Dear Christians and African-Americans,
As you gather together with your communities and families this Easter, it is my fervent prayer that this year, you truly let the light of Christ’s love into your hearts and minds. As you may recall, Jesus Christ the man was an odd character, hanging out with the marginalized and the downtrodden. Saying things like, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth”, he uplifted those forgotten and left behind. Angrily disrupting the marketplace, he called out the spiritual leaders and businessmen of his day for taking advantage of their power. He was both Occupier and anarchist, seeking a balance between ethics and institution so that all might benefit from societal organization. It is my fervent wish that you find your voice to speak out when you see the powerful abuse the less fortunate, the weak, and the marginalized, just as Jesus would have done.
As you gather together with your communities and families this Easter, consider how Jesus defined his family and who he chose to spend his time with. A mixed bag of societal outcasts; a religious zealot, a two-faced treasurer, a former persecutor of Christians, a hated tax collector (a thief among men), a gang of fishermen and their sons, and prostitutes. Jesus was less concerned about their pasts and more interested in their special potential to help spread his message of love. It is my fervent wish that you decide to seek the beauty of every one you meet, exactly as God made them, and to embrace their diversity as Jesus would have done.
As you gather together with your communities and families this Easter, consider how Jesus warned about passing judgment on others, saying “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Continuing on, he says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Jesus reminds us that each of us is imperfect and that it is inappropriate to consume ourselves with others’ sins. It is my fervent wish that you cease passing judgment on others, their way of life, and the people they choose to call family, as Jesus would have done.
As you gather together with your communities and families this Easter, consider how Jesus died for your sins. Consider how many Christians subsequently died that His word might be spread. Consider the persecution these people suffered for two thousand years. Consider their individual lifetimes, the personal affronts they suffered, the physical and mental and emotional torment they endured. Then consider who you persecute with your Christian beliefs. It is my fervent wish that you cease the continued persecution of homosexuals by alienating and marginalizing them from the blessing of marriage, just as Jesus would have done.
And to the Black community, so many of whom are Christian, as you gather together with your communities and families this Easter, please consider Slavery, and how many of your ancestors suffered and died at the hands of these self-same Christians, only later to live marginalized, isolated, persecuted lives following emancipation, many abused through racist sentiment or murdered or lynched. Consider that Jesus came to erect a new Church with a new vision, one that embraces the diversity of all people in every way. It is my fervent wish for you that you cease the continued persecution of homosexuals within your own community, through marginalization and alienation from the love that I know your community is capable of, just as Jesus would have done.