Monday night was the first night of Passover. I can't imagine a more perfect time for the retelling of this beautiful story of freedom and liberation from oppression than the evening before the Supreme Court heard Proposition 8 and right before they hear DOMA.
I hosted a seder and throughout the telling of the Exodus story we reflected on the places in our own lives where we were held back by our own internal oppressors: fear, self-doubt, and lack of confidence.
We talked about social plagues, like discrimination, and the importance of our commitment to creating a world where everyone is equal.
We even discussed the spiritual plague of feeling separate from our own connection to Spirit that the Egyptians squelched in the Jews enslaved in Egypt.
There are so many themes between what the Jews experienced and what LGBT people are experiencing today. Jews were not allowed to believe in their divine inheritance, something LGBT people are told all the time. We are not godly. We are not worthy. We are sinners, blah blah. In Jewish mysticism, God is both the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine combined, so how can LGBT people not be made in the image and likeness of God? In fact, I doubt very much that God is a solid 1 on the Kinsey Scale.
But like the Jews who were enslaved for hundreds of years in Egypt, for hundreds of years, LGBT people have been enslaved by injustice and discrimination. We've been told we are inferior. We are still throwing off the shackles of the legacy of this mental oppression. We are still searching for the "chametz" of internalized homophobia that may reside in some of the unexamined areas of our psyches and automatic habits having grown up without equal respect and treatment.
Of course Prop 8 and DOMA were discussed at the Seder.
There were exactly nine of us recounting the Passover story. As we talked about the court cases, we imagined the power those nine Justices had. Nine people, just like us, who had the power to determine the fate of thousands of same-sex couples and LGBTIQ people and their families. Since there were nine of us, we each decided to take on praying for a Supreme Court Justice. No one wanted Clarence Thomas, so I took him.
So my prayer for Justice Thomas was that he see the inherent dignity and worth of all people and affirm that marriage is a fundamental right and freedom that includes the right to marry the person of the same-sex. With "signs and wonders," may God touch Clarence Thomas's heart and remind him that because the integrity of the Warren Court ruling on Loving v. Virginia, he was able to marry, rather than enter into a "interracial civil union" or "interracial domestic partnership" with his wife even when the majority of Americans didn't support that right. May he join in the decision to strike down Prop 8 as unconstitutional and liberate us from the illusion of separate but equal.
We are not separate, we are all one people, Americans and we are all equal! May we all be liberated! Happy Passover!
(Passover seder plate image via Bigstock)