Do Republicans Know “Hallelujah” Is About Sex?

Leonard Cohen was a Canadian Jew.

Everett Collection/Shutterstock

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As fireworks lit up the sky over the White House following Donald Trump’s acceptance of the Republican presidential nomination, speakers blasted two separate renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” But the song isn’t the Christian hymn Republicans seem to think it is.

A Canadian Jew and practitioner of Zen Buddhism, Leonard Cohen wrote such wholesome tunes as “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On.” If you listen to the lyrics of “Hallelujah,” which Cohen released in 1984 and which Jeff Buckley popularized with an orgiastic rendition 10 years later, you’ll notice that the song is less an exaltation of God than a cynical rumination on more secular matters. Now, tell me this verse isn’t about sex:

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do you?
But remember when I moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah.

None of this mattered to Trump fans.

It’s all pretty ironic, given how frigid Republicans tend to be when it comes to sex: no free birth control, no sex ed, no dining with any women other than your wife, no cuckolding. The RNC featured several conservative Christian speakers, so let me reiterate: Leonard Cohen was Jewish.

Cohen conveniently died one day before Trump was elected president in 2016, but I think it’s safe to say he wouldn’t have sported a MAGA hat.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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