Support the Café
Search our site

On Behalf of Those Without Rights

On Behalf of Those Without Rights

by Laurie Gudim

Feast Day of Liberators and Prophets Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Jenks Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman

1 Peter 4:10-11

A couple of days ago members of the agricultural community of the county in which I live held a public forum to speak about the critical need for migrant farm workers.  The skills of these laborers are complex and their work is very demanding.  Without enough of them our entire community will be adversely affected.

I was unable to attend this meeting, but a friend reports that the discussion moved from economics to the basic human rights issues surrounding deportation.  And the farmers speaking up on behalf of their workers kept repeating, “This is not about politics, it is about humanity.”

Today we celebrate four women who acted on behalf of people without rights: women and black African-Americans.  Harriet Ross Tubman risked her life and her freedom over and over again to bring others to freedom.  Sojourner Truth labored tirelessly to end slavery and improve the lives of women.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Jenks Bloomer both traveled and spoke extensively for abolition and women’s rights, at personal risk and in the face of criticism and ridicule.

Why is it important for us to take a stand for those who are without rights in our society?  Many arguments can be made from a sociopolitical perspective, but for Christians it boils down to one central mandate: following the Way of Jesus.  Jesus was, pure and simple, a liberator.  Over and over again he demonstrates a love without boundaries and a lavish hospitality.  It’s the thing that is most clear and most consistent in all the Gospels.  The Law, the rules, come second to the real needs of actual human beings.  Loving our neighbors – all people – as we love ourselves – that’s what we are meant to do – and with everyone who needs us.

Today’s reading from the First Letter of Peter talks about stewardship of the “manifold grace of God”.  We are to speak as those speaking the very words of God.  We are to serve with the strength that God supplies.  Take up your cross, therefore, and go as Jesus leads us.  Stand in solidarity with those without a voice, without rights.  It is not about politics, it is about humanity.  But even more central than that, for us it is about Christ.

 


 

 

Laurie Gudim works is a religious iconographer and writer in Fort Collins, Colorado.  You can view some of her work at Everyday Mysteries.She has recently published her novel, Loving the Six-Toed Jesus, available from Amazon.

 

Image: collage from Public Domain images

Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café