OWL Scripture Reflection – June 2023

Loving Louder

By Rev. Amy Johnson

June 2023

“But if Creator’s Spirit lives in You, then the desires of your broken human ways cannot overpower you. Remember, the ones who belong to the Chosen One have his spirit.”

~Romans 8:9  First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament

Do you know who I believe has the Spirit of the Chosen One living vibrantly in them?

Drag Performers

Drag Performers embody a spirit that goes well beyond the flesh which houses that spirit.

They are magicians at transforming that flesh into a vessel that becomes a sparkling vehicle to let their spirits shine—in bringing bodies to life in new ways.

The detail they put into expressing their identity is incredible.

The joy they exude when they are in drag is palpable.

They sparkle.

They strut. Proudly. In heels.

They shine.

And they do so in the middle of a worldly mindset that has crafted a widespread, coordinated, legislative agenda to engender fear and to ban their very existence.

This year, there have been 41 bills introduced in 14 states banning drag in some manner. Many are passing.

Make no mistake. These bills are anti-trans legislation. They are part of a larger effort to ban our trans and queer siblings from existing publicly as the beloved children of God whom they are. While it’s popular to shine a spotlight on drag performers, hundreds of other bills are intentionally deconstructing systems of care for anyone who lives outside a societal construct of binary gender, and outside heteronormativity.

At this moment in history, our queer nonbinary and trans beloved are defying the mortal perception of dry bones, resurrecting into their true and authentic spirits.

And our country is killing them.

To have a Spirit mindset, as our scripture states, is to be willing to have our worldly one interrupted, discomforted, and to spend some time with God deciding where our priorities really are.

Many people use these verses to body shame people and proclaim that God does not make mistakes, implying or out-right stating that one’s body should get in line with their human stereotypes around gender.

Beloved, God is so much bigger and more expansive than gender binaries and other constructs we humans use to separate ourselves from one another.

God holds and loves more than two genders, and honors the Spirit of each creation– in addition to the body we are born in. God loves us and created us to be more than whatever gender assignment we are given by a medical professional at the moment of our birth.

Rachael Ward, UCC Team Lead and Minister for Gender and Sexuality Justice, said recently, “This year is like no other. Nearly 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills so far have come before legislative bodies arguing over and attempting to disembody God’s Imago Dei imprinted upon queer bodies. And when one part of the body cries out, we all cry. But are we crying loud enough? Are we loving loud enough in action?”

Beloved–the National Ministries of the United Church of Christ, as well as leadership in the Unitarian Universalist Association, will continue to be a beacon of love for our trans siblings. We remain committed to speaking faith-based truth, and offering care for trans siblings.

Will you join us?