a manifesto for non-violent resistance on social media

"Any law that uplifts human personality is just.  Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.  All segregation laws are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.  It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.  To use the words of Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, segregation substitutes an "I-it" relationship for the "I-thou" relationship, and ends up relegating persons to the status of things."  Martin Luther King, Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

"Homophobia is the new apartheid."  Archbishop Desmond Tutu, interview with Anne Curry

I thought about Corrie Ten Boom, about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, while I was at the concentration camp of Terezin last week.  

They didn't stand up for Jews because they were Jewish, or agreed with Jewish theology.  

They stood up for Jews because they were Christians.

The suffering of human beings meant something so profoud and so real that they were literally willing to die along with people who were nothing like them, theologically speaking.

And in our country today?  We've got Franklin Graham saying that gay kids shouldn't be allowed to come to church.

In Budapest, we visited the "House of Terror" where hundreds of people were imprisoned and died during the years of Facism and Communism.  

Then we walked over to a memorial sculpture that commemorates the resistance efforts that eventually led to freedom.

From the front, the memorial is a stainless steel prow, relentlessly breaking up the pavement ahead.

From behind, the sculpture is individual steel posts.  The sculpture is built on a slight rise, so the individual posts in the back are hidden from the front.  

And yet, they are all part of a whole that makes change.

Most of the time, I feel like one of those individual steel posts in the back.  There's a hill to climb.  I often can't see what's happening in the front.  

But here I stand, because I want to be part of the whole that honors the dignity of every human being, with freedom and justice for all.


As I stand, here is my manifesto for non-violent resistance on social media.

I will keep my goals clearly in mind at all times:

  • to speak out so that hurting people know they are not alone
  • to present the voices of the suffering so they might be heard and understood.

I will remember that "the others" are people God loves, created in His image.

I will speak with respect.

I will remember that I didn't always know what I know.

I will let others be in their process.

I will let the other person have the last word if they need it.

I will retreat to safety and receive love and support from my tribe.

As I stand here:

I'm uplifted by solidarity with the suffering.  

I'm emboldened by others who stand with me.

I'm trusting that there's a change coming, a change that brings freedom and hope and justice and mercy to those who need it so badly.

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake." Victor Hugo




And above all, Love.

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