Day 9: Occupy Community
The message below went out on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 to those Standing on the Side of Love supporters who signed up for daily Thirty Days of Love emails. You can sign-up for the 30 Days of Love emails here.
An interesting thing happened as I began to craft today’s daily message about the challenges we face in our communities and the ways in which we respond. I found a key opportunity to stand on the side of love.
I’m a died-in-the-wool enthusiast for my chosen state – a proud Marylander through and through. I am passionate about being part of its progress, whether it means making sure we approve the Maryland DREAM Act this November on the ballot, pass a marriage equality bill in the coming weeks, or make a transgender anti-discrimination law a reality. I also want to stand up when I see something regressive. The past few days I have been chatting with Maryland advocates about the fact that the mayor of resort town Ocean City, Maryland will be hosting a notorious anti-Muslim individual to keynote his Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which is happening later this week.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and People for the American Way have joined local progressives in calling on Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan to rescind his speaking invitation to retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who believes that “[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment” and that there should be “no mosques in America.” Boykin has been sowing Christian-Muslim divisions for years.
TODAY’S UP-TO-THE-MINUTE ACTION:
In an effort to seize the moment and stand with my community, Standing on the Side of Love is joining these calls and aks that Mayor Meehan demand to have his name removed from the event, refuse to attend with Boykin, oppose the bigoted views of his guest, and support the inclusion of all Americans, including Muslim Americans. Such a divisive, discriminatory, incendiary individual has no business headlining a prayer breakfast in a city that prides itself on welcoming all people.
Please join me in by taking action with Mayor Meehan as a way to declare our communities a safe space for all people:
- What is your local community struggling with?
- How has the economic crisis affected your congregation and community?
- How have you and/or your congregation been impacted by what you have witnessed these past months in your community, and what have you done in response?
- How is your congregation standing on the side of love?
Share your thoughts on these questions with our community on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SideofLove.
The two responses with the most FB ‘likes’ will receive a free Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt, hat, or tote bag.
When I contemplate these questions, I am struck by how many different communities I belong to, and the many ways I try to be in right relationship with these often overlapping communities. What about you?
Your partner in justice,
Standing on the Side Love
P.S. So many of our communities are struggling with the repercussions of the economic crisis. Our partner organization, Interfaith Worker Justice, offers some great resources for addressing these issues from a faith perspective. This includes a toolkit for congregations entitled, Unemployment and the Economic Crisis: A Congregational Toolkit and resources to reflect on the spiritual meaning of the economic crisis. You can find these resources here: http://www.iwj.org/template/page.cfm?id=201
P.P.S. Barb Michael from Marquette, MI shared with us a CSPAN program on poverty in America that looks worthwhile. It is a symposium on poverty in America, hosted by Tavis Smiley. Check it out: http://www.c-span.org/Events/Tavis-Smiley-Hosts-Symposium-on-Poverty-in-America/10737427045/