Video Review: Hozier “Take Me To Church”

A fire burns in a forest. A young man hides by a bush after hearing a noise. He kneels on the ground and takes out a chest with a chain attached. He places it in the ground and buries it.

Hearing another noise, he looks up again. Fear crosses his face.

Another young man takes a bike ride through the rural city and meets his boyfriend in the forest. They embrace. As they take a walk, they are spotted by a man.

The couple stops at a pier and smokes. They kiss and throw stones into the lake.

The man (who spotted them) wears a handkerchief over his mouth as several others walk down the road in a pack.

Panic-stricken, the young man (who was riding the bike earlier) takes his clothes out of the closet and shoves them into a duffel bag. He races down the stairs, runs down the street and into the trail of the forest.

Footage is shown on the television of a hate group parading down the streets.

An older man hears footsteps and pulls the curtain to see who is approaching the house. He freezes as he sees the group.

The pack take several sections of the house. The leader holds a burning piece of paper and opens the door. He hits the older man and tosses the burning paper by the stairs. The group begins to ransack the house.

The couple make love.

The first young man is dragged by his two arms through the forest. He darts his head from left to right, scared. One man carries a torch, which he lights with a button.

The second young man stops at his father’s house and calls out for him. He runs to the garage and checks around. Then, he continues to run. He pauses when he sees a pitchfork in the grass. He takes off his hat and bends down, the emotion choking him. Filled with adrenaline, he runs

The first young man is dragged to the fire, a knife put to his throat. He sceams “no!” A man breaks open the chest and then tosses it into the fire.  Another person of the group videotapes it.

The second young man returns to the forest to see his boyfriend being kicked and crumpled to the side of the ground, unmoving.

Rating: 5/5

A single kiss in public could end a person’s life. For straight people, displays of public affection are given an eyeroll. It’s a non-issue with the comment of “get a room.” For gay couples, it’s a matter of life and death. A single kiss puts a target on couple’s backs.

Harrowing and gutting, the video depicts the normalization of hate, and allowing it to roam free without any consequences.  The hate group featured in the video have been told their murderous view is okay and they can take on the role of God, choosing who lives and dies, according to deeply ingrained ideals legimatized by fake news.

The second young man won’t ever stop fearing for his life. He could live in another part of Europe or the United States, knowing he will have to look over his shoulder and be vigilant. His safety isn’t guaranteed. For some in society, he is considered an other, a deviant whose sexuality defines him and must be controlled.

The video raises the delicate issue that evil is done in the name of religion and for the greater good. God, is in fact used as an excuse to kill someone out of a different belief. As the world gets whitewashed, obstructing change by thinking it can turn back the clock on progress. It can expect a push back.

Hozier speaks up the only way he knows how: through his music and writing. He, like others, won’t let themselves lose their rights without a fight.

Directors: Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson Year: 2013

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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