The following is a guest blog and capture of our discussion with Christian Singer Jermaine Bollinger.
We had posted a portion of his song on Facebook and he contacted us to clarify his intent.
We felt in light of being inclusive and honest about our position here, that he deserved a chance to let our supporters know how that went, so we offered him a space to talk about his song.
The Original Motto Project: Talk about the inspiration for the song lyrics.
Jermaine Bollinger: I wrote this song to promote hope, community, and for people to come together. I do happen to be a Christian, but I am not the type of person to try and force religion on anyone. The song is about beauty of country, helping our fellow man despite our differences, and coming together and truly being united.
My feelings were hurt about the way the song was portrayed, the way I was judged as a musician, and before I decided to release the song, I thought for a long time about whether I should as a person of color. I never wanted to offend anyone or create any disunion amongst Americans. In fact, I was hoping I could see people of different backgrounds and belief systems unite despite having differences of opinion on issues that we face today. Even though I was concerned with the negative connotations the song could produce, I did think it was more important to try and bring people together, than to worry about what people would think of me or my affiliation with the song. In all honesty, I wrote this song because of racial tension in America, my entire family served in the military, and because I love my country.
I’m a Christian songwriter and the majority of my audience is Christian. Personally, my goal is to love like Christ loved, be the best example of love and service I can be to the world I live in, and help other Christians realize and understand that there’s just as many issues in the church as outside of the church. Unfortunately, I fail at these things far too much, but I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll be a little better.
People are divided and debate about the same things in the church that the rest of the world is struggling with. It seems that who the next president is, blue lives or black lives, school shootings and gun control are all we talk about anymore. I get these are major issues we face, and I’m certainly not callused about them or dismissive. In fact, I feel America is in a state of disrepair, but uniting despite our differences, loving one another, and respecting each other are never the first options to resolving these issues. As Christians, that is our second most important act. The first is to trust in God always.
Since the majority of my audience is Christian, the crux of the song from a patriotic standpoint while being Christian is to trust in God. This wasn’t a call for all Americans, Christian or not to trust. I trust in God as a Christian not as an American. Despite Americans not seeing eye to eye with where my trust lies, they can at least understand how awesome our country can be and that we can again love one another despite our differences.
TOMP: How do you want to unify people with your message?
JB: I was hopeful when I wrote this song. Maybe I’m just delusional, but I sincerely dream of a day where none of these issues exist anymore. It may not be in our time, but I’m glad I am able to communicate my intentions in a civil format such as this.
I have a son who is getting ready to turn 6 months old in a couple weeks, and I hope every day that we can make a better world for him.
When communication like this happens, it reassures my hope. Still, I believe it starts with respect and love. I respect differing opinions as should anyone. I may disagree with them, but I respect them. The problem is when people start forcing their beliefs on other people. That is the definition of tyranny in my opinion.
Why does it have to be one way or the other? It shouldn’t be a mind-blowing concept that we can love and respect each other despite our differences. I guess the whole point of the song is we can disagree but still care for one another. I’m using music, something I’m very passionate about as a platform to help at the very least, put a dent in the tension and division across America. That was my only agenda in writing this song, and I hope that ideally these words of the song will one day reign true.
In God We Trust
© Salvation Studios
All across this blessed nation
If we help our fellow man
Standing tall in celebration
Of the True American
Arm in arm we come together
As we stand for freedom’s call
It’s a melting pot of unity
We are strongest when we’re all
One day maybe we can be…
…the land of the free
And the home of the brave
And we can truly…
…stand for justice and peace
And the flag that never caves
And ideally, we should be…
…a light for all who need
And we can unify in love and respect…
Come together sing our creed
And to my Christian brethren and sisters…
And forever we will say…
In God we Trust