I march because
By Sarah Strosahl-Kagi
On Jan. 21, millions of people across the globe marched in opposition to misogyny, xenophobia, racism and hate. From its inception, I planned to join the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., not only because of political and moral motivations but also because, as a follower of Jesus and one who strives daily to walk in his ways, it was my imperative.
I march because I follow a savior who didn’t engage in “locker room talk,” but who stood with women, saw their humanity and made them disciples.
I march because I follow a savior who didn’t engage in “locker room talk,” but who stood with women, saw their humanity and made them disciples. As a daughter of an ordained clergywoman, I march because I’ve continually witnessed my mother’s striking yet never shattering that stained-glass ceiling. I march because, at each bend in the road of my spiritual journey, I have had to defend and justify my womanhood alongside my calling. I march because Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” and the Church said, “but let the boys go first.”
I march because scripture tells me to welcome the foreigner, although my government tells me not to.
I march because scripture tells me to welcome the foreigner, although my government tells me not to. I’ve listened to friends without documents speak of the fear they live with every day. I’ve sat and cried with mothers and fathers who have been separated from their children by deportation. I have met veterans who served the United States, only to be deported. I’ve heard their anguish, as they describe a country they love that deserted them. I march for them, amplifying their voices. I march because no human being is illegal and because all are our neighbors.
With these reasons and so many more, I had a host of reasons to march; and in the last 11 weeks, I’ve become host to even more reasons to march.
While the rain fell in D.C. on Jan. 20, I sat in a waiting room 130 miles away. Shortly before noon, I was called into the exam room, where, for the first time, I saw my unborn child wiggling and moving. I watched the dancing image of my baby, and my reasons for marching grew; I was no longer marching only as a sister, friend, daughter and Christian but now also as a mother.
I march because, if this child is born premature or with a preexisting condition and promises of repealing the Affordable Care Act are fulfilled, it could mean financial ruin for our family.
I march in gratitude that I had access to comprehensive sex education and birth control. I pray for a healthy pregnancy that would eliminate any decision regarding a medically necessary abortion; I pray for friends who have had to make that decision, and I march so that access remains open.
I march because I care deeply about the world my child is inheriting;
I march because I care deeply about the world my child is inheriting; with an administration that denies the effects of climate change, has handcuffed the Environmental Protection Agency, is threatening national parks and is plowing through native lands in the name of oil, I fear for the future of creation.
I march because, as I see a leader ignoring the first amendment and suggesting to limit the freedoms of groups of citizens, I do not want my child to be limited in freedoms.
I march because I want my child to love whomever she or he loves without fear of how that might impact her or his rights.
I march because I am called to protest when injustice reigns.
I march as a Christian who intends to raise my child as a Christian and desiring the same religious liberty for all. As a Christian, a Protestant and a Baptist, it is in my spiritual DNA to march, and I will tell my child that these are the roots from which she or he sprouts. I march for the least of these. I march for religious liberty. I march because I am called to protest when injustice reigns. I march because I worship a God who came to this earth as a Middle Eastern refugee baby to march with us; I march because my savior rode into town on a donkey and called me to follow him. I march because I take Matthew 25 seriously, and I want to answer my Lord truthfully.
I march so that when my child says, “Where were you, Mom, when regulations were rolled back, religious groups were banned and freedoms were rescinded?” I can say, “I was marching. And so were you.”
Sarah Strosahl-Kagi is national coordinator of the Emerging Leaders and Scholarship Program at American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
The views expressed are those of the author or authors alone, and not those of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.