We Are Called To Protest – Statement for Pride 2023

Dumating siya sa Nazareth na kanyang nilakhan. Gaya ng kanyang nakaugalian, pumasok siya sa sinagoga nang araw ng Sabbath at tumindig upang magbasa. Iniabot sa kanya ang aklat ng propetang si Isaias at pagkabukas dito ay natunghayan niya ang dako kung saan nasusulat,

“Sumasaakin ang Espiritu ng Panginoon, sapagkat hinirang niya ako upang ipangaral ang mabuting balita sa mga dukha. Isinugo niya ako upang ipahayag sa mga bihag ang paglaya at sa mga bulag na sila’y makakita upang bigyang-laya ang mga inaapi, at ipahayag ang pinapagpalang taon ng Panginoon.”

Lukas 4:16-19

If we read the bible and pray every day as my New Testament professor often said, we will grow and grow in the truth that Jesus always took the side of the oppressed. More than that, he lived with them and knew them intimately. Followers of Jesus claim that Jesus is God made flesh who dwelt not just among us but among the lowliest of us.

Jesus always included and welcomed those that were considered unacceptable or unclean during his time; those that were powerless, disposable, and excluded by temple and imperial state – the women, lepers, tax collectors, Samaritans and other gentiles, the poor, the bleeding, the crippled, and the blind. He was insulted and considered, “The friend of sinners.” Jesus often challenged religious norms and interpretation that were used to alienate, discriminate, and exploit those who were already in the margins of society. He reminded everyone the centrality of love in the covenant – love expressed in feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and welcoming the stranger. 

The most Jesus thing that we can do is to do as he did and to speak his words of compassion and inclusion – to uphold and uplift the lives of the oppressed and discriminated today by seeking justice and equitable treatment in both law, church, and society. Jesus also calls us to denounce the injustices of our society as well as the intolerance and hypocrisy of many religious leaders and institutions of today. 

Certainly, LGBTQIA+ people have been oppressed and discriminated for decades or even centuries and in the Philippines, it continues today with the lack of any protection and recognition of our lives and rights under the law of a secular state.

The annual (and yearlong) celebration of Pride and its continuing civil rights movement are all rooted in the struggle for just and equitable rights. It’s very existence and continuation are moved by the spirit of protest and social change. It is fueled by the souls (and the blood) of our queer elders, forebearers and rainbow ancestors who dedicated and gave their lives for the cause. 

Inspired by the Christian faith and by our rainbow roots, we call upon our queer siblings to always remember the roots and true reason of Pride – struggle, protest, and the transformation of our society not just for us but for all oppressed sectors. 

Guided by the Jesus example and recognizing his Spirit in the movement, we call upon level headed and genuinely loving Christians as well as people of good will to come together in the same spirit of protest and social change to call for the immediate passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and all other legislations that protect and uplift the rights and dignity of LGBTQIA+ people in our country, the Philippines. 

Pride is protest and protesting is the most Jesus thing you could ever do. 

Maligaya at mapagpalayang Pride Month sa ating lahat. 

Rev. Joseph San Jose (He|Him|His)
Pastor, Open Table (MCC) Church

Open Table MCC is a church for all, including LGBT+ people. All are welcome! Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news and events from our church community.

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