Editor’s note: On Wednesday, Mere O editrix/blogger Susannah Black published a piece on the Ahmari/French debate in which she claimed that Stephen Sondheim’s “Marry Me a Little,” if read properly, was the perfect encapsulation of the liberal political project, and of liberalism in general. Certain parties expressed skepticism about this take. However, Tara Isabella Burton supported it, and in fact it turns out that she and her fiancé Michael recently, with time on their hands during a flight back from San Diego, rewrote the lyrics to be about mainline Protestantism.  

Go here for the original song; the full original lyrics are in Black’s post. 

Believe in Him a little
Praise Him just enough
Pray, but not too often
Just for health and stuff
Fill the pews on Easter
Kneel – but comfortably
That’s my Christianity
It’s easy!

Believe in Him a little,
Believe in nothing still
Be nice when it’s convenient
Try not to steal or kill
Keep a few commandments,
But not religiously,
That’s my Christianity.
It’s easy!
It’s easy now!

He can give me advice
I can give Him spare change
The golden rule sounds kinda cool
It’s not too strange
Let’s look not too deep
Let’s go not too far
We won’t have to give up a thing
We’ll stay who we are
Okay then
It’s easy
It’s easy now

So I’ll just–
Believe in Him a little
Love Him just enough
Feel like someone’s watching
When the going’s rough
But let’s not get too fervent
No awkward zealotry
That’s my Christianity
It’s easy!
It’s easy now!

Believe in Him a little
It’s comfy for the “soul”
Let those touching stories
Play a partial role
Affirm the Resurrection
(Just metaphorically)
That’s my Christianity
It’s easy!
It’s easy now!

You don’t need the full Creed
You don’t need each rule
I’ll see the priest on major feasts
And at Sunday school
I’ll send my two kids
To learn to respect
The values I don’t quite recall
I’ll write off the check
Okay then
It’s easy
It’s easy now!

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Posted by Tara Isabella Burton

Tara Isabella Burton is the author of the forthcoming nonfiction book STRANGE RITES: NEW RELIGIONS FOR A GODLESS WORLD (Public Affairs, 2020) and the novel SOCIAL CREATURE (Doubleday, 2018). She is a contributing editor at The American Interest and a columnist at Religion News Service. She received a DPhil in Theology from Trinity College, Oxford, in 2017.

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