NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST - July 15, 2022 - What the Gay Hymns Tell Us


The Hymn Society, founded in 1922, has been a mainstay for congregational singing and scholarship in hymnody for 100 years.  Reflecting mainline liberal Protestantism’s embrace of the homosexual revolution, the society has come out with a downloadable collection of hymns called Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming The LGBTQIA2S+ Community.


The site describes the project in these words:

In our society and in our churches, we continue to build walls marking “out” and “in”. We continue to mark boundaries of “us” and “them”, of “normal” and “other”. Songs for the Holy Other aims to provide congregations working to dismantle these walls with a toolbox of hymns by and for those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, two-spirit, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQIA2S+) community and their allies. For many members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, assimilation is not an option; we continue to be othered for our identities, relationship-styles, dis/abilities, race, economic status, and more. The title, Songs for the Holy Other, is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God. We who have been labeled as “wholly other” are claiming our holiness, and reclaiming our otherness as a prophetic witness to the church.

Here are the titles and authors of the hymns that comprise the collection:

A Hymn for Self-Acceptance – Wesley King
Alchemy of Healing – Gilo
All Belong Here – Lenora Rand
All Colors of the Rainbow – Carl P. Daw
As Colors in the Sky – Dan Damon
Blest Be the Holy Other – Dan Windham
Christ Our Health – Edward Moran
Fearfully, Wonderfully Made – Nathan Crabtree and Erik Whitehill
For all the Children – David Lohman
For Those Who Suffered – Benjamin Smith
God Calls You Good – Paul Vasile
God Gave This World – Carmen Llanos
God Loves Us in Mysterious Ways – Edward Moran
God of Many Faces – Amy Cerniglia
God of Queer Transgressive Spaces – Edward Moran
God’s Limitless Imagination – David Lohman
God’s Love is Boundless – Adam M. L. Tice
I Know That God Loves Me – Sherry Klinedinst
I Met a Stranger on the Road – David Bjorlin
I Shall Not Leave from by Your Side – Chris Shelton
Impartial, Compassionate God – Adrienne Stricker
Jesus, You Have Truly Called Us – Dan Damon
Like the Weeping Willow – Amy Sens
Love Astounding – Jeannette Lindholm
Love’s Rage and Grief – Jeannette Lindholm
Lovely, Needy People – Lenora Rand
New patterns for Living – Barbara Hamm
O God, Bestow Your Love and Care – Barbara Hamm
Pour Your Freedom Over Me – Cheryl Bragg
Queerly Beloved – Amanda Udis-Kessler
Quirky, Queer and Wonderful – Adam M. L. Tice
Rest in Power – Elaine Romaneli
Rise Up – Kim Jamae Williams
Sing a New World into Being – Mary Louise Bringle
The Dove Will Fly on Mended Wing – Tim Reaburn
The Heart Will Choose the One It Loves – Barbara Hamm
The Kingdom of God is the Queerest of Nations – Amanda Udis-Kessler
The Love That Goes Unspoken – Mary Louise Bringle
Transfigure Me – Christopher Grundy
We Are a Rainbow – David Kai
We Are The Hidden – Slats Toole
We’ll Build a World – David Lohman
Weary Seekers – Gretchen Toler Debus
When Comes the Time – John Schimminger
Who Is the Alien – Mary Louise Bringle
With Open Hearts – Mary-Ellen Kish

I find these titles very poignant.  The LGBTQIA2S+ folks crave acceptance.  Even though they have attained a remarkable level of social acceptance–to the point that it’s their critics who are no longer socially acceptable–they still don’t feel accepted and evidently have problems with “self-acceptance.”  They therefore crave God’s love.  And He does love them.

What seems to be missing from this list are what the old gospel music singers called “blood songs.”  That is, songs about being cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  Click here to read the remainder of the article.

Gene Edward Veith, Jr., is a writer and a retired literature professor. He is the author of over 25 books on the topics of Christianity & culture, literature, the arts, classical education, vocation, and theology.

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