Do Republicans Know “Hallelujah” Is About Sex?

Everett Collection/Shutterstock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.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.

DONALD J TRUMP…. played HALLELUJAH while he LIT UP the sky’s of Washington D.C.
This is a battle of Good vs. Evil.
Good is winning, praise God.
— DC Capital🎤🇺🇸 (@DCtheCapital) August 28, 2020

Quite possibly the most incredible moment Chris Macchio singing an operatic Hallelujah. This our People’s Home. This is my home. And I am quite possibly proudest American Citizen I ever could be tonight. @realDonaldTrump will be re-elected this November and I know I had helped.
— DrG (@disneydoc911) August 28, 2020

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.