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Rev. Madison Shockley at the Women's March: 'People of Faith Stand With You'

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

Truthdig contributor Madison Shockley, pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, Calif., delivered a spirited address to a crowd of more than 3,000 people at Palomar College in North County, San Diego during the international Women’s March on Saturday.

Here’s what he said:

It is indeed my pleasure to show up here at the Women’s March. And I’m gonna speak for a very brief moment about what it means to me to be here as a minister of the Christian gospel.

We need a little bit of historical context. When Christians first uttered the phrase, “Jesus is Lord,” it was not just a statement of faith, but it was also a statement of resistance, resistance against the Roman Emperor that had required every person in the empire to acknowledge him as their Lord and ruler.

But when Christians heard the call they’re refused. When Christians were asked to say “Hail Caesar!” they said, “Hello no! Jesus is my lord!” And Christians to this day continue that revolutionary religion, and any time a tyrant rises up, we have to say “Hell no! Jesus is Lord! Love is Lord! Peace is God!”

I came here today as a minister of the gospel of Jesus to bring good news to women, that people of faith stand with you. People of faith stand with you as you seek full equality and human dignity, because our faith teaches us that God made humanity male and female and God made them equal. Equal in dignity and equal in autonomy. That means to me that you have equal authority to determine what you do with your life and what you do with your body.

People of faith stand with you as you raise your voice against this wannabe tyrant to tell him, “Don’t grab me, bro!” … I urge you not to read his lips but to watch his hands. Watch his hands to see what he does, because his lips lie. They lied on yesterday, they lied on today and they’ll be lying tomorrow. But watch his hands and see what he does. Because what he does tells the truth, and the truth will set you free.

As a minister of the gospel I came here to bring good news and to say to our immigrant and undocumented brother and sisters: we stand with you. And before we let them deport our children and our mothers and our fathers and our brothers and our sisters, they will have to go through me to get to you, because we will offer you holy sanctuary in our churches, we will offer you holy sanctuary in our communities. So let us stand strong together as we proclaim that the majority of the American people did not vote for this wannabe tyrant. The majority of the American people are still with her, and her, and her and her, and her! And with all women as they seek to live their lives in dignity and equality.

Let the church say, “Amen!”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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