Thursday, June 7, 2018

Things I have done that are Illegal

(for a woman, not so long ago, and not so far away)
These past few weeks on Sunday mornings, following the Poor People’s Campaign, we have learned of just a few of the many challenges in this world to bring justice, peace, and equality to all people. As I have heard stories from different guests and from our own Pastor and others in our congregation, I realize not only how much there is still an urgent need to stand up for what is right, but also that my own personal freedoms are the result of others before me who have made just such a stand. So here is a brief list, in no particular order, of my law-breaking activities as a woman: activities that are not illegal here and now in this country, but which were in recent history or still are in many other places:
 
  • Gotten an education 
  • Worn pants
  • Spoke in public
  • Chose my own marriage partner
  • Wrote and published in my own name a political poem 
  • Sung in public
  • Taught men
  • Decided between myself and my partner how many children to bear
  • Driven myself to work/a doctor's appointment/a friends house
  • Worshiped at the place of my own choosing 
  • Hiked, camped, kayaked alone
  • Made purchases with my own money
  • Voted
  • Voted
  • Voted
  • Spoke openly on the street with a person who appeared to be of a different religion
  • Spoke openly on the street with a person of the opposite gender
  • Wrote another poem
  • Declared myself a Christian
  • Received equal pay for my work
  • Crossed boundaries of economics, race, and ideology to meet people in different walks of life
  • Wore the clothes and styles I chose for myself
  • Home schooled my children
  • Led music of protest
  • Voted
  • Voted
  • Voted
  • Was granted and exercised legal power to care for my aging parents
  • Criticized a politician
  • Criticized my countries' president
  • Read banned books
  • Marched in a political rally against injustice
  • Traveled internationally
  • Received under the law fair distribution of funds and property after a divorce
  • Received life saving health care from a male doctor
  • Signed my own apartment rental agreement
  • Accessed safe contraception
  • Owned real estate
Read another banned book and went to the voting booth again and again and wrote more poems and played more music, all the while realizing that I have access to such basic human rights only because others have stood up to injustice, have fed the hungry and healed the sick, have even been imprisoned or killed, have spoken the words of rebellion against the suppression of rights and inequality, words which need to be spoken now as much as ever.

What rights do you live with that others have spoken up to procure? That might be in jeopardy even at this very moment. What are the rights of others who are being dis-empowered by politics, economics, racism or sexism, that you and I need to speak up for, as much as we are able, today?

Janet
Minister of Music




3 comments:

  1. Brava, Janet! We can't be reminded enough!
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  2. Deep gratitude to you for taking the time and effort to write this. I was moved and horrified by the fact that 34 out of the 34 actions you listed are right now banned or illegal in various countries all over the world.
    A cause for us to unite in efforts to bring about significant and lasting change.
    Gretchen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deep gratitude to you for taking the time and effort to write this. I was moved and horrified by the fact that 34 out of the 34 actions you listed are right now banned or illegal in various countries all over the world.
    A cause for us to unite in efforts to bring about significant and lasting change.
    Gretchen

    ReplyDelete

The Stories we Sing - Janet's Blog

People love to hear and tell stories, and some of them we sing! Have you ever wondered why we sing together in church? Why we have this tr...