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music our kids listen to

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  • Fr. Alexis Duncan
    GlacierI have been doing some research lately. I have become interested in music, particularly the music our young people listen to. Since I work a lot with
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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      GlacierI have been doing some research lately. I have become
      interested in music, particularly the music our young people
      listen to. Since I work a lot with kids, their tastes
      interest me.

      Now I recall several years ago when older priests were quite
      concerned with rock and roll music. It never seemed to
      bother me too much. I don't like all of it, but I thought
      most of it was relatively innocent. Now music seems to be a
      different story. For example, recently there was the death
      of a heavy metal rocker Dimebag Darrell. His obituary has
      covered magazines, journals and websites. He may well have
      been an upstanding young fellow, but his image of a hard
      drinking wild and abandoned "idol" is clear.

      I have listened to many groups recently. There is a common
      thread among them all. It is a rather perverse despondency
      and of course laced heavily with violence and sex. And
      surprisingly, most Orthodox young people listen to this
      stuff. Even young adult Orthodox like it. Now perhaps I am
      getting old, but I still try to be very open-minded about
      these things. However, there seems to me to be a great
      difference between Pink Floyd and Slipknot. (That may not
      mean anything to some people.) The former was somewhat
      artistic in style and flair. The latter is really, what I
      would term, demonic.

      The question is, how do we as Orthodox Christians address
      these things without seeming to be just stuck under a rock?


      _________________________________________________



      Fr. Alexis Duncan
      Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
      Atlanta, GA
      www.orthodoxinfo.biz






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Fr. Michael Crowley
      There was a very interesting interchange on American Idol last week that coincides with your observation. There was a 20 something year old man who was a
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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        There was a very interesting interchange on "American Idol" last week
        that coincides with your observation. There was a 20 something year old
        man who was a "youth minister" in his Protestant church who either
        auditioned or was going to audition. The program had a "guest judge" on
        the panel, none other than Gene Simmons from the totally demonized old
        group "Kiss." Simmons looked at the fellow and told him matter-of-factly
        he was in the wrong place. Though he had a good enough voice, pop/rock
        music was all about sex (meaning illicit sex). One of the other judges
        immediately piped in "And demons" to which Simmons immediately agreed.
        They suggested that the young man try country music which, they
        believed, would be more open to his sentiments.
        So here we have "music professionals" themselves declaring the
        sinfulness of their own works. Of course, they are somewhat proud of the
        fact, but that is beside the point. They would, I am sure, be very much
        offended if we pointed out to them their complicity in encouraging
        teenage angst, depression and, all too often, suicide.
        We clergy can preach about this but it is very difficult to get through
        to young people surrounded by all of the sensory stimulation of "pop
        culture," the unrelenting pressure of their peers, and the /laissez
        faire/ attitude of their parents.
        My approach as a parent and priest has been to look for every
        opportunity to immerse the senses of my children (both kinds) in
        Orthodox culture and/or the best of the "fallen good" of Western
        culture. This is often time consuming and expensive and so I continually
        fall short since I am far from being unselfish. I have though, been able
        to recognize the difference when efforts are made.
        I tell new/young parents to keep this kind of music out of their homes,
        to severely limit TV viewing (better to not even have one), etc. and
        conversely present beautiful music and images as much as possible.
        Coming to Church at least twice a week saves a lot of work on the
        parents' part!
        I am tempted to ramble on about homeschooling, etc. but I will resist.
        The bottom line, in my opinion, is that we have to work overtime to
        present something better. By the Grace of God, the negative will be not
        only offset, but overcome and we will have children who grow into
        healthy adult Orthodox Christians.

        Fr. Michael Crowley


        Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

        >GlacierI have been doing some research lately. I have become
        >interested in music, particularly the music our young people
        >listen to. Since I work a lot with kids, their tastes
        >interest me.
        >
        >Now I recall several years ago when older priests were quite
        >concerned with rock and roll music. It never seemed to
        >bother me too much. I don't like all of it, but I thought
        >most of it was relatively innocent. Now music seems to be a
        >different story. For example, recently there was the death
        >of a heavy metal rocker Dimebag Darrell. His obituary has
        >covered magazines, journals and websites. He may well have
        >been an upstanding young fellow, but his image of a hard
        >drinking wild and abandoned "idol" is clear.
        >
        >I have listened to many groups recently. There is a common
        >thread among them all. It is a rather perverse despondency
        >and of course laced heavily with violence and sex. And
        >surprisingly, most Orthodox young people listen to this
        >stuff. Even young adult Orthodox like it. Now perhaps I am
        >getting old, but I still try to be very open-minded about
        >these things. However, there seems to me to be a great
        >difference between Pink Floyd and Slipknot. (That may not
        >mean anything to some people.) The former was somewhat
        >artistic in style and flair. The latter is really, what I
        >would term, demonic.
        >
        >The question is, how do we as Orthodox Christians address
        >these things without seeming to be just stuck under a rock?
        >
        >
        >_________________________________________________
        >
        >
        >
        >Fr. Alexis Duncan
        >Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
        >Atlanta, GA
        >www.orthodoxinfo.biz
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • frvboldewskul@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/31/05 9:21:42 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Dear Father, I agree. One question though, are you familiar with the videos. Now adays the
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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          In a message dated 1/31/05 9:21:42 AM Pacific Standard Time,
          7848@... writes:

          > I have listened to many groups recently. There is a common
          > thread among them all. It is a rather perverse despondency
          > and of course laced heavily with violence and sex. And
          > surprisingly, most Orthodox young people listen to this
          > stuff. Even young adult Orthodox like it. Now perhaps I am
          > getting old, but I still try to be very open-minded about
          > these things. However, there seems to me to be a great
          > difference between Pink Floyd and Slipknot. (That may not
          > mean anything to some people.) The former was somewhat
          > artistic in style and flair. The latter is really, what I
          > would term, demonic.
          >

          Dear Father,
          I agree. One question though, are you familiar with the videos. Now adays the
          videos are as much important as the music. What they watch on MTV and VH1
          should be of great,great concern as well.

          In Christ,
          Priest Victor Boldewskul


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Fr. Alexis Duncan
          You are right, however the media has some standards that govern the videos on television. These standards are far more accepting than I am, but at least they
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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            You are right, however the media has some standards that
            govern the videos on television. These standards are far
            more accepting than I am, but at least they can't show what
            they want to over the air. I try to watch some of the videos
            (at least as much as I can stomach). However, the videos on
            MTV or VH1 are pretty tame compared to the private
            production videos available to any teenager. The lyrics are
            far more graphic. Unfortunately most parents don't
            understand the lyrics and they far too often just allow kids
            to hear what they want to hear. Same goes for internet chat
            rooms and video games. Somehow, though, the music affects
            every child. Its everywhere.



            _________________________________________________




            Fr. Alexis Duncan
            Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
            Atlanta, GA
            www.orthodoxinfo.biz





            -----Original Message-----
            From: frvboldewskul@... [mailto:frvboldewskul@...]
            Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 2:36 PM
            To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] music our kids listen to


            Dear Father,
            I agree. One question though, are you familiar with the
            videos. Now adays the
            videos are as much important as the music. What they watch
            on MTV and VH1
            should be of great,great concern as well.

            In Christ,
            Priest Victor Boldewskul
          • Reader Michael Malloy
            Two comments: The Heavy Metal thing in Columbus was blown way out of proportion by the local media here. And I very much believe too much was made over the
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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              Two comments:

              The "Heavy Metal" thing in Columbus was blown way out of proportion by
              the local media here. And I very much believe too much was made over
              the fans of this stuff. It was presented in a normal way, as if this
              stuff was good for people. THAT makes me sick.

              On the comments about good music to listen to, I could go on for hours
              but I don't want to clutter the list and I can't stay up that late anyway.

              Just this past weekend our priest spoke about the effects of music,
              but he was talking more about classical music. I think there are some
              extremes that were mentioned which I don't agree with. For instance,
              Mozart was on the list of composers considered somewhat dangerous. OK,
              so Mozart was a Mason, and his operas are...well, they're operas!
              Opera by its nature is very un-Orthodox Christian. The discussion
              went into Goethe and other philosphers who were infulential in the
              19th century. I guess Richard Strauss is right out if you want to be
              picky about it. I happen to love his music and I disagree with his
              sources of inspiration. I've played orchestral music by R. Strauss -
              Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegle, etc. It is very well crafted music.

              What do the rest of you think about classical music? Where do you draw
              the lines?

              With a bachelor of music (musicology) I am influenced by my
              experiences and my studies. I firmly believe classical music is almost
              100% perfectly good for Christians to listen to.

              Reader Michael Malloy
              Columbus OH
            • Fr. Alexis Duncan
              You mention coming to church twice a week. Father, you indeed are a fanatic! Actually I tried once to suggest to someone that a good barometer of a healthy
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                You mention coming to church twice a week. Father, you
                indeed are a fanatic!

