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Secular Songs Serving Up God

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Here at Yass, Jesus! we believe that God loves a good banger, even if it isn't a Christian headbanger. Today we’re talking about secular songs, old and new, that bring us closer to and keep us connected with faith.

Yass, Jesus! is hosted by Danny Franzese and Azariah Southworth. Our producers are Ross Murray and Meredith Paulley. Sound, music, and post-production by Chris Heckman. Special thanks to Sophie Serrano and Sam Isfan.

Yass, Jesus! is brought to you by Audity. Audity execs are Ryann Lauckner, Steve Michaels, and Jessica Bustillos.

Get to know us better:

Daniel Franzese

Azariah Southworth

Ross Murray

Daniel: [00:00:00] Hello, Kings and Queens and in-between, sinner saints and I don't know if I is our ain'ts. Welcome to another sing sang song, episode of Yass Jesus. I am Daniel Franzese and I'm here with my bestie...

Azariah: The bangin Azariah Southworth over here.

Daniel: That's right. So sit down and the pew pew pews, because here at Yass Jesus, we believe that secular songs might tell you about God, right?

Azariah: God loves a good bop.

Daniel: God is blasting some bangers on those heavenly speakers. So just relax. We're going to talk about all this music out there that reminds us of God, even though maybe that may or may not have been the intention right after some Gay Christian News.

Azariah: Have you heard about this one? You might have been hearing about it. All about these book bans lately. There are some political leaders who have been attacking LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, along with books about race and diversity in general, because you know, they don't like other perspectives [00:01:00] on learning. Learning is hard.

Daniel: Just for the record, we at Yass Jesus are anti book banners. We do not believe in book banning. There shouldn't be censorship.

Azariah: Right. And our friends at sojourners magazine has shared the story titled 'how a queer Christian student helped defeat a proposed book ban.'

Daniel: Ooh, a queer Christian student hero. I love the story. I love, tell me more.

Azariah: I'm here for this arc. The student's name is Josiah Camp and he lives in New Jersey. He's a transgender guy and he had to leave his church because of all the horrible anti LGBTQ and especially anti-trans gender stuff he was hearing. But Josiah never left his faith. Josiah heard about an attempt to ban several LGBTQ books from his school library. He organized with his friends to defeat the ban and Josiah worked with his fellow GSA members. They made a plan that they would show up at the school board meetings, just like the anti LGBTQ activists did. And they ended up giving speeches to the school board in October, November, and January [00:02:00] meetings.

Daniel: Here are a few snippets from some of the speeches of several students. Is removing the books worth the loss to children who might be otherwise made aware of their own experiences and have their feelings validated?

Azariah: Another student said family members would constantly try to pray with me so that I wasn't trans, I wasn't gay, which really hurt my ideas towards religion. \And for a long time, I was anti-religion. I thought all religions must be like this, and I'm glad I'm no longer like that. I'm more open-minded. I tell myself they act like that, but that does not encompass all religions.

Daniel: And another quote. I don't think taking the Lord's name in vain is supposed to mean saying, oh my God. I think it's supposed to advise someone against using the Lord's name to justify unwarranted hate. Woo. Amen. That is like, that is, I mean, I say that every day, uh, praise be for queer [00:03:00] Christian leaders like Josiah.

Azariah: Yeah. I'm just because there's leaders out there hiding their hate behind the cross doesn't mean it's justified and Josiah is out there shining the light on what's really be done and doing the work to do that. So Josiah we give you flowers, we give you praise, we give you props and keep doing it.

Daniel: That's right. Um, what a praise report that is. And we, you know, that takes us to this portion of our show, the praise report and the prayer request. This is where if you have a little something extra you want to hallelujah about, you could let us know in the praise report and we will share your praise. Um, and if you have a little something extra that maybe it's been weighing down on you, maybe you want your community here at Yass Jesus and you want me in Azariah to add you to our prayer lists, uh, then you can send us a prayer request. And we're going to start out right now with a praise report. We get some hallelujahing to do, Azzie.

Azariah: Yeah. Get your tambourine girl. This praise report comes to us from Aaron and Aaron just wants to give praise for a gay role model that they have, who shares messages of positivity and inspirations. So we join you in that [00:04:00] Aaron I mean, you hear firsthand experiences all the time, Danny, about what, what your character has meant. And, and so, uh, yeah, it's, it's important to how those shining lights.

Daniel: Well, you know, I, I came from a generation where we lost a lot of the generation before us to HIV and aids. So, um, whenever I see a positive, you know, opportunity to be positive for somebody else in the community, I think this is a beautiful thing. And Aaron kudos to you for being able to recognize that in your friend and realizing that you have somebody that you can look up to and focusing on that because we have to create that kind of community and family, uh, to be able to find those inspirations sometimes. Azzie we have a prayer request here, too. This one's from Tori Tori says my name is Tori, and this might sound silly, but there's any way you could pray for my dog? That's not silly. We love dogs. She just turned 14 last week and was diagnosed with vertigo at the ER. They said it's common in older dogs, but if it doesn't get better, it could be caused by a brain tumor. He was recovering well, but today I have noticed some [00:05:00] symptoms that seem worse than normal, and I'm very much a dog mom and my boys are my whole world. I know he's old, but he's a shitzu, and they could live up to 18 years. If not, that's okay, too. I just thought I'd ask. Tory, of course you could pray for your dog. You can pray for anything and God will listen. There is nothing too big or too small that you can't pray for. And we love our furry friends here. My childhood dog was a shitzu. I loved, um, Bella was, you know, rip, never forget. Um, so I know how you're feeling Tori. Um, you just want to hang on to them forever, but I actually believe that all dogs got to heaven and they could've been made two animated movies about that and that not be true.

Azariah: No, absolutely.

Daniel: There's gotta be something. I think it would be great if I got to see Belle again, but you still have this time with your dog and we will pray that it is a speedy recovery. It's difficult with our furry friends sometimes, but they are great, such unconditional love you can get from an animal. And it's so awesome. And I think this, there's no way that that's not divinity because [00:06:00] God has unconditional love for us as well. So Tori, will we be praying for your pup. We'll be right back after this with the scripture of the day.

Azzie were back and it's time for the scripture of the day [repeat 3x]. It's soul food. Azzie, tell us all about it.

Azariah: It comes to us from Psalms 150, verse three through five. Praise God with a trumpet sound, praise God with loot and harp. Praise God with tambourine and dance. Like the Pentecostals praise God was strings and pipe. Praise God with clinging symbols, praise God with loud clashing symbols. Yeah, I prefer not then.

Daniel: That's a good one. I liked that. That was really energetic. A [00:07:00] good scripture. And since we're talking about music today, um, I want to add some more words from a queen bee herself. Here's a thought from Beyonce: I know I'm stronger in the songs than I really am. Sometimes I need to hear it myself. We all need to hear those empowering songs to remind us. I love Beyonce. I always think of a Beyonce as a shining example of just how to like amplify your talent by working really hard. You know, God can give you talent, but you've got to reach up as far as you can for god to reach down the rest of the way.

Today's gospel today's meat and taters of the episode. We're talking, you know, the Christian music industry is, well, it certainly is an industry. Isn't it? If you don't know, it's massive. Azariah, you've been in that world. Maybe you can tell us a little of the inside scoop of what the Christian music industry is a little bit like.

Azariah: I mean, the Christian music industry is a lot like uh, just every other industry because it is an industry, but what I find interesting, there's a Christian music [00:08:00] industry and a gospel music industry. And I think that's important to note as well. And why does that exist? I mean, aren't, we all just kind of sort of Christians? You know, another thing that pops up for me is every year, there's the gospel music awards also known as the dove wards and it's equivalent to like the Grammys right? So, uh, it's the Christian Grammy's essentially. And there's after parties, you know, and whatnot. And it's pretty, it's very PG. There's no alcohol at these parties, but there is a pink party and it's where all the little secret gays in the industry have, I probably shouldn't be telling this tea, I'm spilling tea over here, but...

Daniel: oh, what's like a raging after party for the dove awards like? They're like, oh, we read lines from the Bible off his guitar, right? It's like Memphis.

Azariah: Honey. We have a dove that descends down like a drag queen and this and that. No, I, you know, I never had the privilege of going because I wasn't out when I was, uh, I wasn't fully out. So when I was [00:09:00] in that world.

Daniel: They're like, dang, we played Parcheesi til 8 in the morning.

Azariah: But, uh, yeah, it's an industry, honey.

Daniel: You know, partly why the Christian music industry was developed was this desire to avoid secular music as if there's a difference between types of music to God's ears.

Azariah: Yeah. And who among us as not thrown away a cassette tape or smashed a CD with a hammer. I mean, right, anyone? Just me?

Daniel: What was the most ridiculous thing that you were told was not of the Lord or was satanic??

Azariah: We had a burning at my church. We did, we had a burning and there were reports of demonic spirits that were seen floating out of the things that we were burning. We were burning, uh, all secular things. A lot of people bought, brought ouija boards, but some people brought secular music. I didn't own an ounce of secular music at the time. I truly didn't. Um, so I didn't have anything to burn except dildos that were stolen.

Daniel: You [00:10:00] definitely own that broken wrist, like touching your neck, where are you going I don't own secular music. Like you have to own that.

Azariah: I did. I, you know, my first, the first secular album I did end up buying was a Coldplay album and I was like 16 years old. Um, and I, I remember when I was buying it, my heart was racing. Cause I thought I was sinning. And I, I later told my mom and sister, I confessed to them that I bought a Coldplay album and I told them, you know, I was like, yeah, I think God was like, trying to tell me that it wasn't the right thing to do. And I felt guilty and they convinced me to break it. And so I did.

Daniel: I, you know, I felt that way about queen because first of all, queen was called queen. And then in addition to um, I was told that, you know, another Christian could bite the dust kind of thing. Like, you know, like that there was this, like when there was like another one's gone, it was like another Christian gone. Like, I mean, how they could just twist stuff is interesting [00:11:00] to me because like, even like Aerosmith, which I think is a pretty, I mean, you know, it's just like a pretty tame band, as far as bands go, maybe not their behavior offs off the stage, but their music doesn't contain a lot of like, you know, horrible ideas. Um, and to me that, like, I remember I wasn't allowed to listen to that. Just anything that had like a rock, hard rock, heavy metal vocal, but then I was listening to the dirtiest R&B songs. So I just don't know. I don't know, you know, a lot of it is just fear, a lot of hate and a lot of not understanding is based on ignorance.

Azariah: So that's all it is. We had traveling evangelists that would come to my church and, uh, they would talk about the evils of Abercrombie and Fitch and rock music. And they would even play things backwards and like, like, see, this is what Rihanna or not. It wasn't Rihanna. Some rapper. Um, oh yeah. I remember being, getting like a little light. They would, they would show the images of Abercrombie and Fitch pictures on the screen. [00:12:00] Like, this is why you can't shop Abercrombie & Fitch. They're promoting child pornography. And you know, like all these things.

Daniel: I did feel a little bit like Dorothy, I was like, you've got nothing in that bag for me, do you? I was like, there's nothing at Abercrombie that fit me, but i was able to walk around breathing the Axe body spray fumes, and like, and see the men, the models that would hang out at the front. Imagine your job is just you take your shirt off and stand at the front of a mall.

Azariah: Like truly, I remember that.

Daniel: They had such an easy life. I had to stack boxes in the back of a bath & body. What the heck is that? Um, you know, like this is what's different. So the divide between Christian music and secular music has been around for like forever, right?

Azariah: Yes. And there have always been people who want to do withdrawal from the world and create their own little commune. And this is just the latest version of that.

Daniel: No, it's also a business opportunity for some crafty business people.

Azariah: Yes. But there's always been a Christian element to secular songs in history. Martin Luther used to write hymns [00:13:00] to the popular drinking songs of his day.

Daniel: Oh, that's what we need to do.

Azariah: You'd be great at that.

Daniel: I could write a few right now.

Azariah: You really good. And there's some great pop songs that most people would think of as secular, but they have Christian themes. They talk about God and they are just good for your faith.

Daniel: So today we're going to, examinate some secular songs that tell you about God, uh, to start off, we need to talk about how I cried one Sunday. Azzie and I, we were going to go to church, but we late because there was a marathon and we couldn't get to the highway because of this marathon. And it was just making us so late that we were missing like the lead service. And so we were listening to Linda Rodstead and Aaron Neville saying, I don't know much, but I know I love you. And every single word of that to me, just related to Christ. Um, he talks about the soul. He talked, they talk about the history of how long someone has lived and how like , body looking lived in and the [00:14:00] places that you're going. And he talks about, he used the word salvation, which to me is a trigger word. You know, when you use words like that in secular music, you can easily transfer it. It's very much the sister act vibe where you can just change a couple of songs.

Azariah: Using Christianese and their lyrics.

Daniel: Yeah. Reaching with reaching out to the right people. I knew Pete Buttigieg was onto something when they said, they asked him what Mike Pence would think about his sexuality. And he said he would have to take it up my creator. And he used the term creator, which I think is a word that speaks volumes to people who know Christ. And I think the same thing with the word salvation. So you get an opportunity to listen to, I don't know much look for that moment and just, I was bawling in the car and the way of the flea market. I was also pretty stoned, but whatever.

Well, next year on Yas Jesus, we have, God is a DJ by pink. This is another one. Uh, so this song is a bit of an oldie, but we love oldies around here at Yass Jesus. We're not ageist. It's from all the way back in [00:15:00] 2003. And if you listen carefully to the words, you'll hear a discussion about how God is a part of our daily lives.

Azariah: The video shows pink, waking up a little messy and like all of us getting dressed and heading out to the club. But the whole time she is singing about how God is making the rhythm that drives us through our day. And she's talking about herself, but everything she is and everything she does is within God creating this rhythm of life around her, since God is a DJ.

Daniel: You know, there's also that song, the DJ saved my life on than dance floor, like the DJ saved my life from a broken part. Like, and I honestly, there's been times even broken heart at times where I've been able to like, let go of emotions on the dance floor that has been, especially for queer people, a safe space to like, just be someplace. I remember, I remember being early in my twenties, still figuring stuff out and being like, wow, I can't believe I'm in a room right now just dancing like no one's watching in a room full of siblings [00:16:00] and that feeling and that safe warm hug, you know, at the side of the road by the airport. But it's funny, it's funny how that could happen, right? Like, and I think that that's the same type of thing. Like if, if someone, if a DJ could save your life from, from a broken heart, then it's definitely like, that's a godly movement. That's something that like God can do is heal love and heal pain. And I think people, people can find healing in the gifts that other people have just in the songs that they made. You know, if we thought that pink song was an oldie then we want to take us even further back to a dynamic lesbian duo, the indigo girls, Emily sealers dad is a United Methodist minister and retired seminary professor in Atlanta. He teaches liturgy worship and sacred music. And the two of them have also played in performed worship music together. But the Indigo Girls are not Emily Sayers and her dad, but Emily and Amy Ray. [00:17:00] Both of them grew up Christian in the south and the Christian themes show up in a lot of their songs. Amy Ray studied religion in college too.

Azariah: And God talk is all over indigo girls songs, listen to every damn thing the Indigo's put out because they are amazing and spiritual. So here are just a few indigo girls songs to listen to that we'll certainly talk about God- strange fire, philosophy of loss, hey Jesus, the wood song, even their breakout classic, closer to fine.

Daniel: Now this might be a little more obvious, but let's take mention with, take me to church by Hosier. Now, see the song seems obvious because of the title, but it's got themes of love and sex. And it's actually a critique of the church as an institution. The fact that the church has been an instrument of persecution, not just for queer people, but queer people can certainly relate. But this is what Hosier has to say about the song. The song is more about the church as an organization that undermines humanity, [00:18:00] undermines what it is to be a natural human and to love as a person. The church is very good at doing that and there will always be organizations that try that. Wow so deep in that big hit song.

Azariah: Truly. Well, let's move back into something a little more present. So I present to ,you I lived by one Republic. This song is an invitation to a full and abundant life. And do you know who else calls us to live fully and abundantly, Daniel Franzese? Jesus it's Jesus.

Daniel: Amen.

Azariah: The song recognizes that a full life will come with pain and struggles and that the pain and the struggles are part of what it means to be fully human, living on this earth being both saint and sinner. Imagine being in heaven with God and this song is playing as you review your life.

Daniel: We can't do a list of talking about these types of songs without talking about [00:19:00] Jesus takes to wheel by carrie Underwood. Now if you listen to the episode all the way through at the prayer, I always make a joke about Jesus take the wheel because initially the literal translation of that was so funny to me, just picturing some of the like actually letting go and being like, wow, I, um, so this song was actually written by Brad, James, Hillary Lindsey, and Gordie Samson and it was written after a family member who was in a horrible car crash, but walked away. Now the songs there is a focus on the miracle of surviving a tragedy. It's a reminder of how short and precious life actually is. And God is providing us that protection in ways that we don't even recognize, but we probably should.

Azariah: Danny. Should we talk about Bieber?

Daniel: We can talk about the Biebs.

Azariah: Okay. All right. Fine. All right. Justin Bieber, all in it is a very Christian song by Justin Bieber and the Biebs has been very open about his faith. Although he's not a part of a very LGBTQ affirming church. And no Hillsong is a [00:20:00] global evangelical church that has been on the record for not being supportive of LGBTQ people, but, you know, they have their celebs, so that's actually nothing at all.

Daniel: I wonder if one of those pastors told them to write this song because it's pretty explicit in his faith. It could be sung and Hillsong and maybe that's what happened. I don't know. Uh, just remember that Justin Bieber's weed is terrible. It actually truly horrible as a cash crop.

Azariah: Okay. Well, I personally truly do love some Kesha and her first songs I didn't, prior to prayer. I wasn't that big of a Kesha fan, but I feel like prayer to me was like the layer of onion that was pulled back. And I was like, oh, I see you now. Okay. I like you. But her first songs were about being a party girl. But when she came back into the music scene, after dealing with her sexual assault [00:21:00] lawsuit against her producer, Kesha put out praying, and the song is about finding peace through prayer. But it's definitely directed to someone who wronged her. And it's a quick glance at the headlines from the day. Uh, so you might guess who, um, but...

Daniel: it was interesting as an artist to see her make that switch because she was like promoting party girl on the beginning, she was like, I'll eat your macaroni and cheese. Like, she was just like, I shit, you know, it didn't even matter what it was. She was coming with like a, oh, like calm down, like the girl you may want to run into at a party, but you kind of wanted to turn up. You were like she looks like she's having a great time. You know what I mean? That's how we could all party to the music, you know, but I'm like, I don't want to smell like liquor and look like Mick Jagger. You know, the whole thing was like, the thing was like, um, She did she fell into something like when she had a tap into her soul, when, you know, probably, you know, a lot of when a lot of artists come out, they're forced to write what their label makes them write. And here she was in this horrible situation the whole time that we didn't know about. And now she's able to write whatever she wants to write and we get to [00:22:00] hear some of her heart.

Azariah: Truly. And that's why I fell in love with her. It's sort of like challenging someone to confess their sins and asking for forgiveness. If you have been wronged by someone in the church, you could play the song and on blast outside their house.

I can't tell you how many times I blasted that song in my car. Like, and it was like such a moment for me just to like pray for the pastor that I grew up with. Pray for all. Like, I truly, that song was for me, like a prayer with all of my church hurt.

