“This song might ruffle some feathers, but maybe some feathers need to be ruffled,” Daniel Deitrich told Religion News Service, adding:
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.
The song’s title refers to the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, they’ve remained one of his most consistent group of supporters despite the chasm between core biblical tenets and the president’s behavior and policies.
“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,” Deitrich, who is listed as the pastor for arts and worship at South Bend City Church in Indiana, wrote on YouTube.
Deitrich also noted that he was raised on Christian values.
“I learned to take the words of Jesus seriously ― love God, love your neighbor, feed the hungry, fight for justice for the oppressed. I thought that things like love, kindness, gentleness, and self-control MATTERED,” he wrote. “I have been so confused and deeply saddened by the unflinching loyalty to a man who so clearly embodies the opposite of these values.”
Deitrich told RNS that while the song was a rebuke, it “comes from a deep well of love.”
Indeed, one line of the song is: “You said to love the lost, so I’m loving you now.” But the next line puts evangelical Christians who support Trump on notice:
You said speak the truth
I’m calling you out
Why don’t you live the words
That you put in my mouth
Deitrich said the song’s bridge originally was “an angry middle finger to the listener” that he found cathartic, but he toned it down in the final version.
“I remember gearing up for that angry bridge but being hit with a wave of sadness instead,” he told RNS. ”‘Come home, you taught me better than this’ came out. That’s the take in the finished recording.”
Listen to the hymn below: