The Devil and Lil Nas X

A note on gay men and Satanism

If you want to tell Christians that being gay is okay, do you dress up as Satan?

That’s the dilemma, as I understand it, being presented by a new music video by Lil Nas X. The song—if read apart from the video—seems to be a meditation on gay hookup culture. After coming out as gay, the young singer is deluged with sexual offers, seems to be the set-up.

He’s naturally sweet and perhaps a little shy, and now in pursuit of hook-ups he finds himself in scenes of sex-fueled, sex-driven gay life.

“Romantic talkin’? You don’t even have to try
You’re cute enough to fuck with me tonight”

If he’d once dreamed of love, he isn’t anymore.

‘Montero’ is his given name, and ‘Lil Nas X’ is his performing name. The song indicates a struggle between them, hence the title, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

If referencing the movie Call Me By Your Name—the gay love story—it now seems to express the struggle between his two names.

Which of them is ‘he’?

Arriving at a hook-up, a religious narrative then begins.

“I’m not fazed, only here to sin
If Eve ain’t in your garden, you know that you can”

In the video, he moves through a sort of Eden, except he isn’t too into Eve. Where does a gay man belong, spiritually? He takes a trip down to Hell on a stripper pole and finds Satan on a throne — and twerks against him.

Then he becomes Satan himself.

Twitter is taking it in stride. One fan says: “Personally thought it was very brave of you to power bottom the devil.”

“I knew our king could do it,” is a reply.

Lil Nas X is framing this as pushback against Christian judgement of gay people.

He laughs at the outrage he’s generated. He responds on Twitter: “y’all love saying we going to hell but get upset when i actually go there lmao”

I’m left wondering: Why is he accepting the Christian designation of gays as Satanists? He’s even marketing the idea as a pair of Satanic shoes.

If the idea is to suggest gays aren’t evil—it’s an eccentric strategy.

It seems to me the net effect is to suggest to Christians that gays are even more evil than they had realized. The talk would be: ‘He was once a nice young man. Now look at him.’

Gays have been doing Satan for a long time.

The Gothic novel got started back in 1796 when Matthew Lewis—who seems pretty clearly to have been homosexual—published The Monk, which stars a nude Lucifer.

One thinks of Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, and of Aleister Crowley, the Satanist who was once a good Christian boy. It’s even on view in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, where Huck—who could easily be gay — rejects society, and says, “All right then, I’ll go to hell.”

There’s Satanic touches in Lenny Bruce, Mick Jagger singing “Sympathy For the Devil,” and many other works by sexually nebulous men.

The result is that Christians think they’re “godly” and those LGBT types are not.

In 1944, the gay poet Robert Duncan identified the basic problem.

“Like early witches, the homosexuals, far from seeking to undermine the popular superstition, have accepted and even anticipated the charge of demonism. Sensing the fear in society that is generated in ignorance of their nature, they have sought not understanding but to live in terms of that ignorance, to become witch doctors in the modern chaos.”

So I ask: Why accept the Christian charge that gays are Satanic?

Go power bottom for Jesus! 🔶

religion. sex. facts.

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