As a person of faith, I grapple with what I perceive to be the misappropriation of religion—specifically Christianity—to control people, to control bodies, to segregate, isolate, and exclude. It feels in many ways that the Christian faith has been commandeered by a group of people who behave as if they never met the Jesus of the Christian texts. In fact, I stand with my colleagues, many of whom have said that Christianity has been infected with nationalism, specifically White Nationalism, and white supremacy. To use faith to exclude, demean, control is wrong. It is not of God. It is not Christ-like. And I am convicted that people of faith must–with great love, compassion, and patience–expand a liberating understanding of the gospel and become more known in the world for liberation and love and inclusion than the faith is presently being represented so prominently.
When Miguel and I were home earlier this month and attended Cathedral of Hope UCC, we had the opportunity to hear Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas preach one of the most pointed, powerful, and prophetic sermons I’ve ever heard. I want to share it here with you here. His words may be uncomfortable to hear–it may even make you squirm. But it is the gospel TRUTH about this faith we express with such conviction and are held accountable for living into and sharing in the world. Goddess may I be so bold when I preach.
And whether you’re able to watch it or not, I ask you to consider reviewing this petition and signing it. It’s good to be proud of one’s home. But we as people of faith MUST stand up to a nationalism that “hijacks and corrupts” a faith tradition and uses it as a weapon, as chains, as a tool of everything Jesus came here to teach us. Such behavior–such false doctrine–is not good for the church. And it is not good for–in fact, it is the root of so much that is wrong with–our country.