America has long used scripture (with buy-in from its church) to oppress its people. I have been brainwashed into believing the myth of American History as written by white men. I have been conned into buying the facade of the American Dream as painted by white men. As an Asian American Christian, white-adjacent model minority and simultaneous perpetual other, I have often been complicit in upholding this intricately woven (and incredibly strong!) web of lies upon which American society stands.
And I am heartbroken.
I hope and pray that we, the church, would mourn our history and write a different future, one that truly reflects the second greatest commandment: to love our neighbor as ourselves.
A Prayer of Repentance & Mourning
Creator and Healer, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your guidance.
We know your word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual direction.
We have ridiculed the truth of your word, cherry-picking the scriptures to uphold destructive systems of power, like slavery and Jim Crow.
We have codified racial injustice into law, cementing incredible disparities in health outcomes (including the extrajudicial taking of lives), educational opportunities, and wealth, in the name of upholding order.
We have disproportionately policed and imprisoned thousands, exploited their labor, renamed slavery incarceration and called it public safety.
We have put our faith in a flawed judicial system, where skin color more than character determines outcomes, choosing death over rehabilitation and reconciliation, and called it justice.
We have neglected to care for our infants and mothers and their families by focusing only on the lives of the unborn.
We have neglected to love and understand our bodies, mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually, because we have extolled the value of “purity” above all things.
We have defined what is acceptable and good, and deemed those with differing gender identities and sexual orientations unworthy of God’s love, and therefore unworthy of raising a family together, in the name of morality.
We have waged war and perpetuated violence overtly and covertly all over the world to line our pockets with money, imposing western-style democratic capitalist societies, enforcing what is “right” and “good”.
We have ignored the cries of the destitute, who do not look like the “ideal American”, closing our ears and our doors out of “self-preservation” and “national security”.
We have denied the beauty of God’s many created cultures by preaching a white Jesus with blue eyes, equating whiteness with godliness.
We have not stewarded the earth and everything in it; we have oppressed the poor, exploited the land and its resources without regard for future generations, and called it capitalism.
We have tuned our hearts to listen only to the “neighbors” that look like us, believe like us, and love like us, out of fear refusing your call to radical agape love in the name of holiness.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; disentangle us from the sin in which we have mired ourselves, and set us free.
Help us to create a just and loving society that reflects your mercy and grace.
Amen. Wow. Thank you for this.