What a way to kick off Lent! Christians across the United States are showing their support for fellow humans, us, LGBTers by receiving ashes with glitter mixed in for Ash Wednesday.
Christians nationwide, got [their] ashes on this Ash Wednesday with a side of sparkles. The Glitter Ash project, created by New York nonprofit Parity, encouraged clergy to mix glitter into the ashes this year, to represent the inclusion of LGBT people in Christian life.
“People are responding with such joy that they can show their faith and show that they are LGBT,” said the Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity. “LGBT people are people of faith, too. … On the day, Ash Wednesday, when Christians are publicly Christian, we are going to be publicly queer.”
They encouraged heterosexual supporters of LGBT inclusion to wear the glitter ashes, too.
Glitter in the ashes, Anderson wrote on a whiteboard, is “a symbol of the gritty, glittery, scandalous hope that exists within all of us.” She propped the board up in front of the Braddock Road Metro station entrance, and offered sparkly ash to a stream of morning commuters.
In Alexandria, Va., most of the people who stopped at Anderson’s “ashes to go” station outside the Metro entrance were looking only for ashes, not glitter. “I won’t have time to go to Mass today,” quite a few of them muttered.
Those who wanted just ashes, no glitter, at Braddock Road went to the Rev. Jeanette Leisk of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, who was doling out plain ashes. But over the course of the morning commuter rush, more than a dozen people opted for the glitter ash. – washingtonpost.com
Head over to the Washington Post for more on this story. The WP elaborates on the feedback from Chrisian groups, both positive and negative. When Parity came up with the idea of glitter ashes, some Christians, even liberal ones, objected to the concept, saying that joyful glitter doesn’t belong on Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance. Others said that asking people to choose between glitter ash and regular ash would only deepen the bitter division in many Protestant churches over homosexuality.
Orders came from churches nationwide and Parity sold out of its 150 packages of $10 a piece glitter ash. That's enough to smear the foreheads of roghly 15,000 people.
Clergy who requested glitter ash included Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Mennonites and many more. Many were located in more conservative parts of the country — Madison, Tenn.; Bedford, Tex.; Boone, N.C.; Algona, Iowa; Richmond, Ind.; Jefferson, Ga.; Hayes, Kan.; and many more small towns across the Midwest and the South made the list, as did churches in the United Kingdom and Canada.
What are your thoughts?
As a Christian, do you think it is right to mix the ashes with glitter in order to make a statement?
Did you see glitter ashes on your travels today?
To see more pictures, search for #GlitterAshWednesday
h/t: photos and text from washingtonpost.com