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Jesus and the bathroom

Jesus and the bathroom

Despite reassurances to the LGBTQ community that President Donald Trump is “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,” the Obama administration’s 2016 guidance on transgender students has been rescinded by the Departments of Justice & Education.

Susan Thistlethwaite writes in the Huffington Post:

As a transgender friend of mine told me yesterday, “It was just a matter of time before the Trump administration went on the attack against the transgender community, as we are the weakest link of the LGBTQ community.”

Is the “T” silent in LGBTQ, asked the writer of the article cited above, and as my friend worries? Who will stand for justice when some are under attack?

Another friend, Rev. Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest and activist, knows solidarity, both when it is tested and when it is essential.
She just tweeted,
“This is about bathrooms the way that was about water fountains. #StandWithGavin #protecttranskids #transrights #Resist #LGBTQ
– Susan Russell (@revsusanrussell) February 23, 2017

My transgender friend knows well her stake in this struggle. She worries, based on personal experience, that there will not be solidarity in the LGBTQ community. Trump can sniff out the “least of these” very will [sic]. So will ‘divide and conquer’ work to weaken the struggle for transgender equality?

She continues with the connection to Jesus’ teaching and our living:
“As a Christian pastor and someone who teaches people at Chicago Theological Seminary to be religious leaders, I find it very clarifying to ask the Jesus question, especially in this time when the Trump administration is trying to talk the talk of Christianity and violate the teachings of Jesus at every turn.

The Jesus question is always very concrete, very specific. When did we see YOU? Not somebody like you, or somebody to whom I should feel charitable, or somebody represented by an organization to which, if I have time, I will send a small donation.

No, actually YOU.


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David Allen

Thank you Father.

Prof Christopher Seitz

Thank you Mr Allen. May God shine the fullest light of his saving grace on you and on us all, at the level ground below the Cross. So that at the end of our fasting; and prayers for his Word directing afresh our lives; we might experience the cleansing of Good Friday and the new life offered daily in him again this new Easter year. Until then, grace and peace.

David Allen

Public professions of piety aside, regardless of the season of the year, I have found no greater assertion of moral superiority than a human being setting themself up to pass judgement (or take a vote) on the lived authenticity & reality of another human being.

Prof Christopher Seitz

May the Cross of Christ expose each of us to our false confidences and assurances of feeling morally advanced. That can be a terribly cramping disease. Blessed Lent.

Philip B. Spivey

Lent is a time for solemn introspection. Perhaps we can chose to look inward and understand that false equivalencies about a Peoples’ pain has no place in serious discussion because it diminishes us all.

Please know that oppression is as old and American as apple pie: North and South American aboriginals were the first victims of genocide in our land; then we ‘imported’ new victims from the African continent to build our nation from scratch; then we imported East Asians to build our railroads; then, when labor was becoming scarcer, we opened the flood gates of European immigration so that the factories and sweatshops of the industrial revolution could churn out consumer goods. In each of these epochs, tremendous human upheaval and pain; families were torn apart; people died; housing, food and income (for some) was substandard.

Would you compare any of these among and between themselves or —with transgender discrimination? Why would you? It’s a different day and a different struggle. Although I would say that the present-day LGBTQ communities stand on the shoulders of the historic aforementioned.

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