It's Holy Week, and while the pageantry of waving palms, sharing a water ritual, recalling ancient stories, and finally, on Easter Sunday, celebrating the resilience of life, is all quite marvelous, cathartic, therapeutic, and engaging, it is also important to remember that all of it is inspired by a prophetic voice that imperial power tried to silence with extreme violence. That voice could not die, or at least it would not stay dead. It would rise up in the power of community and continuously seek to give people their dignity back.
And so, on this Maundy Thursday of this Holy Week I affirm the sacred value of same-gender loving people. Legislatures may try to silent queer voices, but they will rise to new heights.
Today I affirm the dignity of transgender and gender non-conforming people. Municipalities and state legislatures may try to demonize and dehumanize transgender people but the dignity of trans lives will not be erased by hate speech or fear mongering or oppressive legislation.
Today I affirm the sanctity of women's bodies and women's sovereignty over their bodies. Misogyny may try to control women and limit their choices but Justice will not abandon Her daughters.
Today I affirm the right of Muslims to live peacefully in this country without vilification or harassment. I affirm their freedom of religion and their civil liberties.
Today I affirm the courage of refugees who risk everything and leave behind all that is familiar to keep their families safe and to build a new life in what are too often unwelcoming environments. I take to heart the biblical mandate to welcome the newcomer.
Today I affirm the imperative of every person who can vote to do so at every opportunity.
Today, let us turn over the tables of hate and division and call out the peddlers of fear and bigotry and let us declare boldly that our society is meant to be a House of Goodness for All People. If this is to be a truly Holy Week, it must be a week where injustice is challenged and hope is lifted up.
Too many people have known their own Via Dolorosa, way of suffering. In Holy Week, let us not be content to accept the suffering, but let us address it and move forward to the promise of Renewal that Easter represents. Amen.