Every week I sit silently as the hymns are played, gazing around at other women who like me roll their eyes and yawn. This is because Mormon women are subjected every week to no less than three harmful songs, not including the patriarchal indoctrination songs we have to listen to during the other two hours of church (which shouldn’t even exist, by the way). Well, those hundreds of songs by old white men filled with outdated messages may get replaced very soon, as the Mormon church is reportedly making significant changes to the hymnbook.
Hymns are a tool of the patriarchy, and this is why I never sing. Sometimes when I can’t stand it anymore, I take out my earphones and blast modern pop music (I do this a lot actually). Feminists have noted that the hymnbook needs to reflect the global nature of the church, and I couldn’t agree more. No more “My Country Tis Of Thee.” We need to bring in minority voices, and set a quota of class groups for authors and LGTBQIAA+-friendly themes. We also must make sure the majority of songs have female authors (like we already have for the primary songbook), preferably women with hyphenated last names. Did you know most hymns currently speak of God as a male, only a few as a neutral gender, and zero speak of God as female? This must change now.
We need these alterations to current hymns and Primary song titles:
- Press Forward Saints To Equality
- Praise to the Women
- Onward Christian Social Justice Warriors
- Count Your Many Pronouns
- A Poor Wayfaring Woman Disenfranchised
- I Am A Child of Karl Marx
- Did You Think To Check Your Privilege?
- Do As I’m Saying Not As I’m Doing
- I Hope They Call Me By My Preferred Pronoun
- and of course… As Feminists In Zion
Additionally, we need to add the following to make hymnbook and primary song book inclusive:
- A Cup of Coffee – by Katy Perry
- Imagine – by John Lennon
- This Land Is My Land – Woody Guthrie
- Believe – Imagine Dragons
- One Love – Bob Marley
- All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
- Respect – Aretha Franklin
- Born This Way – Lady Gaga
- She’s So High Above Me – Tal Bachman
What is your suggestion for a hymn alteration? What can the church do to make it so our young women aren’t indoctrinated to think they are second-class members and inferior human beings? How can we drag these ornery men in the church into the 21st century as equality-minded progressives?
Post your ideas under #HymnbookEdits! Make a statement they can’t ignore!