Editorial: Into the Night

How ironic that a text from the Maundy Thursday passages so clearly applies to us on this Maundy Thursday.  In John 13:30, as soon as Judas left the group gathered in the upper room to go and betray Jesus, the verse ends, “And it was night.”

Yesterday, the North Carolina legislature passed (and the governor signed into law) what is likely to be the most discriminatory piece of legislation in The United States today. By their actions, they have taken North Carolina (and the rest of us indirectly) “into the night” of bigotry.  Even some who are not committed to full inclusion have been taken back at the way this was carried out.  The North Carolina legislature’s GOP majority have left us with a “dark” Thursday in our nation’s history.

I am not writing to go into this mess in detail.  Like a rock falling into the water, most of the ripple effects are yet to be seen. There may be times in the future when more will need to be said.  For now, I choose to say only two things.

First, to my LGBTQ friends, who must (yet again) find strength to stand strong against the injustice and prejudice of the legislation and related sentiments—I stand with you in solidarity against sexism rooted in fear and falsehood.  Be strong and courageous–one more time!

Second, to all who read this—we must recognize this as a “night” that enshrouds us all.  If and when a society passes laws against people who have broken no laws (indeed, who live as law-abiding citizens), none of us is safe.  Civil society is not (and can never be) a theocracy.  It cannot be a society that protects one ideology and villifies others.  To the extent we allow this to hold sway, we are all only one step short of having a legislature decide it doesn’t like us, with subsequent discriminatory laws passed to enforce their dislike.  It is “night” whenever a nation legislates this way.

When Judas left to betray Jesus, it was “night.”  Whenever we leave our senses to betray others, the night returns.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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5 Responses to Editorial: Into the Night

  1. trekkerjay says:

    And these words, that we “cannot be a society that protects one ideology and vilifies another”, are true, not only in the context of the LGBTQ community, as you are addressing this dark piece of legislation, but they are also true in the wider context of the world, and people’s reactions to, and fears of world events… we are indeed walking into the night…

  2. Jeff Blake says:

    The words from your heart speak deeply to me and no doubt countless others who see this deplorable act as walking into the night. Up ahead, we pray, there will be Light. For the Light shines on all of us.

  3. Fred Fitch says:

    Thank you , Steve, for standing up and standing with…

  4. Deen Thompson says:

    Yes, the night is dark, but the morning will come with the light of God. In God’s light there is no darkness.

  5. Jack Harnish says:

    Well said…darkness is all around us.

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