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Where Everyone Gets a Seat at the Table – Rev. Mike Irwin

In conjunction with our July theme of inclusion and honoring our differences:

CSL Kansas City is committed to diversity and equality, where everyone gets a seat at the table. A place where each person’s inherent worth is recognized; where no one is devalued or excluded based on a fixed and fundamental part of their identity.

Skin color, gender, nation of origin, sexual orientation, or religion, are not conditions for being devalued or excluded. This means we declare every human being is equally valuable.

If someone’s opinion directly endangers people based on the essential parts of who they are, we will push back. If someone’s worldview permits them to treat someone as less deserving of civil rights, or discards their basic humanity, that worldview is a threat to true diversity.

If our evaluation of another makes us more tolerant of mistreatment or less outraged by hate crimes against them, that’s a fundamental problem.

Active discrimination and violence of any form, including speech, do not get a seat at the table. They don’t get proximity to do further damage than has already been done.

If anyone’s value or worth is diminished because of skin color, gender, nation of origin, sexual orientation, or religion, this is a barrier to a diverse community, and is an assault on that person’s very identity.

Diversity errs on the side of the marginalized and is an inconvenience to the privileged. Diversity seeks justice. It demands benevolence for those not used to experiencing it.

We will not consent to the idea that all perspectives are valid when it becomes a matter of personal safety or a threat to the essential dignity of human life.

If someone believes a person of color is simply inferior to white people, or that LGBTQ people are an abomination, or that Muslims are likely terrorists simply because they are Muslim, that person will not feel comfortable at this table for long.

It is not hypocritical to champion diversity and at the same time confront injustice. All people are welcome at the table, but bigotry is not. Acceptance of bigotry is not a requirement. It is no part of a commitment to diversity and equality.

Equality demands decency toward humanity’s diverse gathering of unique expressions of God. That is what we stand for. It is what we will demand.

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