Buried amid an unexpectedly fantastic and inspirational pop/rap song about tolerance and acceptance is this even more unexpectedly wise phrase that, when extracted from the whole of the text, really stands alone in its universal importance:
"Whatever god you believe in, we come from the same one. Strip away the fear, [and] underneath it's all the same love."
I don't know if rapper Macklemore realizes just how very deep this sentiment is. It's the first song lyric to ever jump out of a pop song, slap me in the face, and command me to spend time truly pondering it in a deeply personal manner. I wish that everyone in the world, believers and nonbelievers alike, could sit alone in a room and quietly ruminate over this lyric excerpt for a good 30 minutes. Maybe even up to an hour. It could be an attitude- and life-changing experience for many. It could be the first step down the road of understanding and enlightenment for all. That's how heavily this lyric impacted me. It's like a light went on where there was before only darkness.
Before you ask--no, I'm still an atheist.
"No matter what god you believe in... We come from the same one." >> We can't all be right. My god and your god might go by different names and have different methods of handing down their edicts or suggestions for a holy life, but must not their titles be but differing ways to refer to the same being? For as the bard suggested, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," would it not? No matter who you believe your god is... if there is a creator, I think we can all agree that--much like the Highlander--there can be only one.
"Strip away the fear, underneath it's all the same love." >> In the end, if you distill each of our faiths down to their respective cores, aren't they all about loving your god, your fellow man and yourself? Let's put aside the differences and concentrate on the similarities. Let's do things that please our god and make this life on earth more bearable and pleasant for us. For despite who you think your god is, we are ALL his children, even those of us who believe he is someone else entirely or that he doesn't even exist. Why can't we just leave the judgment to him and just concentrate on helping our fellow man have a rich and rewarding experience here on this earth, where we have unquestioning control of our lives and our impact on the lives of others?
Heavy philosophical words bringing a very deep line of thought for a pop song ostensibly about the support of gay marriage--a topic not to be taken lightly, for sure. If you think about it, though, were we to simply worry about taking care of ourselves and loving others, all people would be equally included. No preferences based on race, sex, gender identity, age, color, religion (or lack thereof), class...
Respecting each man, woman and child as a beloved creation of the god of your choosing, (for I don't know about your god, but the one I grew up on loves ALL of his creations, even animals with no souls) erases our imaginary dividing lines. It brings us together like nothing else can, save the elimination of religion entirely from the face of the earth.
Hey, someone has to play the logician's advocate here. One aforementioned scenario is unfortunately no more likely than the other. The people of this world will never see eye to eye. There's a third possibility that has the potential to bring an unprecedented unity to the people of earth, and that is the discovery of intelligent alien life. Like a legitimate first contact situation. It could cause mass chaos, but my hope is that it will force people to at least think, "Wow. This universe just got smaller. Maybe I was wrong about EVERYTHING. Let's start over."
But knowing the people of this planet, it would be more like, "Hey, there is a whole universe of people-ish creatures we can turn our xenophobic disdain upon. There's no more reason to fight amongst ourselves. We're all humans here. The real threat is OUT THERE."
It's not perfect, and it could potentially destroy our entire planet, but at least, for that short period of time, we'd all be together focusing on our newly found solidarity. Sorry, Macklemore. I know you tried.