By Rev. Kent Gilbert, President of the KCC Board
To Men of the Church:
The much-noted Women’s March set for Washington, D.C. takes place this Saturday. As of this writing there are now sister-marches planned in over 600 cities, worldwide, including Lexington, Kentucky. I, and many other men from our congregation are going to these marches. Here is why I think you should consider joining.
- Because This March is about Women. Male support for the dignity and worth of our colleagues, our teachers, our spouses and companions, let alone our daughters, sisters and mothers, is CRITICAL in a 12-month period where the highest-ranking public official has condoned groping, verbally and physically assaulting, insulting, and demeaning women. This is not honorable behavior. It is not the behavior of men following a spiritual path. This is not the message any true man would choose to send or condone. We should show up in large numbers to show solidarity for all women and demonstrate that men of worth will never condone mistreatment of this kind. Bullies, angry weak men, and those seeking to elevate themselves by belittling others should not be the only male representatives on the national stage, and women deserve everyday allies who are visible and vocal in their support.
- This March Is not Just About Women. I am also marching because those who disrespect others almost never limit their ignorance and poor conduct to just one group. This year has seen unprecedented national tolerance (even celebration) of verbal and physical assault on persons of color, on people born in a foreign country, on persons who are gay or lesbian, transsexual, or consider themselves somewhere in-between. Persons who can't move around without the aid of a wheelchair or cane, people who have mental difficulties, or who have been injured have also been derided and ridiculed by the president-elect, who by his actions has emboldened others to do the same. In the way that violence begets violence and faction begets faction, a temptation exists to think we all stand alone. We do not. Men who show up for the rights and dignity of women also stand for the rights and dignity of all men: black and white and blue and red. Men of faith and honor stand up for due, fair, and legal processes of justice, enacted without fear or favor. We all know there is precious little of that going around, so it’s important that those who have benefited most (white men, I’m looking at us) show up to throw a sandbag or two on the levee of reason and fairness for all.
- Because God is a God of Hope, and Visible Hope Changes History. We never know when the tide of history will turn, or upon what axis, but God has more than once used inspiration and determination of a limited number to sway and break the rod of oppressors. A strong witness to evil and injustice is often enough to blunt the cutting edge, even deflect a blow. Too many in powerful positions after recent elections are feeling the oats of their power and that there is some mandate for rich, white, men to do whatever they want. It may take the visible witness and resistance of more and more reasonable men standing together to catch their attention. This is regrettable and a sad commentary on the ignorance and small-mindedness of those who have come to power on this current tide. Nevertheless, it matters that men of privilege and anyone who knows how interdependent our fates have become join with any and all to make it clear that we will not by silence give tacit consent to ungodly, uncharitable, and unjust treatment of anyone by anyone. Jesus stood up for women; Jesus did not criminalize the poor; Jesus aided the lame; Jesus stood in the path of stupid attempts to prevent love; Jesus sacrificed his privilege for the sake of others. I’d like us to follow Jesus.
Carpools for the Lexington March will gather at the Berea Artisan’s Center at 11am on Saturday, January 21. I urge the men of this church and every church to rise and deliver the message that we stand against the tide of deliberate derision and with our sisters seeking a land infused with liberty and justice for all.
Editor's Note: People are gathering in several Kentucky towns and cities to carpool to D.C. or to march in solidarity. Check out your local news for activities near you.