So, there’s a lot going on around our nation (and the world, obviously) that’s cause for concern. Events that are rightly occupying our attention and efforts. The massive hurricane and flooding in southeast Texas, for example. People are jumping in to offer supplies, money, shelter, everything. A lot of people including churches and other non-profits are preparing to shift their efforts to assist with the rebuilding that will take years.
Meanwhile, we are struggling with racial injustice and the need to finally rid our institutions and our culture and ourselves of white supremacy. We white people are painfully realizing the damage we continue to cause with our own racism and fragility. And we are outraged that not everyone is on the same page. Meanwhile, violence flares, and the hate we decided to ignore rather than eradicate spills over and mingles with the flood waters of destruction.
And while many of us try to sort through these real and unbelievably difficult things, some Christians gathered in Nashville and wrote a statement. Their statement said nothing to condemn white supremacy. Their statement said nothing to lament the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. Their statement said nothing about anything that deals death, harbors hate or perpetuates injustice. Instead, they wrote about sexuality. Because apparently adults in mutually consensual relationships are a more pressing matter than white men carrying torches.
I suppose I have to say that I disagree with them wholeheartedly. That nothing in the Nashville statement even begins to resemble the God I worship. That I fully support my queer friends and family and parishioners and neighbors and colleagues. That I hope for them wholeness and love in the same way I hope wholeness and love for every bit of God’s creation. And that it’s precisely that shared hope that makes a singling out of this group preposterous.
If you need to hear this, then please hear this: God created you. God calls you good. God cheers you on as you continue to create yourself everyday. Don’t let the haters convince you otherwise. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
I’ll stand beside you to lend you my strength if yours starts to waver. I’m hopeful you can do the same for me. And together we can join in the work that Jesus outlines for himself when he declares: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. God has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” So that rather than condemning who people love, we can focus our energy on spreading love throughout the world.
God’s Peace and All Good,