Armor and Sword: Background

The piece talks about how faith, which we look to for comfort, gets corrupted into something we wield against others. Although Neil doesn’t say this, “Armor and Sword” takes us back to “The Weapon,” which talks about the way priests and other agents of organized religion use our fears to bring us into their fold. In “Armor and Sword,” our fears have metastasized and we’ve become like the priests and use our faith not to give us comfort but to take away the comfort of others. As the piece says, “What should have been our armor / becomes a dark and angry sword.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

Neil says in Roadshow that his original plan was to record without commentary the church signs he came across on his motorcycle ride across the United States, but after he saw a sign that says “Faith is a higher faculty of reason,” he decides to put in his two cents before the faith of yet more people hardens into swords. “At this point in recounting my American travels, I begin to think that even if the voice of reason is increasingly drowned out by the evangelical crowd, that is all the more reason to speak up. Spiritual yearnings are natural to many people and may give them solace or hope, but extremists of any kind are not content with faith as armor, they must forge it into a sword.”

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~ by rvkeeper on January 12, 2011.

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