Daniel: I know how you feel. If you're talking about songs like that, we got to include personal Jesus by Depeche mode. So this one's different because you can, like, for me, like I could switch up a whole lyric and just hang on to Jesus. It Doesn't matter, you know? Like, uh, but this one is like a damning indictment of American Christianity or is it a positive depiction of your personal relationship with Jesus? But [00:23:00] think about it. It would, if you had your own little personal Jesus, one that you could fit in your pocket and you could pull them out and talk to him directly and share thoughts and concerns, get some forgiveness, just carry to little baby Jesus everywhere you go. I mean, I guess I have a light, I have a light that they carry with, you know what I mean? Like, uh, you know, what's more amazing about this song is that there's actually covers of it from both Johnny Cash and Marilyn Manson. So the song really does hit the gammit of perspectives, but I definitely do like the idea of like, you know, having a spirit that's with you, your own little piece of Jesus. Jesus pieces.

Azariah: I feel like we're picking up on a little bit of a theme here. Like, are you finding that a lot of these songs included religious but they're also reads of church people. You know, those folks were too holy acting or folks who have wronged you?

Daniel: Seriously, it's just like, okay. Okay. I have one that is not about church art though. Okay. [00:24:00] Or like who wronged me or you or whatever. Okay. But it's still a classic way to flip the secular song. Okay. You raised me up by Josh Groban. I mean, it is one of those songs where you're just like, oh boy, like I felt like every choir team sang this solo at some awards ceremony, in showbiz to the early days of like scholastic show business. I had to see this song like a billion, 2 billion times, and I'm like, oh, it's this one again? You know? Such is a classic, right? I just like any of the great crooners Josh Groban's voice is silky and smooth and manages to, uh, raise me up when I hear it. I eliminate it. You have to catch me at the right moment. Like if this was like a dad and a son dancing at a bar mitzvah, no. Like, do you know what I'm saying? Like, do you know what I'm saying? If this was me [00:25:00] online at CVS? No. If this is what my Uber driver was playing on the way to the clear. Maybe. There's a couple of times I could there's places the right place in the right time. Uh, but it is, it is.

Azariah: It is what it is, indeed. It gives what it needs to give.

Daniel: It is giving what it needs to be giving. Uh, another song where we aren't sure if they're singing to God or their significant other is everything by lighthouse. Is lifehouse technically a Christian band? Because this technically Christian song.

Azariah: Welcome to one of the oldest debates now in the Christian music industry, they have Christian ambiguity. Let's go to Let's see if they have clarity on the lifehouse being a Christian band or not. I was Christian music only. Like I was a purist [00:26:00] about it in high school. And, uh, struggling with that question about life house. I mean, it's threatened by salvation. I think at one point

You know, the region of Indiana and I grew up in, and my pastor I grew up with was Mennonite. And so they are much more purist or at least have that school of thought. So yeah, that's, that's the world I was in. And the more pure you could be the better. So, but it's an age old debate.

Daniel: Where do you sit now on lifehouse?

Azariah: They're great, I love them, they're wonderful.

Daniel: That song sounds like something that I would sing at my gay Christian wedding so it could be both to like, God and my man.. And it's like a nice song.

Azariah: All right. How we've gotten this far without talking about lady Gaga, Danny. I mean her song Judas.

Daniel: Oh my goodness. It's a Shonda. Yes, Judas. Uh, We're bad gays, were so bad. Okay. So this song is [00:27:00] about falling in love with a backstabbing guy. All right. And who's the most famous backstabber?

Azariah: Judas Iscariot.

Daniel: Judas Iscariot. And who is Judas Iscariot? The disciple who betrayed Jesus into his crucifixion.

Azariah: Gaga told MTV UK how previous unfaithful boyfriends inspired this song. This is what she said.

I've had lots of ex-boyfriends betray me. A holes. We all have them. And in particular, there was one who loved Judas priests, loved heavy metal. She said.

Daniel: Oh, Judas priest and Judas Iscariot. This is fascinating.

Azariah: And the video is spectacular. If you haven't seen it, it's like a Fellini film. Gaga plays Mary Magdalene in the song's music video with hot, hot, hot Norman Redis playing Judas Iscariot.

