Remember, this blog is called Spirited Speakeasy. If you are the kind of person who feels offended by underground or hidden conversations that are not usually accepted in the light of day, what follows might be offensive to you. Jesus demands I say it, though. You can choose to listen and participate.
I'm learning to #decolonizeyourspirit through Safety Pin Box tasks this month. For an intro to SPB and this series I'm doing this month, check here.
Although I didn't think I needed to journal about how religion matters to my life, I did, just to see what happened.
Guess what I learned? That my faith life encouraged values and morality that meant I only hung out with upper middle class white people as a child.
Hard work, not being sexual, pulling myself up, trusting Jesus to care for me, sharing hard things, drinking, smoking, and sex were immoral, or at least frowned upon. We were not supposed to hang out with people like that.
My formation in my faith taught me that I was good and had to serve others who were at least less good, if not bad. It set up a hierarchy. All the talk about Christian charity and stuff. Nothing about justice, though.
Ouch. What a powerful lesson to learn how my faith limited my relationships and ability to learn about the lives of people very different from mine by defining them as "immoral". Can't find too much of that in the Bible. I hope someday church can get back to being about a beloved community where all are welcome and supported, without judgement. Where the lives of all are respected, and where church fights for the humanity of all in the broken systems of the world, and does its best to make up for the ways it has helped create those broken systems in the past, and often currently ignore them.
How did your church limit your relationships growing up? What did they teach? Can you be honest about looking at how you might have learned things about race in church, even it was not through intentional actions?
Pastor Jess, Author
Loves Jesus, Loves and Hates the Church at the Same Time, Calling Us to Honestly, ELCA Pastor
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This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.