Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why I Chose to March

It is estimated that 3.2 million people joined in Women's Marches around the United States, with more than a quarter million participating in solidarity around the world. Even though we will never know the actual figure, there were a lot of people troubled by the current state of our government. Two weekends later, I am still thinking about why I decided to participate. So here goes...
  • As a woman of faith I take Luke 12:48 very seriously: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." I have worked hard as an adult to put a roof over my own head, provide for my family, and go to graduate school. I would be terribly remiss, however, in not acknowledging all that I have been blessed with and the riches that have been shared with me to provide me so many opportunities. My parents and extended family ensured that I never went without, was provided a quality education including a bachelor's Degree, and even straight teeth (braces are not cheap). Plus as a woman especially, I am grateful that I live in a country where I can do what I want, when I want. Not everyone in this world can say that, even in 2017. All this is to say not everyone, even someone born in this country, is as fortunate. I feel a sense of responsibility to help those around me, due in large part to what has been given to me. Is this system perfect? Absolutely not; but it is the system we have and we must work within it to help those in need.
  • I have availed myself of the many services that Planned Parenthood has to offer women. I went to a clinic in college when I was trying to figure out "how to be an adult;" but I did not understand health insurance nor did I have a gynecologist to help diagnose what was causing problems below the waist. Sadly this organization has become predominately associated with providing abortions, but let's be clear that only  3% of their overall services are abortions.
  • I think Betsy DeVos is wildly unqualified to be the Secretary of Education. Even though I may no longer be a teacher, I still have serious concerns about the education system in this country. I truly believe we are falling short of preparing our future generations, and the appointment of such an inappropriate candidate shows that President Trump is not attuned to the need for education reform. 
  • After graduating from college I was having trouble finding employment that provided me with access to or enough compensation to afford health insurance. I went nearly two years without health insurance. I was very fortunate that I did not require any serious medical care, or have a pre-existing condition that would require on-going care. The Affordable Care Act allowed minors to stay on their parents' insurance up until age 26. If this had been an option for me, it would have sustained me until my current position that provided benefits. The repeal of the ACA without a viable replacement is unconscionable. 
  • I believe that global warming is a real phenomenon that requires the full attention of the EPA among other organizations, as well as the full attention of each person. I have serious concerns about the world we will be leaving for future generations if we continue to ignore the impact of our dependence on fossil fuels, and our consumptive nature as a society.
  • Finally, I believe that the millions of people around the country who participated in marches in their respected locations were availing themselves of the right given all Americans by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for peaceable assembly and free speech (along with airing our grievances, freedom of RELIGION - all religions, and freedom of the press). I fear many have lost sight of the fact that the Bill of Rights is comprised of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, not just the second one that allows people to bear arms.
Even though I have more personal reasons why I chose to participate, this is all that I feel is fit to print. As it is I  I cannot speak for anyone else who participated in a march, nor do I think that everyone who opposes them feels the same way. At the end of the day, I hope we can remember in tense situations such as this that neither side is all about "you" nor "me."

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