The law is our mutually created instrument to protect impartially
the common good and individual rights from abuses by individuals,
groups, or the state. As citizens our duty is to uphold the law
and to respect its representatives. When the law, or those who
uphold it, do not serve the purpose of the common good and individual
freedom, or if the law itself becomes an instrument of abuse,
it is our duty to speak out and to try to correct those abuses,
not in a violent way but to protest, with one's body if necessary,
a situation that has become fundamentally unjust.
I joined in the Capital Rotunda protest because I have felt as
if my heart were breaking at what has been happening in my own
country. I have also felt dismay at the coldness and uncaring
of people who call themselves Christian and who claim to speak
for all of us who follow Christ.
This action in very uncharacteristic of me. I have never taken
such action before. I lead a very quiet life, directing our church's
retreat center. But when I heard the announcement of this protest
I knew God was giving me the opportunity to speak out against
government that forgets its weaker members, and also to let it
be known that there are Christians who do not agree with those
who loudly advertise themselves as God's spokespersons.
CAROL WILKINSON is administrator of the silent retreat program
at Dayspring Retreat Center in Germantown, Maryland.