I thought of titling this post, “Trinity Sunday in light of systemic oppression” but it seemed too academic and distant from what is going on all over the world these days. The pain and suffering of our BIPOC* neighbours and friends is unavoidable in these days of protest. It is simply not possible to miss what is happening in the US and the ripple effects we are seeing all over the world, including in Canada.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests are being held in dozens of countries which is a good thing but only if it doesn’t blind us to our own issues. As a Canadian I can be insufferably smug when I judge my country’s behaviour narrowly against some other country’s oppression, and I don’t think this is unique to me. Canada’s history of race-based, gender-based, wealth-based, gender-expression-based oppression is shameful and a stain on our national character. There is no objective measure of suffering we can use to assure ourselves we are some measurable amount better than ______ (fill in blank with the country that comes to mind first), and so feel good about our “smaller” amount of suffering caused.
So what does the Trinity have say about this? What can an antique doctrine that we can’t even really grasp have to say to us in and for this time? The two things I was trying to bring together in this sermon were the Trinity and what the image of God might mean. I’ll leave it to you to tell me if I succeeded or failed in proving a connection.
I would like to express my thanks to the Rev. Dr. Scott Sharman for his excellent post, in FaceBook of all places, on this issue which I found very helpful.
What bringing these two ideas together does more than anything else it tells us exactly why a bigoted Christian, or a racist Christian, or a homophobic Christian is a contradiction in terms.
* Black Indigenous People Of Colour