I remember being cautioned by adults when I was growing up to guard against the sin of pride. “Pride goes before the fall,” they’d say. Books we read in English class gave us example after example of individuals who were taken down by hubris. Guarding against excessive pride was a moral lesson most thought important to teach children. Pride is one of the so-called seven deadly sins, after all.
As I’ve gotten older, I wonder if it is a greater sin to tell someone that they ought not be proud of themselves.
On Sunday I took part in the 9th annual northern Virginia Multifaith Pride Worship service at Commonwealth Baptist Church. During the service, several clergy and lay people from the LGBTQ community shared reflections about how they’d been told over and over again by family members, teachers, community leaders, and especially by the church, that they should be ashamed of who they were.
There were five or six speakers, each of whom told the same message, “I am now, finally, proud to be me.” It was an afternoon of celebration.
Be proud of who you are…whoever you are.