The greatest danger, I argued, was civil obedience, the submission of individual conscience to governmental authority. Such obedience led to the horrors we saw in totalitarian states, and in liberal states it led to the public’s acceptance of war whenever the so-called democratic government decided on it… Howard Zinn
Meditation: Today my daughter was part of her first act of civil disobedience. At 10am many High School and Middle School students in our nation walked out of the classrooms for 17 minutes to remember each of the 17 Florida shooting victims. The protest went peacefully. African American students have a long tradition of civil disobedience. For most of the majority youth, this is a new experience. Peaceful civil disobedient protest is a little bit like lamenting prayer. Often we don’t know if our lament changes God. As Christians we believe that our prayer impacts God, as God in Jesus is deeply empathetic by nature. However, we know for sure that our lament and our prayers have a great effect on us. It changes us. And in a parallel process, we won’t know if our children’s civil disobedience has any effect on the government today. However, we know that it has a great effect on the young people who choose to do it. And I believe that each one of them is developing a deeper level of ethical and moral clarity, compassion and empathy as a result of today’s protest. Additionally we know that one day, this generation will become the government.
Prayer: God of transformation, often we pray and we don’t see any immediate results. We protest and we don’t see any immediate effects. And yet, it is in acts of prayer and peaceful protest that Your Spirit works. And so our faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see. Thank You for my daughter’s act of protest today. Thank You for this country’s youth who are finding their voice. May their voices ring loud. May their actions reach deep and last long. Amen
And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men”. Acts 5:28 (ESV)