Folk, Fun and Freedom: This September, Lend Your Support to 'Voices United'

By Lynn, Barry W. | Church & State, June 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Folk, Fun and Freedom: This September, Lend Your Support to 'Voices United'

Lynn, Barry W., Church & State

When I was in high school in Bethlehem, Pa., I had some ideas about the Vietnam War and race relations in America that didn't seem to be appreciated by too many of my peers or teachers. I wasn't sure if anybody else was offended by the treatment of African-Americans or found governmental justification for military activity in Southeast Asia so sorely lacking.

There were, of course, news stories about dissent (we only had 15 minutes of network news then; the 24-hour news cycle was not yet even a glint in Ted Turner's eye) around these issues but they usually featured people in places like Philadelphia or even Washington, D.C.

And then one Sunday night I tuned into an FM station from Philadelphia that was hesitatingly audible on the giant Magnavox radio in our living room. The host was playing something called "folk music," and there was a guy singing a song about all the ways you could try to get out of the military draft, like telling the draft board: "I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen, and I always carry a purse. ... [W]hen the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits, and I'm addicted to a thousand drugs." You get the picture - and a few of you may recognize these lyrics from Phil Ochs' "Draft Dodger Rag."

It took me months to track down this album, but I did eventually find it at Speedy's Record Shop in Allentown. One spin and I was hooked: Somebody else out there was saying very publicly the kind of things I was thinking.

I've come to believe that art, music and films are sometimes a very powerful vehicle for communicating important ideas. These media can appeal to something in us that effectively bypasses intellectual analysis. You can feel it first and figure it out later.

That's why on Sept. 28-30 Americans United will be sponsoring a series of concerts nationwide called "Voices United for Separation of Church and State." The idea is to stand up for the importance of church-state separation at a time when that constitutional concept is under withering attack. We also want to raise awareness about AU's work - all while having a great time.

Americans United isn't new to this. We used music as part of a project a few years back that was called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Separation of Church and State ... But Were Afraid To Ask." (Maybe you've seen the DVD.) It occurred to me that AU could partner with singers who care about church-state separation and provide a weekend of music.

Then, to make it something nobody to my knowledge had ever done before, we'd make sure that one of the events occurred in every state in the union (and the non-state District of Columbia).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Folk, Fun and Freedom: This September, Lend Your Support to 'Voices United'


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?