Monday, August 13, 2018

I'm on Vacation But the Resistance Is Not

I am super gratefully on vacation. After a long program year, an awesome but exhausting General Convention and the kind of family challenges managing the needs of aging parents bring it is a deep privilege to have a season of unscheduled time to do whatever I choose to do whenever I choose to do it -- including choosing to do nothing at all.

Today that meant the privilege of a day at home catching up on beach trip laundry on a warm summer day cool enough to not need the a/c with sleepy Corgis who are happy to have a mommy home all day. And it meant being able to "Facebook Live" from my couch the rally hosted by my congresswoman Judy Chu  opposing the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court -- a rally where my rector Mike Kinman was one of the speakers.

And because I'm on vacation and have time to do what I want to when I want to I have time to share his remarks with you ... remarks which bear reading, sharing and quoting as we move forward together and continue to resist those forces working to dismantle the progress that has been made toward making liberty and justice for all not just a pledge we say but a reality we live.

So I give you Mike Kinman and "We Are At A Moment of Grave Threat to Liberty." Because I'm on vacation but -- thankfully -- the Resistance is not!


“History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” 

 Those words were written nearly 30 years ago by a Supreme Court justice who understood that the greatest danger to liberty was not an outside military force but the power of those with power to use fear, hatred and mistrust to convince us to surrender our liberty for their own prejudices and prosperity. That Supreme Court Justice was Thurgood Marshall.

It’s because of justices like him that insidious doctrines like separate but equal were struck down and the basic human right of women to control their own bodies at last was recognized and enshrined into law in Roe v. Wade.

 We are at a moment of grave threat to liberty.
Where a president who was swept into office by using the power of fear, hatred and mistrust seeks to shape a Supreme Court that will enshrine that fear, hatred and mistrust into law for generations to come. We are at a moment of grave threat to liberty.
Where the president and others who like him seek to govern by prejudice and for personal profit.
Where a president and others like him who see the Constitution as a system to be gamed for the benefit of wealthy white men, seek to appoint a justice in Brett Kavanaugh who will use that Constitution to secure their privilege rather than assure the most basic promises of liberty and justice for all.

We are at a moment of grave threat to liberty.
Where a President who is under investigation for colluding with a foreign power to assume that office is trying to shape a Court that will impede if not terminate that investigation. We are at a moment of grave threat to liberty.
Where a president who is in the process of fulfilling campaign promises to ravage the environment, target Muslims, immigrants and people of color, expand mass incarceration, and dismantle access to affordable health care is now turning his sights on some of the most important Supreme Court decisions of the past three-quarters of a century.

 What could be more fundamental than our freedom to marry whom we choose?
 What could be more fundamental than every American being able to cast a ballot?
 What could be more fundamental than a woman’s right to control her own body?

That these liberties are under attack by people who would pervert and distort the life and teachings of Jesus to suit their own prejudices, fears and desires for domination is for me a point of great pain and great shame and also a call to action. Not because I wish to impose my faith on others but because I believe no one should have their freedoms restricted because someone wishes to impose their faith on them.

And so, together, we must stand up.
 We must stand up against this grave threat to our liberty. And we must not only reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court but we must not rest until the Senate is presented with a nominee who promises to defend the very liberties that are under attack by this nominee and this administration.

The right to access birth control.
The right for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex people and more to marry whom they choose and to live free of discrimination at home and in the workplace.
The right to clean air and clean water.
Workers’ rights.
Immigrants’ rights.
Privacy rights.
The right to have the voice of those among us who are poor have the same weight as those among us who are rich.
The very right to vote that is the bedrock of our democracy. 
And yes, the right to safe, legal abortion

 We must reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but that is not enough.

This is a time of grave threat to liberty where the power of fear, hatred and mistrust are in ascendancy, and we must reject those powers as well. We must stand up and we must speak out. Not just against this nomination, but against the very fear, hatred and mistrust from which this nomination springs.

For, as Justice Marshall said nearly a quarter century ago: “Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage. America must get to work. In the chill climate in which we live, we must go against the prevailing wind. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” 

My friends, we are the America that Justice Marshall was speaking about.

We must tell our Senate to reject this nomination. We are America. And we must tell our Senate to reject any nomination that puts our most cherished liberties at risk. We are America and we can do better. We are America and we have no choice but to do better. We are America. And today we commit to each other and to our children: We will do better.

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