An Opinion By: Becky Kimmel
Last Saturday, I went to Washington, DC for the March for Our Lives. As you may know, this event, organized by students of Parkland High School, drew hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and everyday citizens.
As I stood on Pennsylvania Avenue, with shouts and pleas of “Enough!” echoing off those white marble buildings, I was moved.
I left this day feeling optimistic about the millennial generation that adults are so quick to discount as entitled and lazy.
I left this day feeling empowered — that I’m far from alone in my hope for the future of this country.
I left this day feeling lucky, lucky for my life and lucky for our right to freedom of speech and assembly.
But, I also left this day feeling like there’s a gaping hole in this entire conversation. A hole where the church should be, but it isn’t.
In fact, as I was sitting in that wooden pew the next morning, I didn’t hear one mention of the previous day’s events. Not even so much as an acknowledgement of what these students had achieved. And this is coming from a church and a denomination that claims to be pacifist?
What I did hear though, was a prayer said for the leaders of our country. And this got me thinking.
Are Christians just comfortable enough voting for a politician who speaks their evangelical rhetoric, and then washing their hands of the issues, thinking they’ve done their part?
Yes, of course, we can pray for the leaders of this country, Lord knows they need it, but I think we need to be careful that we’re not simply passing our responsibility to be a loving people onto the politicians who tow the right lines.
Because if Isaiah tells us to “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause,” then maybe we need to do a quick reevaluation.
Maybe we need to ask ourselves how we’re doing, or not doing, that in this time, with this issue.
Now, let me make one thing clear. This is not an attack on the church, but rather a call to action.
This could be a chance for Christians to say to the rest of the country that, no, our religion doesn’t just matter on Sunday, as we sit in our rows of pews singing words off the big screen. It matters every other day too — that the turmoil we see around us is a tragedy, but it’s also an opportunity.
So, yes, that church across the world in that developing nation does matter, and the missionary serving in a third-world country matters too. But, so does that community right across the river, and that high school a few states away, where gun violence left and continues to leave shattered families in its path.
And let’s also remember that it’s not just this issue. It’s not just gun legislation and violence in our society. It’s immigration and it’s healthcare. It’s climate change, race relations and gender equality.
All of these issues involve “loving your neighbor” and “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
These are some of the first things we learn in Sunday school, but it seems to me are also some of the first things we forget as we grow up.
Keeping this in mind, I’d urge you to say, you know what, the God I worship, the God who supposedly guides my life, wouldn’t see all of this and stand idly by.
So, neither will I.
If this topic interests you, “The Armor of Light” is a documentary inviting evangelical Christians to re-examine their views on gun ownership — not as a political issue, but as a moral one. View it here.