Do Not Use My Religion as Your Scapegoat
I'm a fashion blogger. I like to keep things fun, bright, happy...but I have not been feeling fun, bright, or happy lately. Not when I know my brothers and sisters are suffering. I have tried to put on a strong face and keep things light, and interesting but that is not my truth right now. People have warned me that talking about politics and religion is "impolite" or that, my blog will suffer because I choose to put my opinion out there. And to those people, I say to you, wake up and join me in conversation.
Because do you know what is most impolite of all? Hate. Discrimination. Prejudice.
I am Catholic. Roman Catholic, to be exact. I grew up going to Catholic school, and now attend a Catholic University. Religion has been a huge part of my life, and it has not come without questioning. I challenge my beliefs often, especially because I consider myself to be liberal in politics which to some may be seen as hypocritical. Trust me, it is not. However, I digress. These are troubling times in the United States. More troubling than I believe many of us want to admit, or let on. Now, I could write many things on the current state of our affairs, but I need to make something very clear. Do not use my religion, or another's to spread hate. Note: this is not only happening to Christians or Catholics...it has been happening to religions around the globe for quite some time, as long as time has existed especially to our Islam brothers and sisters. However, the events in Charlottesville, VA and the Alt-Right's use of The Bible and Christianity have struck a very serious chord with me where I feel this post is necessary and honestly, very overdue.
Racism is not, and never will be a part of Catholicism. To anyone who uses God, Jesus Christ, or The Bible to try and validate their racist, sexist, homophobic etc., beliefs is not working through the Lord and is not considered a redeemed child of God in my eyes. Our Gospel, and our God shows up for the weak, the poor, the sick, the hungry, the black, the white, the brown, the believers and the non-believers. Everyone is equal and precious in God's eyes and shame on you if you use our Holy Book to spew lies and hate.
I have prayed for the tragedies in our country and the world to come to peace, but now it is time for me to show up. Racism has no place in God's house, in our country, or in our world. It is time for us Catholics, Christians, women, men, white people, and everyone else to stand up and show up for anyone who is suffering and in grief. I wake up everyday hoping that things will get better, but then I am greeted with the news notifications on my phone that they are not. I can hope for a better day, but that time is over. I need to work for a better day, and a better future. For me, for my friends, and for my country that I truly do love with all of my being and heart. As I go on this journey, I will keep these in mind.
10 Bible Verses to Keep in Mind:
(All in English Standard Version. I have linked to full verses.)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
To any, and all suffering. I am here with you. You will always have my support.
Love and Peace, Marissa