I wrote this litany in the aftermath of Charlottesville, reflecting on how we can respond, instead of freeze, in a political and social climate which is so continually violent to people on the margins. It is meant to be read collectively, acknowledging that people in diverse groups hold various privileges and marginalized identities. I hope that the church will join in with the many people already calling for justice and living in ways that bring about a more just world.
It is easy to turn away,
To place responsibility elsewhere,
To believe that we are the “good ones.”
We acknowledge our own prejudices:
We confess our racism, which we can hide from ourselves and others with political correctness.
We confess our homophobia, our discomfort with different manifestations of love.
We confess our ableism, our assumptions of how bodies and minds “should be.”
We confess our transphobia, the things we assume about gender which cause pain and threaten lives.
We confess that we make judgements based on gender and femininity, on financial assets, on appearances, on languages.
We confess the times we’ve felt superior because our lives were going a certain way.
We acknowledge the ache of when we’ve felt inferior.
Our thoughts and actions do not exist in a bubble—
They have been shaped by the systems in which we’ve grown up.
We do not need to hide in shame from ourselves.
Instead, we commit to unlearning harmful things we have learned, to challenging evil which wounds, to teaching new ways of being which can heal our world, and to acknowledging the beauty and life-affirming things around us.
Jesus modeled for us a way of radical justice and taught us to see the humanity of others and ourselves. Know that your life has value and that you are loved.
If Jesus is come, let warfare be ended.
If Jesus is come, let violence cease.
If Jesus is come, let earth begin healing,
for he is Messiah, the Prince of Peace.