Greetings WAC Community,
“Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me. . . Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:34-36; 40
This past week many of us heard about a public servant in Wyoming who in response to a question by a student at a high school regarding support of the LGBT community answered saying that someone who wears a tutu to a bar should not be surprised if he is beaten up. He has since accepted responsibility for his response and apologized; not only to the community at large, but to the person to whom he may have been referring.
However, to look at this in the larger context, I believe what the political leader said is likely a view that many in Wyoming hold. I, speaking personally, am glad he said it. Yes, it was a stupid comment to have made, but I suspect it is an opinion that many privately hold or may gossip with their family and friends about, not realizing:
They are not well informed (being a cross-dresser, for example, does not necessarily reflect one’s sexual orientation).
Their prejudice and bias toward anyone who is different than themselves.
They are putting the blame on the victim and not the perpetrator. (In the past, many assumed a woman who was raped had likely “asked for it.”)
The hurt caused to the LGBT community is revealed by the high rate of suicides among members of the LGBT community because of how they are treated.
Wyoming still lacks hate crime laws to make the point that a crime against persons because of their identity is a crime against all people with that identity. There is evidence that hate crimes in the U.S. are on the rise in recent months.
The stupidity is now out of the box. I hope your congregation is talking about this and recognizing the wrongness of such thinking and holding such beliefs in our hearts. Examine our hearts to determine whether we have clean hearts.
Members of the LGBT community are “the least of these.” It’s getting better, but just like racism, we are not there yet. So I ask you to think about this within the context of Matthew 25: 31-45, and for you to add to “the least of these,” a man wearing a tutu. Certainly Jesus would not advocate that we beat him up. Jesus, I believe, would ask that we accept him and bless him. For what we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus.
Let me be bold. Add to your understanding of Matthew 25 the following: “For I wore a tutu and you beat me up” is should be replaced with “For I wore a tutu and you blessed me.”
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