Daniel: Oh my God. You can't even just get past one, like mildly good looking man without turning into blanche Devereaux, you can't even control yourself. [00:28:00] Actually, some folks just like me thought it was maybe too sexy and Karen doubt and it was called SAC now. And it was called sacrilegious by the Catholic church, but I mean, come on what isn't? And so what do you think? Mr. Lifehouse is on the fence? How did you handle that?

Azariah: You know, my professional opinion is that, uh, it's, you know, she's, she's drawing a parallel between, between the story of Judas and her exes. And I she's doing what Jesus did. She's making a parable out of this.

Daniel: I've always been into parables personally, whenever I had the opportunity just to like play around with the linguistics of parables. I've always just enjoyed that. Sorry. That was a tongue twister. Um, you know, another one hit wonder that we have is bittersweet symphony by the Verve. Do you remember this song from the film cruel intentions? It's such a hot weirdly like erotic ... maybe not now because they're all so young, but like [00:29:00] where I was in high school and there, I was like, this is crazy. Like but Ryan Philippe in all his boominess, um, just hot. Anyway, the faith themes are so subtle clearly, but they're there. They're talking about the pain and the suffering and the all you can do is pray. It's even got a few lyrics in there about not being used to praying, but finding your way to your knees, Azzie, you know?

Azariah: Um, I need to see this film and that sometimes you just find yourself on your knees. I don't know about you. I do. Um, but bittersweet symphony is telling truth about life. Uh, cruel intentions is a must by the way, for anyone just it's a must movie.

The next one is wild and admit, I saw it in the list and I knew we had to include it. Okay. It's JPEGMAFIA song, jesus, forgive me, I'm a thought.

Remember fellow queers, it's spelled [00:30:00] T H O T that hoe over there.

Daniel: The song is not for the faint of heart. There's rapping. There's shouting. And some strange vocal inflections. The song is really a prayer to God, but it's, swears a little too, and it named drops. Charlize Theron, Britney Spears and David Byrne. The entire first verse is about all the things that you want to pray about. Like, it's an explicit song, both about sexuality and about identity and faith and this song just has a lot, but we're including it because it's been on other lists, including 11 awesome songs that tickled my fancy in August, 2018 and 13 songs that explore the power of forgiveness.

Azariah: But this is a good one to end on here. On this show we need to do some Bible wondering, and back in the nineties, there was a song called, and I love this song, I really did. I thought I went to school with someone who was related to this artist because they had the same last name. I didn't know how relations actually worked. That was in the first grade. Give me a break, but [00:31:00] it's the song what if God was one of us by Joan Osborne and that song did some God wondering. The song was sort of a one hit wonder for Joan Osborne, but it has stayed with us and it asks questions about God. Does God have regular experiences like everyday people? What's really interesting is that Jesus did have real everyday experiences. I mean, he was human. He farted guys and girls and everyone in between. He pooped. He was born a baby, he was a child, a teen, you know, morning wood... These things happen when you're a human, he got dirty and smelly got acne and maybe had a wet dream.

Daniel: Maybe you ate your own toenail, or at least a callus on his ankle. There weren't pedicures then.

Azariah: Right. They didn't have toothbrushes, probably didn't have the best teeth. I think they used to chew on, or they used to chew on things that would like clean up their teeth. I'm sure they had some sort [00:32:00] of thing.

Daniel: Through Jesus God was having human experiences. Jesus wept with Mary and Martha, even though he was going to raise their brother from the dead. Jesus was an everyday person walking and eating and talking. And still Jesus was the son of God, fully divine and fully human. There's so many, many more we can include, but we're running out of time. I'm going to quickly rattle some off. Photograph by ed Sheeran, fix you by Coldplay, a false God by Taylor swift. blessed Be the broken road by rascal Flatts, nobody by Selena Gomez, dear God by Nicholas Jonas, a pocket full of sunshine when Natasha Bedingfield laughing with by Regina Spektor, by the grace of God, Katy Perry, what I've done by Lincoln park, all of these things I've done by the killers, lord, give me a sign by DMX, call the man by Celine Dion, save your shadow by Blake Shelton. Jesus walks by Kanye [00:33:00] west, unanswered prayers by Garth Brooks, learned to fly by the foo fighters, and faith by Kendrick Lamar. Remember you can involve God, Jesus, faith, hope, prayer into any music . The line between what is Christian music and what is secular music isn't real. God shows up when you sing, when you play a song, when you use the gifts that God has given you, when you dance around in our underwear and everywhere in your life. What songs tell you our listeners, I'm talking to you. What songs tell you about God? Let us know @yassjesuspod and we'll follow up with you.

