When You Try to Change People That’s Not Love, It’s Domination
is canon precentor at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver where he directs liturgy and oversees ministry with people in their 20s and 30s. He occasionally offers lectures and facilitates conversations related to the interplay of culture, theology, and justice. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, and The Washington Post.
To change another to better fit our own ideals is not love; it is domination. Instead, to truly love is to engage joyfully in our differences and to bring out the best in our unique potential — in personal relationships, and in community.
Our Public Theology Reimagined columnist calls on people of faith and conscience to come into proximity with execution sites like Ell Persons. When we experience these liminal spaces, we are reminded of our capacity to become preoccupied with domination and overlook the lives of the powerless and the message of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Ash Wednesday is often understood as an opportunity to engage in the practice of personal improvement. But, what if it were used to look outward and create a more just, merciful society rather than ending with our hearts?