A South Bend, Indiana pastor’s song bashing President Donald Trump’s Christian base of supporters has gone viral.
Titled “A Hymn for the 81%,” in reference to the 81% of white evangelical Trump voters, the song by Daniel Deitrich wanted to buck the trend of contemporary Christian worship by focusing less on God’s love and Christ’s salvation and more on the Christian mission to transform the earth by “welcoming the stranger, caring for the poor, and loving our enemies,” according to Religion News Service (RNS). Strangely, the song speaks of the Trump administration “ripping mothers from their babies,” but the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion stance gets no mention.
“A cocktail of prophetic fire and Christ-like grace, Daniel Deitrich’s hymn is both a love song to the church and a call to repentance, which castigates the Trump administration for ‘putting kids in cages, ripping mothers from their babies,’ but blames the church for failing to rein them in,” RNS continued.
The song accuses the Christian church of being silent in the face of these social injustices while warning of the consequences for a “weaponized religion.”
“I looked to you to speak on their behalf/But all I heard was silence/Or worse you justify it,” he sings. “You weaponized religion and you wonder why I’m leaving to find Jesus on the wrong side of your walls … ”
Take a listen:
Speaking with the outlet, Deitrich said that he conceived “Hymn for the 81%” after seeing evangelical support for President Trump persist despite the many sins he has committed — both personally and politically.
“In 2016, 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump after, among other things, hearing an audio recording of him bragging about sexually assaulting women,” said Deitrich. “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.”
“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 continued. “I was taught that things like love, peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control matter. That’s why I have been so confused and deeply saddened by the unflinching loyalty to a man who so clearly embodies the opposite of these values. So this song is a lament and a rebuke, but I hope people hear that it comes from a deep well of love.”
Though Deitrich understands that the song will ruffle more than a few feathers, he ultimately hopes that people who sing or listen to the song may understand that he does not speak from a “high horse.”
“This song might ruffle some feathers, but maybe some feathers need to be ruffled. Maybe some tables need to be turned over. Hear me on this, though: It is because I was taught to take the words of Jesus and the prophets seriously that I cannot stay silent,” he said. “And look, I’m not perfect and have so much growing and learning to do. I’m not shouting down from my high horse, I’m attempting to repeat the words of Jesus and the prophets even though it might be uncomfortable to hear. Above all, my hope and prayer is the refrain of this song: May love overcome and justice roll down.”