prophets take to the streets

womens-march-logo

Now, more then ever, prophets are needed to stand by and hold the new leader(s) to task. Like biblical prophets of old, women and men are being called to make life hell for leaders who ignore the down-trodden while languishing in comfort and plenty. Prophets are needed to preach mercy above judgment, compassion over tyranny, and economic fairness before unbridled wealth. (catholic dialogue, November 14, 2016)

I spent January 20th in a funk. A deep funk. I avoided the news, not wanting to see or hear the inauguration of a man I had already spent too much energy loathing; too much time writing about. What more was there to say? Hope was a fleeting dream. The world seemed a darker place.

Then came January 21st.

I had read about the planned Women’s March with excitement, but couldn’t shake the pessimistic funk. It would probably be fewer than expected, I thought, giving more reason for the new president to gloat over his victory.

I cautiously opened up my Twitter account early in the morning. It was already filled with positive energy. Stories and photos circulated from around the world. The news began pouring in of larger than expected crowds. I watched with pride as women and men gathered in Winnipeg to show solidarity with marchers in the US. I regretted not being there myself.

I read tweets from women and men I followed in Rome, Boston, Washington and beyond. I felt like I was there. I rejoiced as the crowds grew. I breathed a prayer of thanks as the protests remained peaceful until the end. It was a glorious example of non-violent resistance.

Some naysayers, pointing to the more aggressive signs, criticized the lack of politeness of some marchers. Really??? This was especially ironic, considering the lack of respect and basic manners of the person the marchers were protesting against. Besides, the days of women as meek and mild handmaidens is long past.

I thought the signs showed brilliant creativity and humour.

Satire is one of the most effective political weapons. Being laughed at can often deflate egos quicker than anger.

Others criticized the seeming lack of a unified message in the marchers. This, I thought, was one of its greatest benefits and a lesson to be taken to heart.

Solidarity amid diversity is a powerful tool. The gathering of many smaller voices into one great call for change CAN make a difference.

The big question being asked now is, what next? I believe that the Women’s March has laid a strong foundation for speaking truth to power. Hopefully it will energize and affirm many more women and men to take on the mantle of prophet, to poke and prod those in power to ensure that they work for justice and peace for all.

 

 

 

calling all prophets

delphic-sibyl

After Trump’s surprising win, there have been calls for America to unite behind their new president. For the sake of the country, they say, he should now be given the respect, support, and cooperation demanded by the highest office in the land.

I don’t believe it’s time for nice words and gestures. This is not the time to appear gracious in the face of loss, for this is so much more than a lost election. It is not the time for appeasement, for history shows us that appeasement is too easily interpreted as affirmation.

Yes, bridges must be built and divisions healed, but first the hate-filled rhetoric and actions that fuelled the Trump campaign must be challenged. The ignorance, immoral behaviour, irresponsible promises and threats cannot magically disappear the day after an election. Trump must be pressured now, and in the months to come, to ensure they have no place in his agenda as president. Support and respect for an office cannot be given blindly. It must be earned.

America needs prophets who aren’t afraid to observe, judge, speak out and act.

a time for prophets

Now, more then ever, prophets are needed to stand by and hold the new leader(s) to task. Like biblical prophets of old, women and men are being called to make life hell for leaders who ignore the down-trodden while languishing in comfort and plenty. Prophets are needed to preach mercy above judgment, compassion over tyranny, and economic fairness before unbridled wealth.

Advent is around the corner. The liturgical readings of Advent are my favourite. I relish the images of a New Jerusalem and over-flowing banquet tables with seats for all. I yearn for a world of peace where lion and lamb lie down together. I hope for visions to become a reality; visions of a land where God’s justice reigns all.

Prophets weren’t known for social graces or niceties. They were God’s instruments, speaking truth to power. They were spat upon and persecuted. They were often denied natural talents that would make the job easier. Instead, they depended on God’s spirit working through them,  giving them words and courage they did not know they had.

I have many American friends who are fire-brands in their own circles, not afraid to speak out in the face of injustice. I hope and pray that they, and many others like them, will have the strength, energy, faith and courage to take up the mantle of prophet in the days and months to come.