Scott’s Column: Happy Pride! The Struggle Continues Jun 13, 2023 | News For most of my pastorate I’ve been a regular contributor to the From the Pulpit feature in the Omaha World-Herald. When I was first invited to submit, we were asked to send our entire sermon manuscript from the week before, and then the paper chose an excerpt from it. One time they printed my entire text–and it was a sermon on rape and sexual violence. My understanding has always been that the feature was to highlight what was being preached and taught in various local congregations. Last week was my turn again, and I submitted the following, which used text from my sermon “Emotional Overload” that I preached on May 21, but adapted into context for the paper and for Pride month. As one of the few out queer clergy in the city, I ought to say something publicly pastoral about what’s going on and how people are feeling. Happy Pride Month! Recently we were browsing the Pride offerings at a Target store when my son asked if I wanted the rainbow-colored spatula. I said I didn’t need a rainbow-colored spatula. A woman standing nearby laughed and said something about “Pride capitalism.” I laughed and responded yes. Then added, “But after years of feeling more consumeristic, this year Pride and Pride-stuff feels subversive again like it once did. It feels that way because of everything going on in state legislatures.” She then shared about the travails her trans child was having and steps she was taking to protect them. We had left spatulas behind. This year has been rather emotionally overwhelming for us queer people. Our own Nebraska legislature joined up with other right-wing states in an attempt to rob us of our freedom of conscience and bodily autonomy. As a person of faith I find such cruelty impossible to comprehend. Please check in with your queer and trans family and friends, for they are under assault, and they need you to be loudly and vigorously defending them right now. This is a struggle for the survival and autonomy of queer bodies. And a word to queer kids out there—we may have lost this round, but we are going to win this contest in the long run. God loves you and is on our side. You didn’t see that in Sunday’s paper, as the editor rejected the piece. A handful of times over the years something I submitted appeared edited from what I’d written or didn’t appear at all, with no explanation. This last week they emailed me to say they wouldn’t be printing and why, which I did appreciate hearing. The gist being that it was “too political” for that segment of the paper. I guess my submission in 2020 about religious liberty and democracy on the history of the Mayflower Compact wasn’t “too political?” Maybe it was just comfortably so? I also learned that the segment was for uplifting readers with inspiring ideas. Ahem, the long piece on rape and sexual violence they printed years ago. For me of course, the point of my submission last week was to lift up the people who had been pushed down and brokenhearted. I did get into a rather interesting, good, and deep discussion via email with the editor-in-chief. And I’m grateful for that as well. That discussion prompted me to write on my personal blog about the “too political” charge that pastor’s occasionally hear after a sermon. I wrote, “A sermon cannot be ‘too political.’ For every sermon is political. Always and inherently.” You can read the rest of that blog post here. The post received a lot of positive feedback on my Facebook page from other clergy, and one minister colleague in Oklahoma shared it with the description, “My friend wrote a beautiful thing.” So Happy Pride! Clearly, the struggle continues. Note: I do have other Resources for Living posts planned, but other topics have risen to the top of my attention. Remember, if you have a topic you want me to explore, just let me know.