The Chaplain’s office acknowledges that the church has struggled in the past to be inclusive and effectively promote justice for all populations. Under the error of human judgement, religion has been used as a tool of oppression and to reinforce supremacist ideologies. For example, Christianity has close ties to Native American genocide, the enslavement of Africans, colonialism in Africa, the crusades against Muslims, and several other injustices.
Unfortunately, this misuse of faith is not limited to our past. Still today, religion is at the core of many divisions we see in our country and in our world. Members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to be ostracized, women still fight for their voices to be heard in the church, our media cultivates Islamophobia, and most churches lack meaningful racial diversity.
As always, the first step to combating injustice is awareness - we need to acknowledge the sins of our past so we can be better in the future. Recognizing how privilege impacts our entire worldview, including our faith, is important now more than ever. As believers we need to hold one another accountable to be responsible with our faith. The Office of the Chaplain is here to challenge, educate and push all of us to grow in this way. It’s our job to help others become all they were created to be, and that means restoring the dignity of every person, regardless of race, faith, gender, sexuality, or background. Our goal is to be a place of unity rather than division, and inclusivity rather than exclusion.