I saw the new “It” remake today and was pleasantly surprised when I heard XTC in a short montage. The song fit so seamlessly into one of the most hopeless parts of the movie, especially since it only used the intro-cut sung by an eight-year-old girl. If you haven’t guessed already — the song was “Dear God,” a single inspired by the exploitation of children in christian media and a direct challenge to God’s existence arguing that a benevolent divinity wouldn’t be capable of creating meaningless suffering.
It was one of the most punk tracks XTC ever released because they didn’t write it to become rich or to become famous, they wrote it because they sincerely were struggling with the idea and this was their way of figuring it all out. “Dear God” challenged the status quo of popular music of the time, managing to chart in the UK and be ranked #62 in VH1’s “Best One Hit Wonder of the 80s” in 2009, which is a good signal that a piece of music has some value. The best music can still move people with it’s intended message outside the world and culture it was created in. It’s message still hits home with many, becoming an instant include in the humanist playlist while also not being a directly atheistic song. XTC was just brave enough to push their struggle with faith into the open in a non-apologetic way.