Sermonette: Set our Authentic Selves Free
At The DC Center for the LGBT Community (https://thedccenter.org/faith) as part of the DC Pride 2021 Interfaith Virtual Service
What is hurting our people? Our beautiful, diverse, and creative people?
It does not start with ignorance. It starts with learned hate. Learned hate so strong that – that hate makes them WANT to remain ignorant. They do not want to authentically learn about those different from themselves. Who you have learned to hate, you will avoid. You will Segregate your body from, segregate your heart and your humanity. We have seen this cycle before. Hate, ignorance, segregation, and the killing of innocents for the purpose of maintaining perceived superiority. Repeat.
Hate is powerful. We want the pain to stop. We need to heal. We want to be energized by hope, but it’s hard when someone else’s unwillingness to at least respect the inherent worth and dignity of others blocks our path. Often, they don’t just block our path, they destroy the steps in front of us.
Crush our spirits with tear gas, rubber bullets, mass incarceration, humiliation, poverty, and the dismantling of our rights. We think its about our right to vote, or right to marriage, our right to be our authentic selves in all areas of life and work. But these are only the surface of what those filled with hate are trying to rip away.
At the core, they want to erase our ability to Heal. They want to destroy our ability to Hope. If our ability to heal and hope are annihilated, they have won. We cannot fight another battle if we are not recovered enough from the last. We must hope like our lives depend on it – our hope is the song of our heart that keeps us dancing relentlessly to the beat of justice. When the song of justice plays in our hearts and spirit – we will always hear and feel the path forward.
We are born with a toolkit of gifts. May we use these gifts – our strengths to heal others in our community. Be a blessing. When we all contribute our gifts to bless each other – we strengthen and heal our community. We take care of each other so when we get into “Good Trouble” we are held by each other. Together and preserving, we can continue through the valley of the shadow.
Hope is not enough. Sitting and wishing is not enough. But it starts with Hope. It starts with the affirmation that not only are we entitled to dignity as human beings, but despite the hate in the world, despite those who have been hurt and who have died for just being their authentic selves – that despite all of that – we affirm with every ounce of hope within us, that a just world is possible.
May we continue to bless each other as we journey together. May we heal. May we hope. May we set our authentic selves free. May it be so.