nonviolence in action!

July 19, 2009

My friend, Cassie, went to the Episcopal General Convention last weekend. She told me this story (third hand, so this is basically the gist of it) and i LOVE how it shows the creativity, grace and beauty of nonviolence in action.

Apparently Gene Robinson, one of the first openly gay Episcopal bishops, spoke at the convention. Outside the hall protesters held up signs and chanted about the ‘immorality’ of homosexuality. Most people simply ignored them, but one woman decided to take on the protesters in a beautiful and graceful way: she asked the crowd to “sponsor a protester” with the money going to something like overturning Prop 8 or AIDS research.

She raised her voice and asked people to donate, make a pledge, whatever! And what could the protesters do? They could stay — but their presence was now being used to support a cause they had not intended. Or they could abandon their protest, and leave the convention-goers in peace. Such is the beauty of nonviolence — facing head on the hateful bigotry of the protesters and twirling, moving, restoring it, to make the world better.

By the end, the group gathered around the protesters began to sing “Jesus loves me” — those beautiful simple words lifting up the dignity of all people, and, i would assume, exposing the shame of the protester’s hatred.

Amen! Thank you Jesus for showing us this ‘third way’!!! Let’s sing a little “Jesus loves me” today! 🙂