in the midst of a raging health and racial crisis, off the heels of an ongoing sexual harassment awakening, refugee crisis, and environmental emergency, i’m constantly shocked by the lack of care.. by people focusing on their own success, protection, rights, and wellness above “the least of these.” i’ve heard excuses as to why families should be held in cages when escaping life threatening violence, guns should be allowed in schools with no restrictions to their access, confederate flags should fly, protestors of racially motivated murder should be attacked and illegally detained, masks shouldn’t be worn because it infringes personal rights and science can’t be trusted. i could go on. if you internally scoffed at any of those topics, ask yourself why you’re refusing to listen to the experiences of the suffering, vulnerable, and exploited (refugees, children, women, descendants of slavery, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ community, elderly, sick)? what’s your justification? do you identify with any of those groups yourself?
i’m especially incensed by those who simultaneously claim to belong to a religion whose core belief is love. not selective religious liberty, marital rights, prosperity, conversion rates or even earning a place in heaven, which in itself is an oxymoron. God of the bible, and so many other spiritual texts for that matter, advocates primarily for love, service, and sacrifice.. constantly humbling yourself and relinquishing your power to honor the (equal) holiness in others. without this, your worship is void. it’s strange to write about love when i’m so deeply infuriated, but the hypocrisy is so glaringly obvious that i fully relate to God’s harsh critique of Israel when they claimed to be worshipping the divine after stealing from the poor, suppressing the truth, increasing income inequality, oppressing the innocent, taking bribes, and denying legal representation & justice in court.
true worship, as stated at MLK Jr’s memorial, is to “let justice run down like water.” it is directly connected to our treatment of fellow humans. maybe that’s why jesus knew it wasn’t the hungry masses, exiled immigrants, sex workers, or outcast lepers that would murder him, it was the patriarchal religious establishment who partnered with the world’s military superpower that wanted to silence a rising, redemptive justice movement.
“why do you long for the day of the Lord? that day will be darkness, not light. it will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear…
i hate, i despise your religious festivals; i take no delight in your assemblies. even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, i will not accept them. though you bring choice fellowship offerings, i will have no regard for them. away with the noise of your songs! i will not listen to the music of your harps.
but let justice run down like water, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!”– amos 5:18-24, the prophet of social justice