Earlier this summer, I heard a feminist talk about injustice in her small country. The government is influenced by religious zealots who have every legal right to issue edicts that affect the lives of millions of women, men and racial minorities. She lives in a religious state where freedom of religion has limitations. She and others like her, practice a more liberal form of the national religion, and are not allowed to pray as they choose. Their clergy are not permitted to conduct marriages or grant divorces. There’s a bill before the parliament to end the authority of progressive movements to accept religious converts to the faith. She is an attorney and fights against unfair laws and violations of Supreme Court rulings. Her story drove me to action. I took very strong measures to ensure that I did my part to end the detestable discriminatory practices. I ‘Liked’ her Facebook page.
Breaking news… this same brave woman is arrested for carrying a bible at a sacred site. Women are restricted from praying with Holy scrolls in designated locations. They are breaking a law if they raise their voices in prayer where there is a possibility of being heard by men. Photographers were on hand to capture the arrest. Although news agencies had access to the footage, the news wires did not pick up the story. I read about it on Facebook. Once again, I took definitive action: I commented (with great passion) on the post.
Take a minute to watch the video.
This is not a backwards developing nation. Women enjoy full equality in every other area of public life. They are required to serve in the military alongside men and contribute equally in the workplace. The country has one of the highest GDP (an economic indicator) rankings in the world. It ranks third in having the most college graduates per capita. Its researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs lead the world in innovations in medicine, technology and science. In a country where they should know better, there is an on-going struggle against injustice in the name of religion. This is a big insult to free-thinking citizens living in a democratic society. We must stand with civil rights leader Anat Hoffman. We must take a stand for pluralism in the Holy Land of Israel.
I’m a feminist.
There, I said it,
though You are not shocked.
It was You who made me so.
Growing up aglow in Your love,
it was obvious.
If You loved me,
then what I am is special.
If You believed in me,
than what I am is capable.
If You respected me,
then what I am is worthy.
You taught me that being a feminist
isn’t shameful or unwomanly;
it is the essence of womanhood.
My pride is in fighting for equality.
Help the rest of the world see this.
There are eyes that need to be opened,
and with Your help, we’ll pry these lids apart.