Azariah: Yeah, since, uh, there's been a few listeners that we've exchanged songs with each other. I've enjoyed that. So send us what you think those songs are at All right. Our tithe love offering charity act of good. Remember our gay Christian news at the top of this episode. Well, we want you to take action. We are going to list a few of the books that have been targeted for bans by school districts or entire [00:34:00] states.

Daniel: Now your mission, should you choose to accept it is to buy these books. Yes. Buy them, spend a few dollars to support these authors. These books can not be banned and you can read them yourself, or you can give them as a gift to young queer people in your life or buy two copies and do both. Here are some of the top suggestions for books.

Azariah: This book is gay, fun home: a family tragic comic, gender queer, all boys aren't blue, lawn boy, gender queer: a memoir, and this one is an LGBTQ themed, but about race and racism and is excellent. It's called stamped from the beginning: the definitive history of racist ideas and America.

Daniel: Well, everyone, uh, we have a song act of praise moment of the show. Now we just spent this episode talking about songs and we want to play more songs. If you are a queer Christian musician, or if you have a song that you think have you related to God and you want us to play one of your songs, send as an email to [00:35:00] with a link to where you could find the MP3 file of the song that you want us to consider.

, please, unless you're driving. Now your head for the closing prayer, because she's just, can't take the wheel. We come to you, God, our music, our music in this world is a praise to you. All forms of music. And God, as we hear songs that make us think, make us dance, make us groove, let it all be a sweet sounding prayer to your ears. HallelujahWe want to thank you for those songs that remind us of who we are and who made us and who loves us. We pray for those states and communities that are trying to ban books about LGBTQ people and people of color. We learn. We learn from reading the lives and the stories of other people in other communities. Please God soften the hearts of those trying to ban the books and give [00:36:00] strength and resolve to those who are fighting these bans.

Azariah: And we give thanks for Aaron for his gay role model who shares messages of positivity and inspiration. We also pray for Tori's dog with vertigo that you give healing and comfort. And all of this, we pray in your name. Amen.

Daniel: Amen. Oh, thank you so much. All of you. We also pray for all of you and your lives, and we thank you so much, and we're so grateful for you listening to another episode of Yass jesus. You can find us on social media @yassjesuspod or on our website at Now, if you like the show please please consider becoming a monthly sponsor. You can find the link to do so in the show notes. And if you haven't yet, please leave us a review or share us with a friend. Doing so helps us reach new people and keep this show running.

Azariah: You can now leave an audio prayer request or praise report on our website[00:37:00] We would love to share your voice and your prayers on the show. Drop us a line or send us a recording on

Daniel: Send us your praise reports, your prayer requests, your episode ideas, guest ideas, or even just to sing your version of when you believe we want to hear from you. Yass Jesus is hosted by me, Danny Franzese and as always my lovely, if not musical friend...

Azariah: the singing Azariah Southworth. Well, our music and sound editing and all things audio are done by the talented Chris Heckman and our show is produced by the freaking deacon Ross Murray and Meredith Paulley. Special, thanks to Sophie Serrano and Sam Isfan.

Daniel: Yass Jesus is brought to you by Audity and the Audity execs Are Ryann Lauckner. Jessica Bustillos and Steve Michaels. We are streaming and screaming on apple podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Azariah: [00:38:00] And God loves all you secular listening music, kids out there, all right?

Daniel: So keep singing the praises to the Lord, y'all.

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