AnonymousDeleted UserDecember 9, 2020 at 10:56 am
I really liked Mihee Kim-Kort’s provocatively titled essay, and the call to “notice something familiar in the stranger.” It reminds me of when I attended the MCC church in Los Angeles, and the pastor invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to our service. They’re a collective of drag performance artists who draw attention to issues surrounding gender expression and sexuality. I’m sure they wouldn’t have been welcome in many churches simply because they did drag, but also wouldn’t be welcome in some more progressive churches because they use religious symbols in their satire, which I can see people finding offensive. At the MCC church though, they really lived out the idea that we can connect in our common humanity in spite of our differences, even fundamental differences about how we viewed religion and faith. My question remaining from Kim-Kort’s article is this: while I think the church is making progress in connecting sinners and outcasts to one another, I question how I “notice something familiar in the stranger” when that stranger is actively working to oppress the sinner and the outcast. It’s easy to be “friendly” with each other on a surface level, but how do we make real connections when the issue isn’t just difference, but unequal power dynamics?