Truth Before Comfort

by Buck Bowen

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about

A sort of Sunday-School-in-reverse concept album that challenges one’s most cherished notions, emphasizes critical thinking, and addresses such questions as, could the teachings of Jesus be improved? Are the Ten Commandments all they’ve been cracked up to be? And what exactly is the soul?

credits

released September 13, 2013

Written, produced, recorded, and mixed by Buck Bowen @ The Sweatbox in Long Beach, CA

Mastered by Doug Van Sloun @ Focus Mastering Omaha, NE

Artwork by Matt Urlaub

Vocals by Ananya Kepper (8)
Additional Instrumentation by Erik Eklund (2, 8) and Diana Bernard (8)

Dedicated to Dave Sink

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about

Buck Bowen Long Beach, California

Buck Bowen is a freethinking, motivational mc with a lyrical appetite for skeptical inquiry and self-development.
If he’s not manscaping the middlebrow’s beliefs about reality, he’s inflating the tires of their lackadaicycle.

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Track Name: The Dragon In My Garage Page One
Let’s suppose I seriously claim
That a fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage what would you say?
I mean, with all the stories about dragons throughout history
But, no real evidence now here’s an opportunity!
“Show me,” you say
And so we look in my garage but all we see is empty cans of paint
“Where’s it at?” you question
Oh she’s right here, but she’s an invisible dragon, I failed to mention
And so you suggest
We spread flour on the floor to capture the dragon’s steps
That’s a good idea, and I suppose it’s fair
But see this dragon’s always floating in the air
You’ll use an infrared, sensor to detect,
The invisible fire, but hold on a sec’
See the thing is
That’s a good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless
You’ll spray paint the dragon to make her visible
But the paint won’t stick she’s incorporeal
And so on, I counter every physical test
With a special explanation of why it can’t be met
Now, what’s the difference?
Between the dragon I described and one that never existed?
If, you can’t disprove my contention and nothing counts against it
What’s it even mean to say my dragon’s in existence?
Your inability to invalidate
My hypothesis is not at all the same
As proving it true
A claim is veridically worthless if it’s immune to disproof
Despite whatever value it may have in
Exciting our sense of wonder and inspiring action
What I’m asking you to do
Is to believe me in the absence of evidence because I say it’s true
Track Name: The Afterlife Party (Soul Food for Thought)
What is the soul? Is it physical?
Does it ever die? Is it immaterial?
If it’s immortal in ethereal form
I’m curious, where did it exist before we were born?
Where does it reside? Is it inside our head?
In our entire body? Is it limited within our chest?
Does the soul change?
If a child dies young, does the soul persist to grow to its adult state?
And if you’re challenged mentally or physically
Upon your death do you acquire insight or ability?
And what about the twins arising from a single egg
When the cell divides does the soul comply and split two ways?
Into half or whole?
Do conjoined twins get to have their own? What’s an actual soul?
I’ve yet to be given a definition that’s consistent
Plus not in contradiction with the laws of physics 1

It’s soul food for thought, that I got
‘Bout the afterlife party, the afterlife party
It’s soul food for thought, if you want
‘Bout the afterlife party, the afterlife party

If the soul happens at the moment of conception
Then, it is a process and can be detected
But if it can’t as would some say
I wonder how they knew the soul existed in the first place
Could they be more wrong?
The soul as a non-substantial substance is an oxymoron 2
By what mechanism does a soul detect an image?
If it doesn’t have a retina I suspect it’s lacking vision
How can it retain our personality after we die?
When we know our neurons cease to survive 3
Perhaps you know someone who’s had a stroke with tragic loss
You’re saying they regain the faculties lost after they’re gone? 4
I think you better check again
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence 5
And about the truth,
Assertions without grounds can be dismissed without proof 6

