Atheist Top 30

Published by MNA on

By Eric Jayne

Photo of Eric leaning on a table in a listening pose.

Like it or not, Christian music is undoubtedly popular.  Among my daughter’s peer group “Jesus Take the Wheel,” by Carrie Underwood, is a very popular song that her friends sing when they get together.  During my own adolescence I was an unwilling participant in an evangelical youth group where many discussions took place regarding Christian artists like Amy Grant, Petra, and DC Talk.  Given the seemingly timeless popularity and ubiquity of pious music I felt the need to come up with a list of my favorite pro-atheist songs, many of which are delightfully sacrilegious.  Some of these songs promote rational freethought, some satirize religious beliefs, and others celebrate science.  In creating this list I factored musical composition and anti-ecclesiastical lyrics.  Although this list consists of only 30 songs I will pretend to be Casey Kasem and introduce them in the American Top 40 show fashion starting with number 30.

30.              “Heaven and Hell”     The Who

              This lyrically simple song will have you wondering if Keith Moon isn’t a god

29.              “The Element Song”     Tom Leher

              Not exactly anti-ecclesiastical but a brilliant song about the Periodic Table

28.              “Do You Realize??”     Flaming Lips

              Humanistic lyrics that give awe to the cosmos

27.              “Atheist Peace”     Bad Religion

              Sometimes loud punk/metal is good for the soul

26.              “The Galaxy Song”     Monty Python

              Have a problem? Listening to this will make it (and you) seem insignificant

25.              “God’s Song”      Randy Newman

              Newman unabashedly tells it how it is

24.              “The Origin of Species”     MC Frontalot

              Funny rap song satirizing creationist arguments

23.              “What if No One’s Watching”      Ani DiFranco

              Ani encourages us to not be afraid to ask questions and be skeptical

22.              “Religion and Politics”      Scott Beach

              Hilarious spoken-word piece that is timeless

21.              “Hellalujah”     Insane Clown Posse

              Don’t listen to this hip-hop song around young children

20.              “East Jesus Nowhere”     Green Day

              Anti-church song from Green Day’s latest album

19.              “Every Sperm in Sacred”     Monty Python

              Everyone should be familiar with this anti-Catholic comedic gem!

18.              “God”     John Lennon

              John encourages us to believe in ourselves in lieu of deities and political idols             

17.              “Jesus Loves Me (But He Can’t Stand You)”     Austin Lounge Lizards

              Tongue-in-cheek country song depicting “red state” philosophy

16.              “Superstar”     Carl Anderson

              Somewhat satirical, “Jesus Christ Superstarrocks and celebrates skepticism

15.              “Fuck the Creationists”     MC Hawking

              Self explanatory song title performed by a Stephen Hawking impersonator

14.              “Shallow Be Thy Game”      Red Hot Chili Peppers

              Alternative rock anti-God song from the band’s classic 1995 album

13.              “God Shuffled His Feet”      Crash Test Dummies

              You’ll feel like Larry Craig when you’re toe-tapping to this clever melody

12.              “It Ain’t Necessarily So”     Cher

              Song about biblical baloney from George Gershwin opera, “Porgy & Bess”

11.              “The Only Way (Hymn)”      Emerson Lake & Palmer

              A Hymn for humanists written by one of the best progressive rock bands

10.              “Shuffering & Shmiling”      Dead Prez

              African hip-hop dance song critical of Christian/western colonization

09.              “Four Winds”     Bright Eyes

              Modern folk-rock song lambasting the Torah, Koran and Bible

08.              “The Idiots are Taking Over”     NOFX

              Punk rock song echoing the angst we freethinking atheists feel

07.              “Only the Good Die Young”     Billy Joel

              Because atheists would “rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints”

06.              “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam”     The Vaselines

              An old children‘s Christian song with an impious spin (later covered by Nirvana.

05.              “A Rational Response”     Greydon Square

              YO! Square’s dropping fresh beats & cogent lyrics for straight up freethought rap

04.              “Arc of Time (Time Code)”     Bright Eyes

              Techno dance song with great sarcastic lines about Jesus, heaven and angels

03.              “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing”/”Dumb All Over”/”Heavenly Bank Account”     Frank Zappa

              Three fantastic anti-religious songs that MUST be listened to in succession

02.              “Imagine”     John Lennon

              Just about everyone knows this beautiful humanistic anthem

01.              “Dear God”     XTC

              This has it all: catchy melody, powerful singing and unapologetic lyrics

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