Tag Archives: bad religion

Bad Religion’s Faith Alone 2020

Looking for a bit of humanism with a punk-rock beat? Maybe feeling a bit nostalgic for a decade when global adjustments to avert climate change was still a real (if ignored) possibility? Or just curious to observe one of the many ways that humanism finds its way into global culture. Whichever it may be, we got you covered on this one.

On August 6, 2020, Los Angeles punk rock band Bad Religion released a new version of their 1990 song Faith Alone. The new version feels more thoroughly produced than the original with very present piano and strings as compared to the punky, drums-and-guitars driven original. Greg Gaffin’s lyrics are very consistent, though perhaps a bit more wistful in the new setting.

The release of this memory-lane ditty seems to correspond to another Bad Religion release in the form of a biography of the band titled Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion. The book carries author credits jointly to Jim Ruland and Bad Religion. Perhaps this is all part of some kind of Bad Religion Revival. Pun(s) intended.

Or it may simply be in our nature to reflect on the past to help comprehend the present. According to Gaffin, “I think the message of ‘Faith Alone’ really resonates with everything that’s happening right now. Racial injustice, Trump, the COVID pandemic, the rejection of science, none of these things can be solved by burying our heads in the sand. We’ve always believed problems can be solved through reason and action, not faith and prayer. It’s what we’ve been writing about since the band started.” Ironically or not, Bad Religion’s 2019 album was titled Age of Unreason.

Faith Alone (the lyrics by Greg Gaffin)

Heard a sermon from a creaky pulpit with no one in the nave
I paid a visit to the synagogue and I left there feeling blame
No one could tell me what to do, they had not the capacity to answer me

What the world needs now is some answers to our problems
We can’t buy more time ’cause our tender isn’t valid
If your soul needs love you can get consoled by pity
But it looks as though faith alone won’t sustain us no more

Watched the scientists throw up their hands conceding, “progress will resolve it all”
Saw the manufacturers of earth’s debris ignore another green peace call
No one could tell me what to do, no one had the ability to answer me

What the world needs now is some accountability
We can’t buy more time ’cause time won’t accept our money
If your soul needs love you can always have my pity
But it looks as though faith alone won’t sustain us no more…

What the world needs now is some answers to our problems
We can’t buy more time ’cause our tender isn’t valid
What the world needs now is some accountability
If your soul needs love you can get consoled by pity
But faith alone won’t sustain us anymore
Faith alone won’t sustain us anymore


Citations and References

  1. https://riotfest.org/2020/08/bad-religion-faith-alone/
  2. https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Bad-Religion-Release-Faith-Alone-2020-20200806
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Religion

The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.

Featured Photo Courtesy of riotfest.org


Version History: This article was originally published on August 18, 2020