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Defend the Oppressed

Greetings WAC Community,

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.  – Psalm 82:3-5

The Wyoming Association of Churches is occasionally criticized for being “too political.”  WAC supports access to health care for everyone.  WAC supports an end to discrimination because of people’s identity, as opposed to what they do.  WAC opposes acts of hate, such as the recent bomb threats and vandalism of grave sites toward Jews. Even though this did not happen in Wyoming to my knowledge, I know from the rabbi in Cheyenne that it has created fear for the Jews who do live and contribute to our state. 

WAC supports seeking the Kingdom of God in the here and now.  WAC’s mission is to promote justice.  I believe that is what scripture very clearly calls us to do, not in one obscure passage, but throughout.  If that’s being political, then so be it.  Let’s be political.

Often it’s easier to remain silent so as not to offend our friends and family.  We blame those who being oppressed and/or poor as a way to alleviate our responsibility for them.  We act out of fear instead of love.  That means we are not doing what is right.  To do justice is not out of a sense of self-righteousness, but out of courage for radical love of neighbor that God calls us to do.

This past week I went with friends to see the movie Hidden Figures, about the lives of three black women who had major roles in the early 1960’s in NASA’s success with space exploration.  My hope is that everyone sees this film that makes real the struggles of the oppressed to rise up and raises awareness that allowing the oppressed to rise up allows all of us to rise.  The ones threatened by the black women’s abilities sought to protect themselves out of fear that letting black women get ahead would somehow demote whatever they had.  One scene takes place in the women’s restroom.  A white boss finds herself there with one of the black women who has been an acting supervisor, but without the pay or recognition, despite several requests for acknowledgement.  The restroom had only been integrated shortly before that, another story.  They begin to talk.  The white woman says, “You know that I am not racist.” The black woman replies, “Yes, I know.  I know that you don’t think that you are.”

I see many national and local policies and actions that are oppressive towards those already marginalized.  We need to respond.  We need to become engaged.  We need to counter the oppression.  That’s our mandate.

Thankfully, that is happening here and there.  This past week, many gathered in Laramie to write letters to our legislators and congressional delegation asking for justice.  In one evening, 29 letters were written supporting HB 76 for the American Indian education program.  Other letters were written as well on other issues.  This is something all of our churches could be doing.  I heard that it happened last month in Casper.  If you cannot organize this at a church, then find another location to do God’s work.  We cannot remain blind to the injustice that we see and hear every day.  Writing letters alone may not be enough, but it’s a good start!

Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.



P.S. The Wyoming Association of Churches appreciates your many financial gifts for our justice work in Wyoming for the oppressed.  Click here.  Or mail your contribution to WAC, PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073. You may designate your gift to the Wind River Native Advocacy Center.Dates to Remember:

  1. Crow Pipe Ceremony, June 16, Heart Mountain, near Cody

  2. Ecumenical Advocacy Days in DC, April 21-24

To view the W.A.C. Events calendar, go to:

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