Heresy

Album: The Downward Spiral (1994)
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  • This song is about confronting and questioning Christianity. The lyrics describe how Christianity is used to control people and how it contradicts itself: "His perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain demands devotion atrocities done in his name." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Gananoque, Canada
  • Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor explained that much of The Downward Spiral album dealt with how people were always trying to control you, and this song takes on a specific institution. He told Kerrang!: "Churches tell you to do this and that, or the punishment will be going to Hell. In every relationship you get into, someone wants to control it. I'm aware of that, I'm addressing it, I'm challenging it."
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Comments: 28

  • D from Alaska, AkHey all you people realize that it shows lyric writing credit goes to the members of Pantera not to Trent Reznor? I'm a huge fan of both I'm just not a huge fan of sending credit to the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Casey from Glendale, AzI agree with Matt from New Zealand. Saying this song is just against Christianity is inaccurate. There is a deeper meaning to the song than just "Christianity is wrong". The Downward Spiral is a concept album about a man going through depression.
  • Matt from Auckland, New ZealandTrent suffers from depression and has an anxiety disorder, when you don't deal with it or realize you have an anxiety disorder at a young age it leads to big problems in your adult life i.e. drug abuse and relationship problems among others. When you do realize it you find yourself in the middle of a mental breakdown and question everything in your life even your belief system. Don't look at the song lyrics from your viewpoint but that of the artist this is not one random song on a cd but part of a whole work "The Downward Spiral" and it is "Heresy" too think what he is saying in these lyrics (to some people) and it is no accident that he picked that word for the title. The first part of the song starts with "he sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see" is "he" Trent himself out of his own fears and anxiety? Another track off the cd "Mr. Self Destruct" has these lyrics
    I am the voice inside your head and I control you
    I am the lover in your bed and I control you
    I am the sex that you provide and I control you
    I am the hate you try to hide and I control you
    I take you where you want to go
    I give you all you need to know
    I drag you down I use you up
    Mr. Self Destruct
    I speak religion's message clear and I control you
    I am denial guilt and fear and I control you
    I am the prayers of the naive and I control you
    I am the lie that you believe and I control you
    I take you where you want to go
    I give you all you need to know
    I drag you down I use you up
    Mr. Self Destruct
    Look at the whole body of work he has present you with, the WHOLE cd, and from his view point not your own, he is not writing the songs from your view point but from his own. The view point of someone with depression and an anxiety disorder.
  • Shane from Westminster, MdOk, what is with everyone mentioning their thoughts on and bashing religion? That's not what the song was made for. It's part of a concept album following an individual going through hard times. Trent Reznor may not even feel this way about religion at all. So what's the point of trying to talk crap about people of other faiths?
  • Pete from Tamworth, NhReligion is the work of the Devil. This song is the work of God.
  • Michael from Glen Allen, VaAna, Cheyene, WY - I didn't hear Trent say it himself, but now that you mention it, it makes a ton of sense that this song is about being a "paranoid sexually active person". Taking that idea, you can say the lyrics are about said person, maybe a christian, trying to justify his sexual desires by questioning his religion. Also, christians, there's no need to hate this song. And it's not hypocritical to be a christian and like this song. God, Jesus, the bible, etc. are justified should you believe in them. The actions and decisions humans make as a result of their beliefs, no matter how horrid or wonderful, is simply human nature, not the religion itself.
  • George from Plymouth, United Kingdomwhy do you all bring your religion outside your personal life and into everything, your video games, your politics, why not just keep it all seperate ? this is just a piece of music, it has no further purpose but to entertain and maybe to capture the band a new atheistic audience.


    And Cody, you forgot the capital on your name too, or is the Texan heat getting to ya a little maybe?
  • M from Mikkeli, FinlandThis song is great! I love it! I'm christian too, but you dont have to take every lyrics too personal. The best version of this song is in Further Down The Spiral. Just listen.
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjI can't beleive there are so many christian NIN fans, but then again, the world is full of hypocrites.
  • Jesse from Sabina, OhWish there was something real, wish there was something true..
  • Jesse from Sabina, OhReligion blinds you to many things. It's hard to accept certain ideas when you've been taught your entire life to reject them. Thanks the sun my parents raised me pagan. Heh.. Ah heh heh.
  • Cody from Austin, TxI love to see such funny comments coming from christians (notice the absence of a capital C) on a song that is so powerful both lyrically and musically. You christians are funny... you make me snicker, and pity you...
  • O.l from Syracuse, NyIt kills me because the instrumentals in this song are really good, but i hate listening to it because i'm christian
  • Chris from Buffalo, Nyin terrible lie he tries to accept jesus. so what if he rejects him. by the way, pretty hate is halo 2. . .
  • David from Lakeview, NcWhat are you talking about, devoyd? My copy of "Pretty Hate Machine" says halo 2 on it.
  • Matt from Ventnor City, NjJust so all you's know, he revoked these lyrics, Trent doesn't believe what he sings in this song, it's just a song.
  • Joe from Somewhere, VaActually Jasmine, I am a Christian and I like this song. Christians can be open minded to other points of view. Anyway, just because you listen to a song doesn't mean you believe it.
  • Kevin from Oconto Falls, Withe whole album the downward sprial is about tori amos his ex girlfriend at the time all know that she must have been really good in the sack to have that much hate in him to make a whole album about there relationship
  • Brett from Adelaide, AustraliaHeresy is one of my favs and even as someone who slightly believes in GOD I think that the song gets a good message across
  • Ana from Cheyene, WyThis song is about being a paranoid sexually active person. I swear, Trent said so.
  • Devoyd from Bris, Australiaactually joe if u look at pretty hate machine, it has no halo on it (even though it is)
  • Max from Toronto, CanadaHey, Glyde in Texarkana. Have you ever tried to look at the song without thinking about it as a matter of deepest insult and rather just look at it as a form of art expressing someones opinion? Everybody has their opinions, and maybe you shouldn't judge before you have some solid proof of what you believe.
  • Lea from Stuart, FlAlso, this song is verry true....
  • Lea from Stuart, FlYour God is Dead
    And No One Cares
    If There Is A Hell
    Ill See You There

    Trent Reznor Is A Genious...
    If you can't respect him for his lyrics, atleast respect him for his amazing talent with his music.
    With all this about religion and that aside, he has made some beautiful songs.
    He is a great influence on me for that.
  • Jasmine from Rocky River, OhI would be worried if you were Christian and liked it. Gee, so sorry?
  • Glyde from Texarkana, TxWow i am a Christian and I hate this song
  • Joe from Bristol, CtEvery Halo is an official NIN cd. He's at 19 now btw.
  • Cameron from Hayward, CaIf you like this song, try to find the "blind" version. Its on the closer album (which also has 6 or 7 different version of "closer"). This IS an official NIN cd too, not just a remix or something. The "blind" version is way more heavy, and in my opinion better.
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