Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Since I've been working all weekend (at home) I've watched more television than normal. So I had the benefit of catching Senator Obama and Senator Clinton's speeches today at churches in Selma, Alabama at services commemorating the 42nd anniversary of "Bloody Sunday"--the voting rights march in Selma, Alabama where tear gas, cattle prods, and billy clubs were used to stop the march participants from reaching Montgomery in a bid for voting rights. It's called Bloody Sunday because there was so much blood from the brutal abuse the nonviolent participants endured at the hands of the police. A second march successfully occurred two weeks later courtesy of the protection of a federal court order and by the they reached Montgomery there were 25,000 participants. This march ultimately led to the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.

And as I was listening, I wished our generation had such a clear calling, meaning a social ill that is so obviously wrong that we were spurred to action. Obviously I don't actually wish for a horrible injustice to pop up (although arguably the people who are still suffering as a result of Katrina would be such an example), but I suppose I wished I felt impassioned enough about our existing social ills to do more than what I've done. Tutoring at an underprivileged school or in the projects for a few hours a week or doing Big Brothers Big Sisters just doesn't seem significant, especially when I think about what some of my family members have done to promote equality.

In middle school I was very much concerned by social issues, attempting to get my school to not use styrofoam containers and the like. But at some point, I sort of gave up. I didn't think I could change the world anymore, and it was sort of depressing to think about all of the things that needed to change. I guess I lost my idealism.

As I've thought about all of this today, I've realized that we do have significant social issues today that need to be addressed (especially when you think of us as being part of a global society). Those ills are simply out of sight and out of mind for me more days than not; my life is exceedingly easy. And there's a part of me that wonders what can I do about the lack of adequate health insurance for millions of Americans or the fact that our schools are so underfunded that elementary school counselors can't even get to all of the children who exhibit signs of abuse. When I read or hear about all of these injustices, I briefly feel enraged and then just defeated or saddened by it. And that's the part of me that just wants to push all of this out my mind with the excuse that I can't change it anyway and/or that I can't do more than I already do since I have a full time job. And yes, that's a lame excuse.

p.s. Who in the world buys Ann Coulter's books?


allbilly said...

Killing Ann Coulter would be a good start at solving a social ill. Voting against Republicans is a good start too. I think you probably discount the influence you have and will have throughout the rest of your career/life on affecting positive change.

I (someone that is def. NOT a republican) was given her "how to talk to a liberal" book by a former family member who thought it would be enjoyable for me to read because a narrow minded friend of her's that served in the military thought it was good. Umm...i never opened it. I gave it to my mom who read a couple of pages and then sold it at the used bookstore.

I find it funny that Republicans are now reduced to calling John Edwards (he's not even a front runner) names and trying to explain Rudy G's three marriages and why his kid's don't acknowledge him.

Ally said...

Billy: Well I'll have to pass on murdering Ann Coulter, but I can see why you wouldn't even want to waste a minute reading her book. And I agree that voting is a good place to start affecting change.

brandy said...

Ann Coulter frustrates me and I'm not even American. Although I disagree on what she says, I find it difficult to listen to her speak because of HOW she speaks. She just always comes off too obnoxious for me, add to the fact that I think she's partly insane and it's enough for me to switch channels. Even when Anderson Cooper is talking to her. Damn I love that man.

e.b. said...

Isn't it amazing how complacent and even lazy we get about this. Given that we have the privilege of ignorning it every day. I am in the same boat. Though I think the volunteer work at the local level is totally valuable. You make a difference in their lifes and to brighten your community, which is where you live and what you contribute to. Don't sell yourself short in that regard.

Ally said...

Brandy: Ann Coulter tries to be obnoxious and offensive b/c that evidently attracts some people. Yuck. And I used to have a total crush on Anderson Cooper, but the whole gay thing sort of ruins it:)

e.b.: Local contributions are important; I just need to devote more time to it, I think.

Jeff Price said...

Amy & I saw “Pursuit of Happyness” this past weekend and it was such a great movie. Our urban ministries experience really brought this movie to life for us, as we saw the main character struggle. It reminded us that while many in our culture today define happiness by comfort and find that so easy to attain, there are many in society for whom happiness is much more elusive. The continual pursuit; however, is a cross-cultural, multi-generational and socio-economical issue. For most, we no sooner grasp the reality of the Gospel message and happiness before it vanishes before our eyes (Luke 24: 31).

The social ills that our culture faces cannot be pinned solely on one political party or another. And the call to impact the world for Christ can be answered right where you are everyday. It’s not a lame excuse to feel overwhelmed by the pain in the world, who isn’t? But we can’t ignore the call of our Savior to be a part of the solution and to be a means of grace to a culture who needs to hear His message again and again. No matter what your party affiliation, the need for faith, hope and love is constant.

Aaron said...

I've got a novel idea. Why don't we vote for someone other than a Democrat or Republican?

Ally said...

Jeff: I saw that movie a few months ago, and it was a good reminder of how different life is for some and how much more of a struggle they have. I think the call of faith, hope, and love requires action, but it seems like I need constant inspiration (and/or a part time job) to commit to doing something on a regular basis.

Aaron: I would if I felt very strongly about the candidate.

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