Sunday, June 7, 2020

Standing with my fellow Episcopal Church leaders in upholding the truth of our core symbols

From California-

As a priest, I am called to serve as a guardian and custodian of religious symbols, such as the Cross, the Bible and the Church. I am also called to interpret and help others interpret these symbols in ways that remain faithful to our sacred texts and traditions. Symbols are tangible realities that render present transcendent mysteries. For instance, the Cross renders present the transcendent mystery of God’s self-giving love. For this reason, I adore the symbol of the Cross: I wear it around my neck, I sign my body with it, I sign my name with it (Daniel +), and I even ascended 60 feet high in a rickety basket crane to install and bless our new steeple cross back in September. At the same time, I have realized that true fidelity to the Cross sometimes means abstaining from displaying it. Since the message of the Cross is love, I am called to be extra sensitive to the ways in which the Cross has been used sacrilegiously to justify and reinforce violence and hatred, especially towards my Jewish siblings. Throughout far too much of Church history, the Cross has been thrust upon Jewish people like a sword to the neck, as Christians have demanded their conversion upon threat of death. Not only is this is a misuse of the Cross, it is perhaps the most egregious form of blasphemy because it utilizes a religious symbol to engage in the very behavior that the symbol condemns.

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