We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Al - I believe there's a direct ratio between "loudness of voice", "pearly-white teeth" and devoutness, but these nuances are lost to those of us not devoted to the gospel of Gospel. All I know is, while all of the females in the audience are fat tubs of lard, one of the front-and-center female singers is always rail thin. I think it's some kind of gospel singer's rule. And did you see the Hired Shill White Guy (HSWG) in the front row? Man, was he jivin' to the music or what??
BD: Spotted a small politically-incorrect mistake on your part:
Church music is part of the message and worship, just as the pageantry of the Catholic Mass is. The role of music director in any house of worship is a much-sought one, and it can be a full-time job. If music gets people involved, then great. Something I never thought about unitl I did a littel research in college was that the early Catholics needed something to attract the pagan hordes. What to do? How about a ceremony that had costumes, speaking roles, a stage and audience seating. The icing on the cake was the mystery surrounding the climax of the ceremony, namely the turning of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Magic show? No, but it didn't hurt with drawing the crowd.
Maybe the magnification bit is about a closer scrutiny. I can work with it.
If you get a chance to go to a Convocation, or a service in an AME church with good music, then you might hear something special. If I had 3 hours every Sunday, I'd be playing more gospel. It's a fine way to worship, and a very worthwhile musical experience, too - almost everything is in Ab or Eb, and except when the B-3 is supporting the minister alone, it's a 3 hour jam!
And I'll be looking for Reverend Al in heaven, too, phil.