Should We Have Marched Sooner?
My goal here is not to promote political agendas but rather to provoke thought.
As I hear the back and forth arguments and quarrels about women marching or abstaining from marching, “…to march or not to march?” hasn’t been the most urgent question for me. I’ve been asking a different question: Should we have marched sooner?
By “march” I mean – Stand up! Speak up for what is right! (This presupposes that we know God intimately and are familiar with His Word, which is the only way to know right and wrong.)
The Bible shows us over and over that Jesus treated women with great respect and care. And His approach was so counter cultural for His day. He pushed back against abuses of power. He spoke up and acted to defend women who were wrongly accused and discounted and neglected. He took heat and risked a lot in order to alleviate their plight.
Maybe part of the reason we are where we are is that we of the Cross should have followed His example and used our voices sooner.
Maybe 30 years ago when things formerly hidden began to be done openly and excused and then accepted we should have marched. Maybe the first time a official’s vulgar actions were revealed or a young woman in the public eye was taken advantage of …. Maybe then we should have said, “I don’t THINK so! Not while I have a vote!” Maybe we should have paid better attention then and resisted then and marched then to be heard.
Let’s be honest about how we use our voices. We stomp around when we don’t get the rebate check we were promised. We call the manager when our baked potato is cold. We write a negative survey when our flight is delayed. We change churches when the music is too loud or too old. We break up with friends when they talk too much and listen too little. We confront our loved ones when they come too often or stay too late.
Think back over history and recall what caused us to gather supporters, form alliances, solicit votes and start petitions? The color of the church carpet. The presidential election of a social club. Whose child got the lead in the play – again. The church cleaning rotation. Roberts Rules of Order violations. Seriously?!? This is just embarrassing!
Maybe we should have used our voices about things that really mattered.
Maybe we missed part of our “salt and light” commission when we didn’t say more louder, and sooner.
I’m just wondering … Might not marching be one way we can “seek the welfare of the city” as we read in Jeremiah 29:7? But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Maybe not with the WMW events – but somewhere.
We can all come up with stories of women who “put their foot down” about the venue for a party or redecorating the living room or the right to buy a pair of shoes. How many times have we been willing to put our feet down and march to benefit others? How often have we said, “Not on my watch. This is just wrong and enough is enough!”
What if we started marching in our own homes about what passes for entertainment and how people are discussed when they seem odd to us and what is allowed as teasing? And what if we started marching about abusive of power/ exploitation of the weak in our neighborhood or school or, dare I say, church?
Maybe if our generation had marched and raised our voices more clearly then this newer generation would not be facing so much and pushing back so hard. I’m not sure that we did march … not enough anyway. And now they are organizing marches and some of it isn’t what we are comfortable with. And we are aghast and appalled and … often condemning. (I know, sometimes we should be aghast and appalled.)
If you know me at all you know how fiercely I love the Word and how determinedly (though imperfectly) I use it as a life grid. The March wasn’t organized or orchestrated by people who make that claim at all. So we should have no expectation that in the big picture The March will represent a pure biblical perspective. There will be parts of it that are not recommendable. Of course.
Is it possible that it might have SOME redeeming value?
Could we even hope that the good in it can overshadow the bad?
Is it reasonable to think that the lights shining in the darkness will be of benefit for His Kingdom?
Can we imagine that some women who marched might have righteous motives and might accomplish something commendable?
One of the fiercest arguments against participating in The March is the implied endorsement we give to causes contrary to Kingdom purposes. To answer this, I suggest time travel. Back to the turn of the last century when women were marching for the right to vote. Remember that because of those early suffragettes we have a voice in the polls and the right to own property and protections not previously available.
Would it have been okay to have marched with them? They weren’t all church ladies. Some cussed, chewed tobacco, and wore pants! (gasp!) Not all of them would be comfortable with the things and in the places we hold most precious. Some of them wanted to vote for purely selfish reasons and they marched with unholy motives.
Would it have been okay to march with them then?
I get it that some of the language and costumes and signs might be just too much for you. That is understandable. In several places the WMW statement of purpose doesn’t echo my belief system either. I’m not saying that they did it all right or effectively or with defendable objectives.
So, okay. Find some place where you can march. You won’t find a place completely free of contradictions. But find some place to “march.” Stand up and use your voice to cheer for what Jesus would cheer for and resist what He resisted.
Be strong! Be wise! Be courageous!
And also …
Let’s be careful not to paint condemnation on marchers with such a broad brush.
Women march for different reasons. And sometimes women might even be marching next to women who are marching for opposite reasons. So we need to be careful not to discount them all or scorn them all. Some of them are marching for things we hold in our hearts. And they are marching.
Respond carefully. What is our goal towards those we differ with? To win them or to roll over them?
I’m just saying …
Women of faith need to march. Women need to say “Enough already!” about LOTS of things. Even if we are misunderstood we need to march.
I’m just wondering if maybe part of the problem is that we didn’t march sooner. I could be wrong, but I’m just wondering.