’Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and cloth you?
When did we see you ill or in prison and come to visit you?’
And the Human One will answer, ‘Whatever you did for the so-called least, you did for me.’”
JOIN ME IN THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER: Let us dwell together in peace; and let us not be instruments of our own or of others’ oppression; and now, may god’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.
Limiting freedoms in the name of freedom of religion, and diminishing and oppressing people in the name of God is as much, and sometimes more, the Christian story than is… blessed are the merciful, love your neighbor, put away your sword, and give all you can to the poor.
That’s why we say every Sunday and have done for 17 years – Sunshine Cathedral is a different kind of church.
God is love, and love, loves. Show us love loving. That’s what we want. Not narrow interpretations of scripture, not reciting creeds, not scaring people with afterlife threats that are as cruel as they are inconsistent with divine Love.
No, just love. Learn to love out loud, to love consistently, to love boldly, Let love love. Don’t love theology, let love be your theology and then you can’t go wrong.
In the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod quotes Washington Irving, “Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.”
Wearing the mask of virtue, the keepers of power wage war on women’s bodily autonomy, war on LGBTQ visibility, war on the transgender children of God.
Wearing the mask of virtue, the keepers of power wage war on drag…the war on arched eyebrows, updo wigs, hips pads and duct tape. Can you even stand it?
People who torment and terrorize, who belittle and bludgeon, who vilify and victimize, who dehumanize and demoralize LGBTQ people do so in the name of virtue, but hate is not virtuous, cruelty is not virtuous, injustice is not virtuous.
If you don’t care about epidemic gun violence but you do care what people wear and where they pee, then virtue isn’t your motivator.
If you don’t care that the evils of war destroy lives but you are terrified that straight kids will learn that Queer people exist, or that Queer kids will discover they are not alone, then virtue isn’t your motivator.
If you want to erase racist history and silence Queer families and threaten gay friendly businesses but denounce the flags of Queer culture, then virtue isn’t your motivator.
If you let your kids watch TV, then your opposition to Drag Story Hour has nothing to do with protecting children from adult themes, and virtue is not your motivator.
If your desperate attempt to ban books doesn’t include the bible, a book filled with stories of child abuse, rape, incest, polygamy, war, execution, prostitution, intrigue, betrayal, slavery, eunuchs, and murder, then your hypocrisy is too contemptible to ignore and virtue is not your motivator.
It was Thomas Paine who said, “…belief in a cruel god makes a cruel person.”
It is belief in a cruel god that is motivating, or at least justifying, cruelty towards LGBTQ people once again.
When I go on one of these rants, someone will usually ask me, “Do you still believe in God?”
Let me tell what I believe in:
I believe in the love that is powerfully communicated in the extra millisecond of a hug between dear friends.
I believe in the healing power of a tear shed in the wee hours of the morning.
I believe in the magic of a joyful memory that visits like an angel out of the blue.
I believe in the moral courage that demands we say something when we witness cruelty, violence, or oppression.
I believe we can go to peace instead of to pieces.
I believe in the rapture experienced during a first kiss.
I believe in the sacrament of coming out.
I believe our kindness is love loving, God godding.
I believe in the miracle of love overcoming fear.
I believe in the transformation that is made possible by the arts.
I believe in the divine spark that glows within each one of us.
And I believe love is the only law that can be attributed to God, because God is love, and loving is how we best worship God, the god in us that is made manifest by the love we share.
Marianne Williamson has said, “When hate is loud, love cannot afford to be silent.”
Love won’t let us be silent when bathrooms bills target trans kids.
Love won’t let us be silent when safe spaces for Queer kids are removed from schools.
Love won’t let us be silent when the shamans and warriors of LGBTQ liberation history, transgender people and drag performers, are criminalized. These brave heroes deserve better than that.
You should get to take your kids to a drag show, and you should get to wear what you damn well please, and your bladder shouldn’t be policed as an excuse to torment trans people. Love requires that we resist tyranny whether it impacts us directly or not.
Lord, when did we see you suffering and come to your aid?
When you saw anyone suffering and tried to help them, you were ministering to me.
It’s time to love loudly, consistently, to show love loving every day.
We will resist hate by showing love, we will be love loving loudly, and this is the good news. Amen.