Grammy-nominated singer Danny Gokey is on a journey to bring people of all political parties together to celebrate America, and he's releasing a new patriotic-themed EP to do just that.
The EP, titled Brave, is a collection of three songs, including two originals, that encourage the listener to celebrate America's founding principles.
"If you're a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, red, yellow, blue, black white – it's OK to say you love this great country," Gokey said recently in an Instagram video. "... God has a purpose for our country and He's not through with us yet, so let's be part of the light that solves problems and not create problems."
A three-time Grammy nominee, Gokey is a contemporary Christian singer best known for his hope-filled songs such as Rise, New Day and Haven't Seen it Yet. That optimism is reflected in his patriotic EP, he told Christian Headlines.
"I just said, 'Lord, write through me, I want to be a beacon of hope.' And I know there's a remnant of people that feel like they've lost their voice, and I wanted to write a song that could match what the heart of a lot of people, the majority of the people in our country, is that we still believe in our country, we still believe in the great things that [have] happened in our country. We believe that there's more good to come," he told Christian Headlines.
In the title track Brave, Gokey urges the listener to "be brave; stand up for freedom, stand for truth." The song My America acknowledges the nation's trials but says, "This is not the end. I still believe in us, oh America." He describes it as a "lament with hope at the end." The third song on the EP is a cover of Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA.
"I've been ... saddened by the state where our country has gone – all the division, the divisiveness," Gokey told Christian Headlines. "But number one, I believe that God had a purpose for our country. And to ignore that, I think is detrimental to our country. And so being a believer, I believe this: We have a dual citizenship. We're citizens of heaven, which is our most important aspect of us. And then citizens – if you live in America – citizens of this great country."
Gokey believes the songs cross "all borders" of the ideological spectrum.
"We have to remind ourselves: We are who we are today because we decided to be that, and only we can change that. That's a sobering thought. … If we're going to want to keep freedom, we have to go back to the foundations of where freedom started," he said of the Constitution. "And we have to go in and enforce those principles. Those principles will never be outdated, those principles will never go out of style. ... It's founded in truth. And truth never bends. It always stays the same. It's people who bend and change and become different. And so if you want to go back to freedom, you have to bend your belief system back to the truth."
Photo courtesy: ©Danny Gokey, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.