Sunday, February 12, 2017

Catching up

Let’s see, where was I?

Oh right, I was going to attend a protest against the travel ban on January 29 at our airport, but my mother in law’s health took a real nose dive and she was admitted that day to the hospital. She was released Wednesday, February 1, then was taken by ambulance Thursday, February 2, released back to her home and then taken away again on February 3. This time she was admitted and is still there.

So I didn’t go to that protest. The next week, I did go to an interfaith vigil against the ban on February 5. As with the Women’s March, I had no idea what to expect, and as with the Women’s March, I found the event very moving and uplifting.

There were about 1300 people at the vigil. As with the Women’s March, the KC area will never pull the kinds of numbers that cities like Boston or LA do, but I thought that was impressive since the area is pretty red. In fact there were so many of us that we filled the sanctuary, the equally large fellowship hall and then a couple hundred of us stood outside in the large courtyard (the building is shaped like a hollow square and this courtyard is the center. Fortunately, the weather was mild but I’ll admit I got pretty cold by the end.

The vigil was definitely multi-faith. To the best of my recollection, the speakers included two rabbis, three Muslim leaders (maybe four?), a couple of Catholic relief charities folks, a leader from a local Buddhist group, the host church (which was Disciples of Christ), and a speaker from an atheist group. And a man who’d only been in the country for about six months spoke about why he needed refuge from Syria, and the threats against him and his family. He lost so many relatives and was being actively hunted himself—it was chilling to hear this story.

I found it reassuring to see that I was not alone in my opposition to this ban (and I was so glad to see the recent ruling on the ban). And I’m still figuring out how to act on my beliefs. Attending protests is a start, but it’s not enough.

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