Monday, December 5, 2011

Who Makes History?

Recently, I wrote about a small church in eastern Kentucky in which a new rule excluding inter-racial couples from joining the church had been instituted.  This weekend, the pastor of that church, along with the liturgical organization it belongs to, overturned that vote, expressing a view that the church welcomes "believers into our fellowship regardless of race, creed or color."

Bravo for them.  As I said in my initial post, salvation is for everyone, no matter where they or their ancestors come from, so long as they reach out for it.

But something stuck with me in the initial news article:

The vote by members last Sunday was 9-6, Harville said. It was taken after the service, which about 35 to 40 people attended. Harville said many people left or declined to vote. 
By those numbers, there were 35 to 40 members of the congregation who could have taken part in the initial vote.  20 to 25 of them declined to participate, instead letting those who felt strongly enough one way or another to make the decision for them.  Even using the lower number of 35 congregants, less than 1/3 of the congregation voted to put this rule into place, bringing unwanted publicity to the church and necessitating the attention of the pastor when he should have been concentrating on actually teaching his flock.

Think about that.  9 people decided to put that rule in place.  1/3 of that population of adults changed the manner in which that church would welcome people into their community. 

The answer to the question I asked in the title is this:  The people who show up and participate make history.  It's just that simple.  You can have the hearts and minds of 90% of the people on a given issue, but unless you can convince them to put some skin in the game, you will lose if the other side can get that other 10% to show up and vote.  We can have Tea Party rallies with people in their hundreds of thousands, but if we don't get them to the polls, it's all just talk in the park.

Every time we have an election, there is always a talking head on TV telling us about how less than half of registered voters bother to vote.  That's not half of the adult population that's qualified to vote.  That's half of the minority of those people who fill out a card and get registered.  Even in elections where a politician or a ballot proposal passes with an overwhelming majority of votes, they're only getting a small fraction of the total adult population to support them.

So how do we make history?  First, we show up.  Get out and support the causes and candidates you believe in.  And for heaven's sake, register to vote and get out of the house on election day and vote. 

Next, we get as many people who have similar ideas and values as us to do the same.  There's history in numbers.

Next, get your kids, when they're old enough to know what's going on, involved.  Maybe they just go to the polls with you.  Maybe they go along with you to a rally, or to deliver yard signs for a cause.  But you set the example for them so that when they gain voting age, they already know how important it is that their voice be heard.

Someone once said that for evil to triumph, all it needs is for good people to do nothing.  If we want to keep our republic safe, we need to be more than passive observers.  We have to be involved, and we have to willing to put a little skin in the game.

The primaries are coming up, and then comes the general election.  Please get involved and vote.  The country you save could be your own.

2 comments:

WS4E said...

Not real surprised that there is a tiny little church with only a few dozen members in the backwoods of appalachia that still has a few bigots in it.

Personally I like to see the good side in this story, that incident this more proof that racism is dying out in the USA.

Look at it like this:
1) even in backwoods Appalachia, interracial couples are a reality now people have to deal with
2) you can't get away with this stuff in the USA anymore without national exposure, public disapproval and condemnation even if your located in the remote woods of hicksville.

When you think about it, those are huge signs of progress, and mean more to me than the actions of those few bigots in the tiny church.

Old NFO said...

Amen...

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