music, religion, Trump

Hymn for the 81%

I discovered a new artist this morning. Someone in the Duggar Family News Group shared a news article about evangelical Christian musician, Daniel Deitrich, who has just released an awesome new song calling out Christians for voting for Trump. Deitrich was raised a Christian and believed the messages he heard about Christians loving everyone, being kind and inclusive, and taking care of people in need. But, as Deitrich rightly points out, 81% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump, a man who is about as anti-Christian as a person can get. So… Deitrich did what a lot of creative types do when they get inspired, either negatively or positively. He created. In this case, his creation was a scathing song directed at Christians that turn a blind eye to Donald Trump’s cruelty, misogyny, and racism. Here it is.

I learned in a more detailed article that Deitrich is a worship leader in South Bend, Indiana. He was shy as a young man growing up in southwestern Michigan, but his youth pastor taught him a three chords on the guitar. He started writing and singing songs almost immediately and hasn’t stopped since. He and his friends made up a band and played in bars and clubs. At the same time, Deitrich got more involved with his church. When the band broke up, Deitrich started working full time at his church.

Although he was a churchgoing man, Deitrich didn’t stay away from bars… places that evangelicals typically shun. He’d have honest conversations with people over beers, and it occurred to him that Christians preached about following Jesus. But then they’d align themselves with Republican lawmakers, who typically champion causes that aren’t in line with Jesus Christ’s teachings. And then, along came Donald Trump, a greedy, gluttonous, power-hungry, narcissistic man who has lied, cheated, molested women, stiffed contractors, and has no compassion for people south of the U.S. border who are fleeing violence. And 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for him… probably because he claims to be “pro-life”. I guess it doesn’t occur to them that Trump is a liar, too.

Deitrich eventually was asked to help start up a church in South Bend called South Bend City Church. He says his church is

a Jesus-centered community for believers and doubters and everyone in between. It’s a place where spiritual exiles have found a home, a place where you don’t have to check your brain at the door, and it’s been so beautiful to see people who have been excluded from or wounded by the church feel safe and seen and loved.

Deitrich was asked if he planned to continue to write songs calling out Trump and his misguided followers. He says that he wishes he didn’t feel like he needed to write such songs. However, Deitrich says there’s still a lot of work to do and messages to be made, “to combat white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, sexism — all the ways in which people are treated as less than the children of God that they are.” And he says people have written to him, thanking him for his efforts. They said that they left the church due to the extreme hypocrisy shown by so-called Christians who continue to support Donald Trump and his ilk.

Deitrich recognizes that his song may upset some people, but he counters that people need to “have their feathers ruffled”. Naturally, I peeked at the comments left on the second article I read about Daniel Deitrich and his song. Comment after comment spouted the usual right wing bullshit, including ignorant comments like this one:

Meanwhile – Democrats are giving are giving standing ovations to the passage of 3rd term abortion bills. Literally killing viable babies.

Good luck explaining that one to God. Clearly a sin. Any Evangelicals who support Democrats are going straight to hell – without a doubt.

Um… the dude who wrote the above comment obviously didn’t bother to read the bills he is lamenting. Not a single one of them supports “killing viable babies”. I was gratified to read a much more educated response to the above comment:

No, none of those bills provides for the “killing of viable babies”. You clearly have never read the proposed laws and no doubt are ignorant of just how a pregnancy can go wrong. You may remain blissfully ignorant of the kind of heartwrenching defects inspired these bills, which are about the peaceful passing of doomed babies who have little to no chance of survival outside the room for more than a few agonizing hours, but stop congratulating yourself for taking what you deem to be the moral high road in your ignorance. Stop getting your information from right wing smear merchants. Try reading about the accounts of those who have been faced with these horrifying situations, facing the loss of a child they wanted.

Yes… the evangelicals support Donald Trump because he’s allegedly pro-life. But he’s not really pro-life. Just look at his policies. He supports taking away programs that help people in need. He supports separating families and putting children in detention camps, denying them and their parents humane care. He supports bigotry toward people who just happen to come from certain countries like Iran or Mexico or any other place he deems a “shithole”. He mocks children, the disabled, wounded veterans, women he thinks are “ugly”, and anyone else who dares to criticize him. Trump’s God is money, and I think anyone who follows Trump must worship money, too.

