Clergy Call 2009: Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson
August 9, 2009
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson eloquently shows us that behind every major tradition is a precedent for expansive love that can never accommodate hate crimes or job discrimination. This is part of our ongoing series of speeches from HRC’s Clergy Call for Justice and Equality. Transcript and bio follow.
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson is the spiritual leader of the Cathedral of Hope and serves as the keeper of the Vision of the Cathedral. Currently, Rev. Hudson holds clergy standing in the North Texas Association of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, and serves on the board of directors for the Justice and Witness Ministries of the UCC. In 2001, Rev. Hudson received a Pastoral Renewal Grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., which promotes leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.
My name is Jo Hudson and I am Senior Pastor of The Cathedral of Hope of the United Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas. I bring your greetings from our nearly 4,000 members in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and straight. I am honored to stand alongside such a remarkable group of faith leaders. Though we represent a diverse body of people, especially diverse in how we understand our faiths, all of us, who follow the great benevolent religious paths, hold one thing in common, the belief that all people, regardless of their sexual or gender identification, should be treated with equal respect as human beings. In fact, we all espouse an understanding put forth by Jesus of Nazareth that we are to “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” The Christian faith was not the first or the last to propose this as a model for our living. Buddhism teaches us, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Hindu sacred text espouse: “Do naught unto others [that] which would cause you pain if done to you.” The Talmud tells us: “That which is hateful unto you, do not impose on others.” And Islamic wisdom proclaims: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” These teachings from our great faith traditions forms a moral foundation for all of us whether we are believers or not. To continue to allow hate crimes against some of the most marginalized people of our society, our transgender sisters and brothers, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, and those who are disabled violates the central principles of these faith traditions. Further, none of us can profess a faith as Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim or even humanist without taking seriously that the current discrimination in the work place against LGBT people does not do unto others as they would have done to themselves. It is time for our country to heed the wisdom of the ages and to finally live into the vision set forth by our founders that there be “liberty and justice for all.”