Music Monday:Religion and Chris Martin part 3

Viva La Vida

Published on Jun 23, 2012 by

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22, 2012


Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show



Chris Martin was brought up as an evangelical Christian but he left the faith once he left his childhood home. However, there are been some actions in his life in the last few years that demonstrate that he still is grappling with his childhood Chistian beliefs. This is the third part of a series I am starting on this subject. Today we will look at how the Bible has influenced the lyrics of Viva La Vida.

On June 23, 2012 my son Wilson and I got to attend a Coldplay Concert in Dallas. It was great. Viva La Vida was one of our favorite songs that did that night.

Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Chris Martin’s view of hell. He says he does not believe in it but for some reason he writes a song that teaches that it exists:
Belief of Eternal Punishment in Grammy Winning Song
By Everette Hatcher
Chris Martin of the rock group Coldplay wrote the song Viva La Vida, and the song just won both the grammy for the “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a duo or Group with Vocals.”
In this song, Martin is discussing an evil king that has been disposed. “I used to rule the world…Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes…there was never an honest word and that was when I ruled the world, It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in, Shattered windows and the sound of drums, People couldn’t believe what I’d become…For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name,  Never an honest word, But that was when I ruled the world.”
Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin replied, “It’s about…You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”
I have been following the career of Chris Martin for the last decade. He grew up in a Christian home that believed in Heaven and Hell, but made it clear several years ago that he actually resents those who hold to those same religious dogmatic views he did as a youth. Yet it seems his view on the possibility of an afterlife has changed again.
Chris Martin is a big Woody Allen movie fan like I am and no other movie better demonstrates the need for an afterlife than Allen’s 1989 film  Crimes and Misdemeanors.  It is  about a eye doctor who hires a killer to murder his mistress because she continually threatens to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. Afterward he is haunted by guilt. His Jewish father had taught him that God sees all and will surely punish the evildoer.

But the doctor’s crime is never discovered. Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his father had with Judah’s unbelieving Aunt May during a Jewish Sedar dinner  many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazi’s, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says Aunt May.

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah’s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

The basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?  The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-givne conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Evidently  Chris Martin who said he resented dogmatic religious views a few years ago, has now written a grammy winning song that pictures an evil king being punished in an afterlife. Could it be that his God-given conscience prompted him to put that line in? Or do men like Hitler get off home free as Woody Allen suggested in Crimes and Misdemeanors?


Even though Chris Martin says he does not believe in hell in this discussion below with Howard Stern he writes Viva La Vida (seen in clip at beginning of this post) where the bad king goes to hell. Again his childhood biblical views are coming out again.

On the Howard Stern Show Chris Martin was questioned about his religious beliefs on November 9, 2011:

CM: I was raised very religious.

HS: I know that. What religion?

CM: I am not really sure. People kept asking me that.

HS: You were studying religion but you don’t know what it was.

CM: It was Christian, but there are so many branches of that now. I don’t know which branch we were on.

HS: Are you a religious man?

CM: Not any more religious. I believe I am a spiritual guy I guess.

HS: Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell.

CM:There definately is not a hell. That is what made me stop being religious.

HS: Would you take your children to church or do you want them to get religious training?

CM: No. I think it is important to show that there is all these kinds of religions and this person believes that and you can believe whatever you want.

HS: What do you do if you want your children to get religious training and you want them to embrace all religions and get the concept of God? Where would take your kids to learn that?

CM:That is a good question. I have been doing it in the nihilist approach and I haven’t been taking them anywhere.

HS: So they are not going to be raised in any religious way.

CM: Not in any strict religious way, no…. Religion is not the same as having faith is it. Faith is different right. I am not saying I don’t believe in anything. I not saying that it has to be this and if you believe something else then the other person is going to hell and all that crap.

HS: I am with you on that.

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