It’s soul food for thought, that I got
‘Bout the afterlife party, the afterlife party
It’s soul food for thought, if you want
‘Bout the afterlife party, the afterlife party
Track Name: If I Was Jesus Part Two
If I was Jesus, and I came to start a new religion
I would have written it myself without the contradictions 1
Or procured a person to put it onto paper 2
To write it while I was alive and not decades later 3
I would have made sure, all was clear with nothing vague
There’d be no need for interpretation of what I had said
And consequently, no denominations
Nor a single copy error to another language
You wouldn’t see me heal a bunch of lepers
I would do better and remove the disease altogether
There’d be no sermons, only topics worth hearing
Such as the scientific method, physics, and the germ theory
I’d turn the golden rule into platinum
By simply quoting the brilliant Dr. Linus Pauling maxim: 4
Do unto others twenty percent better
Than you’d expect they’d do to you to correct for subjective error
Track Name: Atheisn't 1-0-None
Atheism is the arrogant belief
That this entire billion galaxy universe wasn’t made for me 1
Let me define it once more
An atheist is one who lacks invisible means of support 2
Now if you want, you can love religion
But God made me an atheist, who are you to judge his wisdom? 3
I was born without belief as every baby is
And after finding reason became a born-again atheist
The proof for other gods always gets ignored
The reason you dismiss theirs is why I dismiss yours
We’re all atheists, one way or another
The difference is I take it one god further
While your church and messiah engage in legal tax evasion
Atheism is a non-prophet organization 4
I have faith there is no god, I’ll admit it
I’m not an atheist, I’m God’s loyal opposition 5
Track Name: God Is Wh?t
Two men want to marry, why is it wrong to do that?
According to the Bible even Jesus had two dads…

They say God is love, I say it’s a lie
Millions of children die before the age of five
And just think, most parents pray to be spared
But he does nothing to help them, or doesn’t even care
Therefore, he’s either impotent or evil
And it’s a pity to think that many of these people are going to hell
For praying to the wrong God,
Hindus, Muslims, Jews, all gone 1
To be tortured for eternity but certainly, there’s no evidence for this absurdity
That hell awaits them, it just says so in Mark 9, Matthew, and Revelation
Yeah, and while the Hindus get doomed,
Your run of the mill psychopathic killer is exonerated by Jesús
Cause on his death-cot, he accepts God, and further
he’s in heaven now with the kids he murdered
Well, assuming they were Christians, huh, and you believe in this religion?
But don’t take it from me it’s plain to see in the Bible on any page you read

You say God is good, you had a positive experience
yet when a child drowns to death God’s mysterious
“We’re merely humans” you say, “his ways are past us”
Then, by what standard was that established?
It’s amazing to me, given all this God does not accomplish this faith is obscene
The epitome of narcissism, “God loves me, makes me feel good, you can’t argue with him”
Yeah plus he’s just and honest even when he admonishes us to kill our neighboring tribe 2
He has a book and if you look it says slavery’s right 3
Yet, you think this God walks a righteous path when He acts just like a psychopath?
Let’s bring the facts to light, Christianity’s a cult of human sacrifice 4
Christianity’s a cult of human sacrifice
Track Name: If I Was Jesus Part One
If I was Jesus, and I knew all of the crimes committed
By my father, I would have him locked in prison
Furthermore I would abhor such a disgusting dad
Who would have me tortured to death for his unsuccessful plan
My father authored a book
And if it’s true then it’s awful and portrays him as a monstrous crook
A bigot, a genocidal maniac savage who captures women 1
And kills children 2
They say it’s filled with, prophecies of me
But my name is never mentioned so it isn’t obvious to read
Plus with all of the atrocities
I’d be embarrassed and ashamed to claim this god fathered me
I could only hope to know
Why he chose to debauch my mother with the holy ghost
My father failed to note, in fact he lied
That she would be raising a scapegoat to be sacrificed
Track Name: The Ten Cracked Commandments
When you talk about the Ten Commandments, the question is
Do you refer to Deuteronomy or Exodus? 1
The Ten Commandments term is only in connection with
The latter 2 plus the book is offering almost two separate lists
And which interpretation do you have to pick?
Is it the Jewish, Protestant, or Catholic? 3
Of course there’s many more than this
All of which are an abridged version of the Torah’s list
It’s ridiculous some think we have to read
A list of rules, that hardly touch upon morality 4
‘Cause if we did what would happen?
The Catholics would drop their saints and quit working on the sabbath? 5
Number I, I am thy God which
Have brought you out of Egypt, the house of bondage 6
That’s rather odd but what else does it tell us?
No worshipping other gods, for thy God is jealous? 7
Really? That’s kind of a silly notion
That God all-mighty suffers a petty human emotion
And that Egypt part, I see why it gets ignored
But maybe God was making an evolution metaphor
Let’s move on to Number II
Make no graven images of things above or under you 8
Now this isn’t in the Catholic ten
And the reason’s obvious, their God needs all the help he can
Now you won’t believe but here’s Number III
The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep 9
Unless you read a different page
It’s don’t take the Lord’s name in vain 10 which isn’t really the same
Number IV keep the sabbath hollow 11
That’s a Saturday so which commandment do the Christians follow?
God rested on the seventh day 12
But he’s omnipotent and infinite why does he need a break?
Number V, depends upon the list you read
Honor thy father and mother 13 or observe the feast of weeks 14
Respect is earned not just something you should give
Should children have to honor a parent who is abusing them?
There’s two for Number VI, thou shalt not kill 15
Or thrice a year boys must appear before the God of Israel 16
If it’s wrong to kill then God must love to disobey it
Since he drowns the earth 17 and murders babies 18 just to make a statement
Number VII, no sacrificial blood with leaven 19
Sound unfamiliar? Prob’ly ’cause you’ve never read it
You’re thinking of the other VII
Thou shalt not commit adultery 20 with another man’s possession
Number VIII, something ’bout a sacrificial meal 21
Or as the other list commands, do not steal 22
Unless of course God okays it
Then you can take the women, land, and life of other nations 23
Number IX has two to quote from
Bring the firstfruits of your land to the house of Jehovah 24
Or against your neighbor do not lie 25
But it’s a bit suspicious that neighbor isn’t defined
Number X, I didn’t make this up for real
It’s do not boil a kid in his mother’s milk 26
Or perhaps you know the other one
Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, slave, or his other stuff 27
And there it is, the apparent Ten
The greatest list of rules God could ever give
Yet there’s so much it fails to mention
Plus it could be improved in just one, single, sentence

Do not make another human being your slave
Don’t condemn another person based on gender or race
Or sexual orientation
Don’t mistreat or harm a child, and do not indoctrinate them
I’ve yet to mention rape and genocide
And you truly think that God’s list of Ten is divine?
Even a child could improve its rules
I’ve done it and so have others, and I encourage you to do it too
Track Name: The Sabbath Breaker
They didn’t know what should be done to him
So they brought him unto Moses, and awaited orders for his punishment
The Lord spoke to Moses alone
Saying the man must die, he must be stoned 1
So they took him outside each with a rock in their hand
Where they planned to throw stones till he dropped in the sand
The man was visibly shaken terror poured over his face
Apprehensive in his steps knowing the course of his fate
The assembly stopped, got in position
The first stone was thrown, but did not hit him
The second one followed fast, it was quick and swift
And didn’t miss in fact the blast dropped him as it kissed his lips
He shrieked collapsing in pain
As the entourage of rocks battered his face
Bathing in blood, dead as more landed
The morally righteous, did as the Lord commanded

If God is love
What’s the purpose of this punishment?
Where’s the love in this?

His life was spent, on the price of sticks
And I wonder did this man have a wife and kids?
Was he trying to keep his family warm?
Was he even Jewish? Did he know he broke commandment IV?
Thou shalt not work upon this day of rest
I guess stoning a man to death isn’t really considered work
And did he die in vein? When Jesus finally came
It seemed that God’s mind had kind of changed
Some things seem to contradict
Like God’s edict for death by stoning as the consequence
With what Jesus said, to a crowd of men
He said to throw the first stone if you’re without sin 2
Which is awfully strange
When you consider that he said the law’s not to change 3
You’ll be considered least if you break the least of these commandments 4
But Jesus also worked upon the Sabbath 5

If God is love
What’s the purpose of this punishment?
Where’s the love in this?
Track Name: Omni-Absurd
Do you believe your God is all-knowing? That he has a plan?
That he’s aware of everything that happens in advance?
If this is true God knows which miracles he’ll make us see
And so it follows no amount of prayer is going to change a thing
If by divine intervention a miracle’s permitted
He doesn’t have a plan and makes arbitrary decisions
But he’s omniscient, which means from start to finish
Every outcome’s known to him like whose favorite sports team is winning
But can it be?
How can a disembodied god know how to hop on a trampoline?
Or compensate for an injured wrist
If God is all-knowing how does he know how to find out about what he’s ignorant? 1

I can create a mass of concrete so heavy I can’t lift it
Yet God cannot and he’s omnipotent…
And he’s also omnipresent
Yet he never seems to show up till it’s time to get the credit
Omni-benevolent, infinitely good
But it’s a little hard to see when you read his book
God himself said he created evil 2
And repented of his thoughts of doing evil to his people 3
If God is just, and justice is defined
As the punishment fits the crime
We have a contradiction
Because God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children 4
If God is merciful, and we’re defining mercy
As the punishment given being less than deserving
Then I’m asking why
Did God say “spare them not” 5 when massacring the Amalekites
He made his son into a culprit
How could I accept the gruesome death of another for my atonement?
This system seems wicked and filthy
Moral justice, cannot take the innocent for the guilty 6

I don’t need your God, your God needs me
Somebody’s got to pay for his employees
I find it rather odd your God needs so much help
When he’s omniscient, omnipotent, omni everything else