Religion is changing.
At the center of a major revamp: Christianity.
And in Northern Europe, an organization’s appealing to a group not often courted by faith.
The Church of Sweden’s roots go deep: As noted by Britannica, it was originally Roman Catholic.
During the 16th century’s Protestant Reformation, the organization converted to Lutheran.
In 1544, the king officially declared Sweden a Lutheran nation.
But apparently, the church isn’t satisfied being stuck in the 1500s.
Therefore, it’s in the midst of a modern makeover.
Apropos of such, the Church of Sweden’s Vasteras diocese recently published what Pink News calls a “powerful letter.”
It’s putting the “trans” in “transformation”: Posted to its website, the message is titled “Personal Letter to You Who are Trans.”
Penned by four priests, a writer, and the diocese’s communications officer, the missive makes a sizable claim.
As it turns out, the Church of Sweden…is itself trans:
We are writing to you from a church that is also trans.
The authors hail diversity:
A church is made up of people. People are different. We have religious teachers, employees, churchwardens, elected representatives, non-profits and other parishioners who define themselves as transgender people.
The Church thus also consists of transgender people. Therefore, the Church could be described as trans.
According to Pink News, the letter apologizes to trans members “for how the media has treated you…”
Also guilty: TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists).
The Church, the explainer makes clear, “mourn(s) the part of feminism that has fought for its rights and that now wants to limit yours.”
Evidently, it can “no longer be silent.”
Innocents have been possessed, victimized, and challenged by inferior arguments:
In recent years, we have seen how newspapers, radio and television, even those that claim to be serious [media outlets], have given space to opinions where you as a transgender person and your rights have been questioned.
We have seen a conversational climate where you have become public property, where poorly substantiated theories may stand unchallenged and become the norm for what should apply to your life.
The letter decries hate and media — the latter’s “given way to a hatred directed at” those who identify as the opposite of their sex.
The way the Church sees it, power’s been granted where it doesn’t belong:
It is sad that groups, organizations and individuals who are responsible for this hatred have a place in front of the microphones, on the debate pages, in the cultural programs and on the TV couches. This contributes to the normalization of trans hate.
If by “hate,” the diocese means expressed disagreement with transgenderism, society’s quickly becoming a far less hateful place.
And that includes other Christian denominations.
Case in point: Hope United Methodist Church.
As I covered last month, the Illinois congregation’s leaders are promoting Isaac Simmons for ordination.
Isaac is gay.
He’s also a drag queen.
And he sometimes delivers sermons in full regalia:
Along those same lines, in North Carolina two years ago, Calvary United Methodist Church held its “Drag Me to Church” event.
Bishop-elect Megan Rohrer, a transgender pastor in San Francisco, will serve at the Sierra Pacific synod, which includes congregations across Northern California and Nevada. https://t.co/pfMUF5OmQN
— NPR (@NPR) May 10, 2021
Back to Sweden, per Pink News, the letter compares TERFs to “radical right-wing Christian groups and right-wing populists.”
Transgender people, it says, are “affected by words and actions that draw their nourishment from some of humanity’s darkest sides.”
But not to worry:
Whatever you encounter and whatever others say, no one can take away your gender identity and your human dignity. God loves you, just as you are.
That’s certainly true: Despite what is commonly claimed these days, dignity is not something for others to bestow.
How do we create a dignified world? That’s a tall order. But the Church of Sweden, at least, would like to see a colorful one.
The letter — signed by nearly 1,000 priests, deacons, and church members — champions “a humanity in all the colors of the rainbow, absolutely fantastic and infinite in its diversity.”
“We are different, and that is good,” it asserts.
And God saw that it was good.
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