This year’s Paschal Triduum is launched. We have been at table. Now we are at the cross. The church is just now formally beginning to realize LGBTQ bodies have been denied, suffered, and killed in its name. Christ was killed by the institution of the Roman Government. Today, religious refusals and bathroom bills will legalize the denial, torture and or killing of queer bodies. They will be sanctioned by the institution of the U.S. Government. On every Good Friday, I question, I ask myself is, “Who do we as Christians crucify in the false name of God?” When we crucify others, we are also killing an important part of our self.
For the PC (USA), our polity no longer allows us to crucify LGBTQ people in ordination and marriage. This is a good thing. This should be celebrated. It is the beginning of a long hard road to reconciliation. However, today is Good Friday. Today is not a day to celebrate. Today is a holy day set aside in the holiest week of the Christian calendar to think critically on who we crucify.
LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, the poor, women, and the environment are constantly being crucified. The church has a long way to go to care for the murders and suicides of trans people and queer youth. It is a well known in the LGBTQ community that homo and queerphobia is rooted in Christian fundamentalism. It is hard to hear. But we cannot heal what we do not name. The passing of marriage is not an end. As a queer person, one thing I hear frequently from straight people or from LGBTQ people with internalized queer or homophobia is “It’s not that bad”. Denial, is a part of crucifixion. To the straight person who sometimes feels that way, do not kill the ally in you. To the LGBTQ person who feels that way, love the queer in you and the non-hetero identities that you do not occupy. To attempt to kill any queer identity is an attempt to kill your self or others.
As a black person one thing I notice frequently is how it’s hard for many white people to be called white. Again, we cannot heal what we do not name. White privilege is real. The cost is black bodies being murdered by police or being five times more likely to be imprisoned than a white person for the exact same crime. To deny being called white, is to also deny white privilege. Denying white privilege perpetuates racism. Racism perpetuates crucifixions of people of color. To white people, do not kill a part of yourself by denying white privilege. Accepting white privilege, is the first step to racial reconciliation. Racial reconciliation is a form of God’s love. It stops crucifixions.
Intersectionality is about holding different identities in a single body. For me queer and black issues are not either or, they are always already both and. Last Sunday, I went to a DarkMatter slam poetry show and realized who I crucify. Dark Matter is a South Asian queer duo. During the show I realized how I pay so little attention to brown lives. My silence to brown lives contributes to the ongoing crucifixions of brown bodies. As I black person, my people group is given more voice and visibility than any other group of color in this country (which frankly isn’t saying much). My silence kills my integrity and a part of my humanity. It was also a reinforcement for me, to acknowledge how my cis privilege plays a role in crucifying trans people.
So church family who do we crucify? After all, we cannot heal what we do not name.