A worship pastor has drawn both praise and ire for penning a song which expressly condemns the 81 percent of white evangelical voters who backed Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election.
Daniel Dietrich of South Bend City Church in South Bend, Indiana, penned "Hymn for the 81%" after becoming disillusioned with the stoic evangelical support for Trump. Many progressive Christians have criticized their conservative counterparts for supporting Trump despite the billionaire’s flawed character and moral failings. Others cannot reconcile many of Trump’s more hardline immigration policies with living out the Christian faith with compassion and kindness.
"In 2016, 81 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump after, among other things, hearing an audio recording of him bragging about sexually assaulting women. Even after enacting deliberately cruel policies to rip families apart and put children in cages at the southern border, evangelical support is as fervent as ever," Dietrich told Religion News Service.
"I was raised in the evangelical world and was taught to take the words of Jesus seriously: Love God, love your neighbor, feed the hungry, fight against injustice," he added. “This song might ruffle some feathers, but maybe some feathers need to be ruffled."
The song has since received over half a million views on YouTube, with many praising Dietrich for his boldness in writing with such brutal honesty.
“I'm an "unchurched" Christian. This song says everything I can't put into words. Thank you, brother,” one person commented. “Daniel, your work is beautifully done,” another added. “You are gifted with the ability to reach hearts and minds as well as reminding us to check our moral compass. More than this, you reminded us to continue loving those that appear to have strayed onto a path which leads into a deep, dark wood.”
The worship pastor certainly doesn’t mince his words in the song:
“They started putting kids in cages, ripping mothers from their babies,” the lyrics read. “And I looked to you to speak on their behalf. But all I heard was silence or worse, you justify it ... singing glory hallelujah raise the flag.”
“You said speak the truth. I’m calling you out,” reads another section. “Why don’t you live the words that you put in my mouth. May love overcome and justice roll down."
Dietrich called the song "a lament and a rebuke.”
"Come home, you're better than this,” it concludes. “You taught me better than this."
Not everyone agreed with the songwriter’s sentiments, however, with some pointing to the divisive nature of the song and his failure to mention the good news of the cross in it.
“Perhaps the 'Pastor' needs to look away from CNN and learn some facts before he preaches on YouTube,” one person commented. “Apparently his belief in the Bible stops short of judging others and loving thy neighbor.”
Another person criticized the song simply writing, "This song is straight BLASPHEMY."
Photo courtesy: Freestocks.org/Unsplash
Video courtesy: Daniel Deitrich
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.