Most people I know talk about this weekend because it’s a three day weekend. I work as a teacher and my fellow teachers see this as one of the last school holidays we have before the dreaded month of February, feared the world over because of its lack of school holidays. In reality, this weekend is huge for two reasons. The most obvious reason is because of MLK Day. It is also the weekend where we remember the 40th anniversary of the famous Supreme Court Ruling of Roe vs. Wade. These two landmark dates as well as President Obama’s inauguration gave me time to pause and reflect on the weight of these events, so I thought I’d reflect on them.
MLK Day – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a huge figure in the world of a social studies teacher. Not only was he well spoken, but he was also putting into action the beliefs he held so dear. He was willing to put his life on the line for what he believed in and it’s a shame he was plucked from this earth in such a tragic way. My pastor at church talked a bit about the civil rights movement and he talked about how his grandparents were terribly insensitive to social justice when Dr. King was alive. He went on to wonder if people in that situation ever looked back on the outcome of everything and wish that they’d changed sides. I wonder if there’s an issue in modern day that I could be on the right side or the wrong side of. I’m sure there’s something revolutionary going on right now that I can’t see, but I wonder if I’m on the right side. My prayer this weekend is that I’m following God’s will and trusting that he will use me to aid in this change, whatever it may be.
Roe vs. Wade – The bottom line for this is that this landmark Supreme Court decision paved the way for legalized abortion in the United States. It’s hard for me to understand this decision for a number of reasons, but as I reflect on the topic, I’m wondering if this could be the pivotal issue of my generation. I’m wondering how this issue will effect people’s lives from here on and I wonder how opinions of what is right or wrong have changed since 1973 when the decision was made. My church spent the weekend talking about abortion and used both the Bible as well as statistics to outline it’s stance. It was for sure an uncomfortable sermon, but one that caused me to think long and hard about my beliefs on such a hard topic.
Obama’s 2nd Inauguration – I’ve grown up in a time where politicians have been fairly moderate. My recollection of both Bush’s presidencies as well as the Clinton administration is that they were fairly moderate in general. Their oppositions would rather have had their constituency in the presidency, but there was not outright hatred. I feel like with President Obama there is such polar opposites in opinions of him. You either love him or you hate him. I’m not used to this, so I’m still internalizing how I feel about it. I will say that I kept changing news channels today while watching the coverage of the inauguration and both sides seemed to be courteous toward the event, which I guess is all you can ask for.