Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

when equality dies

Turn in whatever way you will—whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent.

          Abraham Lincoln via Heather Cox Richardson


Once you give up the principle of equality, you have given up the whole game. You have admitted the principle that people are unequal, and that some people are better than others. Once you have replaced the principle of equality with the idea that humans are unequal, you have stamped your approval on the idea of rulers and subjects. At that point, all you can do is hope that no one in power decides that you belong in the lesser group.

          Heather Cox Richardson              


Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.

          Matthew 25 (A Parable of Jesus)



I remember well

Sunday School classes in the basement of the Presbyterian Church

in Lakeview, Oregon


There we would gather, in a time much different from today

and sing with youthful voices

“Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children o the world…”


And we meant it!

Sure, the world was full of prejudice

But we meant it, we little ones, when we insisted that all were loved

Red and yellow, black and white (and brown I might add)

(and yes, I know defining people by those limited and simplistic color codes is awful –

there are so many shades of beautiful – God is so creative!)


All were God’s children

All were created in God’s image

Male and female and everywhere in between God created them


And many of us, myself included

As we grew older and if not wiser, at least less naïve

Hope, nay believed, that a time would come

When our attitudes and actions would catch up with our

Innocent singing


that time has not yet come

indeed over the past several decades

as right-wing, domination-oriented ideology has gained power

in America and across the world


the idea that all are created equal

(it is in the Declaration of Independence)

has waned


we are sliding back into hierarchies

and heavenly-ordained domination


huge swaths of American Christianity have decided

that Jesus does NOT in fact love all the children of the world

just some

just the favored


how do you know the favored?

they are the ones with power

the ones with money, and beauty

the ones who “fit in”

who conform


who are not LGBTQI+

not on the autism spectrum

do not have bi-polar illness or schizophrenia

are not addicted

and are not one of the many beautiful colors (other than white)

that God and nature have created


the bottom line is this

too many do not see all as children of God, as sacred

do not see Jesus in all others (Matthew25)

do not believe all human creatures are created equal

do not believe all are to be treated with equal respect

have equal right

equal freedom

equal protections


too many believe they are better


and thus have the right

to dominate and control

and an equal right to oppress, suppress, and minimize


and yes, even eradicate


there is no room




for inequity in the Kingdom of God

in the Kin-dom of God


we are all sacred children

we participate in an amazing and holy diversity

of color, gender, and size

we think differently

we act differently

we have different strengths and weakness


but we are all sacred

all loved by the Sacred

all equal in God’s sight


and so this is the one thing we must start to do

see each person in front of us as a carrier of the Sacred

as one who participated in the Sacred

is permeated with Love (whether we can see it or not)


and treat them accordingly

for how we treat that transgender child

how we treat that young black person

how we treat that person who does not have a home

or is addicted

or who suffers from mental illness


is how we treat Jesus

and to not treat them with love and respect

is to violate God


Jesus had only one group he openly challenged and condemned

(yes, he did that)

those who abused power and hoarded wealth


he called them a brood of vipers

and suggested they bore “bad fruit”

today we see them still

those in power who use it to oppress, suppress and minimize

those who seek to marginalize and eradicate


we see them, we know them by name

we can create a roll-call of those who have rejected

equality and equity and replaced them

with privilege and inequity



this is the one thing we must resist

of all our sins

this is the one

that denies God

No comments:

Post a Comment