The Long Walk to Freedom

Credit: Angie Dykshorn
Credit: Angie Dykshorn

I am in a movement for justice inspired by Rabbi Yeshua. You know him better as Jesus. Jesus is a little niced-up for my taste. Blond, beautiful. Harmless. Gentle. Yeshua had a temple tantrum because of injustice and called religious authorities a brood of vipers (Aramaic cursing, I think). Yeshua was a trouble-causing rabbi traveling around the countryside, calling people to follow him in resistance. Calling them to resist the Roman Empire and its so-called peace. Peace enforced with sword, and chariots, with high taxes and low wages. Calling them to a vision of a world they could create, calling them to Shalom.

What qualifies them to follow? Ears to hear and feet that are willing to get up and go, to join the move, to resist.

The task? Difficult. High risk. Put down your nets, your livelihood. You might have to let go of ego. You might have to let go of old narratives, theologies, and worldviews.

Worldviews like, “We don’t like gays; they are an abomination.” Or “We don’t like Blacks; they were designed to be inferior.” Or “We don’t like Jews, Muslims and anyone who is NOT MY KIND of Christian; they are going to hell.” Or, “We must raise up walls against our neighbors to the south when they dare to want to live on land that used to belong to them.”

To join the movement, you might have to let go of your schooling and the messages you heard when you were young, like you are entitled and privileged because of your gender and your race; that you were entitled to steal people and land, because that was your destiny.

You might have to surrender your own fears of failure, you might have to own your beauty, power, strength and vulnerability, because those are the kinds of skills you need in the movement, in the resistance.

Did you go to any of the Women’s marches? Did you see the sea of people, loving, kind, inspired, chanting, singing people? Did you see the women? Called together by a couple of women, all with the same idea, collaborating, adding more women and doing a stunning thing?!? 200 cities and millions of people, called to the movement, called to resist.

Called to stand for women’s rights to earn what men do, to make their own choices, to not be grabbed. Called to stand for the value of Black lives, immigrant lives, and refugee lives; Muslim lives, Jewish lives and Queer lives.

I’ve been thinking hard about the possibility that maybe we had to get to a really funky, terrible, crazy, shadowy and ominous place in order to wake up. Maybe we had to hit bottom in order to rise up. We have hit bottom, it is dark, terrible and frightening and we are awake. We are rising up!

Don’t let anyone tell you that following the movement of Yeshua is a namby-pamby project, that people of faith are supposed to be sweet and suck it up. Don’t let anyone tell you that being a good citizen means drinking the foul drink of empire. Faithful life and good citizenship are about fighting for freedom. The empire is about domination; faith is about freedom.

Freedom is the aim of our movement. And none of us is free until all of us are free.

Right now, our new president is signing executive orders to limit our freedoms, to oppress our brothers and sisters. When his policies work to hurt some of us, they work to hurt all of us. This is not an easy time; this is not easy work. But work we must. We are called to be on the long march to freedom; we are called to resist. And here are some fundamental steps we must take right now:

1.) Make calls to members of congress and to your local and state representatives. Nothing gets their attention more than shutting down phone lines.

2.) Tweet your concerns about Trump’s plans with the hashtags:

  • #NoBorderNoWall
  • #OurCitiesStandTall
  • #RevolutionaryLove
  • #MoralResistance

3.) Sign this petition to support Civil Disobedience as #MoralResistance, and stay tuned for invitations to an organizing phone call and an upcoming national action in which we can participate with colleagues in the multiracial, multifaith movement for justice.

4.) Resist every day when you hear or see unjust actions. Call them out with as much love as you can, but call them out.

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