                Actually I tried once to suggest to someone that a good
                "barometer" of a healthy family life is their attendance at
                the Vigil on Saturdays and feasts. The ones who make this a
                point seem better off. Of course, it is just a barometer
                that reflects that the parents do a far greater job at home.
                Then I have seen families where the children are far from
                the Church and begin to be big trouble; parents who never
                wanted to impose on the children to bring them to church and
                the and then they weep in disbelief and ask "Why?". In the
                end it seems that the parents are the ones we need to reach.

                _________________________________________________


                Fr. Alexis Duncan
                Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                Atlanta, GA
                www.orthodoxinfo.biz

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Fr. Michael Crowley [mailto:tcrowley@...]
                Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 2:01 PM
                To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] music our kids listen to



                My approach as a parent and priest has been to look for
                every
                opportunity to immerse the senses of my children (both
                kinds) in
                Orthodox culture and/or the best of the "fallen good" of
                Western
                culture. This is often time consuming and expensive and so I
                continually
                fall short since I am far from being unselfish. I have
                though, been able
                to recognize the difference when efforts are made.
                I tell new/young parents to keep this kind of music out of
                their homes,
                to severely limit TV viewing (better to not even have one),
                etc. and
                conversely present beautiful music and images as much as
                possible.
                Coming to Church at least twice a week saves a lot of work
                on the
                parents' part!
              • Fr. Alexis Duncan
                Classical is the least of our worries I feel. Of course during Lent it is avoided by most families. Actually, growing up I heard it at home and became
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                  Classical is the least of our worries I feel. Of course
                  during Lent it is avoided by most families. Actually,
                  growing up I heard it at home and became interested on my
                  own. Now that I am growing older, I have little taste for
                  it. Odd.

                  There are some very interesting theories about music. The
                  Greeks had the various modes classified as to the effects
                  they had on the soul. Seems reasonable to me. Perhaps
                  someone with more knowledge about this can offer these
                  insights.

                  Maybe there is really not much we can do about kids (or
                  adults!) listening to head-banging music. The culture of
                  head-bangers is what is frightening. I recently saw a couple
                  of "blogs" (bizarre things aren't they...for the Andy Warhol
                  fame seekers) of Orthodox Christians that listed their
                  favorite bands...head-bangers! Can you imagine...treatises
                  on ascetic life, prayer and.......head-bangers.

                  _________________________________________________


                  Fr. Alexis Duncan
                  Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                  Atlanta, GA
                  www.orthodoxinfo.biz


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Reader Michael Malloy
                  [mailto:sputnikpsalomschchika@...]
                  Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 11:59 PM
                  To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: music our kids listen to

                  Two comments:

                  The "Heavy Metal" thing in Columbus was blown way out of
                  proportion by
                  the local media here. And I very much believe too much was
                  made over
                  the fans of this stuff. It was presented in a normal way, as
                  if this
                  stuff was good for people. THAT makes me sick.

                  On the comments about good music to listen to, I could go on
                  for hours
                  but I don't want to clutter the list and I can't stay up
                  that late anyway.

                  Just this past weekend our priest spoke about the effects of
                  music,
                  but he was talking more about classical music. I think
                  there are some
                  extremes that were mentioned which I don't agree with. For
                  instance,
                  Mozart was on the list of composers considered somewhat
                  dangerous. OK,
                  so Mozart was a Mason, and his operas are...well, they're
                  operas!
                  Opera by its nature is very un-Orthodox Christian. The
                  discussion
                  went into Goethe and other philosphers who were infulential
                  in the
                  19th century. I guess Richard Strauss is right out if you
                  want to be
                  picky about it. I happen to love his music and I disagree
                  with his
                  sources of inspiration. I've played orchestral music by R.
                  Strauss -
                  Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegle, etc. It is very well crafted
                  music.

