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At a recent Bible study, here at Imani, the subject of worthiness came up. I was reminded that there are some truths that must penetrate multiple layers of misinformation, judgments and criticisms, bad theology, unenlightened scripture interpretation, and internalized phobias and self-doubt before those truths can connect and resonate with us at our core. The most effective tool that I know of to overcome our resistance to the truth that sets us free is repetition: sometimes we simply need to hear things over and over again until we are able to take them in.
It makes sense, if you think about it. Our most deeply-held doubts and fears about our worthiness to enjoy peaceful relationship with God are the result of countless exposures to messages that tell us that we are not worthy of that. If we were not raised hearing those messages in our churches, some of us heard them from our families. If we didn’t hear them from our churches or families, some of us heard them from our peers - personal and professional - in the form of demeaning jokes or bullying. If we, somehow, managed to escape all of those, we hear the negative messages almost every time we turn on the news and hear about the backlash against progress that has been made toward a more just society. Every affirming forward step is swiftly followed by ridiculously hostile denunciation by the radical right and renewed efforts to stem the movement of the political tide toward equality and justice. Every time a new election results in the passage of an anti-equality measure, the message is that we are surrounded by people who see us as unworthy of the fulfillment of basic human needs and the enjoyment of basic civil rights which they take for granted as their due.
First, I give thanks to God for the wonderful news we received today, from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) regarding the resolution of two landmark cases which directly impact our community! I’ve heard that there are questions out there about exactly what happened, so it is my pleasure to offer this explanation, mostly in plain English and with a minimum amount of “legalese!”