We are present and past constituents of the 30th Legislative District in Federal Way. We are members and friends of Calvary Lutheran Church — a church that you have visited on occasion to support our outreach services to the homeless and poor, and with whom you have partnered in serving our neighbors in need at the new day shelter. We also are citizens who marched in the Seattle Womxn’s March, Jan. 21.
In a recent Facebook post, you characterized our participation in this demonstration of our First Amendment rights as shameful: unAmerican and unChristian, were your precise words.
We would like you to know that we marched because we are Americans who treasure the right to assemble and to peacefully exercise free speech. We believe that the rights of many Americans are in jeopardy under President Donald Trump’s administration. To have you suggest that we actually are unAmerican in exercising our rights is not only disconcerting, but leads us to believe that perhaps you, along with the new president, would like to limit those rights — by quietism, if not legislation. Either option is disturbing.
We also would like you to know that we marched in the Seattle Womxn’s March because we are Christians seeking to faithfully follow Jesus. Our, and your, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says that “whatever we do to the least of these we do to him,” (Matthew 25:40). We see Jesus in our black and Hispanic neighbor. We see Jesus in the refugee and the immigrant, in our Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and atheist neighbor, in our straight and gay friends. We see Jesus in the teenage girl trafficked by pimps on Pacific Avenue in Federal Way, who might be lifted out of hopelessness with proper medical and reproductive services available. We seek to care for them as if we were caring for Christ himself — with love, compassion, dignity and wisdom.
We are Americans who treasure freedom of religion — our right to worship without the state intervening to tell us what we should believe or how we should live out our faith, another First Amendment right. And the God we choose to worship is the one who steps into humanity in the same fragile flesh that we wear: Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we find God reaching out in mercy to the homeless, the helpless, the overlooked, the abused and the under-represented. He steps into the lives of those who are mocked for their disabilities, disregarded for their poverty and exploited by the powerful. This is the Jesus we follow.
Rev. Lori Cornell; Shari Winslow; Rachel O’Reilly; Sharon and Doug Aukland; Duane Sawyer; Susan Hoppler; Heidi Haynes; Sue and Emily Thoreson; Dawn Dale; Kari Frost; Madeline Yamada; Anna Chamberlain; Kathleen Parks; Margaret, Earl, Katherine and Victoria Peterson; and Carol Powell