget about you /

/ I might as well admit it /
/ Like I even have a choice /
/ The crew have killed the captain /
/ But they still can hear his voice /
/ A shadow on the water /
/ A whisper in the wind /
/ On long walks with my daughter /
/ Who is lately full of questions about you /

/ When Job asked you a question /
/ You responded, “Who are you to challenge your creator?” /
/ Well if that one part is true /
/ It makes you sound defensive /
/ Like you had not thought it through /
/ Enough to have an answer /
/ Like you bit off more than you could chew /

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