In case you missed them, here’s a quick round up of our Small Stones Interviews so far. We are hard at work on bringing you the next round of stories from educators doing the work during these times. If you or someone you know would like to talk to us about your own experience, we are ready to listen!
As a teacher, I still bring into the learning space the same optimistic approach I always have, because I don’t feel less optimistic. I still talk with students about their responsibility to themselves to be their true self in the face of the messaging that’s horrific right now. No one can take care of their well-being better than they. So, I don’t feel an urgency or that it’s more difficult at all. Whether I’m working with the teens, or with the college students, I’m always trying to ensure they are kind to themselves in the process.
The religious left has been around as long as the religious right, but there’s a lot more thought now around how we are meaningful participants in what I think is really a nationwide civics education. How does a bill become a law, what does the FBI director do, how much can be decided through E.O. [executive order] vs. the courts vs. anything else, and as we’re educating ourselves on that, what, then, is the appropriate witness of people of faith? Because part of what happens in the US is that when you get the separation of church and state, you choose what that means. For me, it means that it is the job of the church to critique the state. That we have the necessary moral obligation to speak on behalf of the widow, and the orphan, and the refugee, and those who do not necessarily have power in any given administration, and to look for where that shadow side of things is. And that, I think, is the civic obligation of religious institutions.
It does feel really weird to feel like we might be seeing the end of the political system as we knew it. I mean, yes and no? I don’t think it’s hopeless. I think there is some chunk of people who will, well, die because of this administration, and a bunch more whose lives will be made much, much more difficult, but I think there are things we can do. First, I think we can fight—and people are fighting—to protect as many people as we can right now. So, to me, that means lobbying, making calls, bringing civil rights lawsuits, and to some extent that’s working.