I won’t be tyrannized by religion, my vocation notwithstanding.
I won’t let religion tell me that any god in any heaven is against me.
Wars, the silencing of women, domestic violence, slavery, Jim Crow, colonization, and ugly homophobia have all been practiced and promoted by religious people, often citing religion as their justification and sometimes even as their mandate.
Toxic religion has left people broken. We owe it to the world to intentionally offer a different kind of spiritual community and experience.
Religion claimed to offer salvation, but women in old Salem, gays and lesbians even still, people tortured by the inquisition, women denied ordination, women denied bodily autonomy, drag performers denied bodily autonomy…religion is what many need saving from.
For much of Christian history Jesus has been presented as only wanting to hand out bubble gum and ass whoopings and he’s always out of bubblegum.
The good news is the bad news is wrong.
That’s why our different kind of church offers an open love feast…it can mean more than that to you, but we don’t demand it.
Here we play with, wrestle with, even disagree with the bible…we love it, but don’t require you to take a single word of it literally – well, maybe one word: love.
Here we don’t worship crucifixion; here the cross reminds us of the evils of empire and Jesus beyond the cross reminds us that love cannot be destroyed,
and here we present god as an experience, a presence, something that can be felt but never fully telt.
And if you aren’t sure that you can even use the “g” word, you are still fully welcome, because love is more important than opinions about what can’t be proved anyway.
If God is, then God is love, and if you live in love, you can’t go far wrong, and if there were no god, we’d still be better off for loving one another.
Our being a different kind of church is an act of justice-love.
We’re here not only to bless LGBTQ+ people and those who truly love them, but also to name the ways our own religious histories have caused pain and to atone for those histories by boldly being a different kind of church.
When you actively participate in Sunshine Cathedral, you are offering hope and healing to hurting people in the world. My clarion call is just this: keep up the good work. Amen.
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