Updated: Aug 20
What a waste! Hozier has written and recorded a song with great vocals, a haunting melody, great dynamics and chord progressions. However, his lyrics are filled with religious bigotry, and intolerance against people of the Christian faith.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s Grammy nominated song “Take Me to Church” has garnered international acclaim with its re-release in September of 2014 on his album with the same title. This song has registered over 122 million views on Youtube and Hozier’s album has gone triple platinum achieving number one status in 12 countries (Wikipedia). The Youtube video portrays two gay men kissing passionately and being viciously assaulted by an anti-gay gang. Of course, no decent and sincere person of any religious persuasion or background should condone mob violence against any group. But, Hozier scatters his words like buckshot libeling “the church” as an organization that lies, hates, and is responsible for violence against the LGBT community.
Just take a look at the lyric version of the song. Even though we all have the freedom and right to say or write whatever we want (with certain limits- yelling fire in a crowded theater, etc.), it is wrong to target a whole group of people and unduly place a negative label on them. This is why Hozier’s lyrics are so bigoted. Moreover, the combination of his video/lyrics/interview stereotypes “the church” as an evil and vicious institution that is responsible in large measure for the persecution of those who engage in non-traditional sexual practices (see links below).
From my own background, I have been a Christian for over 40 years and have been a member of several large churches during these decades. Not once have I ever heard any leader or member of any Christian church that I attended endorse violence against any person at all not to mention LGBT persons. Also, there has never been one person with whom I have associated with as a teen or young adult who offered up the idea of targeting any person at all for violent attack. I confess to a couple of house “eggings,” toilet paper rolling adventures, and other silly hijinx but that is about it for my early years. To the contrary, when I attended a Christian high school for three years, we had several known gay students. Were they treated any differently than any other students? No. I had several gay friends in public high school as well. Did I shun them or attack them? No. They were just people that I knew and liked. Did I agree with their practice of homosexuality? No. Did I love them as persons? Yes.
Not only have I not heard any church leader that I am personally acquainted with favor anti-gay violence, quite frankly, the topic of homosexuality itself is not really discussed that much in any church that I have attended either. Not that it isn’t discussed a little bit from time to time, but it is just not a big topic and when it is discussed, homosexuals are only referred to as persons who are equal in worth to any other person that God has created. Just because there are scriptures that teach against the practice of homosexuality does not mean that the teachings of the Bible condone mistreating any person because this is not the case. Rather, it is the responsibility of Christians to love every person that they come into contact with regardless of their gender/sexual identification (not that I do this perfectly at all but it is a goal).
Actually, most of the ministry goals of my church are to aid those who are in need in one way or another. So, he lumps my church in with all other churches when my church is really focused on helping those in need. Also, it is ironic that Hozier attacks “the church” in his lyrics/videos for their intolerance and violence yet at the same time practices anti-Christian bigotry in his accusations. It is obvious that Hozier has never met my friends because he would realize upon meeting them that they are not mean spirited, violent people. Rather, they are a group of joyful, giving, and caring persons.
If Hozier knows of any person(s) that specifically fosters or espouses anti-gay violence, he should call them out specifically. Name them and then let him bring forth his allegations. In not doing so, he hides behind his hate filled lyrics and really does not aid anyone but libels many in the process. This topic also makes me think of the anti-Christian violence that occurs on a regular basis around the world, especially in the Middle East. With ISIS recently beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians and the reports of the systematic deaths of Christians in Iraq and Syria, why doesn’t he just come out against all senseless violence of every sort to include those Christians who are being slaughtered at alarming rates?
There is irony here. Accusing nameless Christians of violence yet ignoring the brutal torture and slaughter of thousands of innocent Christian men, women, and children. If he opposed all brutal thugs and called even some of them out specifically, then he would be doing some good with his musical/writing talents and newfound fame. The truth is that he is just serving up anti-Christian hate rhetoric and will profit by doing so. Perhaps, Hozier could visit me here in Kernersville and I could “take him to church” where he would be greeted by my warm and sincere friends who are great people to know. In the meantime, why doesn’t Hozier utilize his considerable talents to write songs with positive themes that do not slander anyone? C’mon Andrew, don’t waste your talents!
Hozier Video Interview