Today is the Day

Yesterday afternoon, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church held three vigils for the victims of another terrorist attack on the LGTBQIA++ community.

My church was silent.

Last night, Temple Beit Torah changed their planned commemoration for Transgender Day of Remembrance into a vigil for our murdered friends and family.

My church was silent.

Tonight, there will be a vigil at a park in Colorado Springs to strategize solutions to the increasing violence against LGBTQIA++ people as we mourn yet another mass shooting.

My church will be silent.

Tonight, there will be a vigil in Denver to mourn with our community which is reeling.

My church will be silent.

Today, the news will come out that the shooter is Mormon.

And my church will refuse to acknowledge the role it has played.

Oh, maybe my church will eventually say something non-specific, something along the lines of “thoughts and prayers,” something that may or may not be traceable back to this day, this violence, this sorrow.

And tomorrow they’ll carve out exemptions to anti-discrimination laws.

They’ll claim they cry more than we do, and then they’ll quote the family proclamation.

They’ll demand we use the full name of the church, and they’ll misgender, misname, and mis-describe us.

They’ll say every voice has a place in God’s choir, and then they’ll delete our comments.

They’ll say there is space in the church for everyone, and then they’ll excommunicate us.

They’ll say their God is a loving God, and then they will model hate.

Hate that fed a terrorist.

Today, President Oaks’ article labeled Same-Gender Attraction will still read, “How should we respond when a person announces that he is a homosexual or she is a lesbian and that scientific evidence ‘proves’ he or she was ‘born that way’?” and the quote marks will convince parents that Satan is winning the hearts of their children.

Today, that article says, “Our doctrines obviously condemn those who engage in so-called ‘gay bashing’–physical or verbal attacks on persons thought to be involved in homosexual or lesbian behavior” and then the article quickly pivots to “inheritance explains susceptibilities to certain diseases like some cancers and some other illnesses” and Bishops will treat their queer members as a disease to be cut out of the body of Christ.

Today, that article still reads, “‘It is imperative that clinicians and behavioral scientists begin to appreciate the complexities of sexual orientation and resist the urge to search for simplistic explanations, either psychosocial or biologic…'” and Stake Presidents will offer the simplistic suggestion to stay celibate or enter into a mixed orientation marriage.

After an entire article devoted to undermining science and best-practices in therapy, Oaks’ article will say that “Church officers are responsible to call transgressors to repentance and to remind them of the principle the prophet Samuel taught the wicked Nephites” without realizing the irony of claiming to be both the chosen people and the prophet who came from outside that self-righteous community to preach repentance. A prophet the in-the-church Nephites rejected.

Today, someone will hear religious hate speech and believe it.

Today, someone will buy a gun.

Today, someone will target another member of the LGBTQIA++ community.

And tomorrow, my church leaders will wring their hands and talk about the ‘last days’ without doing anything to ease the burdens their policies put on the most vulnerable.

Today, people will send thoughts and prayers.

And tomorrow, they’ll vote against gun legislation.

Today, people will plead for unity.

And tomorrow, they’ll vote against anti-discrimination legislation.

Today, people will ask if there’s anything they can do.

And tomorrow, they’ll move on to another mass shooting, another meme, another talking point.

Today, do something.

Today, stop funding hate speech.

Today, stand in solidarity by writing letters, making phone calls, donating blood, and giving to local anti-hate organizations.

Today, tell your church leaders you don’t stand with a religion that doesn’t sit with the vulnerable.

Today is the day the Lord hath made. Don’t waste it.

Cardboard sign reads "Love over Hate." flowers and stuffed animals pile around the sign.


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