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The Argument from Johnny Cash

Filed under Music

Johnny Cash

Recently, for my Mom’s 60th birthday, I put together a tribute video complete with creased photographs, old music, and clips of my brothers recounting a favorite memory of her—mostly revolving around her cooking or buying the four of us food. As part of the tribute, I asked my Dad to summarize their forty years of marriage together in a minute-long clip—a Herculean task that he met with such calmness and profundity that I knew instantly it would be the grand finale. I also... Read More

The Dove and the Soapbox

Filed under Music


Early yesterday morning we received our 5,000th comment here at Strange Notions. We're just four weeks in and the response has been stunning. The site has received over 185,000 pageviews, 65,000 unique visitors, and thousands of comments. Contrary to those who claim this is "a one-sided Catholic conversation," roughly 75% of the comments have come from charitable, serious-minded atheists. As far as I can tell, there is no other place on earth where atheists and Catholics have come together... Read More

How Music Led Me to God


A while back I mentioned to an atheist acquaintance that I'd cried at Mass that morning. I explained that it was one of those times when I felt overwhelmed with the presence of God; I was so perfectly at peace, so surrounded by love, that I couldn't help but be moved to tears. "Maybe it was the music," he responded. He went on to offer an erudite analysis of how music is known to produce certain positive sensations in the brain, noting that religious leaders from time immemorial have used... Read More