A Message from Dean Thomason
Haters will hate…and yet we have another story to tell!
As we approach Holy Week and the heart-heavy task of walking with Jesus to the cross and beyond, I am keenly aware of the harm that is done when religion is misused to justify crimes against humanity. The One we follow was killed by the deadly concoction of distorted religious fervor by the few, doused with the flammable rhetoric of a politics of hatred.
The sin of transphobia and the devastating effects on the dignity of human beings is not new, but it does seem to be escalating in our country. This week a television talk show host took the further step of twisting theological language to advance the argument, and his rhetoric sent a violent message to his followers. I do not join his echo chamber regularly, but its ripple effects were sobering and fearful for the trans and queer communities. For their sakes, I watched the segment, and feel the need to respond.
This person does not speak for me, or for this cathedral community, and his transphobic tropes are poorly developed, dangerously extrapolated, and provocative of the sort of violence we, as Christians, eschew. We have a different message to share with one another and with the world—it is one of love, mutuality, dignity, respect, all while espousing the Christ-like virtue of non-violence. This is who we are; let us show the world what it means to be Christian!
To that end, I want to highlight a special forum tomorrow evening in which Saint Mark’s is hosting the Rev. Canon Carla Robinson who will facilitate a conversation of hope and respect observing the Transgender Day of Visibility. You are invited to join in Bloedel Hall or via Zoom. Registration is required, and the space will be moderated. Cis-gendered participants should take our cues from our trans siblings.
Canon Robinson is a transgender priest in the Episcopal Church, a leader in this diocese, a blessing to this cathedral community which sponsored her for ordained ministry, and I count Carla+ as a friend, confidante and counselor to me. I marvel at her witness to Christ’s love, and I have learned much from her. We are grateful for her ministry in our midst.
We have a different story to tell, and our world needs it now as much as ever. This cathedral community is committed to this work, and I hope you will join the effort. I am,
Your sibling in Christ,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector