More fabulous than tolerance can contain

By Rev. Jason Carson Wilson

We’re all fabulous creations of God–made in their wondrous image. The Creator, who many know by many names and worship in many ways, sees us all as sensational gifts. How do I know? I know through Jesus, sent to remind us that we are all fabulous in our own ways and that oppressing others is the real abomination.

Sadly, so-called Christians–followers of Jesus and God–dismiss God’s love and Jesus’ fight for justice. They have the audacity to twist words no divine entity ever said to dehumanize and demoralize the people those alleged Christians deem less than. Diabolical people, traded and owned enslaved Africans, used the story of Ham to justify their depravity.

They stripped enslaved Africans of agency, culture, dignity, and their homeland to build our nation on stolen land. These same followers of Christ massacred Native Americans to create an illegitimate American empire. Like the British empire, this one thrived on oppressing people of color. That legacy prompted many of us to wonder why Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was surprised by her plight. This cisgender gay man, who identifies as Black, understood her shock.

Aside from both being royalty–this writer also identifies as a queen, after all–the Duchess and I are both biracial people born into White families. Effective code switching has become our most valuable survival technique. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, thought becoming a Royal Family member would, at least, provide a defense against racially charged propaganda. The Firm tolerated her presence because she’s a pawn who helps deflect from sadistic realities.

Knowing you’re being tolerated–not welcomed–brings a pain that can’t be fully articulated. Growing up in a White family in rural downstate Illinois was a long and excruciating exercise of being tolerated in the midst of parental abuse. Gratitude for my White great-grandmother, who demanded my acknowledgement and raised me, abounds.

Until this gay man was outed at 27, they only struggled having a Black man in the family. When Grandma, even in the midst of Alzheimer’s, fully accepted me, their tolerance meant nothing. Reflection and therapy continually reminds me God didn’t create any of us to be tolerated. They created us to be celebrated and valued. Everyone is a fabulous creation of God, no matter who they love, how they identify, or how they express themselves. So-called Christians clamoring to tear us forgot that God is love.

Love is a concept many so-called Christians struggle to grasp. Following a deity embodying love shouldn’t involve perpetrating theological violence—using rhetoric riddled with illogical thought—against marginalized siblings in Christ. Yet, for many, it does.

The story of Ham has fueled enslaving Africans, Jim Crow–and the ongoing dehumanization and demoralization of Black bodies. So-called Christian manipulations and distortions of Ancient Jewish law have fueled the dehumanization, demoralization, and destruction of Black people and same-gender loving people.

No matter what they say, write, or quote, we’re all fabulous creations of God.

Oppressing others–in the name of God–shall forever remain the ultimate abomination. No one needs to affirm your fabulosity to make it true.

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Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, M. Div. is a Black and fabulous faith leader dedicated to Black and LGBTQIA+ liberation. Wilson serves as founding executive director of Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative (BRLI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization committed to Black and LGBTQIA+ liberation. He also serves as Bayard Rustin Fellow at the Community Renewal Society, leading its LGBTQIA+ advocacy work. Learn more about BRLI at Wilson earned his Master of Divinity at Chicago Theological Seminary.
(Photo credit: Alan Diaz)

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