I am so tired of groups of people telling other groups of people who are not like them that they are somehow less worthy or not to be treated equally. The Romans did this to the conquered in their empire – including Jesus’ people. The Europeans did this to indigenous people across the planet. European Americans did this and continue to do this to African Americans and Native Americans and Latino and Latina Americans and frankly anyone who is not European American. Men have done this to women. The rich have done this to the poor. The healthy have done this to the sick. Christians have done this to Jews and Muslims and others who are not Christian. Heterosexuals have done this to persons who are LGBTQ.
Yesterday, with its decision that the consecration of same gender loving bishops is against “church law,” the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church reaffirmed that the United Methodist Church continues in this long and sinful tradition of excluding and mistreating those they perceive to be not like them. The only proper response is repentance and radical inclusion and a recognition that there is #NoSuchLaw that calls us to exclude and to harm those who do no harm to us.
There is no such law that calls us to exclude anyone from the human community. There is no such law that makes a bishop who happens to be other gender loving to be more worthy than a bishop who happens to be same gender loving. There is no such law, nor will there ever be, that justifies practices of discrimination and injustice towards persons who do no harm. There is no such law because as St. Augustine and Martin Luther King, Jr. remind us, “An unjust law is no law at all.” It is not antinomian to disobey unjust laws.
When will we learn that we are all in this together and stop trying to exclude or mistreat others because of their differences that cause no harm? Will we ever learn, or will it continue to be the same as it ever was? We are living in a time that cannot afford this “same at it ever was” mentality.
I am so tired of groups of people telling other groups of people who are not like them that they are somehow less worthy or not to be treated equally, and I am especially tired of groups of people using religious justification for this behavior. It is bad enough that we continue to treat each other so poorly – let’s at least stop pretending that there is some divine entity that approves of us treating each other like crap.