Although I was born in Chicago, Illinois, I grew up in Southern Illinois.
Now, I love my Southern Illinois friends, some of whom I have been friends with for almost a half of a century, but…some of the greatest friends that I ever met…were from disenfranchised groups.
Please, do not misunderstand me, as I was raised by a single mother and did not have the money to purchase a 20 cent lunch at school…when I began first grade.
I was not aware of any African Americans in either my grade school or high school.
I was thrilled when I discovered, on my first day at Southern Illinois University, that my foreman was an African American! Jim treated me like a father would his son…and even remarked that, ‘I was his son…but I just would not call him, Daddy!’
I was honored to have many African American friends, through my years at SIUC.
I had Gay and Lesbian friends in high school. I had a cousin who was Gay.
When I began working for the university…some of my most loyal friends…were Gay and Lesbian!
I understand what is like to be, shut out, of groups and clubs and cliques!
I have felt the door…slammed in my face!
It is not a good feeling!
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ Matthew 11:28-29 KJV
Jesus experienced the hatred of the, rabid, mob!
‘The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ John 12:12-13
Shortly thereafter, the, religious, crowd turned on Jesus, ‘And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, and put his own clothes on him and led him out to crucify him.’ Mark 15:18-20
As the famous author, Kurt Vonnegut said, ‘and so it goes.’
The son of God was not only disenfranchised, by the, recognized, religious people of his day…but he was also crucified in their religious, faux-holy, zeal!
Does the God that we trust and worship, love his creation…or does he love…only those who are fashioned in our own, mercurial, image?
The sooner that we accept that we are all, simply, people…human beings…created by God…the more, at peace, we shall become.
‘When we choose to live authentically we chip away at other prisons of pretend and create an opportunity for them to walk out of darkness into freedom.’ Anthony Vern-Brown, A life of unlearning – a journey to find the truth
‘My choices, it seemed, were to be branded a sinner and live my life alone: to abandon my faith, the one thing I held most dear in the entire world; or to lie to everyone, pretend I was straight and forget about it all.’ Justin Lee
‘My faith is a choice. My morality is a choice. My sexual orientation however isn’t. Anthony Venn-Brown, A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith.