Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Martyrs: Feast of the Holy Innocents

This is the feast day that always leaves me a little stunned.  Today we are remembering the 20-30 young boys age two and under who were slaughtered in Herod's attempt to eliminate his potential rival, the Christ child.  It is an example of when those in power become so threatened that they go to the extremes to take down any and all that might threaten their power.

From my queer perspective, I see this play out in the various amendments and bills that get passed to prevent LGBT people from having full participation in society.  When I think back on the passage of Amendment Two, the anti-gay marriage amendment to Florida's constitution, I see that as a cynical and desperate move by the religious right to end any marriage rights we gay people might gain in the future before we even had a chance to ask for them here.  They have seen the handwriting on the wall and they know that the younger generations are not interested in continuing their all out assault on LGBT people.

I see it also in Africa where LGBT people live under the threat of imprisonment and death for being who they are.  Christians, who are facing threats from radical Muslims, then turn on LGBT people in a sickening cycle of violence, either committing hate crimes against gays or attempting to pass legislation making our mere assembly illegal.  How quickly have they forgotten what is in this morning's gospel message from Matthew:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”He called a child, whom he put among them,and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.--Matt 18: 1-6

On this feast day, let's remember those who are victims of violence and degradation both through fists and public policy.  And let us recommit ourselves to work for justice and peace and against the forces of hatred and homophobia. 


Suem said...


Phoebe McFarlin said...

May we never forget all the innocents who have been sacrificed on the altars of power, pride, prejudice, war, religion etc. Harder yet is finding the love in our hearts to forgive the perpetrators and the strength to work for justice.

Anonymous said...

We can only pray that things will change and the people of the world will wake up to the fact that there is to much hate and violence in the world.