Monday, March 08, 2010
On Saturday morning I went for a walk with people who feel excluded from my city; and from my church; and from my continent. They are persecuted for the way they experience life. They experience mockery, insults, beatings, and rape – and mostly my continent silently approves. I have not heard my church leaders speaking out against their abuse. In fact I have just heard that my church has rejected one of my colleagues who scraped together enough courage to admit to her orientation. You see… she is a lesbian. And anyone who is not heterosexual is excluded.
I read in the Bible of Jesus who spent time with those who were excluded by his society…. And so chose to believe that Jesus would have joined me in the Cape Town Gay Pride March. It was a street parade of thousands of people – some “dressed in their best” and others just happy to have a momentary freedom to exist without stigma. I wore my clerical shirt as a sign that the people of Jesus could accompany the marginalised. Sadly there were some other people of Jesus who stood with banners that condemned the parade to hell. I was struck by the response of the crowd : they blew kisses towards those holding the spiteful banners.
And so I walked the streets of my city – with people who sang, and danced, and shared their joy at experiencing a glimpse of what freedom for all our people could look like.