Following the publication of some rather controversial tweets regarding religion and homosexuality by For Today guitarist, Mike Reynolds, many people within the music industry have made their own comments upon it, including both journalists and bands. Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds has posted his views on this story and issue on the band’s official website (here) which can be read in full below:
“Like most sane people I was completely knocked for six by this statement from… no, not a mentally deranged ageing goofball politician, or a fundamentalist fruitcake on his soapbox on a street corner, but a polite and successful musician…
The guitarist in the American metalcore band, ‘For Today’.
The thought that we actually toured and shared the same stage as this musician in 2011 now makes me feel a bit nauseous. If I knew he held views as embarrassingly archaic and morally disgraceful as this, we wouldn’t have ever gone near the band. Additionally to his nonsensical Twitter outbursts, further personal anger is cemented in by the fact this bloke has the same surname as me… Bugger what an embarrassment to the Reynolds ‘Clan’!
Ok, so to begin, there is obviously no place in our modern metal, punk, hardcore, rock (whatever you want to call it) scene for homophobia.
In fact, there should be no place for these views anywhere full stop, especially not in music.
For thousands of years, music has been one of the main things that brings us humans together! Not something that has divided or segregated us. Through coming together to experience melodies and rhythms and the plethora of emotions they can generate, music by definition, is innately unifying. A beautifully communal human experience. Therefore, anyone wishing to label and exclude other humans as ‘sinners’, for simply loving the human that they wish to love, does not even deserve to pick up an instrument, history has proven to us that every musical instrument is a tool of unity, of diversity and of peace.
But no I’m not going to stop there, Mike Reynolds isn’t JUST being an insult to music here, but also an insult to spirituality worldwide. We simply cannot and must not rely on the literal translation of scripture written thousands of years ago anymore. Our morality and understanding of the world has thankfully progressed colossally since that era and it’s about time these kooky literalists realised it.
The Bible has always been a tool for control of the masses and, arguably, never more so than in modern America, where it has been reduced down over the years to nothing more than a convenient and lucrative distraction… because while you’ve got a scared and ill-educated population too busy debating over what rights some theoretical woman they don’t know has over what happens to her own body, or whether two humans they’ll never meet are able to legally declare their love and commitment to each other, then they’re not liable to notice that they’re supporting policies and laws that directly adversely affect their own family’s financial situation and remove their basic freedoms.
Let me tell you now, a person’s right to spirituality, and a person’s right to believe in a God (whichever one they choose), is a right I would always ardently fight for. It would be a terrible day if freedom of belief is ever taken away.
But when religion begins to dictate education and curriculum or starts calling people evil for harmlessly fulfilling their romantic destiny, it needs to simply fuck off. For that is religion being misapplied to where it frankly has no business being.
Now, really all we have here is some disastrously uneducated and religiously indoctrinated chaps saying what they think is ‘right’. This doesn’t make them ‘evil’, as they’re just a victim of our societies lack of education.
I’m sure they don’t want to hurt anyone, they’re just promoting views that they believe should be heard.
Unfortunately though, this is another case where religion, with it’s hubristic scriptures and dogmas has produced a false confidence, an ego, devoid of all logic and morality.
This is where Religion gets dangerous. When people think they have God on their side, they don’t actually stop to think how utterly illogical and immoral they may be being. This is the same mentality we see of suicide bombers and in religious war, etc.
Unlike the scientific method, which is constantly testing itself and trying to prove itself wrong, religion can breed a queasy egotistical ability to exclaim things as incontrovertibly true. This ultimately creates a disrespect towards morality, and is exactly what we see here; A person so up his own arse in his haggard antique beliefs that he can’t even realise just how out of touch and revolting he’s being.
And no, don’t go telling me that they are his opinions and just like any opinion, they should be respected. No. Rushed, thoughtless and poisonous ‘opinions’ or propaganda like this should NOT be respected by you or anyone. There is nothing here deserving of respect.
Plato, 400 years before the alleged birth of Christ, said “Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul”
Music is a beautiful tool to educate ourselves with. And I thought the purpose of education was not to validate ignorance and intolerance, but to overcome it.
So, to anyone spouting these divisive and disgusting views, I say simply but vehemently, please educate yourself or put down your instrument.”