Conservative Christians who hadn’t heard of Macklemore‘s pro-gay hit “Same Love” have certainly heard of it now. The massive wedding that took place live at the Grammys last weekend, which included same-sex couples and was officiated by Queen Latifah, has right-wingers furious over the destruction of marriage, morals, purity, and everything else they get upset about as soon as LGBT folks enter the picture.
But few seem to be more upset than Bizzle, a Christian rapper who has previously targeted the music of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, among others, for the messages their music sends. This “Same Love” nonsense really has Bizzle in a tizzy — so much so that he released a rap song explaining why LGBT people actually have it all wrong.
In “Same Love (A Response),” Bizzle offers his opinions on the LGBT rights movement and the presence (or absence) of God in the ongoing debate, all while the iconic instrumental of the original song plays underneath. If we could only ignore how we feel and give our lives to God, he seems to say, everything would be fine.
Listen to the song below:
I have yet to find a full transcript of the lyrics (anybody have better luck?), but it’s clear from a listen or two that Bizzle’s mad at society for refusing to tolerate his intolerance towards LGBT folks:
“I say you wrong and you holler “Hate!” instantly / But you say we the ones who don’t tolerate differences.”
One focus of the song is Bizzle refuting Macklemore’s numerous comparisons of anti-LGBT discrimination to racism, no doubt lines such as “It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion / Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment / The same fight that led people to walkouts and sit-ins / It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.”
Here’s Bizzle’s response:
“You rather fight God than fight sin / The Bible is alright until it calls what you like sin / And I feel so disrespected that you were so desperate / You would compare your sexual habits to my skin / Calling it ‘the new black?’ Tell me, where they do that? / They hung us like tree ornaments, where were you at? / They burned us for entertainment, you go through that?”
Okay, yes, it’s problematic to compare the LGBT rights movement to the Civil Rights Movement. That’s been acknowledged, and it’s another one of the factors that makes ‘Same Love’ imperfect and certainly not deserving of being called a queer anthem, as some have suggested. However, plenty of other writers, artists, etc. have pointed out this problem in much more eloquent ways, while Bizzle is just giving us more reasons to cringe at some Christians’ viewpoints:
“You can play straight, we can never play white… / It angers you if I compare you to a pedophile, because he’s sick, right, and you’re better, how?” / ‘Man, I ain’t choose this’ / You think you chose that? / ‘But I was born this way’ / Well, prove he wasn’t born that / But you were never a girl / He was once nine / So at one time in his life it was just fine.”
The other overarching theme of the song is that by fighting for equal rights, gay folks are “giving up” on their relationship with God rather than doing what the Bible says and asking for repentance for our sins. Bizzle thinks we should be a little more miserable in our “sexual deviance” before coming to the personal conclusions that it’s okay for us to be who we are, all thanks to Jesus. For example:
“God loves you no matter what you struggle with / At least struggle, though, don’t give up and quit.”
From Bizzle’s perspective, the question of rights shouldn’t be an issue at all: “You say it’s about rights, but you lying, though / Domestic partnerships gave you rights a long time ago.” Separate-but-equal, much? And also, domestic partnerships aren’t legal everywhere. And there’s that whole thing about employment discrimination, and decreased access to healthcare, and restrictions on family recognition, and a whole slew of other inequalities, both political and cultural. But it’s okay, guys. We have domestic partnerships in a couple of places. Homophobia is over.
At the end, Bizzle signs off with a seemingly ad-libbed, spoken clarification:
“And I never want to act like all gay people are the same, ’cause that’s ignorant, but at the same time, what I won’t allow you to do is paint this beautiful picture, like we don’t have people from the LGBT community out here, running up in churches, disrupting services, kissing on the pulpit. Out here, attacking old ladies, throwing crosses down and stomping ’em, violently assaulting people. So don’t take my most aggressive lines that you know are to that group and try to apply it to the friendliest, lovingest gay person. ‘Cause that’s not the case.”
I think that translates to: While some gay people beat up old ladies at church, other gay people are nice, and we shouldn’t apply Bizzle’s message to the nice gay people, only the mean ones. Or something like that?
And for the very last line, the ultimate kicker: “God bless you. No hate about it.”
I’m all about meaningful critiques of LGBT-focused pop culture, but this isn’t one of them. Contrary to the rapper’s claims, this is both hateful and absurd, and nobody’s going to take it seriously.