Go Prepare a Place: Holy Week and Political Trans-Shaming

If you haven’t been following the Kansas politiscape, then you’re welcome. It is a mind-melting, heartbreaking and head-banging-into-the-wall kind of situation, and if you live in another state at the moment, you can thank a Kansan for sparing you the disgusting details of our life right now. The short version is, that this self-proclaimed experiment in Tea Party trickle-down economics is absolutely imploding on itself, but nobody knows how to put the breaks on it without admitting it was a mistake. And you see how that gets tricky for crooked politicians.

For today’s episode of Legislative Exercises in Missing the Point:Our schools are in major crisis mode; vets are not getting the care that they need; people who have spent their lives in public service are having their hard-earned retirement stolen from them; and, because we cannot raise taxes on the highest income brackets, the poor now struggle under the weight of the highest food sales tax in the country–while also having their SNAP benefits cut significantly; but BY ALL MEANS, Kansas lawmakers, keep fighting over who gets to use which #&^%+ bathroom.

Yes, that’s right. With the whole house burning down around there ears, they are up to their necks in creating red tape and drama re: potty rules for transgender students in public schools. Because it is not hard enough to be a gender-non-conforming teenager in this world–let’s make going to the bathroom an act of State-sanctioned public shaming! 

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Here’s the good news–if they don’t figure out this budget fiasco, transgender kids will not have to worry about which bathroom to use at school, because there will be no public schools in Kansas.

This is not me begin a hysterical liberal. This possibility is on the table. Private schools, for-profit public schools, and homeschooling for all. This is what we can afford.

And those precious few dollars we do have? Paying politicians. To fight about toilets. I do not know enough words. Hateful, ignorant, oblivious, backward, obtuse, greedy, cowardly…this only begins to cover it. Also, ALSO, aren’t these people supposed to be for SMALL GOVERNMENT? Seems to me that telling people where they may or may not pee is the very opposite of small government. But what do I know?

Actually, here’s what I know. On Wednesday of Holy Week, Jesus sent his disciples to prepare a place. He sent them to find a room that was safe, and a table that was big enough for everybody. So if you live in Kansas, or North Carolina, or any of the other states that are wasting your time and resources and trying to make life MORE difficult for people who already struggle with so much–then you could honor this day by writing and telling them to shutTF-UP with all this hateful rhetoric and moral posturing, and get to work on stuff that matters to real people.

When you’re done with that, go and prepare a place. Go and ready the bread and the wine and the sacred story for all those who will gather at your table tomorrow. Ready your heart to break at the betrayal, the rejection, the denial of another’s humanity, that confronts us in the pages of scripture and in real time. Ready your communities to be places of love and abundance and radical welcome.

Ready the safe space for the ones who have, literally, no place else to go…because Pilate has banished them from the public square, or the public restroom.

Ready  the comfortable chair, the open table, and the very best wine. They are coming.

They, who are thirsty for this hope that we pour out like tears,

like mercy,

like the sins of the world.

 

About Erin Wathen

Rev. Erin Wathen is the Senior Pastor of Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Olathe, KS (www.sacchome.org). She's a Kentucky native, a long-time desert dweller, and she writes about the sacred thread that runs through pretty much everything. For more info, click the 'about' tab above...