up early on this sunday morning with lots of thoughts circulating through my head. it's been a long and trying week, and i can't believe it starts all over again tomorrow morning. i need a vacation. i need palm trees. white beach sand. drinks with umbrellas, preferrably served by a svelte femme dyke who secretly has a giant inheritance, instantly falls in love with me, and then we live happily ever after off her trust fund, travelling all over the world and just having. fun.
i am thinking this morning about other sunday mornings of my past. specifically, my way-distant past, when i was 7 or 8 years old. my parents sent both my baby sister and i to the local church's sunday school. first baptist. yeah. it would be a number of years before i realized the hidden agendas of this church. when i was 7, this church simply brought me great joy and community. i absolutely loved it.
we had a youth group back then, and we would do fun, christian-like things...have bake sales and car washes and use our earnings to support a local family that was having financial problems. go to local nursing homes and sing christmas carols. build a huge floating dock to anchor at the local swimming hole so that kids had something to do in the summer. shovel driveways, deliver food for shut ins. we did all of this with the notion that this was the 'work of jesus.' being kind to neighbors and strangers alike. actively seeking those less privileged than us, and doing something, anything, to make their lives easier. i would come home from these excursions feeling energized, feeling happy...feeling like i was making a positive, lasting impact on people's lives. it was easy to reconcile the things i learned about jesus in sunday school to the services we provided in our youth group.
it made sense.
i know that there are many, many churches who continue to follow that path. churches whose primary purposes are to provide services and support to the community. who follow the teachings of christ and who realize those teachings were about compassion, empathy, kindness, love.
it saddens me that there are other churches and 'religious' organizations who have strayed from that path, and who have instead become uber political. who collect money in their offering plates for something other than 'good deeds.' who spend that money plotting and strategizing about how best to attack people in my community, LGBT people. they deliver calculated messages of intolerance. they may not realize it, but these messages infect the minds of people on the fringe, they incite hatred. they give license to those on the fringe to act upon their hatred, and to do it all in "the name of God."
i am someone who has lately been on the receiving end of such hatred. hatred addressed directly to me because of who i was born to be. my safety, my freedom to live in this world without fear of physical violence, has been stolen, at least temporarily, from me. and all of it in the name of Jesus. i think i should be angry, but this morning at least, i'm not. i'm just sad. and very tired.
this is not what i was taught as a little girl. this was not the source of the joy and comfort that i found in the teachings of Jesus back then. this was not what he intended.
it just can't be.
it wouldn't make any sense, at all.