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Zappa was raised as a Catholic, but later became an atheist.

"When Dweezil was born, Gail decided to have 'natural childbirth.' At that time, the only hospital in Los Angeles that would allow this process to occur with a Dad in the delivery room was Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. When it was time for the Big Delivery, we experienced a slight delay -- we had to fill out a mass of papers before they'd let us in, riddled with irrelevant questions like: "What religion are you?"

Gail looked at me and said, "What do we put?" I said, "Musician."'' (FZ in The Real Frank Zappa Book, page 216.)

Zappa was very critical of organized religion and the power and influence it has on politics and people. During the 1980s he wrote several satirical songs about the Moral Majority and televangelists like Jerry Falwell, Robert Tilton, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart.

"They tried to make me go to Catholic school, too. I lasted a very short time. When the penguin came after me with a ruler, I was out of there. (...)I still went to church regularly, though, until I was eighteen years old. Then suddenly, the light bulb went on over my head. All the mindless mobidity and discipline was pretty sick – bleeding this, painful that and no meat on Friday. What is this shit? (...) Well, I think it was possible to do what I've done only because I escaped the bondage of being a devout believer. To be a good member of the congregation, ultimately you have to stop thinking. The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden story. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could still be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions." (Frank Zappa. Interview in Playboy, 1993)

But, despite his objections against organized religion and the fact that he didn't believe in God or Jesus, he tolerated religious people.

"One of the misconceptions about evangelicals in the U.S. is that they're all as extreme as Swaggart, Falwell and Robertson. They're not. Most of them just want to worship at their local church. They don't give a shit about those guys on television -- they think they're clowns and that what they do cheapens everyone's religious experience. On this, we definitely agree."Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

Songs about religion or referencing religious topics

(Not included are songs with occasional exclamations or swear words like "Good God", "Oh my God" or "goddamn".)

See also


In The Real Frank Zappa Book, in the chapter "Church & State", Zappa printed several quotes by famous people who claim they don't believe in God or believe that Church and government should remain separate.

Targets and topics