Love is advocacy

I do not understand why standing up for respect, justice, and equality for all Americans is controversial.

I attended the Women's March on Washington DC with my daughter and some friends. It was one of the most beautiful,honorable, obedient, bold, kind, courageous, respectful, loving experiences of my life. It was not civil disobedience. I participated in a sanctioned, permitted event. If my marching makes you uncomfortable, I encourage you to pause and consider why. God has never called His people to a place of comfort. Jesus did not stand up for His rights; He stood up for others (for women, children, foreigners, the poor, the imprisoned...).

This was not a pro-abortion rally, and it was not an unpatriotic demonstration. It was not anti-faith; in fact, if the signs were an indication, there were many Jesus followers at the march. Millions of men, women, and children marched in cities across the globe, and they did it for different reasons. My daughter marched in part because she watched a documentary at school about unfair labor practices around the world that victimize women and children who have no other options (other than the sex trade). She believes that businesses should be held to an ethical standard that balances decency with profit. She also believes that students in poorer parts of her city should have the same quality educational opportunities that she has. And she believes that her Muslim friend should feel as safe in this country as she does as a Christian. She recently saw Selma and Hidden Figures and does not understand how anyone can justify withholding rights and dignity from another human being created by God. She also is frightened by the alarming rate of sexual assault and by a president whose behavior has condoned it, sending a message to boys her age that she is an object to be used for their pleasure. That's why she marched.

I have built a successful business that provides for my family and others while at the same time paying my taxes, making ethical decisions, and strengthening organizations who aim to make our community better for everyone. I have not made a living at the expense of anyone else, and my only conflict of interest is that I often put others' needs ahead of my own. (Not one of Mr. Trump's cabinet appointees can make these same statements.) I say this not in pride but in humility, because my decision to march stemmed from a conviction that I have been given access and opportunities as a white, upper middle class, well educated, suburban, Christian heterosexual that I would not have been given otherwise. (I'm guessing many of you can relate.) I believe that every American should have that same access (to healthcare, clean water, education, employment, voting rights, due process...) regardless of where or to whom they were born. But this will require that some of us with privilege stand up for those who don't yet have it. YES, people must work hard, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that hard work is the only factor in success.

If we want our sons to respect women and we want our daughters to feel empowered, we cannot remain silent in a culture that increasingly looks the other way on sexual assault. If we want our country's legislators and appointees to uphold our "good Christian values," then we must demand they make ethical, honorable decisions in their personal and professional lives. These are not partisan or political statements; these are facts.

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?" (James 3:15-16). I choose to be part of the solution. That is #whyImarch.

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