Taylor Swift On Her Religious Beliefs And The ‘Sinister’ Way Politicians Hide Behind ‘Family Values’

Musician Taylor Swift has a long history of staying silent on political and religious subjects. But with her new documentary, Miss Americana coming to Netflix, and the trying times of the past several years, she’s begun to speak up. Here’s what Swift has to say about religion and the political figures who use it to twist their messaging.

Taylor Swift has always worked to not alienate her base

Taylor Swift attends Billboard Women In Music 2019
Taylor Swift attends Billboard Women In Music 2019 | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Billboard

When she first broke out, Swift was known as a country singer. Country music, more than any other genre, is known for its more conservative base, and Christian values are often incorporated. Because of this, and her young age, it was very important for her to remain silent on political matters.

However, it wasn’t until more recently that Swift realized how her image had been linked to white supremacist groups. “I didn’t even see that, but, like, if that happened, that’s just disgusting. There’s literally nothing worse than white supremacy. It’s repulsive. There should be no place for it,” she said in a 2019 interview.

She changed her mind in recent years

During the Reputation era, Swift didn’t speak about much of anything, allowing her music to be the message. But she went through a very dramatic shift over the past couple of years since the album’s release and is now more committed than ever to revealing her beliefs.

Take, for instance, her single “You Need to Calm Down.” She used the 2019 hit to convey the intolerance of many towards the LGBTQ+ community. Swift also took further action, speaking out against Marsha Blackburn, who ran for Senate in her home state of Tennessee. For her work, she is being honored by GLAAD.

Why she spoke out against Blackburn

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!

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In a Variety profile on Miss Americana, Swift explained that she told her team of Blackburn, “I can’t see another commercial [with] her disguising these policies behind the words ‘Tennessee Christian values.’ I live in Tennessee. I am Christian. That’s not what we stand for.” She’s made it clear that her religious values are important to her here.

Her decision to speak out wasn’t taken lightly by her team (or her father, who worried about her safety). But Swift was confident. “This was a situation where, from a humanity perspective, and from what my moral compass was telling me I needed to do, I knew I was right, and I really didn’t care about repercussions,” she said.

Swift’s anger towards certain politicians

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HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!! While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator. While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act. Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.

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When “You Need to Calm Down” was released, some felt that it was almost too over-the-top in its lyrics. But Swift felt that it was important to make her views crystal clear. “To celebrate but not advocate felt wrong for me,” she said. “Using my voice to try to advocate was the only choice to make. Because I’ve talked about equality and sung about it in songs like ‘Welcome to New York,’ but we are at a point where human rights are being violated.”

Swift continued, lamenting the messaging used by conservative politicians to pass hateful legislation. “When you’re saying that certain people can be kicked out of a restaurant because of who they love or how they identify, and these are actual policies that certain politicians vocally stand behind, and they disguise them as family values, that is sinister. So, so dark,” she said.