(Part III of III)
By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist—
“Our Father [Creator] in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6: 9-13).
And forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us.
Sin has nothing to do with hell and Lucifer. It has everything to do with keeping you from finding personal truth and the goodness in others. Sin invites spiritual awakening. This occurs through measured responses, not reactions, to those who fear, dislike, or marginalize your personhood.
Sin makes it difficult to forgive those attempting to lessen LGBTQ creation. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you withdraw from a political fight. It means arguing your point fearlessly and doing so with civility, fairness, and integrity, even if such things wouldn’t be shown toward you.
Let not the persecuted become the persecutor. Keep anger in check. Don’t become what you don’t like. Be true to your creation as the creator intended.
The LGBTQ community is complacent if it relies on the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage decision. Religious liberty legislation proposed in dozens of states stems in part from fear many in the LGBTQ community ignore. Dialogue between the LGBTQ community and marriage equality opponents is needed more than ever.
Sin is the refusal to channel energy into something positive. It allows energy to transform into negativity causing distance and misunderstanding.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Sin and evil are different sides of the same coin. Some believe sin is when a person fights against that which keeps them from being a better person, though they come up short. Evil is when an individual gives up the fight or knowingly embraces something inherently bad.
Evil tempts us to stick it to those who do us harm and feel no remorse. Evil feeds on itself. It’s very easy to enable evil no matter your race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexuality.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s narrow support for marriage equality requires healing. It’s sinful to have satisfaction over those who wanted injustice, but it is evil and temptation that draws someone to feel superior and reject the possibility of reconciliation.
For yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, now and forever world without end.
Everyone is called to be co-creators of heaven on earth. Several years ago through The Rainbow Times, I learned about the Black and Pink pen pal program. I’ve been an active pen pal for at least five years sending birthday and holiday cards and occasional letters to LGBTQ persons in prison. Participating in the program is one way I try to bring about the kingdom of God.
Respectfully, I engage with marriage equality opponents to find common ground. I explain to them modern marriage is understood as civil law, not a sacrament. Imagine if the U.S. Supreme Court rejected marriage equality as a civil law, yet could not stop clergy, like me, from performing the sacrament of marriage for same-gender couples.
The Creator’s kingdom is everyone’s, including those who oppose LGBTQ rights. God’s paradise builds a better community through civility, patience, and communication. Guardedly, reach out to those who fear you most to make a better world.
* Paul is a corporate chaplain, seminary trained priest, and attorney in greater Albany, NY. Reach him through www.CorporateChaplaincy.biz.