Friday, January 6, 2017

Resistance is Everything ... When Needed

So, I’ve been thinking lately about resistance. It’s been part of my thinking for several weeks now. And I have read a lot about it as well. So maybe one more resistance post is one too many, but I must share.

I spent part of my early adult years watching the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Watching that TV show, I often heard the phrase, “Resistance is Futile.” The Borg, an alien race, used this line with cultures they encountered to make it known they would be assimilated into the collective hive organism that was the Borg. There was no reason to resist that assimilation. It was going to happen no matter what.

I heard it enough times that it became part of “the tapes” that play in my mind. I sometimes would see bad things happening in the world around me and I would do something to change it. But others, I would think, “resistance is futile.” I’m just one person. I can’t make a difference.

As I grew into adulthood, I was confronted more and more often with things that seemed unjust, immoral, or out of balance. Today it feels like we are constantly gut-punched with bad behavior, violence, and inappropriateness. I can’t stand back and believe that resistance is futile. I must say something, do something, and call those doing these things to accountability.

I saw Star Wars: Rogue One over the holidays and was once again influenced by the need to resist those things that are evil, immoral, or morally bankrupt. In this film, a group of resistance fighters band together to steal the plans to the Death Star. It is a story tied inextricably to the first 1977 Star Wars film, which launched a generation of blockbuster rebellion and sci-fi movies. It shaped me in more ways than I can ever imagine. This new film once again takes the watcher to the realm of resistance and rebellion against an evil empire.

I also followed the Twitter hashtag #TheResistanceWill recently and was both inspired by and delighted by some of the tweets. Some interesting posts include:

            #TheResistanceWill fight every single day for equal rights.
#TheResistanceWill be fueled by cookies and milk.
            #TheResistanceWIll not allow refugees to be turned back.
            #TheResistanceWill be inspired by love and not fear.
            #TheResistanceWill be televised, Tweeted, and FacebookLived.

Resistance is essential when confronted with injustice. But just like in the Star Trek TV show and in Rogue One the sides are not always clearly defined. The differences between the factions are not always obvious but resist we must when we see and hear vile behavior, witness inhumanity to others, and see the effects of marginalization.

We live in a time of violence and injustice. We live in a time when political divisions are sharper than they have been for some time. We live in a time when the different “sides” of the inhumanity with which we treat each other are not always clear. So, we are called to make a stand. We are called to decide how we will respond.

When our leaders guide us to care for those who need help, I will support them and work with them. When our leaders guide us to community building and justice seeking, I will support and work with them. When our leaders guide us to create support systems for those who need health care and jobs, I will support and work with them. When our leaders guide us to reform systems of oppression, I will support and work with them. When our leaders guide us to support those on the margins with compassion and humanity, I will support and work with them. When our leaders guide us to build bridges between races and religions that are different than ours, I will support and work with them.

But when the opposite happens, then things change.

So I commit to the resistance when needed this year. When they come for healthcare, I will resist. When they come for Medicaid and Medicare, I will resist. When they come for Planned Parenthood, I will resist. When they come to abuse the environment, I will resist. When they come for refugees and immigrants, I will resist. When they come for women’s’ rights to control their own bodies, I will resist. When they come for my Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters, I will resist.  When they come for the marriage rights of the LGBTQI community, I will resist.

Here is what I will do …

I will call our leaders to accountability.
I will put my money where my mouth is.
I will march for equality for all persons.
I will work for #BlackLivesMatter and #LGBTQIEquality.
I will welcome refugees and immigrants in my home, community and church.
I will advocate for those disenfranchised by a culture of greed and wealth.
I will call my legislators about upcoming bills and laws.
I will work with local politicians to make grassroots changes.
I will help my church members and others act on their faith beliefs.
I will even risk being arrested to advocate for the rights of others.
I will preach the Gospel of love and grace for all.
I will listen to those with whom I disagree to learn about each other.
I will continue to use my voice for resistance and change.
I will use my social media sites to do this important work and ask you to join me.

I will resist evil and injustice in all their forms.

Resistance is not futile.

Resistance is everything.