                  What do the rest of you think about classical music? Where
                  do you draw
                  the lines?
                • larry most
                  GLORY TO JESUS CHRISST - GLORY TO HIM FOREVER Dear Reader Michael, I like most kinds of music and especially classical music.(Not the piecies that sound like 2
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                    GLORY TO JESUS CHRISST - GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
                    Dear Reader Michael,
                    I like most kinds of music and especially classical
                    music.(Not the piecies that sound like 2 cats on the
                    piano or what I lovingly refer to as "hungarian
                    funeral music"). The problem nowdays (I'm dating
                    myself) is that what is called "music" isn't music at
                    all. I is either a beat with a bunch of words (that
                    you really don't want to understand) or a bunch of
                    literally banging on guitars and screaming lyrics that
                    are sometimes cute and sometimes not. Just my humble
                    opinion, so I hope I didn't offend you.
                    Love in Christ,
                    Sub-deacon Lawrence
                    --- Reader Michael Malloy
                    <sputnikpsalomschchika@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > Two comments:
                    >
                    > The "Heavy Metal" thing in Columbus was blown way
                    > out of proportion by
                    > the local media here. And I very much believe too
                    > much was made over
                    > the fans of this stuff. It was presented in a normal
                    > way, as if this
                    > stuff was good for people. THAT makes me sick.
                    >
                    > On the comments about good music to listen to, I
                    > could go on for hours
                    > but I don't want to clutter the list and I can't
                    > stay up that late anyway.
                    >
                    > Just this past weekend our priest spoke about the
                    > effects of music,
                    > but he was talking more about classical music. I
                    > think there are some
                    > extremes that were mentioned which I don't agree
                    > with. For instance,
                    > Mozart was on the list of composers considered
                    > somewhat dangerous. OK,
                    > so Mozart was a Mason, and his operas are...well,
                    > they're operas!
                    > Opera by its nature is very un-Orthodox Christian.
                    > The discussion
                    > went into Goethe and other philosphers who were
                    > infulential in the
                    > 19th century. I guess Richard Strauss is right out
                    > if you want to be
                    > picky about it. I happen to love his music and I
                    > disagree with his
                    > sources of inspiration. I've played orchestral music
                    > by R. Strauss -
                    > Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegle, etc. It is very well
                    > crafted music.
                    >
                    > What do the rest of you think about classical music?
                    > Where do you draw
                    > the lines?
                    >
                    > With a bachelor of music (musicology) I am
                    > influenced by my
                    > experiences and my studies. I firmly believe
                    > classical music is almost
                    > 100% perfectly good for Christians to listen to.
                    >
                    > Reader Michael Malloy
                    > Columbus OH
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >




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                  • Fr. Michael Crowley
                    I believe that it is the parents who we need to address. Unfortunately, by the time the kids are teens and the parents see the result of their spiritual
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                      I believe that it is the parents who we need to address. Unfortunately,
                      by the time the kids are teens and the parents see the result of their
                      spiritual "neglect" it is almost too late. Thank God we have places like
                      St. Seraphim Camp where we can nurture these higher values and encourage
                      relationships with peers who then become co-strugglers. We have heard
                      more than one report of kids going home from camp and goading their
                      parents into bringing them to church!
                      What is it with people? They claim that they are tired at the end of the
                      week from working, need time for themselves, need time for their
                      family... How come so many of us also work full time jobs and do not
                      feel that the Church interferes at all, rather just the opposite? It
                      almost takes some catastrophic event to wake us up to the incredible
                      gift and beauty of the Church! Perhaps some of us have gotten close
                      enough to the edge of the cliff in the past.
                      Back to the subject -- parents have to start immediately, from birth, to
                      instill the love of Beauty and Truth into their children. Excellence in
                      academics and/or sports in themselves are not bad things, but will
                      ultimately not suffice. I bring this up because these two things seem to
                      dominate the hopes of many of the parents (who at least make the effort
                      to care!) that I know or hear about. If their kids are good at at least
                      one of these they have a chance of "fitting in." If they "fit in" the
                      have a great chance of being "successful" and having a "comfortable"
                      life. Again, I am not against success or comfort (if that means adequate
                      food, clothing and shelter, a loving spouse, etc.), but when these are
                      given preeminence over virtue and faithfulness there is sure to be
                      disaster ahead.
                      Way back to the original subject -- most of the main stream contemporary
                      music is intoxicating -- like a drug or alcohol. We should keep our kids
                      away from it for as long as we can. But it does not work to only
                      withhold -- we must also give something better.
                      This is what cuts deep into our own selfishness and/or wallets!

                      Fr. Michael

                      Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

                      >You mention coming to church twice a week. Father, you
                      >indeed are a fanatic!
                      >
                      >Actually I tried once to suggest to someone that a good
                      >"barometer" of a healthy family life is their attendance at
                      >the Vigil on Saturdays and feasts. The ones who make this a
                      >point seem better off. Of course, it is just a barometer
                      >that reflects that the parents do a far greater job at home.
                      >Then I have seen families where the children are far from
                      >the Church and begin to be big trouble; parents who never
                      >wanted to impose on the children to bring them to church and
                      >the and then they weep in disbelief and ask "Why?". In the
                      >end it seems that the parents are the ones we need to reach.
                      >
                      >_________________________________________________
                      >
                      >
                      >Fr. Alexis Duncan
                      >Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                      >Atlanta, GA
                      >www.orthodoxinfo.biz
                      >
                      >-----Original Message-----
                      >From: Fr. Michael Crowley [mailto:tcrowley@...]
                      >Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 2:01 PM
                      >To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] music our kids listen to
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >My approach as a parent and priest has been to look for
                      >every
                      >opportunity to immerse the senses of my children (both
                      >kinds) in
                      >Orthodox culture and/or the best of the "fallen good" of
                      >Western
                      >culture. This is often time consuming and expensive and so I
                      >continually
                      >fall short since I am far from being unselfish. I have
                      >though, been able
                      >to recognize the difference when efforts are made.
                      >I tell new/young parents to keep this kind of music out of
                      >their homes,
                      >to severely limit TV viewing (better to not even have one),
                      >etc. and
                      >conversely present beautiful music and images as much as
                      >possible.
                      >Coming to Church at least twice a week saves a lot of work
                      >on the
                      >parents' part!
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
                      >
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • (matushka) Ann Lardas
                      Father, bless! I ve discovered that it s important for parents to listen to what their children like. Three of ours are teenagers and the other wants to be. We
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                        Father, bless!

