Saint Mark's Cathedral is ringing in the new year with a ringing defense of diversity in American life, with a definition of "religious liberty" worlds apart from right-wing evangelists calling for the freedom of believers to discriminate.
The governing vestry of Seattle's Episcopal cathedral adopted a "Statement of Commitment and Action" just before Christmas, laying on the line its definition of what it means to "live the words of Jesus". And it bluntly identifies what is sin:
"We will reject White Nationalism," says the statement. "We will name racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia as sins. We believe all people are made in God's image, and we affirm diversity as a gift, blessing and opportunity for our nation."
The statement goes further, saying St. Mark's will put its values on the line in the era of Donald Trump.
"We will love our neighbors by protecting them from hate speech and attacks," the statement pledges. "We will identify, report and confront hate speech and behavior -- against all ethnic and religious groups, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, people with disabilities and all marginalized groups."