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Historic Church Embraces Deadly Sin by Blasting 'Pride Anthem' from Bell Tower

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Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it. 

A historic United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina, raised eyebrows in June when a song that couldn’t be further from a hymn was played on the bells in the church’s bell tower on June 1.

Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, which was founded in 1886, played a song by Chappell Roan, who identifies as “queer,” from its century-old bell tower.

The song, “HOT TO GO!,” is decidedly not a religious tune, with lyrics including “call me hot,” “No one’s touched me there in a damn hot minute,” and “sleep with me.” The song is all things sexual and secular — everything the modern “pride” movement’ glories in.

Despite that, congregation leader Katelyn MacDonald claimed responsibility for playing the song and happily told The Charlotte Observer that members who play the bells can choose whatever they want.

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MacDonald, who is “transgender,” “queer,” and an activist and LGBT supporter, said he was thrilled to have his choice of songs go viral on TikTok.

@healthpolicyprincess HAPPY P R I D E @chappell roan 🌈🌈🌈🌈 #pride #nc #hottogo #chappelroan #pridemonth ♬ Putting the chapel in Chappell Roan – Hannah Preston, MPH

MacDonald posted a “point of view” video on his own TikTok account.

@thatkatemac Serenading the people of Durham with a queer icon on the first day of pride #chappellroan #chapelroan ♬ original sound – thatkatemac

What is more important for a church?

“I did it primarily because I thought it would be a fun song to play,” MacDonald said, according to WTVD. “Also, I mean, you can’t like, practice on an instrument like that. You play a note and the whole city hears it. So, I did it because I thought it would be fun, but also because it might put a smile on faces in Durham.”

The activist churchgoer said he was touched by the outpouring of support from the gay community.

“I got these DMs from people that were just beautiful and said like, ‘This really healed something in me, like I’ve dealt with a lot of religious trauma, the church has pushed me away, and this like really helped me come to terms with some stuff,'” MacDonald said.

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MacDonald said he feels vindicated if playing the song brings all people — especially those from the LGBT community — to the church.

“That’s hard to do for a queer person, or for anybody, but especially somebody who has been marginalized by churches in the past, specifically harmed by churches sometimes, but also just broadly having your existence questioned by the church can just be exhausting,” MacDonald insisted. “So to see something that says unequivocally, ‘Oh, like, they’re playing a song that I see myself in that might be a place for me,’ I think is really powerful.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, after MacDonald rang in “pride” month, he used the bells for other songs by Roan, including “Good Luck, Babe!,” “Pink Pony Club,” and “Red Wine Supernova.” Billboard has labelled “Good Luck, Babe!” number 8 on the list of “70 Top LGBTQ+ Anthems of All Time.”

While MacDonald is not a United Methodist Church official, the lead pastor, Rev. Heather Rodrigues, celebrated MacDonald’s actions.

Rodrigues thanked MacDonald for playing a “song that would be recognizable to and supportive of our queer community as she blurred the lines between sacred and secular in this important, fruitful way.”

Rodrigues went even farther and claimed that the original song was better than the church’s religious teachings because it reached more people “as a message of God’s love and inclusion than a Duke Memorial sermon, service, program, or ministry ever has, or probably ever could.”

Duke Memorial United Methodist Church — if it wasn’t already apparent — is also an activist, left-wing establishment, saying on its website that it embraces “those of every age, race, ethnic background, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, family or socioeconomic status, educational background, and physical or mental ability.”

With church leaders glorifying the radical LBGT movement and welcoming transgender congregation leaders, perhaps it is no surprise that more than a million members split from the United Methodist Church in Africa over the main church’s divergence from the Bible.

The split has been an ongoing issue for the UMC. Last year 5,000 congregations in the U.S. also split from the church.

The reasons are deep and impossible to reconcile. For instance, the UMC has officially recognized gay coupling despite that the Bible unequivocally states that marriage is between one man and one woman. Jesus defines it as such in Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9.

Church leaders used worldy justifications for this move. “[C]ynics and young adults will not listen to us talk about Jesus if we say we do not condone people they love and care about,” Rev.  James Howell claimed. So, for them the old adage, “love the sinner, but hate the sin,” is outdated, and the church should strive to “love the sinner and embrace/allow/accept the sin.”

The church leaders have embraced the deadly sin of “pride,” thinking themselves above the teachings of God and turning the pulpit into a platform for their individual beliefs and not those founded in biblical principles.

With acts like that of MacDonald, with the support of church leadership, to celebrate “pride” month, it is no wonder that the United Methodist Church is being torn asunder and split between those who support biblical teachings and those who would recreate them to satisfy radical wokeness.


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Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target-rich environment" for political news. Follow him on Truth Social at @WarnerToddHuston.
Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target-rich environment" for political news.




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