                        I've discovered that it's important for parents to listen to what
                        their children like. Three of ours are teenagers and the other wants
                        to be. We have a rule that if they are helping with the housework,
                        the kids get to choose the music. This way, I know what they're
                        listening to. Lately, they've discovered things from the seventies
                        and eighties -- Weird Al and Tom Lehrer -- but we also get Blink182
                        and Smashmouth and the like. When the kids get a funny look on their
                        faces and say, "We're going to skip the next track," then I know that
                        they know that it's no good. This is a good thing. There are CD's and
                        even groups that we just don't listen to any more after I got a good
                        earful. We often borrow CD's from the library before buying them for
                        just that reason. But from this the older kids have learned what is
                        and isn't acceptable. And that's an important life skill. After all,
                        I can't go to college with them and sit in the dorm sorting through
                        cd's. They have to learn how to censor their own listening.

                        Children who play a musical instrument sometimes have more
                        discernment and a greater opportunity to police their own musical
                        choices. Our crew has discovered Irish music, some of which is not
                        very lenten but most of which tells a story or offers a moral.

                        The computer is a big help, in that kids today can download specific
                        songs and ignore the ones they don't like, making custom tailored
                        cd's or ipods or whatever. Fr. Peter is big on explaining that they
                        need to pay licensing for what they listen to, which I appreciate.
                        But whatever they download, parents have to listen to it, even if
                        it's torture to do so.

                        When our oldest was ten, the bus driver used to play rap on the bus
                        radio, and a parishioner gave her a little AM/FM radio of her own.
                        She wanted to play the rap station at home, KBOX, and I let her on
                        the condition that I listen, too. The words went by too fast for her
                        to notice, but I heard them just fine, and when my eyebrows went back
                        down to where they normally belong again, I came up with a strategy
                        for getting her to abandon the station on her own. I chose one song
                        and made it my "favorite." It had a chorus which went:

                        Hurricane, but you can call me Flurricane.
                        Hurricane, but you can call me Flurricane.
                        Flurricane, but you can call me Hurricane.
                        Hurricane, but you can call me Hurricane.

                        And that's the repeatable part.

                        Anyway, every time this song came on, I followed the teenybopper
                        ettiquete and made everyone be quiet so I could listen. And sing
                        along. And dance. No matter who was over. No matter what they were
                        doing.

                        It took her less than a week to find the classic channel, and rap has
                        not entered since.

                        FWIW, I like the music that the kids play when they get together for
                        campfires at camp, and I like having older teens and young adults
                        there whom they can learn about new groups and genres from. That's
                        how they learned about the sound track from "Oh, Brother, Where Art
                        Thou." Given that they're not going to sit around comparing Georgian
                        chant to Bulgarian, we owe it to them to listen to what they listen
                        to, and help them reach decisions about what it teaches and where it
                        leads. Beyond that, we have the "Fr. N. test," which is, "Don't play
                        music for yourself that you would be embarrassed to listen to in
                        front of the priest." Depending on how cool a priest they choose for
                        the N., there can be quite a range, but it weeds out anything too
                        depressing or depraved.

                        In Christ,
                        Matushka Ann
                      • ourlittlecity@aol.com
                        In a message dated 2/1/2005 10:30:09 AM Eastern Standard Time, 7848@adelphia.net writes: Can you imagine...treatises on ascetic life, prayer
                        Message 11 of 11 , Feb 1, 2005
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                          In a message dated 2/1/2005 10:30:09 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                          7848@... writes:
                          Can you imagine...treatises
                          on ascetic life, prayer and.......head-bangers.
                          A modern version of Stylites? I know I feel like banging my head when
                          circumstances have dictated that I must hear unwanted IIchin music.

                          rdr. john dunn


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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