I have been so upset since the Presidential election. I am upset with the tone of our conversations, with the ways in which everything seems to become so vitriolic. I'm upset by the results of the election as well. I believe in the depths of my heart that Jesus would have voted for universal healthcare, that Jesus who was once an immigrant would care for immigrants and refugees. I believe that our faith asks us to speak up for and protect the poor and the oppressed, to feed the hungry, and to make room for the outcast. And I believe we're supposed to do all this without insulting each other, without selfishly seeking power and glory, without resorting to hate speech and bigotry.
I am going to march next week because I must do something. Because I cannot live with what's happening. And because with all of my heart, I want to stand up for the rights of women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ people, our Muslim brothers and sisters, and every one else who believes they're now caught in the cross-hairs of a political system that doesn't care for them.
If you read about the Women's March Mission & Vision, you'll find this:
"The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault - and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear."
The best answer I've found so far, about how to move forward, is to stand up for my brothers and sisters - even if I belong to a couple of those groups that are being targeted. I've started to do that in a few ways, one of them is with my words, but in my actions as well - and now as we travel to Washington D.C. We are stronger together. And we will be safer together. I believe there will be many opportunities in these next months - maybe even years - to live out what we say we believe. We are, of course, not the only faith, not the only religion, that encourages people to welcome the stranger, free the hostage, and love the oppressed - we are in good company, there. But if we believe in this Jesus who overturned tables, touched lepers, fed the poor, and ate with sinners - then we must also be about that same work - of freeing the captives, welcoming the outcast, and finding ways to defend and protect each other.
So, I'm going to march because I believe we are responsible for one another. Because I believe that women's rights are human rights. Because I believe in the American dream - and the right to peacefully protest. Because I believe we're witnessing something that is truly different than a partisan divide - something that has the potential to be very, very dangerous. I'm going to stand - and march - and pray with my sisters. Until the world, until this country, becomes a place that is more just. More kind. Until we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves - which, by the way, means that we afford our neighbors the same rights and privileges that we enjoy. I'm going to march because my faith requires it of me. What does your faith require of you?