I get that conservative Christians don’t want to vote for Democrats because they see the Democrats as too “socialist” and “un-American”. They hate the idea of allowing abortion, but they’ve got no problem cutting sex education from schools or forcing health insurance companies to pay for birth control. They have no issue with cutting government programs that help poor people, the elderly, or women who need help. They say those programs should be privatized charities– that people who need help should turn to religious organizations, where they might be forced to hear about how their sins have led them away from God’s favor. After all, if they weren’t egregious sinners, they wouldn’t need help, right? Problems like mental illness, or being born homosexual or transgendered, or feeling desperate and scared after being raped and winding up pregnant– those are all caused by sin, according to some Christians. And all that’s really needed is to “get right with God”. Yeah… I don’t believe that.

There’s a reason why religion is not supposed to align with politics. Separation of church and state is a good thing. But I understand that conservatives don’t want to vote for Democrats. Fine… then at least demand that Republicans stop being such corrupt, contemptible people like Trump. I know Democrats can be just as corrupt as Republicans are, but I have never in my lifetime seen any Democrat as vile as Trump is. I’d like to see better people on both sides of the spectrum.

Got it… but Trump is much worse than any of these people… Seriously. I’d like to see better people on both sides, but we have to do better than Trump.

Here’s a pretty good rebuttal to the above meme written by a guy in a group I follow:

Gary Hart, John Edwards, Chuck Robb, Mel Reynolds, Gary Condit, Anthony Werner, David Wu, John Conyers, Rod Blagojevich, even Al Franken — they all got held accountable for their bad behavior. All of them. By Democrats.

And Bill Clinton? Maybe Clinton should have resigned. To many people, what he had was a consensual, adulterous affair with a young, but grown woman. To others, what he did was an enormous abuse of power. To Democrats like me, it was an ugly and regrettable stain, one that ultimately helped get George W Bush (another ugly and regrettable stain) elected. And that means that a LOT of Democrats turned away from the party, not because of Bill Clinton’s policies, but because he got blown in the Oval Office.

So, yeah. Nice list you got there, Trumpy McTrumperton. We dealt with the majority of them. When are you guys gonna stop calling Trump a gift from God Almighty and start holding him accountable, at the very least, for the things he’s admitted doing?

If the planet survives Trump’s era, people may one day find themselves on the wrong side of history. I would imagine that there were many people who supported Hitler, thinking he was a great leader who put bread on their tables and money in their pockets. I wonder how those people felt when the realities of Hitler’s brutal regime finally came to light and they found out they’d been supporting a mass murdering madman hellbent on exterminating entire populations of people he found undesirable. I’d like to think Trump isn’t as bad as Hitler was, but then I think about what we already know about him. Imagine the stuff we don’t know yet… and what will eventually be revealed in the wake of his presidency.

I don’t really claim to be very religious anymore. I suppose if I had to claim a religion, it would be Christianity. It’s been many years since I was last a regular churchgoer, but when I was growing up, I went every week. The messages I learned in church are contrary to what Donald Trump stands for. He’s all about making money and oppressing people who are weaker than he is. Deitrich points out that many people have felt like they have to leave the church in order to follow Christ’s teachings.

I’ve never been a big fan of contemporary Christian music, but I think I could become a big fan of Daniel Deitrich’s, especially if he continues to write such powerful lyrics to poignant, captivating melodies. If he’s not careful, he might make me a believer, too. I love the way the song ends… “Come home… come home… you’re better than this. You taught me better than this.” Amen.

And for those who also like Daniel Deitrich’s song, “Hymn for the 81%”, here’s an Amazon link so you can download it, too. Yes, I am an Amazon Associate, so if you download via my site, I do get a commission. But honestly, I’m sharing the link because I truly love the song and want to see it go even more viral.